Smelly ice cubes that were made in a fridge icemaker.

If your icemaker is producing smelly ice cubes, it's very likely that you have a fridge with a single evaporator, which is common in most refrigerators. That means that in order to cool your food, air moves between the fresh-food and freezer compartments—and carries odors with it.

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"We conducted a test on a single-evaporator refrigerator where we filled the fresh-food compartment with garlic, then made ice in the freezer," says Joe Pacella, CR's refrigerator test engineer. "Sure enough, the ice didn't just smell like garlic—it tasted like it."

To avoid smelly ice cubes, clean your refrigerator's ice collection bin according to the manufacturer's instructions; usually a mixture of baking soda and warm water will do. Then put baking soda boxes in both the fresh-food and freezer compartments, as close to the icemaker as possible. These will absorb food odors to minimize their travel into the icemaker.

Next time you shop for a refrigerator, consider upgrading to one with a dual evaporator, typically found only on more expensive fridges. That means the fresh-food and freezer compartments have their own dedicated evaporators, and no air passes between the two spaces, leaving your ice odor-free.

Editor's Note: This article also appeared in the May 2019 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.