An automatic ice maker is a convenient accessory for any refrigerator. No more refilling ice cube trays, the delicate balancing act while walking to the freezer, or the wasted flying ice cubes when trying to crack them out of the trays. However, like all automatic appliances, ice makers must be maintained regularly or else their performance will start to suffer. The first symptom that something is wrong is a strange odor that emanates from the ice.
Smelly Ice has Lots of Causes
Various things can cause ice that smells less than fresh and not all of them are mechanical problems requiring repair. Ice is a porous and absorbent material so
odors from unwrapped food inside the freezer or refrigerator can get trapped in the ice and cause a foul smell. Ice that has been sitting for a long time is also more likely to trap odor, so be sure to use all of the ice in the bin on a regular basis. Additionally, ice makers use filters to do their jobs, so a filter that is old or is part of a freezer that has been unused for awhile will not filter as cleanly and can release unnatural odors that get trapped in the ice.
Four Ways to Prevent Smelly Ice
1. Much like an air conditioning or furnace unit, an ice maker is a complex system that uses energy and filters to produce a desired result. Changing the unit’s water filter regularly will ensure that the ice making system is not being unduly taxed and will reduce the risk of system failure and bad smells.
2. Expired food is also a sneaky culprit. Check expiration dates (even on freezer items) and be sure to throw out any food that is past its prime.
3. Regularly wipe down refrigerator and freezer inside and outside surfaces with a disinfecting wipe or use bleach and water on a paper towel to kill odor-causing germs, bacteria, mildew and mold.
4. To maintain a fresh smell, always keep an open box of baking soda in the refrigerator. Be sure to change it every three months because it, too, can absorb unwanted odors.
When to Call a Pro
If cleaning does not fix the problem, then it is time to consult a professional. Instead of replacing that appliance, it might just need a quick fix. Experienced repair service technicians are trained to find solutions for home appliance problems. Abacus Appliance Repair offers a flat $59 rate on a single-appliance service call (excluding the cost of necessary additional parts). They will assess the appliance needs and issue an honest opinion, backed up by a free written estimate so there are no surprise charges later. Plus, they know that broken or faltering appliances are a major inconvenience, so they provide timely service when an appointment is scheduled.
Smelly ice is the first sign that a freezer’s ice maker needs maintenance. Proper upkeep of the ice maker can save time and money in the future. However, if all the steps above do not solve the problem, then a reliable service technician should be consulted.