I bought a new refrigerator that makes ice cubes. The instructions said to discard the first 3 full bins of ice in order to ensure the new water line is flushed clean. I dumped the full bins in my stainless steel sink each time. After the ice melted each time a chalky residue was left in the sink. I emptied a couple of extra full bins and still was left with the chalky residue. I cleaned the sink after each dumping to be certain there wasn't any left over residue from the previous dump. What is the chalky substance? Is it something to be concerned about or not?


1 Answer 1


It is possible that the white material is calcium carbonate or magnesium carbonate from your water source precipitating.

See if vinegar dissolves the white residue.

If the white residue dissolves in vinegar, it is probable calcium carbonate and/or magnesium carbonate.

  • $\begingroup$ Also called 'Hard Water' $\endgroup$
    – Lighthart
    Mar 5, 2015 at 18:21
  • $\begingroup$ If it is calcium or magnesium carbonate are they harmless? $\endgroup$
    – Vince
    Mar 6, 2015 at 14:12
  • $\begingroup$ I can't give medical advice, but from what I've read studies show a health benefit drinking hard water: mgwater.com/epidem.shtml $\endgroup$
    – DavePhD
    Mar 6, 2015 at 14:31

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