Silicone ice cube trays are a great alternative to plastic ice cube trays and they can make ice cubes in all sort of shapes and sizes. However, sometimes the ice cubes out of silicone trays taste really bad and even have a bit of a funky smell to them.
But why exactly do silicone ice cube trays taste bad and how can you fix this issue so you've got great tasting ice?
Ice from silicone ice cube trays can taste bad as silicone is porous and can absorb food odors from your fridge/freezer injecting it into your ice making it taste bad. Ice cubes that have been in the freezer for too long can also absorb these smells and poor quality silicone ice cube trays can impart chemical flavors into your ice.
If you're finding that your ice is tasting bad in your silicone ice cube tray here are the main reasons for it plus some simple fixes so your ice tastes normal and won't ruin your drink.
1. Silicone Is Permeable and Absorbs Freezer Odors
Silicone is permeable (porous) meaning it can absorb the odors of food spills and strong-smelling foods.
Foods containing garlic seem to be notorious for getting absorbed into silicone ice cube trays (or baking trays).
Once the flavor is on your silicone ice cube tray it'll get transferred to the ice making it taste terrible.
If you think this is the main issue with your trays then you should clean your silicone ice cube trays thoroughly or bake them with nothing in them to remove any food residue and this should fix the problem.
If it doesn't fix the problem then it's likely caused by one of the other items on this list.
2. Your Ice Is Absorbing Fridge/Freezer Smells
This is the most common cause of bad ice. When your ice tastes bad but the water is fine the first thing you should consider is whether or not smells and odors from your fridge/freezer is getting into your ice.
Most fridges and freezers only contain a single compressor. This means air circulates from the fridge into your freezer bringing with it all the smells and food odors from last night's garlic dish.
These odors in the air can get imparted into the water you're using to make ice or even into already frozen ice, completely destroying the flavor of your ice.
In this case it's not the silicone's fault but the food in your fridge or freezer's fault.
You can fix this by storing food and leftovers properly in your fridge by using bags or airtight containers. Another good fix is to get an ice cube tray with a lid.
The lid will protect the ice cubes in the tray from the air in the freezer so it will be much less likely to absorb any bad smells or flavors.
3. Your Water Is “Hard” or Poor Quality
If you have hard water or poor quality water then that can really effect the taste of ice cubes made in silicone trays, especially over time as white residue from dissolved salts builds up on your silicone ice cube trays.
See “hard water” contains dissolved minerals like calcium sulfate which sticks to the silicone ice cube tray.
They can also affect the flavor of your ice cubes and make them taste weird.
The solution for this is to clean your ice cube trays with white residue on them and soften your water by removing the salts.
Regular carbon filtration won't remove these salts, you specifically need a filtration system that will soften the water.
4. The Silicone Ice Cube Trays Are Poor Quality
Silicone ice cube trays aren't regulated and so some silicone ice cube trays are very poor quality.
If your silicone ice cube tray smells like chemicals or are making your ice smell like chemicals you can try washing them.
But if the smell remains chances are you've got a tray that isn't pure silicone and is maybe laced with some sort of plastic which imparts flavors into your ice.
If this happens to you then you likely need to throw out you silicone ice cube trays and buy new ones.
5. Your Ice Cubes Have Been In The Freezer Too Long And Gone “Stale”
If you have ice cubes that have not seen the light of day for quite some time the chances are that they have gone stale. These ice cubes will keep absorbing new odors as you fill your freezer with new food and they can even get a freezer burn flavor too them.
It’s best not to use old ice. Even if you don’t have any other food in your freezer old ice can be contaminated by bacteria. It can be very dangerous to your health so it’s best to throw it out and make a new batch if the ice has been in the freezer for six months or longer.
6. Mildew Growth in Fridge/Freezer
Sometimes it's not last night's leftovers that are making your food taste bad but rather you've got mold or mildew growing in your fridge or freezer and this is then getting imparted into your ice and making it taste bad.
To fix this give your fridge a good clean and make sure to look in all nooks and crannies (eg. the magnetic seal on the door can often attract mold).
Do Silicone Ice Cube Trays Make Ice Taste Bad?
Silicone ice cube trays don't always make ice taste bad but they are more likely to make ice taste bad when compared to plastic or even metal ice cube trays.
Because silicone is a porous material it absorbs the flavors and smells it is surrounded by and poor quality silicone ice cube trays also impart bad flavors into your ice.
So yes, silicone ice cube trays can make ice taste bad but they aren't always the cause of your bad tasting ice.
How To Fix Bad Tasting Ice In Silicone Ice Cube Trays
If you use silicone trays but want fresh, great-tasting ice cubes here is how to fix bad-tasting ice in silicone ice cube trays.
Wash The Ice Cube Trays In Vinegar and Water
One way of getting odors out of your silicone ice cube trays is to wash them with vinegar and hot water.
The silicone is porous and will absorb the vinegar; in turn, the vinegar will destroy the odor-causing bacteria and effectively remove the bad taste in the silicone.
Just make sure to give your ice cube tray a good rinse and air it out for a while so that it doesn't cause your eyes to taste like vinegar.
Bake, The Ice Cube Trays Empty, To Remove Smells
And effective way to get the flavors of your silicon ice cube trays is to actually bake away the flavors.
By placing the empty trays in the oven you are able to get rid of the bad smells and flavors leaving your silicon ice cu trays fresh and ready for new ice.
Watch the video below to see the instructions on how to do this.
Filter, Distill, Or Soften Your Water Before Making Ice
To get the best-tasting ice you should use filtered or distilled water.
It makes the best tasting ice because all the minerals and sulfur can contaminate the smell and taste of the water.
Distilled water will give you better-tasting ice and it's one of the reasons clear ice tastes so good.
Always Use A Lid On Your Ice Cube Tray
You get silicone ice cube trays with lids to help keep bad flavors out. Check out our picks for the best ice cube trays with lids.
You can use zip lock bags if you can’t find ice cube trays with lids. This is one of the best ways to store ice in a freezer after the ice has been made.
Place your silicone ice cube trays in the zip lock bags ensuring you seal them well to keep bad smells and tastes from entering your ice.
Opt For Plastic Or Metal Trays Instead
One of the easiest options for getting better-tasting ice is to use metal or plastic ice cube trays.
Metal ice cube trays are more eco-friendly ice cube trays compared to plastic as they can be recycled and I've found that they tend to make clearer ice too.
Replace Your Trays With Newer High-Quality Silicone Trays From a Reputable Brand
If you think your silicone ice cube trays are beyond saving you might want to get newer higher-quality silicone ones from a reputable brand.
It ensures if something goes wrong you can take it back and get it replaced or get a refund.
Generally when you buy from reputable brands you won’t have issues with ice tasting bad.