There is nothing that can ruin your favorite beverage quicker than ice that tastes or smells bad. There are specific things that cause bad tastes and odors in the ice from your ice-maker but the good news is there are specific things you can do to eliminate them.
One of the most common and easiest problems to fix is contamination from food transfer from an open container. This can happen either from the freezer or even the fresh food section since air circulates through both in most refrigerators. To find out if the bad taste and odor in the ice is coming from inside the refrigerator, fill a regular ice-cube tray with tap water and place it in the freezer. Once frozen, dump the ice cubes into a bowl and let them sit in the freezer for a few days. After the ice sits in the freezer for a few days, smell it and taste it to see if a bad taste or odor is present. If there is a bad odor or taste present you have found the culprit and need to look for an open container that matches the odor and eliminate it.
Bad taste and odors can also transfer from something that has spilled in the refrigerator. If you can’t find an open container causing the odor, you will need to empty everything out of both the fresh food and freezer compartment and thoroughly clean them with one tablespoon of baking soda mixed with one quart of warm water. Do not use bleach or ammonia because they can crack or damage the refrigerator liner. Lemon scented cleaners are also not recommended because the liner will permanently absorb the smell and be almost impossible to get rid of. Other methods of getting rid of odors after cleaning the refrigerator are placing a box of baking soda or activated charcoal in both compartments to absorb odors. Follow the instructions on the box of each to know how often to replace. To freshen the fresh food compartment place a small amount of vanilla extract in a small bowl and leave it in there for 2-3 weeks.
Another common cause of unpleasant taste and odor in ice is a bad water supply. Since ice can only taste as good as the water that is being frozen, it is very important to have taste and odor free water entering the ice maker. Water containing sulfur, algae, minerals, salt, etc will need to be filtered before it is frozen. If there is not an internal water filter in the refrigerator, one will need to be added externally to the water line before it hooks up to the refrigerator. Make sure you change the filter as often as recommended by the manufacturer to keep it working properly.
Ice can also start to taste stale if it is left in the freezer for too long. If you don’t use much ice, it is a good idea to empty the entire bucket every once in a while to prevent this from happening.