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Ice-cube trays
Credit: Yunhee Kim

Q. How do I prevent ice from picking up odors?

Jeanene Coulon

Destrehan, Louisiana

A. First things first: Give the entire freezer a good cleaning with baking soda. Its abrasive quality will scrub away dirt and frozen gunk, and it will also absorb any odors present. When you’re finished, place a box of baking soda (RS pick: Arm & Hammer Fridge-n-Freezer, $1 at supermarkets) in which you’ve punched multiple openings in the freezer to maintain the odor absorption.

If your freezer still smells, replace the water filter. Bad smells, possibly from spoiled food, may have become trapped in the small space and then seeped into the water filter, causing the funky-tasting ice. Replace the filter immediately, and remember to change it regularly. If you’re unsure of how often you need to do this, look for the recommendations in your owner’s manual, or they may be printed on the inside of the refrigerator door.

If the problem persists, there might have been a change in the quality of the water being piped into your home. Call a water-quality professional and have your water tested for lingering chemicals that may be seeping into the water line. ―Nykia Spradley

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