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How to Get Rid of Odors in a Refrigerator's Ice Machine

Jenny Harrington
Freezer odors affect the taste and smell of your ice cubes.

The convenience of an ice maker in your freezer quickly loses its charm if the ice develops a foul odor. Often the odor is caused by freezer burn or strong-smelling food items in the freezer. The bad smell usually doesn't come from the ice maker, but from the ice storage bin and the ice cubes inside it. A good scrub combined with neutralizing the odor keeps your ice from smelling and eliminates that stale, freezer-burned flavor.

Step 1

Remove all items from the freezer. Dispose of freezer-burned and old food. Repackage any food that isn't tightly sealed in a freezer storage bag or container. Ice quickly absorbs any odors in the freezer, so disposing of the odor-causing items helps eliminate the smell.

Step 2

Dissolve 2 to 4 tablespoons of baking soda in 1 quart of warm water. Scrub the freezer's shelves and interior walls with the solution, using a mildly abrasive sponge. The baking soda helps neutralize any odors as you clean.

Step 3

Turn off the ice maker and empty the ice bin that collects the ice from the ice maker. Wash the bin with the baking soda solution.

Step 4

Place an open box of baking soda in the freezer near the ice maker. Replace the bin and food items. The baking soda will continue to absorb odors in the freezer. Replace the box every three to six months with a fresh one.


If odors persist, fill the empty freezer with crumpled up, slightly damp sheets of newspaper for five to six days. The newspaper absorbs any remaining odors.


Plastic ice bins may permanently absorb odors. Replacing the bins usually solves the problem if it's severe.