Refrigerator Water Line Cleaning

Refrigerator Water Line Cleaning
Refrigerator Water Line Cleaning

Dispensers and ice makers are among the notable features of modern-day refrigerators. They are instrumental in ensuring we access cold water or ice, and hydrate easily, improving our quality of life.

But to make sure you are hydrating safely, we need to use the right refrigerator filter for water. Aside from that, refrigerator water line cleaning is vital. In fact, manufacturers often recommend regular cleaning to ensure the refrigerator remains in optimal functioning capabilities.

This article focuses on how to clean refrigerator water lines, sharing why you should do it and the tools you need.

Why Do You Need to Clean Water Lines in a Fridge?

Just like any other appliance, leaving the lines uncleaned for prolonged periods may encourage the growth of bacteria and molds.

Additionally, water that flows through our refrigerator’s line may be hard meaning, it has dissolved an excessive amount of minerals and especially magnesium and calcium.

So, when hard water goes through the system, it leaves behind mineral deposits causing limescale. After some time, there will be a build-up, which hinders the flow rate and causes the contents in our glass to have an unpleasant taste. 

Furthermore, maintaining clean fridge water lines positively impacts the longevity of your fridge, as you eliminate excess minerals that are notorious for damaging home appliances.

Tools You Need to Clean Your Refrigerator's Water Lines

Before we learn how to clean your refrigerator water line, there are a couple of tools you must have. They include:

  • Cleaning cloth or rug
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Bucket
  • Funnel
  • Screwdriver
  • Small wrench
  • Two clamps

How to Clean Your Refrigerator Water Line

Now that you have gathered all the tools you need, we're going to explain in depth how to flush refrigerator water line

Let’s delve into the specifics

Shut off water

Before commencing the cleaning process, locate the shut-off valve. You will mostly find this valve behind the fridge. If you cannot, look for it in your basement or sometimes, under the kitchen sink.

Also, remember to unplug your fridge from the socket.

Since this is not a complex process and doesn’t take a long time, don’t worry about your stored food or other perishables.

Disconnect the water line

The water line disconnection process depends on the model and type of fridge you have. 

For some models, you will only need to twist and pull the line to detach it.

However, in most cases, you will need a screwdriver as it involves removing the fridge’s lower screen and disengaging it from the components attached to it. You might also need a wrench for this.

To avoid spillage, the line needs to be placed inside a bucket. Depress the dispenser’s lever just to make sure that all the water drains into the bucket. 

Clean the dispenser and reservoir

If you also want to get rid of the dirt in the dispenser reservoir, this is when to do so. You will find it behind the crisper, and you might need to disassemble your fridge’s compartment - but this will depend on the model.

Drain all the water and then sanitize it.

To do this, you will need to rinse the reservoir with the vinegar solution. You can also soak a cloth in vinegar, wipe the dispenser, and allow both to dry.

After drying, use soapy water to wash the reservoir and dispenser. You will then need to run clean water through them multiple times to ensure you completely get rid of the vinegar taste that may affect the water’s quality.

Note that the reason why we use vinegar in the cleansing process is that it contains acid that will eliminate bacteria and mold. It is also well known for its efficacy in breaking down mineral deposits, leaving the line clean and fresh.

Flush the refrigerator line

To ensure you achieve clean water lines in fridge, you must flush them. 

But first, you need to reconnect the reservoir and place a funnel in its tube. Pour 3 cups of vinegar into the reservoir or until it's saturated. If your appliance has an icemaker, also pour the distilled vinegar down its line.

To be sure that the vinegar circulates well in the reservoir, depress the dispenser’s lever.  Do this until its starts dispensing the vinegar, then stop.

Give the vinegar time to work its magic. This will take approximately 10 to 20 mins. You can use the clamps to hold both ends of the pipe to stop the vinegar from leaking.

Rinse the lines

After the vinegar has sat for those minutes, it’s time to drain it.

Remove the clamps, let the vinegar drain into a bucket, and turn on the valve.

Once water flow is restored, allow it to flow through the system for a couple of minutes or until you are certain that all the vinegar had drained out. To be extra sure, hook the lines back to their rightful places and pour a few other glasses of h20 to flush the lines.

If your line was very dirty, watch out for molds and only stop rinsing the lines when you only see crystal clear contents with not a trace of mold.

It’s recommended that you dispose of the first few batches of ice cubes that you make as they may have a vinegar-like taste. Then thoroughly wash the ice tray with soap and rinse it multiple times. Dry it before placing it back into the freezer.

Plug in your refrigerator and enjoy better hydration.   


We hope that you understood in depth how to clean fridge water lines. As part of routine maintenance, also make sure you switch refrigerator filters twice every year or more, depending on your usage and pollutants in your water. This will make sure you hydrate with pure contents throughout, protecting your family from avoidable illnesses.

We are Filterway, water filtration experts selling a wide range of refrigerator cartridges. We also deal with point-of-use and whole house systems, ensuring only clean H2O flows into your home.

Contact us today.