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How to Clean a Refrigerator Water Filter Step by Step Guide?

Writen by Ronald Brown

Fact checked by Natalie Bridges

how to clean a refrigerator water filter

Modern refrigerators nowadays feature ingenious designs with contemporary tools that provide us immediate comfort and convenience. Most homeowners own a fridge with a built-in water filter at home and enjoy pure and healthy drinking water.

But what if your water filter has reached its maximum capacity? It means that it can no longer filter out contaminants efficiently, which will result in dirty drinking water. Generally, refrigerator manufacturers recommend changing the filter every three months.

In this article, I’ll be discussing in detail how to clean a refrigerator water filter. After reading this comprehensive and easy-to-follow tutorial, you will learn how to take the filter out and clean refrigerator water line.

Table of Contents

What Will You Need in This Tutorial


Cleaning a refrigerator water filter is one of the least complicated tasks you can do by yourself. Most people think that it’s an intricate job, but I think it’s the other way around. Whenever I clean Samsung fridge water filter, I make sure that I have these supplies to get the job well done :

1. Cleaning Solution

Vinegar is an excellent all-purpose cleaning substance. It contains acetic acid, making it an incredible disinfectant. This acidic nature can break down mineral deposits, debris, grease, and grime.

There are different types of vinegar, but I highly recommend white distilled vinegar. Cleaning refrigerator water line with vinegar is a viable option because it contains 5% acidity — closest to multipurpose cleaning agents.

When it comes to rinsing your fridge filter, rubbing alcohol is a must-have. It has excellent disinfecting qualities that can remove microbes or microorganisms out of the filter. You can also use this home cleaner for cleaning refrigerator air filter.

2. Funnel


A funnel is a common household item we often use in the kitchen, but you will need it today to clean refrigerator water dispenser line. It will serve as an entrance to get the cleaning solution throughout the water lines.

3. Clamp


Use a pipe clamp to secure and support the opening ends of the water lines to close the entry. This clamp will prevent water spillage. Hence, this plumbing tool will help you clean the fridge water lines promptly.

4. Bucket


A bucket is necessary to catch any excess water as you flush refrigerator water line. Make sure to place it beneath the water dispenser to collect all of the remaining water readily.

5. Adjustable Wrench


An adjustable wrench is one of the power tools of DIY plumbing repairs. Unlike pliers, it fits a variety of hexagonal nuts and fittings. You can’t unscrew all of the fittings attached to your refrigerator water lines without it.

I prefer using wrenches because they offer extraordinary advantages for tightening and loosening, whereas pliers are more suitable for cutting and gripping. Besides, the sharp pivoting jaws of the pliers are most likely to scratch the water lines.

6. Screwdriver


Can you imagine a toolbox without a screwdriver? Probably not. Most DIY projects include furniture assembly and aesthetic interior upgrades at home. But there are various types of screwdrivers for different functions.

You would need to use a Phillips screwdriver. You can see it everywhere as it is commonly used on furniture and home appliances. Prepare this handy tool to unscrew the filter and the fridge water lines from your fridge.

7. Microfiber Cleaning Cloth


Microfiber cloths can be used wet and dry, making them an ideal cleaning cloth for everyday use. It can handle water up to eight times its weight, so there will be no problem using it as a standby clean-up material, and it will absorb any water leaks while removing the water filter.

How to Clean a Refrigerator Water Filter Step By Step Instruction


Even though the main focus of this tutorial is to unclog a fridge water filter, it is vital to check and clean every component of your refrigerator water, particularly the ice maker and dispenser lines of your refrigerator. It will help you get rid of harmful impurities from your drinking water.

Follow these nine quick and direct procedures on how to clean your fridge filter :

Step 1. Disconnect the power cord of your refrigerator and turn off the water valve.

Before you start cleaning your fridge filter, it is essential to unplug the power cable from the AC outlet. Then, shut off the water valve that is usually found at the bottom rear of your refrigerator.

If you can’t find the inlet valve, you can pull out your refrigerator and follow the direction of the water supply lines from the back of your fridge to the source. You should be able to turn off the valve when you reach the source. Otherwise, go to the basement and disable the primary water supply valve.

Pro Tip: Before switching off your refrigerator water valve, you should turn off the icemaker to halt its cycle. This simple hack will prevent severe damage to the valve.

Step 2. Use the screwdriver and adjustable wrench to remove the rest of the water lines from the refrigerator.

You might see two water lines—one for the ice maker and another one for the dispenser line. Pick up the screwdriver and loosen the screw heads of the water lines to detach it from the fridge and the water valve entirely. Use the wrench to remove the hexagonal nuts.

Step 3. Fill the water lines with vinegar mixture.

Prepare the vinegar mixture (warm water and vinegar) and insert the funnel to the entry port of the water lines. Use a clamp to seal off the open end of the lines and avoid water spillage. Let it sit for ten minutes & pour out the content inside.

Pro Tip: Use 1 cup of vinegar per gallon of water. Always remember that 16 cups of water is equivalent to 1 gallon.

Step 4. Remove and clean the filter reservoir.

Locate the filter reservoir and disengage it from its housing. You can usually find the filter in the upper right-hand corner or near the grille inside the refrigerator. Some older models typically have the filter at the back of the fridge close to the water lines.

Once you detect the filter, slowly remove it by twisting the reservoir counterclockwise. Before ejecting it, place the microfiber cloth underneath to catch any water coming through as you remove the filter.

Next, tap the filter reservoir over a trash can to completely unload sediment and dirt build up inside. Clean the filter in the same way you did with the water lines. Submerge the filter in the vinegar solution and add an ample amount of rubbing alcohol to disinfect it thoroughly. Let it sit for 10-30 minutes.

Pro Tip: If you have a hard time locating the filter, kindly refer to your user manual to help you track it down.

Step 5. Rinse the water lines and the filter & reattach them to the fridge

Remove the clamps of the water lines; rinse out the ice maker line with clean water. Then, drain the remaining vinegar cleanser from the water line to the dispenser line and into the bucket.

Repeat the same step with the filter. Run it under clean and pristine water to remove any leftover remains of vinegar and other contaminants.

Afterward, attach the water lines and the filter to the fridge.

Step 6. Flush both water lines for one last time.

Turn on the water valve and put the bucket under the dispenser. Finally, flush both water lines until you can no longer see vinegar residues and other loose particles from the system.

Pro Tip: Allow 8-10 glasses worth of water to come out to ensure that the lines are free of calcium and lime deposits, mold, and vinegar.

Step 7. Take this opportunity to clean the ice maker bin.

Soak the ice maker bin in warm water with vinegar. Rinse it thoroughly and make sure to dispose of the first two to three batches because they could contain excess vinegar in them.

Step 8. Damp the microfiber cloth and wipe off the outside of the dispenser nozzle to remove hard mineral deposits. (If there’s any)

Congratulations! You just finished rebooting the fridge water system!


Providing healthy and safe drinking water for our family is always our top priority. Learning practical and straightforward methods on how to clean a refrigerator water filter will benefit us in the long run. We’ll no longer have to deal with costly maintenance to ensure that the fridge filter is working efficiently. You can leaen more dangers of not changing refrigerator water filter here.

How was today’s tutorial? I hope that you gain many tips and tricks that you can use in your future DIY projects. If you have any questions and recommendations, don’t hesitate to voice your thoughts in the comment section.

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