Friday Fact: Ice-Water Floaties - the mystery revealed!

I hardly ever finish my water with dinner - a habit I am trying to kick, because I really need more water intake. I rarely get my 8 a day. I love water - I'm just forgetful. I forget to stop every once in a while and ask myself,

"How you doin'? You thirsty at all?"
"Actually, yeah, I'm feeling a bit parched."
"How about a nice tall glass of ice water?"
(because water without ice is kinda like a bowl without ice-cream. Useful, but definitely not as pleasant!)
"Yes, thank you!"

So I leave my water out so that when I wander by again, I can remind myself to take a gulp or two as I go about my business.

This is slightly problematic due to my compultion to clear all kitchen surfaces of any dishes. Bill and Lizzie try to leave their water cups out for later filling and enjoying - trying to save on cup consumption all responsible-like - but I inevitably and without thinking sweep their cup from it's 'safe place' into the sink. Or into the dishwasher. It's no use. Everyone in my house is forever having to get a new cup.

I wandered back into the kitchen after last night's dinner and reached for my glass - chilled and precipitating - intent on throwing back that half-full (not half-empty) sweet refreshment.

That's when I saw them.

The little white specs floating lazily down from the floating ice to the bottom of my glass.


I recoiled, peered at them sideways, got the jeevies and wondered: what the heck are those things?

Because there are no white flecks when you pour the water into the ice tray to freeze. I know, I've checked! It's just pure and clear water! You know?! So what are they? where do they come from? And most importantly - are they going to hurt meeee?

And so I brought back Friday Fact JUST SO I could answer this question. Because I know I'm not the only one. I can't be the only one. Right?

The Facts of Floaties in your Water - in no particular order:

Fact 1 - They actually are called floaties in accepted society. This makes me feel more friendly toward them on its own. Plus, the idea of scientists in lab coats pouring over their charts and microscopes, talking about the intricate nature of the 'floaties' makes me happy.

Fact 2 - The floaties happen when your ice is melting. The ice precipitates the floaties. Can we take a moment and marvel at the wonder of an ice cube precipitating? Think about it.

Fact 3 - The flecks are actually calcium carbonate; common in many water supplies.

Fact 4 - Calcium carbonate is found in cool stuff like rocks, snails, pearls, and eggshells.

It is the culprit behind hard water (remind me to have a word with it about what it's doing to my dishwasher).

Fact 5 - It's totally harmless.

So there you have it. You can now watch your ice cubes precipitate in your glass with total ease of mind. You might even think fondly of your floaties, now, and picture them as beautiful flakes of snow that your floating ice cubes created just for you.

And you can get back to getting your 8 a day!

(So, self? How you feelin?)


That Girl said...

No kidding. That DOES make me feel better.

Jen said...

Thanks, I hate those floaties too. I'm amazed that now that I am somewhere where the water isn't so hard, I don't have the problem as much. Also if you buy ice from the store, the purified ice, it won't leave the floaties. Thanks for all the research!

MikkSolo said...

So are the floaties "one of a kind" then, like the snowflakes?

sharon. said...

WARNING: Gross floatie story. Today at lunch with co-workers at a hole Chinese restaurant this sweet, old lady brought me a water that had an eye lash, what looked to be pepper, and many, many, large floaties. Gross, gross, gross. Now those are the bad floaties. I don't know that I will ever be re-visiting this place. Ever.

Stepper the Mighty said...

We had a family friend with a boy just our age, when we were growing up. They were the family that had it all together. 2 more floors than our house. More Legos. Healthy snacks.

But one day the mom gave us a glass of water between some imaginary something game and another and it had floaties in it. I glanced at the others. Floaties! I didn't finish my water then, but I did feel a little bit better about my own house. Our cups rarely matched, but no floaties in our water.

Posted as Stepper, but really her husband.

Grandpa Rusty said...

I still prefer to think of floaties as teeny-tiny galaxies full of millions of stars and billions of planets some of which being inhabited with life forms that are going about their normal daily routines like reading the comics in the newspaper and enjoying watching the latest episode of Psych while munching on mint flavored M & Ms as they recline on the sofa holding hands with their spouse with not even a fleeting thought that shortly they will be ingested. Or better yet, gargled! Nya-ah-ah!

Tamsin said...

Yup, that makes me feel better too. I never even use the ice maker on our fridge because I've been secretly sure that the floaties were there to kill me.

Now I might have to reconsider.


Tammy said...

hilarious - and very informative!

loomeye said...

Thanks so much for posting this explanation. We have a brand new fridge, and I thought we had a bacteria problem. Our water here IS very hard and now we know why.

Anonymous said...

my glass doesn't have ice, and it's natural spring water, and the floaty was about inch in size before I broke it up!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the information. The floaties have been grossing me out for a long time and I have ditched lots of water because of them. The weird thing is that I drink spring water and make the ice out of spring water as well. And sometimes I will have floaties and other times not.

Anonymous said...

What a relief it's calcium from Edmonton Hard Water. I thought I had messed up with the ice cube trays.

Kellie Black said...

I have wondered about "floaties" when my ice melts for years. What is wrong with me, that i just now got around to googling it?

Andrew said...

Thank you! Was wondering about that. Silly little calcium carbonate.

Anonymous said...

Why didn't I find this article when I did my (many) previous searches?? Thanks for the info, I feel a little better about my work city water now. :)

Anonymous said...

my "floats" are different. they are more like geletin or jellyfish. they are not white but clear. any other ideas?

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much! I feel much better about it! I buy gallons of purified drinking water to drink because im pregnant and find myself drinking more purified water than just tap water but was so grossed out when I put ice cubes(tap water) in my glass of water and saw tons of little white floaties and ended up just dumping out my glass of water every time I saw the floaties!

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80sHippieBaby said...

*sigh of relief* I most definitely thought they were food particles. I have a 30 oz water bottle I care everywhere with me (trying to be more conscientious with my intake since I'm preggers) and I'm always dumping out my water because of the floats. I don't even let my kids drink from my cup. I still will probably dump the floaty water out but at least now I know what it is. lol

Jacquelynn G said...

This made me feel so much better!!!! I had just bought a new glass thats shaped like a skull from Michael's and I thought it was the glass's fault, even though I washed it thoroughly. I am also one of those people who worry constantly about everything and when I saw the floaties in the glass, I honestly thought I was gonna die (yes i do have very irrational thoughts). But this posy made me calm down right away! Thank you so much!

Anonymous said...

I have been trying very hard to find out how and what those white floating things are in my melted glass of ice. I have read you explanation and several others and I say bull!!! For the simple fact that my daughter and I live in the same town and are on the same water system. She has a water softener and so do I. I get floaters she doesn't. I have an ice maker in my fridge. She has an ice maker on her counter she bought at sam's club. There is a difference and something is wrong. I have used ice trays and no floaters. Something is in the frig that is causing the white gunk!!! Hopefully someone will figure it out soon but I can tell you that you haven't.....