Here's How To Properly Clean Your Fridge's Water Dispenser

person using refrigerator water dispenser
person using refrigerator water dispenser - Catlane/Getty Images

While highly convenient, refrigerator water dispensers rank among the grossest areas of your kitchen. That's why dispenser cleaning is crucial to kitchen maintenance, as a reliable routine ensures fresh, clean water. The first step is to shut off the water supply to the dispenser to avoid making a mess, which means you'll need to locate the appropriate valve. The valve may be on the refrigerator itself, or it might be found somewhere in your kitchen.

Many homes experience hard water issues, meaning a water supply has a high concentration of minerals. This water problem not only ruins beans and other foods but can also cause mineral accumulation within the lines of the water dispenser. Fortunately, the buildup of minerals can be combatted by white vinegar. After disconnecting the water line, deposit white vinegar into the tubing and wait about 10 minutes. Once enough time has elapsed, release the vinegar by pressing the button on the dispenser that provides water with a cup under the nozzle to catch the vinegar as it flows out.

Read more: The Best Way To Clean That Nasty Grease Off Of Your Kitchen Cabinets

Tips For Cleaning The Nozzle And Other Components

bottles of distilled white vinegar
bottles of distilled white vinegar - JHVEPhoto/Shutterstock

Like the water line, minerals can also collect on the nozzle that dispenses water from your refrigerator. In this case, you have two cleaning options. You can douse a paper towel in white vinegar and affix it to the nozzle, leaving it attached overnight to gradually diminish minerals. You can also use a brush dipped in vinegar to scrub the nozzle. If hard water has really made a mess of the appliance, you may need to use both methods.

The outside of the dispenser will also need a little love. Creating a water-vinegar solution is one of the many vinegar hacks you must have in your life, and this solution can be used to wipe down the area around the dispenser and nozzle. If the device has a removable tray, it can usually be cleaned with warm water and dish soap. Hit it with your vinegar solution if you detect signs of hard water. Once everything is sufficiently clean, reconnect the water line and switch on the valve. To thoroughly rinse the line and nozzle, take a glass and fill it a few times before using the dispenser.

Signs That It's Time To Clean Your Water Dispenser

woman drinking glass of water
woman drinking glass of water - Simonkr/Getty Images

When it comes to water dispenser cleaning, it is usually recommended that it be done every two months. However, some signs indicate the device needs to be cleaned immediately. The accumulation of minerals can cause the flow of water to become a bit puny, which means it will take longer to fill glasses and pitchers when using the dispenser. Additionally, you may notice that water and ice have a metallic tinge in terms of flavor.

As for the device's water filter, the appearance of your ice cubes can signal that it's time for a change. When the filter becomes too bogged down with debris, it will no longer be able to catch contaminants. As a result, ice can look cloudy or off-color. Many appliances also provide alerts when the filter needs to be replaced, so consult your user manual to fully understand the features of your refrigerator. Of course, you can avoid these and other issues by developing a solid cleaning routine for your water dispenser and sticking to it.

Read the original article on The Daily Meal