Does bad-tasting ice have you settling for room-temperature refreshment? Before you call for a repair there are usually some simple solutions when refrigerator ice tastes bad. From stale ice cubes to a dirty ice maker, we’ll pinpoint common causes and the DIY solutions that can solve the problem.

Troubleshooting When Refrigerator Ice Tastes Bad

Simple maintenance goes a long way in resolving appliance issues and ice maker problems are no exception. The most common reasons for this unsavory problem can often be resolved with easy maintenance tips that take minutes to accomplish.

Stale Ice Cubes

Just as old food can develop offensive flavors, stale ice can also take on a bad taste or smell. If ice sits in the ice bin without being used it’s more likely to absorb odor or tiny food particles that can even create mold. When this happens you’ll notice that refrigerator ice tastes bad but water is fine.

To solve the problem, dispose of the old ice and wash the ice bin in warm, soapy water. Replace the bin after it has dried completely and allow the ice maker to create a fresh batch of ice. To prevent reoccurrence, turn your ice maker off if you won’t be using it for over a week. Seal any remaining ice in zip-top bags until it’s ready for use.

Food Odors

As mentioned above, ice can easily absorb any nearby odors. Open food containers, poorly-sealed items, or spills can result in spoiled food and make absorption all too easy, creating bad-tasting ice. Even if these items are in the refrigerator, the odor can travel through the refrigerator’s vents to affect the ice.

If refrigerator ice tastes bad from food odor a good cleaning can resolve the issue. Here are some quick tips to effectively clean the refrigerator or freezer:

  • Look for open containers, old, unused food or spills in your freezer and refrigerator.
  • Dispose of any items and remove all others.
  • Wipe down the freezer or refrigerator with a clean cloth and mild cleanser.
  • When replacing food, make sure it’s sealed or wrapped properly.
  • Repeat this process every 3-4 months to prevent food odor absorption.

Old Refrigerator Water Filter

A refrigerator water filter supplies the ice maker with clean, fresh water for ice production. However, old filters can become clogged with contaminants over time, leaving the ice maker with unfiltered water. In this instance, you may find your refrigerator ice smells bad or has a strange taste from these contaminants.

It’s recommended that you replace the refrigerator water filter every 6 months to ensure that it filters optimally. You may have to perform more frequent replacements if refrigerator ice tastes bad or has a strange odor.

How to Clean an Ice Maker

Sometimes it’s the ice maker that has a bad aroma and not the ice itself. If your ice maker smells like mildew, follow these cleaning steps to eliminate odor:

  1. Turn off the ice maker.
  2. Remove the ice bin, dispose of any ice and wash the bin with a mild cleanser. For mildew, it may be necessary to use a solution of baking soda and vinegar to eliminate odor. Rinse and allow the bin to dry completely.
  3. Use the same vinegar and baking soda solution to wipe down the ice maker, both inside and out.
  4. Dry the ice maker completely with a clean cloth or paper towel.
  5. Replace the ice bin and turn on the ice maker.

If your still ice tastes strange after these troubleshooting tips, then you may have an ice maker not working appropriately. Just-in Time Appliance Repair can help with a quick and professional assessment.

Picture of Justin Duby

Justin Duby

Justin Duby, a Grants Pass native, opened Just-in Time Appliance Repair in 2014 after working with his grandparents in the appliance repair business for almost 10 years. Justin attends various training programs throughout the year to keep his skills sharp.

like to save?

sign up for

$15 off

Subscribe to our newsletter and save on your first repair.