ice maker

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The Not-Always-So-Cool Machine That Cools Your Drinks

If you've ever taken a sip of ice water at home and noticed it tastes funny, or that the cubes themselves feel softer or melt more quickly, it may be because your freezer's ice maker needs a cleaning. The cubes can absorb odors from stinky or spilled foods in the freezer, and hard water can cause mineral deposits on the mechanism, which can affect the ice quality. To clean the maker, The Laundress co-founders Gwen Whiting and Lindsey Boyd say the first step is to lift the "power" bar (it rises automatically when the bin is full), so the machine stops making ice. Remove the bin and dump the ice into the sink (fill it with hot water to remove any stuck-on pieces). Next, wash the bin with dish detergent and hot water. As for the ice maker unit itself, wipe it with a cloth and surface cleaner (or a 50/50 mixture of distilled white vinegar, if you see scaly deposits). Make sure it's dried well, then replace the bin, lower the power bar and let the machine make new—gorgeously clean!—ice.