Plus, find out how often you should replace these household essentials.

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red and blue ice cube trays stacked
Credit: Bryan Gardner

Whether your refrigerator is sans an ice maker or you just like to make frozen cubes for cocktails, iced coffee, and iced tea, ice cube trays are one of the most basic, yet essential kitchen products in every home. If you're repeatedly filling an ice cube tray with only water, it may seem like you don't need to wash it often. However, our experts say that ice cube trays should be treated like any item in your kitchen used for eating and drinking. "Ice trays are exposed to many different types of food in your freezer, so it can be common for odors to absorb into the ice cubes, causing them to taste funny," says Leanne Stapf, chief operating officer of The Cleaning Authority. Ahead we explain how often you should clean and replace your ice cube tray.

How to Clean an Ice Cube Tray

To clean out your tray, first run it under warm water to get rid of any ice residue, explains Stapf. Next, mix two teaspoons of baking soda with half a cup of warm water and scrub the solution into each section with a cloth. The baking soda not only will reduce any existing odors, but will also act as an all-natural cleaner. Rinse with warm water, refill with liquid, and freeze. For standard, water-based ice cubes, Stapf suggests washing the tray at least once a month. When making coffee or juice ice cubes, be sure to wash after each use following the same process.

If your ice cube tray is made of hard plastic, read the label to determine if it is dishwasher safe. "Some plastic cookware can warp due to the high temperatures and lose their shape overtime," says Stapf. However, ice cube trays made of silicone can withstand a higher heat (usually up to 500°F), so you can safely put those in the dishwasher, or even the oven for up to one hour, to kill off additional odors.

Whether you're cleaning ice pop molds, ice cube trays, or soup cubes, follows these tips every time for clean, odor-free trays.

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