Why Does My Refrigerator Make Smelly Ice Cubes?

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Does your refrigerator make smelly ice? Have you noticed your ice tastes bad? Chances are, you have a refrigerator with a single evaporator, unsealed freezer food, or a water filter that needs to be changed.

Reasons Your Refrigerator Make Smelly Ice & How to Fix it

If you have bad ice or water that tastes bad, check out the most likely reasons and find a quick solution to the problem.

Single Evaporator Refrigerator

A recent Consumer Reports study found that when unsealed food was present in the refrigerator, the ice smelled and tasted like the respective food. This is not uncommon in a single evaporator refrigerator where the air passes through both the refrigerator and freezer units, sharing and recirculating that same cold air.

Solution: Throw out the ice cubes and clean the entire ice assembly with baking soda and water. Put open baking soda boxes in the refrigerator and freezer to help absorb odors. The next time you shop for a refrigerator, consider upgrading to one with dual evaporators that keeps airflow contained in each separate compartment.

ice tastes bad
Image from Ask Anna


Food In Freezer Not Sealed Properly

At this point, you may have a death grip on the obvious here, but keep all food properly sealed! Ice will absorb any odors wafting through the air. Eventually, the refrigerator ice smells bad and tastes funky. Pretty gross.

Solution: For especially pungent storage items like fish, garlic, or fermented foods, ensure items are sealed securely, double-wrapped when necessary if leaks are a concern.

refrigerator ice smells bad
Image from Amazon

Water Supply to Home is Bad

Although a bad water supply is not as common, it is possible that your refrigerator ice maker makes bad ice due to the water supply to the home. All water sources taste different so this would be a source to consider.

Solution: If your refrigerator makes smelly ice due to the water supply, you may want to consider installing a quality water filter in your home to purify water.

refrigerator ice maker makes bad ice
Image from Hydro Solutions


Refrigerator Water Filter Needs to Be Changed

If you’ve asked, “Why does my refrigerator make smelly ice?” Perhaps you have a clogged water filter. When the refrigerator filter is old and in need of replacement, it loses the ability to filter out sediment and bad tasting particles and chemicals. We taste bad water when it’s not filtered properly.

A high-quality water filter makes all the difference in the world when it comes to keeping water tasting fresh and ice tasting clean. Having clean, pure water means having clean, pure ice as well.

Solution: If it has been longer than 6 months since you last changed your water filter, it is overdue. Refer to your owner’s manual to purchase a brand-specific filter according to manufacturer recommendations for your model.

water tastes bad
Image from Filters Fast


“Why does my refrigerator make smelly ice?” is a question we hear a lot. If you have done your due diligence to troubleshoot and still have an ice maker not working, one of our ice maker repair technicians at Tiger Mechanical will diagnose and fix the problem. Call us today to schedule an appointment.

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