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How To Clean Refrigerator Water Dispenser Mold

How To Clean Refrigerator Water Dispenser Mold

Knowing how to clean refrigerator water dispenser mold can be very helpful, but it can be hard to know where to start.

The best way to clean a refrigerator dispenser that has mold is to first flush out the back end using vinegar, or in some cases a solution of bleach. Individual compartments on non-plumbed fridges can then be cleaned by hand, and after this, the front end can be cleaned with the same solution as before.

There are some nuances to this technique depending on the type of water dispenser that you have, and in this article, we will explore these differences and provide the most practical solutions to completely remove the mold no matter what type of dispenser you have.

How Does Mold End Up On The Water Dispenser?

While mold on a water dispenser is quite unusual, it can grow quite easily if you don’t take some precautions.

If you use the dispenser frequently and don’t clean it then you are asking for mold to grow. The moisture, combined with any dirt and germs that can spread from people using the dispenser, creates a recipe for mold growth.

Cleaning mold from the dispenser itself is very easy, but you also need to consider any mold that may have grown inside the pipes feeding the dispenser, as well as the water tank in non-plumbed dispensers.

How To Spot Refrigerator Dispenser Mold

Spotting refrigerator dispenser mold should be very easy, all you need to do is pour some water from the dispenser into a glass and check for any spores of mold.

In terms of the dispenser itself it can be more tricky.

Take a flashlight and inspect the area closely for any signs of mold growth on the dispenser itself. If there is a drip tray below then remove it and inspect underneath for any signs of mold as well.

Mold is typically identified with tiny, usually black spots.

Plumbed-In Vs Non-Plumbed Dispensers: Do You Clean Them The Same Way?

The difference between plumbed-in and non-plumbed water dispensers is quite obvious: plumbed-in water dispensers are connected to a cold water supply somewhere near the fridge with a small copper or plastic supply tube.

While the water dispenser itself located in the front of the fridge is cleaned the same way for either method, you need to treat the mechanisms slightly differently on the backside depending on the type of dispenser that you have.

The best way to clean a refrigerator dispenser is to start with the backend, as this needs to be flushed with a cleaning solution first and then the actual water dispenser on the front can be cleaned afterwards.

Cleaning Refrigerator Water Dispenser Mold: Step By Step

Let’s take a look at the two methods you can use to clean the backend of your water dispenser depending on the type of dispenser that you have.


Non-plumbed water dispensers have a water tank that is located within the fridge that is manually filled up to provide water to the dispenser on the front.

Consult your fridge’s manual and figure out how to remove this water tank and empty it completely. Take a non-abrasive scrubber and clean the sides of the compartment by rinsing it with distilled white vinegar. If the mold doesn’t get removed, try a solution of diluted bleach instead.

If the mold isn’t removed, you can use bleach rather than vinegar. Once the mold has been removed from the sides, fill the entire container with distilled white vinegar and water in a 1 to 1 ratio and put it back in place in the fridge.

Take a container and place it underneath the water dispenser and run all of the water/vinegar solution out of the fridge. Repeat this several times until the water runs completely clear.


Plumbed water dispensers are connected directly to a water supply, so start by referring to the manual for your fridge to see where the connection is.

Switch off the water supply by disconnecting it – this is usually done with a valve. Hold the pipe in an upright position and add a few cups of distilled white vinegar into it with a funnel, or carefully use the container.

Wait around 5 to 10 minutes for the vinegar to get to work and then dispense the vinegar using the water dispenser at the front into a container. Reconnect the supply and switch the valve and you are ready to move on to the next stage.

Cleaning The Front End

No matter the type of dispenser you have, the front end will be cleaned in the same way.

  • Start by dispensing clean water through the nozzle by pressing the button. This will help to remove any remaining vinegar from the pipes.
  • Use a spray bottle to generously spray distilled white vinegar over the entire dispenser and scrub the surface using a non-abrasive scrubber.
  • If there are buttons, switch the power off temporarily or use a lock button if your fridge has one to deactivate them and scrub them with the same solution.
  • Take the drip tray and soak it in warm water with a few cups of distilled vinegar for ten minutes. Wipe it down afterwards and put it back into place.
  • Dry the entire area and check for any remaining mold. Repeat this process as necessary until all of it has been removed.

Ice Dispensers

If your fridge has an ice dispenser, consult the manual to figure out how to remove it.

You should also turn off the power at this stage, as leaving the power on with a disconnected ice maker can lead to some pretty loud noises. Once removed, rinse the ice maker through with warm water to dissolve the ice.

After this, rinse a clean dishcloth in warm water and soap and clean as much of the outer and inner surface as you can. Then, use an old toothbrush to clean the parts that can’t be reached with the cloth.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, you have a better understanding of how to clean refrigerator water dispenser mold after reading this article.

Don’t forget to follow the correct method for your specific type of dispenser and you should have no problems removing all of the mold easily.