Open refrigerator full of food

How to Clean an Ice Maker in 5 Steps

If you've noticed that your refrigerator ice maker has been making cloudy or peculiar-smelling ice cubes, chances are that it may be in need of a cleaning. Learn how to clean a built-in ice maker in a few simple steps with the guide below.

Person dispensing ice from a refrigerator ice maker

What you’ll need to clean an ice maker

Supplies

  • Two dish cloths 

  • Bowl 

  • Water

  • Mild soap 

  • Vinegar (optional)

Tools

  • Sponge

Hand with towel

Step 1: Clean out and wipe freezer

Air circulates from the fridge to the freezer compartments, so clean out unnecessary or expired items. Wipe the surrounding areas of the freezer if there are any spills.

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STEP 2: UNPLUG THE FRIDGE

You don't want the ice maker to start producing ice in the middle of you cleaning, so it's best to unplug the fridge while you clean. The fridge won't be unplugged very long, so you shouldn't need to place your food in coolers.

Bubbles

STEP 3: CLEAN ANY REMOVABLE PARTS

Consult your owner's manual for specific instructions on how to properly remove the ice bin and hand wash with a clean sponge, soap and warm water.

Ice cubes

STEP 4: REMOVE ICE AND WIPE INTERIOR OF ICE MAKER

Fill a large bowl with warm water and some dish soap. Dip a clean washcloth and dislodge any ice that may be stuck to the ice maker and wipe the whole interior. Alternatively, you can also use a mixture of one part warm water and one part vinegar to wipe clean the ice maker. Once wiped completely, dry thoroughly with a clean, dry dish towel.

Maytag tip icon

Check the Water Filter

The state of your water filter will play a role in the production of your ice. Over time, mineral buildup may clog your filter and prevent proper water flow, which can affect the quality of the ice. Old filters can also produce cloudy, gray or off-tasting ice cubes, so as a general rule of thumb, switch out your water filter every six months. 

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STEP 5: PLUG FRIDGE BACK IN AND RUN A FEW CYCLES

Once you've plugged the fridge back in, dump out the first 2-3 batches of ice that are produced. In between cleanings, discard the ice batch to get rid of any old, unused ice cubes that may have absorbed odors over time.

Woman standing in front of an open refrigerator

How often should I clean my ice maker?

It's recommended to clean out your ice maker at least twice a year. If your home has hard water, consider cleaning more often since hard water deposits may prevent the coils from freezing the water and impact the ice maker process.

Can I clean my ice maker with vinegar instead of ice maker cleaner?

Vinegar is a natural cleaning agent, so you can substitute dish soap for vinegar when cleaning the ice maker. If you have stainless steel appliances, avoid vinegar coming into contact with the surface, since long-term exposure may cause damage.

Refrigerator ice bin full of ice

How do I properly clean a moldy ice maker?

Mold in your ice maker is not something that should happen if it's being used per installation instructions. If you're not certain that your ice maker is installed correctly, consult your owner's manual. If mold is present, you can add 3 cups of vinegar to the water line with a funnel and turn on the ice maker so that the vinegar runs through the dispenser. Use a cup to catch the vinegar and use a toothbrush and rag to scrub the dispenser clean of any residue.

How do I clean my refrigerator’s ice dispenser chute?

Shut off the water valve that controls the water flow from the water dispenser and ice maker. You'll have to consult your owner's manual to see how to disconnect the ice maker line. Once the line is disconnected, pour 3-4 cups of vinegar with a small funnel into the line and let it soak for 5-10 minutes, clipping shut the open end of the line to avoid the vinegar from draining out. Rinse out the line with clean water before reconnecting the dispenser and ice maker.

Where can I find ice maker cleaning solution?

You can find ice maker cleaning solution at most home improvement stores. Maytag brand recommends affresh® ice machine cleaner* which can help remove hard water and mineral build-up.

Get more appliance cleaning tips from Maytag

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*affresh® brand products and the recommending brands' products are all owned and distributed by Whirlpool Corporation