A Freezer Bag Is All You Need For Odor-Free Ice

Your roommate just went fishing and slammed all those cleaned filets in the freezer. Now, your bourbon on the rocks tastes a little like halibut. Even for diehard seafood fans, this is not a desirable scene. What gives? You're making a big mistake with the ice cubes.

A lot more goes into those cubes than just water. Ice absorbs odors from its surroundings, meaning any unsealed food in your freezer is going to waft its way into your ice. That funky taste stems from a funky smell caused by microbes like bacteria, yeasts, and molds. When food begins to break down, fat and flavor molecules are released into the freezer's atmosphere, and this release is accelerated by spills, open containers, and loose-fitting takeout boxes. In other words, that cardboard box of half-eaten pizza might be to blame for some garlic-flavored ice. As it melts and dilutes your drink, it transfers all of those less-than-lovely flavors into your beverage, which can be especially noticeable in plain ice water.

Protect your ice cubes with a tool you might have lying around the house already: a gallon-size freezer bag. Simply place your ice cube tray inside the freezer bag and seal it, instantly creating a barrier of protection between those unwelcome odors and your impressionable ice. You don't need to invest in a sealable ice bin, lidded tray, or other single-use device (the silicone lids often absorb that highly-contagious freezer stink too, for the record). 

Easy freezy beautiful, odor-free ice

Alternatively, you could pop your ice cubes out of their tray and store the cubes in a freezer bag, but this tip works best if you're going to be hanging out at home and will be around to quickly make the tray-to-bag transfer before the cubes have the chance to soak up your freezer's pungent atmosphere. While (luckily) there's no such thing as "wasting" ice (it just thaws and turns back into water), a batch of yucky-tasting cubes is unsalvageable and has to be remade, which can take a long time to freeze and be a pain for hosting or simply enjoying a chilled beverage yourself. If you protect the batch on the first take, you'll have good-tasting ice at the ready whenever the moment strikes.

To be clear, we aren't talking about freezers equipped with built-in ice-makers here. We're talking about good old-fashioned manual ice cube trays that need refilling. If your ice tastes bad after coming out of your ice maker, it's probably time to give the appliance a thorough cleaning. On that note, sticking an open box of baking soda in the freezer and hoping for the best isn't the only preventative measure at your disposal. You can also minimize odors by storing your frozen leftovers in airtight containers or (you guessed it) plastic resealable freezer bags.