How to Clean Your Whirlpool Ice Maker
The ice-making system and the air-cooled condenser of the
Whirlpool Ice Maker, need to be cleaned regularly for the ice maker to operate at peak efficiency. Doing so helps avoid premature failure of system components. Moreover, the "Clean Cycle" button status light will prompt you when it is time to clean your ice maker. The light will change from green to yellow, indicating it is almost time to clean your ice maker. It is recommended that you clean the ice maker when the status light changes to red or when ice production significantly decreases.
If the "Cleaning Cycle" button is illuminated or after 9 months has elapsed, it’s time to clean the ice maker. Minerals that are removed from water during the freezing cycle will eventually form a hard scaly deposit in the water system. Cleaning the system regularly helps remove the mineral scale buildup. How often you need to clean the system depends on upon how hard your water is — you may need to clean the system as often as every 6 months if you begin to see buildup.
For instructions on how to clean the exterior
Wash the exterior enamel surfaces and gaskets with warm water and mild soap or detergent. Wipe and dry. We recommend using a clean micro fiber cloth or a soft clean cloth to polish and dry. Using paper towels may scratch and/or dull the clear coat of the painted door.
Regular use of a good household appliance cleaner and polish will help protect the finish.
Traditional Stainless Steel Refrigerator
IMPORTANT: To avoid damage to the finish, do not use soap-filled scouring pads, abrasive or harsh cleaners, any cleaning product containing chlorine bleach, steel-wool pads, gritty wash cloths or certain paper towels.
To clean and care for your stainless steel surfaces:
- Spray Affresh™ Stainless Steel cleaner on a clean microfiber cloth.
- Wipe the stainless steel in the direction of the grain.
To restore luster:
- Use the Affresh™ Stainless steel wipes; follow the recommendations and directions on the label.
- Wipe off any excess and use special care to avoid contact with any plastic parts, trim pieces, or rubber door gaskets. If the polish does contact any of these plastic parts, clean them with a nonabrasive sponge and mild detergent in warm water.
- Thoroughly dry the area with a soft cloth.
affresh® cleaners are available at many retailers. Find one here.
If Affresh™ Stainless Steel cleaner is not available:
- Wash surfaces with warm, soapy water using liquid detergent and a nonabrasive sponge. Always rub evenly in the direction of the grain.
- Rinse with clean water and dry with a soft, lint-free cloth.
- Use a clean, dry towel to polish the surface in the direction of the grain until it shines.
- Water that is not completely dried off can cause discoloration - Water may contain iron that will initiate this discoloration
Cleaning the Ice Maker System
What do you need to clean the ice maker?
You will need to use one 16-ounce (473 mL) bottle of approved ice maker cleaner. We recommend using the Affresh® Ice Machine Cleaner part number 4396808.
- Turn off the ice maker.
- Wait 5 to 10 minutes for the ice to fall into the storage bin. Remove all ice from the storage bin.
- Unscrew the drain cap from the bottom of the water pan located inside the storage bin as shown. Allow the water to drain completely.
- Replace the drain cap securely on the water pan. If the drain cap is loose, water will empty from the water pan and you will have either thin ice or no ice.
- Read and follow all handling information on the cleaner bottle before completing the steps below. Use one 16-oz (473 mL) bottle of approved ice maker cleaner.
- Pour one bottle of solution into the water pan. Fill the bottle twice with tap water and pour it into the water pan.
- Press and hold the "Clean" button. (See the "Using the controls" section below.) The light will blink, indicating that the cleaning cycle is in process. When the indicator light turns green (approximately 70 minutes), the cleaning cycle is complete. During the cleaning cycle, the system will both clean and rinse itself.
- After the cleaning cycle is complete, remove the drain cap from the water pan. Look to see if any cleaning solution is left in the water pan. If cleaning solution drains from the water pan, you should run the clean cycle again. Be sure to replace the drain cap securely on the water pan. Otherwise, if the drain cap is loose, water will empty from the water pan and you will have either thin ice or no ice at all.
NOTE: Severe scale buildup may require repeated cleanings with a fresh quantity of cleaning solution.
- Press and hold the "On" button to resume ice production.
Cleaning the Condenser
A dirty or clogged condenser:
- Obstructs proper airflow.
- Reduces ice-making capacity.
- Causes higher-than-recommended operating temperatures which may lead to component failure.
To learn how to clean the condenser:
- Unplug ice maker or disconnect power.
- Remove the two screws in the lower access panel and the two screws from the base grille area of the front panel support. Pull forward to remove the lower access panel.
- Pull the bottom forward and then pull down to remove the lower access panel.
- Remove dirt and lint from the condenser fins and the unit compartment with a brush attachment on a vacuum cleaner.
- Replace the lower access panel using the four screws.
- Plug in ice maker or reconnect power.
Learn how to Clean the Interior Components
Cleaning the Cutter Grid
To begin cleaning the cutter grid, follow these instructions:
- Unplug ice maker or disconnect power.
- Open the storage bin door and remove any ice that is in the bin.
- Remove the drain cap from the water pan and drain thoroughly. Securely replace the drain cap on the water pan. If the drain cap is loose, water will empty from the water pan, and you will have either thin ice or no ice.
- Remove the two screws that hold the cutter grid cover in place and remove the cutter grid cover.
- Unplug the wiring harness from the left side of the cutter grid.
- Unplug the ice level sensor from the right side of the cutter grid. Pull the ice level sensor down and forward away from the cutter grid.
- Remove the right-hand and left-hand screws. Lift the cutter grid up and out.
NOTE: Ensure the plastic spacer from the right-hand side of the cutter grid bracket stays with the cutter grid.
- And finally, remove the two thumbscrews that hold the water pan in place. Push down with one hand on the front of the pan while pulling forward on the bottom back side of the water pan.
Learn how to clean the Ice Scoop and Holder
Remove, clean and replace the ice scoop and ice scoop holder.
- On some models, the ice scoop holder is located in the upper left of the unit, and on other models, the ice scoop holder is located in the lower left of the unit. On Some models, remove the holder by lifting up on the ice scoop holder and then out.
- After removing the ice scoop, remove the holder by removing the two thumbscrews.
- Wash the ice scoop holder along with the other interior components as directed below in Step 1.
- Replace the ice scoop holder by replacing the thumbscrews or on some models, pushing in on the holder and then down.
Cleaning Interior Components Suggestions
- Wash the interior components, storage bin, door gasket, ice scoop and ice scoop holder with mild soap or detergent and warm water.
- Rinse in clean water.
- Clean the same parts with a solution of one tablespoon (15 mL) of household bleach in one gallon (3.8 L) of warm water.
- Thoroughly rinse again in clean water.
NOTE: Do not remove hoses. Do not wash plastic parts in dishwasher. They cannot withstand temperatures above 145°F (63°C).
Checklist After Cleaning is Complete
Check the following:
- Drain cap from the water pan is securely in place. If the drain cap is loose, water will empty from the water pan, and you will have either thin ice or no ice.
- Hose from water pan is inserted into the storage bin drain opening.
- Slide the cutter grid back into place and secure it by replacing the right-hand screw and plastic spacer. Then tighten the left-hand screw. Reconnect the cutter grid harness and the ice level sensor harness.
- Replace the plastic cutter grid cover and the two screws.
- Plug in ice maker or reconnect power.