How Many Times Can You Refreeze Water?


Oh, darn. You had filled an ice cube tray with cold water so you could add the cubes to your water bottle. You know this is safer than attempting to freeze the bottle itself, so you figured you’d be good.

You gave the cubes some time to harden in the freezer before pouring some of them into your reusable water bottle. Then you forgot the ice cubes were in there. You’re finally out and about and you could really use a drink. You go to take a sip of crisp, clean, cold water only to find it’s lukewarm.

If you were to go back home now, would it be okay for you to refreeze the water? How many times can you refreeze water?

There’s no real limit on how many times you can refreeze water. You can do so infinitely, theoretically.

While you could absolutely refreeze water to your heart’s content, you have to be careful about what container you refreeze the water in. Is it okay to use a metal bottle, for instance? What about one that’s made of reusable plastic?

In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about refreezing water.

The Best Freezable and Reusable Water Bottles I Found

I decided to go on a little research and find out the best water bottles that can be used for storing some nice, cold, and refreshing water. And here what I found:

Or check my buying guide for this freezable water bottle here

Check also our last article about Is It Safe to Freeze Your Water Bottle?

Why Can You Continuously Refreeze Water?

Water generally exists in three states: solid, liquid, and gas. All are perfectly natural and thus safe. Solid water, also known as ice, occurs when the water’s molecules begin to spread. This allows hardening to occur. The temperature of the water must be at least 32 degrees Fahrenheit for it to freeze, which we’ve mentioned before on this blog.

If ice melts, then water becomes a liquid. You’re familiar with liquid water, as you use and consume it every day in its potable liquid form.

Lastly, water can also be a gas. This occurs most often when water is boiled. It becomes a vapor or gas. Water vapor is also a natural weather phenomenon. The vapor can decrease in temperature, and if it does, it becomes steam. The temperature must be at least 212 degrees Fahrenheit for steam to develop on a sea level.

Water vapor is an integral part of weather in another way. As it connects to dust and travels, the vapor can become hail, snow, or rain. There’s even what’s known as a hydrologic cycle, also called the water cycle. As part of this cycle, water starts as a solid, becomes liquid, ends as gas, and repeats continuously.

As you can see, it’s totally normal and natural for water to go from a liquid form to a solid form and vice-versa. Personally, then, you don’t have to worry about your water being frozen and refrozen. As long as you’re refreezing the water in a safe, clean container, then you can do it as many times as you’d like.

Now, you may have gotten the impression that you shouldn’t refreeze water because of a bad mishap with frozen food. Perhaps you took out a meal to thaw then didn’t eat it for dinner that night. You let it sit for too long and it went bad.

Actually, most frozen food can be safely refrozen, too. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, if frozen chicken breasts were refrigerated and not left at room temp, they can be refrozen. This is even after several days of not being in the freezer.

The same can be said for frozen pizza. If the meal is at least 40 degrees and still has ice crystals on it, then you can put it back in the freezer with no ill effects. That goes to show that some frozen foods, and most certainly water, can withstand temperature differences more than we give them credit for.

Is It Safe to Drink Water That’s Been Frozen in a Plastic Bottle?

In our first article on this blog, we proved that dioxins will not be leaked into your reusable plastic water bottle. This is true if you were to microwave the water bottle or freeze it. Dioxins, as a reminder, are a type of chemical that are classified as persistent organic pollutants. They need very high temperatures in industrial applications to form.

We’ve also talked extensively about other chemicals that can be found in reusable plastic water bottles, such as bisphenol A or BPA as well as phthalates. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, then you’re surely aware that we’ve discouraged you from drinking out of reusable plastic water bottles.

This is because, even though today many manufacturers make plastic bottles and kitchen containers that claim to be BPA-free, they may not be. If you remember from the post about BPA-free plastics, a study from a plastics company that was published in Men’s Health proved that most plastics that were touted as BPA-free were not.

Even if your reusable plastic water bottle were truly BPA-free, it’d need to also have a freezer-safe label. Otherwise, you cannot put it in the freezer.

What About Water Frozen in Metal Bottles?

That’s why we recommend you drink bottles made of stainless steel or aluminum. While you may experience a slightly metallic aftertaste with an aluminum bottle (and the color of your water might be a little off), it’s chemical-free. The same goes for a stainless steel water bottle. You may notice that same metallic taste (but it can easily be cleaned out of the bottle), but there’s no phthalates, BPAs, and dioxins to be found.

It should be noted that stainless steel bottles are generally the safer choice between the two metals. Aluminum begins to break down when it’s exposed to beverages with a lot of acidity. If you drink anything out of your metal bottle besides water, you might want to stick with stainless steel

Also, some aluminum bottles may contain an enamel or epoxy liner to prevent the degradation of the bottle due to the abovementioned acidity issue. Epoxy liners may have BPAs in them. Plastic liners are also sometimes used in metal bottles, and this once again puts you at risk of consuming BPAs.

You should make sure your water bottle has no liners for the safest drinking experience.

Now, freezing a metal water bottle is an entirely different story in terms of safety. Metal bottles are notorious for cracking in a freezer, even if you don’t fill them all the way. That’s why it’s recommended you keep metal bottles out of the freezer. You can freeze ice cubes and pour them in instead. Refrigerating a metal water bottle is also safe. In fact, most metal bottles will retain their frostiness for up to 24 hours after a stint in the fridge. That makes them even better for staying cool than a frozen reusable plastic water bottle

Is It Safe to Drink Water That’s Been Refrozen?

Above, we told you that you can refreeze water infinitely, theoretically. Why do we say theoretically instead of guaranteed? Once again, it all depends on the container in which holds the water.

Let’s stick with the ice cube tray example we presented in the intro. If the ice cube tray has been cleaned before and after use and has no leftover soap residue on it, then you’re in the clear.

What if you were to refreeze a reusable plastic water that’s freezer-safe and BPA-free? What would happen? We certainly can’t recommend it. Remember, you truly never know which plastic bottles contain BPAs and which don’t until you start experiencing adverse health effects.

Need a refresher on what those adverse health effects are? Sure. There’s decreased quality of sperm in men, more weight around the middle of the body, and insulin resistance. Those are just the effects that have a proven correlation based on scientific and medical research. There certainly could be more.

If you don’t leak BPAs into your reusable plastic water bottle by freezing it once, why chance fate and refreeze the bottle shortly after freezing it for a first time?

Not only that, but reusable plastic water bottles can explode. It doesn’t happen often, but if you were to refreeze a bottle that had already been frozen that same day, you’re again chancing fate.

Know the best water bottle you can use: The Best Water Bottle.

FINAL VERDICT

While you can refreeze water as many times as necessary, what matters most is the container the water is in. It’s okay to reuse an ice cube tray again and again, but the tray should be clean.

You should never put metal water bottles in the freezer, as they will more than likely explode. This is true if it’s an aluminum or stainless steel bottle. Reusable plastic bottles can be frozen, but you never can truly know if BPAs are leaking into your bottle as you do so. Refreezing a reusable plastic water bottle then is even an even more dangerous game. It can explode for one thing, and you’re practically inviting BPAs in at this point as well.

For the safest drinking, you should freeze or refreeze ice cubes, pour them into a metal water bottle, and put that bottle in the fridge. This is a chemical-free solution to staying cool when out on hot days.

Sources

  • https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=830977,
  • https://cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/65572/is-it-safe-to-refreeze-ice-cubes,
  • https://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/charts/frozen_food.html,
  • https://www.stilltasty.com/questions/index/181/page:1,
  • https://www.pvwc.com/story_of_water/html/3forms.htm

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