Eliminate The Stink In Your Ice Dispenser

Posted on: 28 July 2016

You go to your ice dispenser, fill your glass with ice, then water. You raise the glass to your mouth and get a nose-full of stink. Why does your ice smell so bad? Continue reading to find out what you can do to eliminate the awful odors in your ice so you can enjoy your chilled beverages once more.

Clean the Unit

The fix could be as simple as performing a good cleaning.

Clean the Fridge – Believe it or not, old food stored in your fridge could be causing the ice inside to smell terrible. Remove the old foods, take out the drawers and clean the spills underneath them. This would be a good time to remove everything from the fridge to make sure you don't have an old hamburger patty stuffed back in the corner somewhere.

Clean the Bin and Tray – Take the ice bin and the tray out of the freezer and give them a good cleaning. Wait until the plastic warms up a bit and submerge it in hot water mixed with a cup or so of white vinegar. (Putting the cold plastic in hot water could cause it to crack.) The natural acids in the vinegar will break-down anything that could be contributing to the stinky ice. Let it soak for a couple of hours, rinse them very well and return them to the freezer. Give the ice maker a test. You may need to run a few cycles of ice to eliminate any vinegar that remains, but after a few cycles, the vinegar smell will vanish.

Replace the Filter

If a thorough cleaning didn't improve the smell of your ice, you may need to replace the filter. Look inside the freezer just above the ice bucket. There should be a release button located directly beside the filter. Press that button, pull out the filter and replace it with a new one. Run a test batch of ice and see if it smells better.

Flush the Lines

If you still have stinky ice, the last thing to try is flushing the water lines.

  • Turn off the source of the water supply.
  • Slide the refrigerator away from the wall – plastic moving sliders can make this easier for you.
  • Unplug the unit and disconnect the water line from the back.
  • Place the disconnected line into a bucket to keep water from dripping all over your floor.
  • Restore water flow to the line at the supply and let the water run into the bucket for a few minutes, then turn it off.  
  • Use a syringe to insert white vinegar into the line.
  • Raise the end of the line so that the vinegar stays inside and let it soak for a half hour or so.
  • Restore water flow once more and let the water rinse the line.
  • Reconnect the line to the fridge, plug it in and test it.

If your ice still smells bad, talk with your local appliance expert to learn about any other appliance parts that could need replaced to resolve the issue.