How to Clean an Ice and Water Maker in a Refrigerator?

A refrigerator ice maker and water dispenser are fun features that sometimes get overlooked during routine kitchen cleaning. They do require regular maintenance, especially in areas with hard water as lime deposits may clog lines and dispensers or cause white stains to build up around nozzles. Most refrigerators require deep cleaning every six to 12 months. Let’s see how to do it.


What You’ll Need:

  • Screwdriver  
  • Small funnel  
  • White distilled vinegar
  • Clothespins
  • Empty Bowl
  • Flashlight
  • Clean rags
  • Cotton balls or swabs




  1. Shut off the water valve that feeds the water dispenser and ice-maker lines by turning clockwise. Use a screwdriver to remove the screw affixed to the plastic/copper tubing water lines. Remove the ice-maker line completely, but leave the dispenser line attached to the dispenser door nozzle.


  1. Remove the ice bin and dump the ice out in the sink. Allow any ice buildup on the inside of the bin to thaw completely. Using a small funnel, pour 3 to 4 cups of white distilled vinegar into the ice-maker and dispenser lines and allow it to soak for five to 10 minutes to break down the lime. You can clip the open end of the lines up with a clothespin so the vinegar doesn’t drain out.


  1. Run the vinegar from the water line out through the water dispenser and into a bowl, which breaks free the lime in both the line and the dispenser nozzle. Shine a flashlight into the dispenser nozzle area so you can see any dirt, then thoroughly clean the outside of the nozzle with a clean rag moistened with vinegar. Use cotton balls or swabs to clean in small, narrow areas and inside the nozzle opening, if necessary. Flush the line and nozzle with clear water.


  1. Wash the ice-maker bin in warm, soapy water. Rinse with clear water and dry thoroughly before replacing it. Hook the water line back up to the ice machine. Clean the ice dispenser and the chute on the outside of the fridge with vinegar. Rinse with clear water.


  1. Reattach the plastic/copper tubing by slipping the end back into place and tightening it with a screwdriver. Turn the water valve on. Keep the ice cube maker turned on. Run water through the entire system several times before drinking. Throw out the first batch of ice cubes because they may have a slight vinegar taste.


Use a Refrigerator Water Filter to Lessen Cleaning Frequency


A high-quality refrigerator water filter will remove chlorine, copper, cadmium, zinc, mercury, and lead, making water less hard. It is an effective way to keep your refrigerator ice and water maker clean and continuously provides you with healthy, fresh, and clean water. However, remember to change your refrigerator water filter every 6 months to ensure you get well-filtered water and ice.