As a homeowner, you most likely know when and if there is an issue with your dishwasher, oven, or refrigerator. Unfortunately, determining if there is a problem in your automatic icemaker can be challenging. Considering the icemaker operates on an as-needed basis, seeing the signs of an impending failure is almost impossible. However, if your icemaker is not working properly, your ice will exhibit a few surprising signs. While surprising to hear, your icemaker may be failing and creating one or all of these shocking things inside your ice.
Dirt and Other Debris
Your icemaker is connected to the water line behind the refrigerator. This water line is part of your underlying water source and plumbing, which tends to backup with dirt and sediment. Over time, the sediment travels through the icemaker's connection and creates dirt and debris inside your ice cubes.
Although a normal occurrence, cleaning your icemaker and water line periodically is smart. To prevent dirt and other debris from collecting inside your crushed or cubed ice, complete the following steps:
- Turn off your icemaker and disconnect its water line. Wait for 15 minutes.
- Remove the ice bin and soak in a sink full of hot water and liquid dish soap. Place a bowl in its place.
- Unscrew the drain cap and let the water flow out into the bowl. Replace the cap back on the drain.
- Purchase a specialty icemaker cleaning solution from your local hardware or home improvement retailer. Pour into the icemaker unit.
- Rinse your ice bin with hot water and dry with a clean cloth. Place it back in place.
- Power on the icemaker and run 2 to 3 cycles. The cleaning solution will run through the interior lines to remove any leftover sediment.
Numerous restaurants have received critical violations during health inspections due to the presence of harmful bacteria inside their ice machines. Unfortunately, bacteria can also develop inside your appliance. Although shocking to learn, one bacterium will quickly grow into 22,300,745,198,530,600,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bacteria, leading to many serious health problems.
Thankfully, you can reduce your risk of developing bacteria inside your icemaker by preventing cross contamination. Use the following tips to ensure your ice is free from harmful bacteria:
- Avoid contact with the freezer, icemaker, or refrigerator while you are sick.
- Be sure all cuts, scrapes, and burns are bandaged when working around the ice.
- Use tongs or a scoop to remove ice from the bin. Never use bare hands.
- In a spray bottle, combine 2 cups of water with ½ cup of baking soda. Spray the ice bin and surrounding areas periodically to sanitize and deodorize. Wipe off with a clean microfiber cloth.
Bacteria is dangerous to your health, but mold can be harmful to your health and your home. Due to its need for moisture, mold growth is a common issue in your icemaker and water/ice dispenser. Tiny, black spores may develop inside your frozen cubes, which you will see. However, mold may also develop inside the water/ice dispenser of your refrigerator door. This is not easy to see, but it can produce a foul smell and unappealing taste in the water and ice.
If you are experiencing these signs, a thorough cleaning is necessary to rid the system of the harmful growth.
Power off your icemaker and dispenser. Combine 2 cups of water with 2 cups of white vinegar in a spray bottle. Douse the ice bin inside your freezer and the dispenser area. Allow the solution to soak for 20 minutes before wiping down with a clean cloth. The acidic properties of vinegar are antibacterial and antiviral, so it is a natural option for removing mold inside your icemaker and dispenser.
You may enjoy an ice-cold drink without understanding the dangers this hidden food poses. If your ice does contain these shocking things, your icemaker may require a detailed cleaning or appliance repair service.