What Can Cause Your Ice Cubes To Smell Even If Your Freezer Doesn’t

It’s not unusual for a freezer to occasionally smell after being exposed to the different foods and liquids you put inside, but it can be a little strange when your ice cubes get a foul odor and taste. If you keep a clean freezer but still have this problem, there are still a number of potential problems, but many of them are easy to fix.

Stale Water

Depending on the type of water you get to your house, it may not be a good idea to let it sit for very long. For example, if you have problems with hard water or water that already has an odor to it, it can quickly start to smell if left sitting for too long. This can be the case even if you have a water filter installed in your freezer. If you consistently let your ice cube tray fill and don’t use it much, try emptying the entire thing and using the first fresh batch to see if the problem still occurs.

If you feel comfortable doing so, clean your ice tray before making a fresh batch. To do this, shut off the electricity and water to your freezer, then take the tray out and clean it with a solution of water and baking soda.

Foul Supply or Freezer Water Lines

If you know your water supply is good but the smell still persists, there’s a chance that the supply lines are bad. This can happen in two main places: the lines leading to your freezer or the freezer itself. If the external water lines are the problem, this is an easy fix — you can either clean the hoses or replace them for relatively cheap.

Repairing freezer water lines is much more difficult, however, and will probably require the help of a professional. Luckily, there’s a way you can test this before dropping any money. Shut off the water and electricity to your freezer again and unhook the water supply line in the back. Take a plastic ice cube tray and fill it with water directly from the supply line, then freeze it. If the smell is still there, you now know at least part of the problem is coming from your external lines.

If you end up replacing any hoses, let your freezer make one or two batches of ice, then discard them. New hoses can bring a bad taste all their own, so this will help clean it out.


Mildew thrives in moist environments, and can even show up in your freezer. This can happen even if you’re diligent about cleaning, because spores can hitch a ride on almost anything. You may also not notice it immediately; it may not emit a powerful enough odor, and white mildew can blend in with your freezer walls.

Examine every inch of your freezer’s interior carefully. If you spot any mildew, it needs to be removed immediately. To do this, shut off power to your freezer, then use a cleaning solution and warm water to scrub the interior. What chemicals you can use depends on your freezer; some chemicals, like bleach, are too harsh for some freezers, so check your user manual for cleaning specifics. You may have to use a different solution in your ice tray since that comes in direct contact with water you will consume.

Even if you don’t have mildew, you should still clean your freezer if you’ve recently had some type of food or liquid spill.

Talk to experts like Shealy-Hodges Corporation for more information.

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