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Ice Maker Ice Smell and Taste like Garlic or Onion?

Here's what I did to repair it.

Posted 6-6-2010

Ice Taste Bad?

I have a 12 year old GE Side-by-side refrigerator (a GE TFX25PR YD WW specifically) with water and ice in the door. For the last year or so I have been trying to figure out why the ice smells and tastes like onions. When I searched this problem on the internet I see people refer to it as a garlic smell and taste. Whichever you choose, I don't like it. Most DIY sites say use baking soda to absorb the odors in the refrigerator. We don't keep onions or garlic in the refrigerator. It didn't make sense. The water tastes fine. The problem slowly crept up on us.

I think it's rust

The only problem with the ice maker was the auger was rusty. When I pulled it out and smelled it I found the onion smell. I couldn't just sand off the rust. The shiny finish was perforated all over the auger. I'm sure the problem would have come back quickly with the interior steel still exposed. I could have sprayed something on it, but what? Safest bet was to get another one. I was able to buy the auger by itself for $45 at a local parts store. They were available on the internet for a few dollar less.

That solved it

The ice tastes good again. No strange smell coming from the ice maker any more. The rest of the ice maker is mostly plastic. Not much else in there to smell. I gave it all a good scrub with a bleach cleaner. Rinsed well. Good as new. I'm surprised rust would induce such an odor. In my case that seems like the culprit.