How to clean the ice maker on your fridge – 4 easy steps to follow

Knowing how to clean the ice maker on your fridge is vital to staying hygienic – no one wants dirty ice after all

A black and stainless steal kitchen with a large double door fridge in the corner, an island with red seated bar stools
(Image credit: Covet House)

If you're lucky enough to have long, hot summers where your ice maker's getting a lot of use, it's a smart idea to clean it regularly. 

Even the best refrigerators require maintenance. We spoke to Lisa Yakas who oversees the home product certification program at the NSF, and she explained that: 'according to NSF’s Germ Study, the refrigerator ice maker is among the top 10 germiest places in the kitchen.'

In addition to knowing how to clean a refrigerator, it's essential to give the ice maker a deep clean every once in a while. Read on for our step-by-step guide. 

How to clean the ice maker on your fridge

For a lighter clean, you can avoid steps 2 and 3. If you're after a deep clean and want to clean the water line and waterspout, run a few cycles before using the ice maker, dumping the first 3 or so batches of ice produced. 

1. Turn off fridge and remove parts

Modern kitchen with grey fridge freezer

(Image credit: LG)

Before getting started, check your refrigerator's manual, as it may have more detailed instructions for your specific model. However, the steps are generally similar across most fridges.

'Turn off the water and power supply to the refrigerator,' explains Lisa. This is important to avoid any accidents when handling the components. 

'Then follow it up by removing any removable parts from it, along with the ice bin, says Jess Farinha, professional cleaner and Founder of London House Cleaner.

2. Clean the water line (if necessary)

Close up of corner of kitchen with large double fridge in alcove, shelving and cabinetry surrounding, kitchen island with sink, brass tap

(Image credit: Humphrey Munson)

You can clean the water line if you're looking to be as thorough as possible. As you're dealing with the water supply directly, we recommend being cautious in handling these parts to avoid any damage.

After turning off the water and power supply to the fridge, 'loosen the screw connecting the water supply line to the refrigerator,' explains Lisa. Then, 'use a small funnel to pour 3-4 cups of distilled white vinegar into the tube,' she adds.

Wait 5 to 10 minutes, then reconnect the power and water lines. 'Turn the dispenser on to allow the vinegar solution to flow through the dispenser’s system and spill out through the waterspout,' Lisa recommends.

3. Clean the waterspout (if necessary)

Fridge designed by Fisher & Paykel

(Image credit: Fisher & Paykel)

To clean the inside of the waterspout, you can use a thin brush like from this set of bottle and straw cleaners at Amazon.

'Brush the inner side of the spout, then open the waterspout and allow it to run to clear off any dirt and excess vinegar solution,' Lisa recommends. 

Run a few cycles and throw away the first few batches of ice to ensure all components are free of vinegar, bleach, or cleaning solution.

4. Clean the parts

Violet kitchen with colour block Samsung Bespoke fridge freezer

(Image credit: Samsung Bespoke)

'Clean the ice bin by emptying it and washing it with warm water and dish soap,' advises Lisa. Dry it thoroughly before returning it to the freezer.

If you want to deep clean it, Jess suggests using a homemade solution of bleach and water: 'Just mix 1 tablespoon of bleach in 1 gallon of water and dip the bin into it. It will effectively clean the bin from every corner and remove any mildew buildup.'

Then, wipe the ice maker and surrounding areas clean with a washcloth dipped in warm water and dish soap, making sure to remove any and all cleaning solutions from every component.

Now that you've tackled the ice maker, it's a good idea to ensure you're keeping the rest of your fridge in top shape as well. How often you should clean a fridge will depend on your household, but generally speaking, it's a good idea to give it a quick clean once a week and deep clean it every two to four months. Beyond cleaning, knowing how to make a fridge look better will have you stocking your groceries in aesthetically comforting ways.

Dan Fauzi
Home Tech Editor

Dan is the Home Tech Editor for Homes & Gardens, covering all things cleaning, smart home, sound and automation across the Solved section. Having worked for Future PLC since July 2023, Dan was previously the Features Editor for Top Ten Reviews and looked after the wide variety of home and outdoor content across the site, but their writing about homes, gardens, tech and products started back in 2021 on brands like BBC Science Focus, YourHomeStyle, Homes & Antiques and Gardens Illustrated.

Dan is based in Bristol, UK with a BA in Philosophy and an MA in Magazine Journalism. Outside of work, you'll find them at gigs and art galleries, cycling somewhere scenic, or cooking up something good in the kitchen.