Calcium and hard water stains can really wreak havoc on your refrigerator water dispenser. Learn how to clean the fridge dispenser tray in just a few minutes without using harmful chemicals.
Growing up I was always so impressed with the refrigerators that had the water dispensers on the door. It seemed so neat to be able to get your water and ice that way. Plus the water was always cool and fresh tasting, unlike some tap water.
Nowadays it's hard to find a refrigerator that doesn't have a water dispenser on it. They are easy to use and encourage us to drink lots of water, but those dispensers can be a huge pain to clean!
Our refrigerator water dispenser can get dirty and gross in no time at all. I try to clean it every couple of months but recently my kiddo got a new water bottle.
For the first couple of days every time he filled up the water bottle he sprayed water everywhere. Needless to say, it was filthy in a matter of a couple of days.
What You'll Need
- Vinegar (just regular old white vinegar)
- Gallon Ziploc Bag
- Electric scrubber or just an old toothbrush (I picked up mine on Amazon)
- Microfiber Cloth (I highly recommend the microfiber cloths here.)
How to Clean the Water Dispenser in a Refrigerator
STEP 1: Start by taking out the water dispenser tray. Usually, they just pop right off by pulling out. Because the tray catches all the water they tend to get the most buildup on them.
STEP 2: Place the tray in a large ziplock. Then add about 1/2 cup of vinegar to the bag or enough to cover the tray entirely. Seal and set aside.
STEP 3: Pour a small amount of vinegar into a bowl. Take your electric scrubber or a toothbrush and dip it in the vinegar.
Step 4: Use the toothbrush to scrub around the line where the water comes out of the refrigerator water dispenser.
The scrubbing action will help break up any of the hard water stains that the line has and the vinegar will help kill off any germs.
STEP 5: Once you have scrubbed around the line, start cleaning the area around where the ice comes out of the dispenser using the toothbrush.
STEP 6: When you are finished scrubbing down all the areas you can take a microfiber cloth and wipe everything down one more time with a little vinegar to make sure you get every crevice.
I like to really clean the areas that a cup might touch when you are filling it up.
STEP 6: Once you have all of the refrigerator water dispenser cleaned you can go back to cleaning the tray.
Remove the tray from the plastic bag. Gently scrub at the tray to remove the hard water buildup.
If it doesn't scrub away easily put it back in the baggy and let it sit in the vinegar for another 30 minutes to an hour. Then try again.
STEP 7: Pop the tray back in the refrigerator water dispenser and you are good to go. The refrigerator water dispenser should look so much better!
Plus by using this method you kill off any germs and bacteria that hiding around the dispenser. This is especially important during cold and flu season.
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Here are a few reasons why you may see black stuff in the water dispenser of your refrigerator.
If your refrigerator water dispenser is not cleaned regularly or if water is left standing inside the dispenser for extended periods, it can create a moist environment ideal for mold or mildew growth. This can lead to the appearance of black or dark-colored particles.
It is possible it's coming from your filter. Over time, filters can become clogged or develop mold or bacterial growth, which may then contaminate the water.
The black stuff may originate from the pipes or hoses that supply water to the dispenser. Corrosion or other contaminants in the plumbing system can lead to discoloration of the water.
Some refrigerator water dispensers have rubber or plastic components that may degrade over time, leaving behind black particles or residue.
Use our vinegar soaking method listed above. Not only does it get rid of hard water deposits, it will clean out the mold and mildew as well.
Yes, refrigerator water lines can develop mold and mildew if not properly maintained and cleaned regularly. The water lines in refrigerators are typically made of plastic or rubber, which can provide a suitable environment for mold and bacteria to grow.
Sometimes they can become clogged with hard water deposits too. At that point, it's easier to replace the lines rather than trying to clean them.
More Appliance Cleaning Tips and Tricks
- The Easiest Way to Clean the Oven
- Clean Your Keurig The Easy Way
- How To Get Burnt Smell Out Of Microwave
- Simple Tips To Make Your Dishwasher Run Like New
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