How to Clean Refrigerator Water and Ice Dispensers

You already know that a clean refrigerator is important to keep your family healthy, but you may be at a loss as to how to clean the icemaker and water dispenser. A recent study by the public health organization NSF identified this as one of the most contaminated items in the Ice Makerkitchen. Besides making you sick, a contaminated or dirty icemaker can result in several unpleasant consequences. Read on for some helpful tips for cleaning this appliance.

Why Your Icemaker Needs to be Cleaned

Dirty ice can be milky, cloudy or emit a foul odor. It may begin to clump together and cause your beverages to have a bad flavor. In addition to these warning signs, you may notice that the icemaker is producing ice more slowly or that the flow of water through the door is impeded or restricted. The most common ice dispenser problems are mold and yeast growth. These contaminants can exacerbate allergies and cause a variety of health problems ranging from digestive to respiratory ills.

How to Clean Your Icemaker

Always follow manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning your refrigerator, but if those aren’t available, follow these basic procedures. Turn the ice maker off (or unplug the refrigerator), disconnect the water line, then remove the ice bin and discard the ice. Pour three to four cups of white vinegar (never use bleach to clean your refrigerator or its components!) into the water line and allow it to stand for at least 10 minutes. Reconnect the water line and allow the vinegar to pass into the ice maker and water dispenser. Clean the water spout with a squirt bottle containing white vinegar, using a cotton swab to clean inside and outside the spout. Push the water dispenser lever and allow the vinegar to flow out through the door. Keep the lever depressed, allowing water to flow through and rinse away all traces of vinegar. Wipe all components dry and replace the ice bin. Finally, turn the ice maker back on.

Keeping Water and Ice Dispensers Clean

Your manufacturer likely recommends a regular cleaning schedule, but depending on how much you use the ice maker and water dispenser, experts recommend a full cleaning as described above at least twice each year. Unfiltered water is frequently responsible for depositing contaminants in the dispenser, so ensure that your refrigerator’s water filter is changed and maintained on schedule. The water spout and the area where ice comes out the door should be cleaned with a white vinegar solution once a week. Experts also recommend having your refrigerator’s condenser cleaned annually.

Complete Appliance Repair, serving the Salt Lake City area, offers a full range of refrigerator maintenance and repair services. To extend the life of your appliance and to keep it safe and sanitary, schedule an annual refrigerator maintenance service. An experienced technician will clean the condenser and other hard-to-reach areas, and inspect your refrigerator’s components for wear or damage. Every appliance is different and care must be taken not to cause damage or void the manufacturer’s warranty. Let Complete Appliance show you the best way to clean refrigerator parts, including your ice and water dispenser.