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5 Reasons Why Your Whirlpool Refrigerator Ice Smells Bad

The convenience of refrigerator ice makers has made it easier than ever to enjoy a cold beverage with little effort. But the minute your Whirlpool refrigerator ice smells you may realize your ice maker requires a little TLC after all. We’ll review the five main reasons why your refrigerator ice tastes bad from stale ice to a dirty filter.

Causes and Solutions When Your Whirlpool Refrigerator Ice Smells

No one wants his or her first sip of a cold beverage to be accompanied by a foul odor. We’ll review each potential cause and answer when your Whirlpool refrigerator ice smells to banish a bad smell for good.

Water Supply Issues

When your refrigerator ice maker ice tastes bad sometimes you have to look to the water source. If you have hard water, the high mineral content can give your ice a different taste and smell. While the refrigerator’s water filter can screen out some mineral deposits, purchasing a home water filtration system may be necessary to prevent ongoing odor.

If it’s not the water source, sometimes the plumbing materials and pipes used to carry water to the refrigerator can be the culprit. Whirlpool recommends that either a copper supply line or a Whirlpool-provided line be used for refrigerator ice and water.

Food Odors

While it may seem unlikely, food odor is a common reason why your Whirlpool refrigerator ice smells. Open containers, spills, and spoiled food in the refrigerator can all emit odors that are absorbed by the ice.

We suggest cleaning out your refrigerator on a monthly basis by wiping the interior down with soap and water. In between cleanings, wipe up spills as soon as possible, make sure food containers are sealed and throw away any spoiled food.

whirlpool refrigerator ice smells
Image from Serious Eats

Stale Ice Cubes

Just like food, ice can also grow stale if your ice maker is used infrequently and the ice gets old. Old ice that’s been unused will eventually absorb food odors or gasses, at which point you’ll notice your ice maker smells like mildew. In this case, the ice tastes bad but water is fine.

To eliminate stale ice, throw away any ice that’s been sitting unused. Remove the ice maker’s ice bin and wash in warm, soapy water. Make sure the bin is completely dry before replacing it.

Dirty Whirlpool Water Filter

Your Whirlpool refrigerator filter’s job is to screen out any contaminants before making ice and filtered drinking water. Over time, these contaminants and any other particles will build up in the filter and it won’t be able to screen them out properly. We recommend replacing your refrigerator water filter every 6 months to maintain its function.

refrigerator ice tastes bad
Image from Filters Fast

How to Clean a Whirlpool Ice Maker

Oftentimes, nothing beats a good cleaning to stop your ice maker from producing foul-smelling ice. Here are some simple cleaning steps to get the job done:

  1. Remove the ice maker bin and wash it in warm, soapy water. You can also wash with a solution of ½ cup bleach mixed with 1 gallon of water or use the sanitizing cycle on your dishwasher if the bin is dishwasher-safe.
  2. Dampen a cloth or paper towel with the same bleach solution and wipe down the ice maker in the freezer. Use a cloth dampened with just water to wipe away the bleach solution.
  3. Wipe the ice maker unit with a dry cloth to make sure no moisture remains.
  4. Wipe down the ice bin to ensure it’s dry before replacing.

We hope this information sheds some light on possible causes when your Whirlpool refrigerator ice smells. At Best Service Company, ice maker troubleshooting tips and repairs are our specialties. Give us a call to schedule an ice maker repair service so you can return to enjoying a cold drink!

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