Monday, June 2, 2014

Tovolo Perfect Cube, uncool tool

Last December I somehow found my way to a Cool Tools post about Tovolo ice-cube trays. I bought a set of Perfect Cube trays and soon began to wonder why ice water was tasting awful. How awful? Like a cross between freezer and rubber. Was our water really that bad? No. These trays stink, and they impart a stink to the ice cubes they hold. It’s most noticeable if I’m drinking ice water, less noticeable with bourbon or iced tea.

I called Tovolo this morning and was told what a Cool Tools commenter was told two years ago — that silicone absorbs odors at low temperatures. Which would seem to make it a poor choice for ice-cube trays, right? Not according to Tovolo. In the event of stink (my word not theirs), the company recommends washing the trays with two parts vinegar and one part water, every two months or so. Another suggestion: don’t store ice cubes in the trays themselves. I couldn’t help laughing about that one. You can see where this is going: the Tovolo tray becomes a complication, an object in need of maintenance. Not a cool tool at all. Very uncool, if you ask me. I would never have purchased these trays had I known that they would require scheduled maintenance and off-site storage.

The person I spoke with said that the company sells thousands of trays and that very few have these problems. Yet a prominent eBay seller who sells Tovolo has a page of directions for getting rid of the stink. In other words, it’s a Known Issue. And one- and two-star reviews on Amazon suggest that the stink is there to stay. To his credit, the person I spoke with said that Tovolo will replace trays when necessary. But I’m saving my vinegar and time and replacing the Tovolos with Rubbermaid trays. Elaine is using our Tovolos to store spools of thread. (Can thread stink?)

Had I read the comments at Cool Tools or even a smattering of Amazon reviews, I’d have balked at buying Tovolo trays. Note to self: read the comments next time, self. Don’t fall for shiny red objects before doing more reading.

[Yes, everything is less noticeable with bourbon.]

comments: 4

The Crow said...

Were they made in China? Oh, the stories I could tell you!

Michael Leddy said...

No place of manufacture on them. Several online outlets identify Tovolo products as made in China.

Anonymous said...

It's surprising to me, someone like you, could be so easily sold ice cube trays or anything (online) for that matter without reading the online reviews FIRST.

Unless you know absolutely what you're getting, reviews, both the good ones and the bad, are a must read. Okay I'm done with my lecture.

I just found your blog after agonizing of when to use "was" and "were". Thanks for your posts.

Michael Leddy said...

Well, the Cool Tools post was a review. :) I put too much trust in it. And honest, I do read reviews just about always, except when I already know enough to make up my mind (buying books, buying music). This time, I let one review make up my mind for me.

Thanks for reading.