Ever thought to yourself, "why does my ice taste bad?" Like most homeowners, you probably use your ice maker to produce those small, hard, and often tasteless ice cubes. But what if there were ways to get better-tasting ice cubes from your ice maker? Believe it or not, you can do a few things to improve the flavor of your ice cubes - and we will show you how. Keep reading to learn common ice maker problems and how to make great-tasting ice cubes from your home ice maker!
Possible Causes of Bad-Tasting Water
Ice makers in refrigerators can be a great convenience, especially on a hot summer day. With a push of a button, you can have a steady supply of ice for your drinks or to keep food cold. However, it is essential to regularly clean and maintain your ice maker or things can go amiss quickly.
Here are the main reasons why you have bad-tasting ice:
Dirty Water Filter
If you did not know before, your ice maker has a water filter. The water filter purifies the water used to make ice to ensure it is clean and free of contaminants. But filters eventually decrease efficiency and will not filter out everything. If you find cloudy or bad-tasting ice, it is a sign that your filter needs changing.
According to the American Council of Science and Health, bacteria such as Staphylococcus and Pseudomonas can survive in ice cubes and significantly affect one's health. Regularly changing your filter is necessary for better-tasting ice and eliminating the potential growth of bacteria and mold.
The usual recommended time to replace your filter is once every six months, mainly if you use it regularly or for business. If you have not returned your water filter for so long, ask yourself if you are drinking filtered water. Thus, you must be aware of your ice supply and change it to have fresh, clear ice in your home or business.
Lack of Use
Another reason you might be running into a weird-tasting ice supply is that you are not using your ice maker enough. It would be better if you used your ice makers regularly to keep the ice fresh. Some of you might think, "can ice get freezer burn?" Of course. Stale ice absorbs the smells inside the freezer, resulting in funky-tasting ice.
You can notice a freezer smell in your ice maker even if it is off. The longer ice sits on your machine, the more they absorb various odors that affect its taste. Though these odd flavors are not harmful, they can leave a bad taste in the mouth.
However, the solution is relatively simple. Empty old ice to avoid stale ice from accumulating and causing weird flavors. Cleaning and defrosting your ice maker can also remove the odors which add to the problem. It would be best to clean your machine to ensure better-tasting ice regularly.
Bad Water Supply
If you had replaced the water filter and removed any stale ice but still have bad-tasting ice, the water supply must be the main culprit. Water quality can vary from city to city, meaning minerals and contaminants from the water source also differ. Here are some of the weird tastes that may come from your water supply:
- Metallic taste. Your water supplier might have corroded copper pipes in their system.
- Bleach taste. Most public water providers use chlorine for disinfection. Too much chlorine causes bleach-tasting water.
- Fishy taste. The water source could have a case of algal bloom, which causes such taste and odor.
- Rotten taste. There might be decaying organic matter in the water source.
- Sweet taste. An imbalance in the pH levels or a high concentration of some minerals can cause a sweet taste.
Suppose the taste and odor persist after checking all water filters and ice maker parts. In that case, you may consider checking on your water provider or getting a water filtration system in your home. Not only will it improve the taste of your ice cubes, but it will also improve the taste and safety of all the water you use for cooking and drinking. It's essential to ensure that our water is safe and free from unwanted tastes and odors.
Your Guide To Proper Cleaning and Ice Maker Maintenance
Now that you know why your ice tastes bad, you know better what to look for and avoid. Want to go further and have better-tasting ice cubes? Here is an in-depth instruction to keep your ice maker in top condition and prevent smelly and odd-tasting ice.
First: Throw All The Ice
If you wondered, “why does my ice smell?”It is because of old, unused ice. The very first thing you should do is remove any ice left in the machine. You do not need those anymore since we want better-tasting ice, and those ice probably tastes and smells weird anyways. We are here to make new, fresh ice cubes, which we aim to do!
Second: Check the Water Lines & Supply
Make sure that your water supply is free from contamination and leaks. You cannot expect fresh ice when your water supply is compromised, and it needs to be clean and fresh to use for your ice cubes. Leaks are also a leading contamination problem in the water supply; even the most minor leaks can let particles contaminate your water supply. These things can affect the taste and smell of your ice cubes.
To see for contamination, you can check the water line by inspecting the water from the fridge that tastes bad. However, the best way to check the water lines is to turn off the water and remove the water line behind the ice maker. Slightly turn on the water and let it flow into a bucket. This method will let you see if the fridge water tastes bad. If it is tainted, you must flush the water line until it becomes clear again.
Third: Change the Filter
As we said before, the filter can be the deciding factor of good and bad-tasting water; before reconnecting the water line from the previous step, check the filter to see if it needs changing. A clogged or expired filter will be less efficient in filtering out microbes, sediment, and other minuscule particles in the water. Change the filter regularly to ensure clean and fresh-tasting water. It may be a small step, but it can make all the difference in your drinking experience.
Thus, you should replace the filter with a new one. We recommend changing it at least once every six months. Once finished, reconnect the water line.
Fourth: Clean the Ice Maker
Once you have finished the previous instructions, it is time to start cleaning the ice maker. Cleaning the unit ensures no flavors and odors remain in the machine that could affect the ice cube's quality. Depending on the ice maker's design, you may need to follow the manual for it to get removable parts and clean them thoroughly.
Remove any built-up ice on the ice cube maker for the freezer using a warm rag to melt the ice and dislodge it. You can also use an ice pick to break the ice, but be extra careful not to cause damage to the unit. As soon as you remove all the ice, use a warm soap-water mixture. You could clean most items using warm soapy water and a washcloth.
If you are thinking, “why does my freezer smell?” You can mix a tablespoon of baking soda and a gallon of warm water as a cleaning solution to clean it. Rinse every piece and set it aside to dry before putting it back in place. Use a dry washcloth to wipe everything dry and remove any moisture before reassembly.
Fifth: Run Several Cycles
Once you reassemble the ice maker, plug it back in and turn it on. Let it run a few cycles, throwing away the cubes each time to ensure everything works in top condition.
It would help if you cleaned your ice maker every few months while throwing out any old, unused ice cubes to prevent it from getting stale. This process will prevent any odor from building up, ensuring that your ice cubes stay fresh.
You don't want your guests to think twice about your ice, so make sure you keep up with some essential maintenance. By cleaning your ice maker every few months and getting rid of old ice cubes, you can prevent any unpleasant odors from seeping into your drinks. And really, who wants a watered-down drink? No one. So next time you have people over, serve them with peace of mind knowing that your ice is as fresh as can be.
If you have other ice chips maker problems that cleaning and maintenance cannot solve, we at Home Alliance can help you. We offer repairs and part replacements for ice makers and other appliances, and we service several brands as well, including Viking, Sub-Zero, and Thermador, to name a few. Thank you for reading, and be sure to check out our other helpful articles below!