It Never Occurred To Me To Clean This Before Now

ice maker

The other day a friend asked if I had any tips for cleaning the built-in ice maker in her fridge, and it made me realize I had never written a post about it! Not only am I a big proponent of maintaining household appliances, but I’ve also been writing blog posts on the subject for over a decade, so I was pretty surprised I’d let this one slip past me!

Related: Putting Off Cleaning Your Fridge? Here’s How To Make It Painless

So I did some research, used that research to come up with a method, and now I’m ready to share with my friend and everyone else how to clean an ice maker. Following these steps will allow you to enjoy clean, odor-free ice, and will help extend the life of your ice maker too.

How To Clean Your Ice Maker

ice maker

1. Check Your Refrigerator Manual

It’s best to check your refrigerator manual for guidance on any type of cleaning or maintenance. If you can’t find the paper copy, never fear—most appliance manuals can be found online by searching for the brand and model name.

Once you’ve located the manual, open it to the section that covers the ice maker.

Related: 9 Good Reasons Why You Should Actually Read Your User Manuals

ice maker

2. Turn The Ice Maker Off And Remove The Bin

The first step in the process is to turn the ice maker off. Some have a metal bar you can lift to turn off while others will have an on-off switch.

Once it’s turned off, remove the ice bin by pulling it up and out, or by sliding it straight out. (This is where that manual will start to come in handy!)

ice maker

3. Empty And Clean The Bin

Dump out any any ice that’s in the bin, and use warm water or a butter knife to remove any stuck ice or frost buildup. Once it’s ice free, give it a good wash in warm, soapy water. (Some bins are dishwasher-safe, and if your is, you can load it into the top rack of your dishwasher if you prefer.)

ice maker

5. Clean And Disinfect The Ice Maker

Next, you’ll clean and disinfect the parts of your ice maker that you can’t take out of your freezer by following these steps:

  • Wash. Dip a clean cloth or sponge into warm, soapy water, then use it to wipe down every part of your ice maker you can reach. Be careful with this step, and make sure to avoid the switch so you don’t accidentally turn the ice maker back on.
  • Disinfect. Next, repeat the process with a clean cloth dampened with equal parts water and white vinegar. This will help kill any bacteria lingering on those surfaces that could affect the taste or smell of your ice.
  • Rinse. Repeat the process again with a clean cloth dampened with water only. This will remove any lingering traces of soap and vinegar so they don’t make your ice taste funny.
  • Dry. Lastly, repeat the process one last time with a clean, dry cloth to ensure that everything is dry and won’t freeze or frost over.
ice maker

6. Replace The Bin

Once all the internal components are clean, slide the clean, dry ice bin back into place. (You should just be able to do the opposite of what you did to get it out, but if that doesn’t seem right, refer to the manual for guidance.)

ice maker

7. Turn It Back On

Finally, turn your ice maker back on—if everything has gone according to plan, you’ll soon be enjoying clean, refreshing ice courtesy of your sparkling clean ice maker.

Does your fridge have a built-in ice maker?

ice maker

How To Clean Your Ice Maker (Step by Step)

Jill Nystul
Cleaning your ice maker regularly is key to enjoying clean, odor-free ice, and it's as easy as following these simple steps.
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Prep Time 5 minutes
Active Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Yield 1 clean ice maker


  • Refrigerator ice maker


  • 4 cleaning cloths
  • Soap and water


  • Check your refrigerator manual for guidance on accessing and cleaning your machine’s ice maker. (If you can’t find the paper copy, look for a digital copy online using the manufacturer name and model number.)
    ice maker
  • Turn the ice maker off, remove the ice bin, and empty it.
    ice maker
  • Wash the empty ice bin using warm, soapy water, or put it in the top rack of your dishwasher if it’s dishwasher-safe.
    ice maker
  • Clean the interior of your ice maker with a clean cloth or sponge saturated with warm, soapy water.
    ice maker
  • Disinfect the inside of your ice maker using a clean cloth dampened with equal amounts of water and white vinegar.
  • Rinse the inside of your ice maker using a clean, damp cloth to remove any lingering traces of soap or vinegar.
  • Dry the inside of your ice maker using a clean, dry cloth.
  • Finally, replace the clean ice bin and turn your ice maker back on.
    ice maker

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


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