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Why do my ice cubes taste funny?

Food, packaging, metal and plastic ice cube trays, and other items produce odors. If you have an automatic icemaker, harmless bacteria can grow in the water feed line and make the ice taste odd. How can I prevent this?

We hear this question from time-to-time, and there’s no one easy answer. There may be several things in your fridge or freezer that give off smells that the ice absorbs. Food, packaging, metal and plastic ice cube trays, and other items produce odors. If you have an automatic icemaker, harmless bacteria can grow in the water feed line and make the ice taste odd. Smelly substances in use near a freezer may be absorbed into the ice. “Freezer smell” can sometimes be noticed in empty metal ice cube trays.

Though annoying, these “off flavors” are not harmful and can sometimes be lessened by cleaning and defrosting your freezer and ice cube trays more often. To help prevent odors in the freezer altogether, put an open box of an odor absorbent, such as sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), in the freezer and refrigerator units.

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