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How to Remove Hard Water Stains from a Refrigerator Water Dispenser Tray

Water stains on glass

There are different regions to the country and not everyone is lucky enough to live in an area that has soft or regular water. Their water supply is called hard water and because it is not as soft as other regions, it can leave some nasty stains.

Just look at your water dispenser tray up close. You can see where the water has dripped and left its presence known even if it has been wiped away. To learn how to clean up this mess, just continue to read our article. It has the information you need to know about.

Be Prepared

Variety of cleaning supplies on a countertop in front of a pink background

This is always the first step in any cleaning chore. This is not a mental preparation but making sure you have all the right cleaning supplies ready to go. It also means that you have to be prepared to spend a long-time cleaning.

The amount of time you spend doing this chore will depend on how bad the hard water stations are. If they are really thick, count on spending an hour or two getting the task completed.

If the stains are thin, then you are in luck, and possibly 15 to 20 minutes will be all you need to handle this task.

The Cleaning Process

calcium powder on a black background

The source of the stain is a simple natural element found in hard water– calcium. Even if you wipe up the water drips or spills, you may be leaving some calcium behind. After a while, this calcium residue builds up until you have calcium deposits on your water dispenser.

When that deposit builds up, you have stains on your nice-looking water dispenser tray. The good news is that this is an easy task to do if you catch it in time. If not, you may spend a long time scrubbing, etc., to get all that calcium off the tray.

Method 1 – Paper Towels and Vinegar

The step in this process is to get some white vinegar and some paper towels. Put some of the vinegar onto the paper towels. The next step is to place that wet towel on your water dispenser tray and wait.

After about 15 to 20 minutes, the vinegar should have cleaned up the calcium and you just need to wipe the tray, and you are done.

Method 2 – Vinegar Soak

There is another method if your dispenser tray has grooves in it. Fill the tray up with vinegar so that the grooves and the ridges are covered and let the tray soak for about 5 minutes.

When the 5 minutes are up, use an old toothbrush, clean, and do a little scrubbing. In a few minutes, the grooves should be nice and clean. Both this and the previous method may take a lot longer if the calcium deposit is very thick.

If so, you may want to soak longer and scrub harder. You can always repeat either process if the calcium deposit has not disappeared after the first application.

Method 3 – The Chemical Option

If you prefer not to use vinegar, there are calcium deposit cleansers you can buy at your local supermarket or department store. These will have varying prices but they should all be effective no matter which one you buy.

The process to clean the dispenser is almost the same as the previous two methods and you should read the instructions on the label of the products you buy before you get started.

In using these products follow the less is more approach and do not over-saturate the dispenser with a cleanser. These products are powerful, and a little bit does clean up a lot of stains.

It is possible to use a Q-tip to coat the stains and then take a clean cloth after letting the chemicals sit for up to an hour and wipe the calcium off. If there is some calcium remaining, use an old toothbrush to handle the scrubbing part.

Once you have cleaned up the calcium and finished the scrubbing, rinse the dispenser tray thoroughly in warm water. Then mix some soap and warm water and wipe the tray again in order to get rid of any chemical residue.

Once all that is done, you can put the tray back in its proper place.

Some Final Words

Set of hands with blue gloves spraying cleaner on dark glass and wiping it off with a grey cloth

Cleaning up the calcium deposits on your fridge’s dispenser tray may take a lot of hard scrubbing. But the effort is worth it once you see how clean that tray becomes. Or if you are lucky, it may only take 10 minutes and you can get back to more important duties like watching your favorite shows.

Pick the right method for you and the number of stains you have, and the job will be done to your satisfaction.

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