When you buy your first home or move into your first apartment, someone should hand you a huge book of every little thing you should maintain and clean on a regular basis. I don’t know why it never occurred to me, but for some odd reason I never realized that you should clean an ice maker. Like never. Of all the 99 billion things to clean and maintain in a home, this one has never even blipped once on my radar, until now. I know, it’s gross. Really gross. But, if I’ve overlooked it, I’m betting at least one other person has overlooked it, too, so I thought I’d share how to clean an ice maker on a refrigerator.
Now my dirty little confession… we’ve had this appliance for two years and I’ve never cleaned it. Two years! I shudder to think of all of the cups of ice that has been filled through the dirty ice maker. Bleheheheh. But when you know better, you do better, so now I clean it once a month.
I started by pulling out my HomeRight SteamMachine, which they sent me earlier this year. (Can I just say how much I love working with HomeRight?!?)
I filled it up with distilled water (per the directions) and let it heat up. While it was heating, I added on this nozzle that pressurized the jet of steam to get into all the nooks and crannies of the ice maker and get it really clean.
Using the nozzle, spray out every inch of the ice maker within an inch of it’s life. You’re going to need paper towels to clean up all the drippy gunk. It’s gonna be nasty. Really nasty. But, the point is to get rid of the grime, so it’s gotta go somewhere – in the trash works for me.
The chute that guides the ice is the hardest part. Grime will be trapped under there, so you’ve gotta get it loose to clean an ice maker. Mine slips down a bit by pressing on each side at the top, then working it out. It doesn’t come completely off, but it does come out enough to clean well inside all those tiny nooks and crannies. Yours may be different, so refer to your owner’s manual. *Open the door or turn off the ice maker function BEFORE doing this. If not, you’ll have ice all over your floor. (Ask me how I know?)*
For all of the teeny tiny spots, try using cotton swabs to help grab the grime and get it all cleaned off. It took a good handful and about 30 minutes to clean mine, but if yours isn’t at my horror level, you may not need as long.
While you’re in there, clean up the water dispenser the same way, because if your ice maker is dirty, chances are the water dispenser will be, too.
Before you finish, pull out the tray on front, because the steam will make the grime slip down under and through the cracks on it, plus you can clean it much easier if you pull it off and clean it. Mine comes off fairly easily by pulling straight out with light pressure.
After you’ve sufficiently grossed yourself out with grime and gunk, and you’ve finally learned how to clean an ice maker, stand back and give yourself a hand. Then promptly put it on your calendar to do this once a month so you’ll never be grossed out again.
And if you wonder what else you’ve blissfully been unaware of cleaning, please let me know. I’m probably missing it, too!
*Thanks to HomeRight for partnering with me on this post. All ideas, photos, opinions and grime are 100% my own.*
Gina Luker is a writer, photographer and lover of all things quirky. She’s usually found with a drill in one hand and a cocktail in the other while blogging along the way. She’s addicted to coffee, polka dots, rock stars, Instagram, and everything aqua.