4 Reasons Why Your Sub-Zero Refrigerator Ice Smells or Tastes Bad

Smelly ice with a strange taste is not what you’d expect from a top of the line refrigerator. So, what’s causing the problem if your Sub-Zero refrigerator ice tastes bad? It’s possible the ice has absorbed food odors, affecting its taste and smell. Remove any open food containers in the freezer and give it a thorough cleaning. The experts at your local ice maker repair service troubleshoot why your Sub-Zero refrigerator ice smells and how to get rid of the odor.

Sub-Zero Refrigerator Ice Smells Strange? Here’s How to Banish Bad Aromas

Does bad-smelling ice mean a lifetime of lukewarm beverages or the expense of a brand new refrigerator? That’s highly unlikely. Once you pinpoint the problem, there’s usually a simple solution when your Sub-Zero refrigerator ice smells or tastes bad. 

1. Tap Water Issues

When your Sub-Zero refrigerator ice smells or has a bad taste, it may be a water supply issue and not a freezer problem. Hard water and certain contaminants aren’t always filtered by a refrigerator water filter and can cause strange tastes and smells.

Test your tap water by filling an ice cube tray and placing it in the freezer. If the resulting ice tastes bad, you likely have a water supply problem and not a freezer issue. It may be helpful to have your water supply evaluated or to install a home water softening or filtering system.

sub zero refrigerator ice smells

2. Ice Cubes Are Old

If your ice tastes freezer burnt or the ice maker smells like mildew, it may be because the ice cubes are old. Like food, ice can go stale if it sits for too long. It can even grow mold if exposed to tiny food or dirt particles, creating bad-tasting ice or a smelly ice bin.

Dispose of the old ice and wash the bin with warm soapy water, drying it completely before returning it to the freezer. To prevent ice cubes from going stale, dispose of any unused ice after a week. We suggest turning off your ice maker if you know you won’t be using ice for a week or more.

3. Ice Absorbing Odors From Food

Open containers, spills or spoiled freezer items can emit odors that are easily absorbed by ice. When this happens, Sub-Zero refrigerator ice smells bad or can even taste like the food around it. The best way to eliminate odor is to dispose of the affected ice and give the freezer a thorough cleaning.

Here’s how to clean a Sub-Zero freezer to eliminate odor:

  1. Mix a cleaning solution of warm water, dish detergent, and a capful of bleach. Want a more natural cleaning solution? Use a mixture of baking soda and white vinegar. 
  2. Remove all freezer items, disposing of any spoiled food or open containers.
  3. Take out any removable shelves and wash them with a clean cloth dipped in the cleaning solution.
  4. Wipe down the empty freezer and ice bin with the solution, reaching into every nook and cranny.
  5. If necessary, allow the freezer to air out for several days.
  6. Place an open container of baking soda, charcoal briquettes or newspaper in the freezer to absorb any lingering odor.
  7. Restock the freezer, making sure that all items are properly wrapped or contained.
  8. Empty and clean the freezer on a monthly basis to prevent odors from returning.
ice maker smells like mildew

4. Dirty Sub-Zero Water Filter

A dirty Sub-Zero water filter can also result in bad-tasting ice. A refrigerator water filter screens out contaminants from your home’s water supply. Over time, the filter’s screen can become clogged with these contaminants and they’ll pass on to refrigerator water and ice.

Wondering how to fix bad-tasting water from the refrigerator? Changing the water filter can do the trick. Sub-Zero recommends changing the filter every 6 months to ensure it functions optimally. However, you may need to change it sooner if ice or water smells bad. Check your user manual to determine if your refrigerator has a twist-in or push-in style filter and where it’s located. Always dispose of the first batch of ice and flush the water dispenser for 2 minutes after changing the filter.

Check out more ice maker tips and call Conner’s Appliance Service to help with any repair or concern!

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Anna Conner