The One Part of Your Fridge You’re Forgetting to Clean and Really Should Right Now

published Dec 17, 2022
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Arm of Young Woman Opening up Refrigerator Door at Home.
Credit: Boogich | Getty Images

What we can’t see, we don’t always clean. Generally, that can be fine and pretty harmless, but there are times it can be, well, pretty gross. Case in point: the straw that dispenses water from your fridge. Be honest: When was the last time you thought about this essential kitchen apparatus, let alone cleaned it with soap and water? I’ve lived in my house for almost four years and I certainly haven’t — until today, that is.

Professional house cleaner Vanessa Amaro — who has exploded in popularity on TikTok, thanks to her game-changing cleaning tips — has a simple (but much-needed) hack for cleaning this neglected part of your kitchen. The good news is that it’s quick and easy, and you probably already have all the supplies you need in your kitchen. 

Here’s her process for deep-cleaning the straw in your refrigerator’s water dispenser.

Credit: Ashley Abramson

First, grab a straw brush so you can reach up high in the straw while it’s still attached. Luckily, I just bought some new stainless steel straws with an accompanying brush, so mine was ripe for the cleaning! 

Next, add a few drops of Dawn dish soap to a glass. Amaro recommends two drops max, and I was skeptical at first. But it turned out to be more than enough to clean the tiny straw. The next steps are to mix the soap with a bit of warm water to create your cleaning solution, then swirl the straw brush in the solution until it’s slightly soapy. Easy enough, right?

Credit: Ashley Abramson

Now, the fun part. Push the soapy brush inside the straw and work it up and down for 10 to 15 seconds. You may or may not notice grime (gross!) on the brush, in which case it’s a good idea to rinse the brush and go back for a second round. My brush didn’t emerge with any dirt on it, but I wasn’t surprised, because I didn’t see any on the outside, either. But I’ve seen some disturbing videos online!

Credit: Ashley Abramson

Once you’re confident the straw is clean, wipe the outside with a paper towel or clean cloth to remove any excess soap. Finally, dispense some water until it runs clear (Amaro suggests around 30 seconds, so that’s what I did). 

Credit: Ashley Abramson

Even though I didn’t see any residue come out of the straw in the process, cleaning it was a surprisingly satisfying experience. Now I can drink my cold water in peace … at least for the next four years.

When was the last time you cleaned the straw on your fridge’s water dispenser?