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How Do You Clean the Ice Dispenser in a Fridge?

fridge ice dispenser, top view with it filled with ice

They say that if it isn’t broke, then don’t fix it. That is the way it is with many refrigerators. They may be older than your children but if they work well and give you no problems, don’t replace it, just clean it.

That goes for the ice dispenser as well. If it is in good working order, forget repairing it and just clean it up so you get great tasting ice all the time. The presence of mold is not an excuse to replace a good fridge.

To learn how to clean your ice dispenser just continue to read our article. It provides the information you need in order to do a thorough job.

Reasons Why Your Ice Dispenser Gets Dirty

Dirty hands against a white background

There is not just one source for the dirt and mold you see on your fridge’s ice maker. There are many sources that help the dirt build up over time. Here are just a few of those sources:

  • Dirty hands touching the ice maker- inside, outside, and even the ice,
  • Lack of frequency in changing the water,
  • Letting older ice remain inside,
  • Failure to clean the machine,
  • Dirty water,
  • Dust brings germs to your ice maker when it is left open.

How to Clean Your Ice Dispenser

Yellow gloves and natural cleaning supplies on a peach colored background

Step 1 – The first step in cleaning your ice maker is not gathering the supplies you need. What you need to do before you forget is to hit the lock button, that is if your fridge has one. Doing this will stop the ice maker from either spraying you with water or sending you ice.

Step 2 – Gather Your Supplies

There are different products you can use depending on how dirty your ice dispenser is and what kind of dirt is there. For mold you can use a mold cleaner and for hard water, you can use a calcium deposit cleaner.

Also, you can use vinegar and water or hydrogen peroxide. Make sure to wear gloves, have a spray bottle handy and use a nice clean cloth.

1. Vinegar and Water

Mix a 1 to 1 ratio of both ingredients and shake well. You want the two to mix well.

Next, spray the ice maker thoroughly and you can open the fridge door if you need to access the ice dispenser from the inside.

Once you are done spraying, make sure to rinse well so that there are no traces of dirt, mold or vinegar left behind

2. Mold Cleanser

If the ice maker is full of mold, you can try and use bleach but this chemical is not the best option. Not only can it stain areas of your fridge, but it can also become a health hazard when you do not rinse it all out.

There are mold cleaners that are all-natural and won’t pose any problems for you and your family. Make sure to cover the inside and the outside of the ice dispenser with this or the vinegar and water mixture.

You do not want to leave one square inch untouched by the cleaners. The mold cleaners should prevent both mold and mildew from returning to your fridge’s ice-making device.

The toughest part will be cleaning the trap door area where the ice comes out. If it is removable then that is great but be prepared for some work if it is not.

3. Hydrogen Peroxide

This option works hand in hand with the mold cleaner. It has bleaching properties those cleansers usually do not have and it will help kill any mold you see. Application should be done with a Q-tip to make sure you get all the small nooks and crannies in your ice maker.

Stick the Q-tip up as far as it can go to make sure you have covered every inch that is exposed to dirt and mold spores. Rinse well after you are done cleaning


Colored wooden blocks spelling out the word "Tips"
  1. Don’t forget to remove the tray at the bottom of the ice dispenser. Mold and dirt will get on that part as well. Clean it up using any of the methods described above or use soap and warm water.
  2. Instead of a Q-tip, you can use a toothbrush. The harder bristles may scrub better than a Q-tip can. But a Q-tip will reach places the toothbrush can’t so don’t leave it out of your arsenal of supplies.
  3. Remove all parts that can be taken off and soak them in your sink using warm water and soap. Make sure to rinse well.

If you want the best beverages and ice-cold water, then you need to make sure the ice dispenser stays nice and clean. You do not have to do this often but check it about once a month to make sure you are not getting mold contaminated ice when you put your glass up to the dispenser.

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