Flushing Your Refrigerator Water Filter: How and Why You Should Do It

When replacing your refrigerator water filter, it is always recommended to “flush” it before use. Flushing your filter means to run water through it several times before using the filter for consumption. All you need is a container that fits into the water dispenser of your refrigerator.

Why do I need to flush my filter?

Regardless of what refrigerator model you have, your fridge filter is most likely made out of a carbon media block that is formed to fit the shape of your filter. When your filter is properly installed, water runs through this block to filter out any particles and contaminants picked up before it enters your refrigerator.

Manufacturing and shipping cause the carbon particles in the filter media to knock loose. This causes the first few glasses of water to contain bits of carbon which causes it to look cloudy and gray. While the carbon bits will not harm you, most will not want to drink it as it can leave a bitter taste.

How do I flush my refrigerator filter?

Most manufacturers recommend that you run 3-5 gallons of water through your refrigerator water filter before using it for household purposes. For refrigerators that don’t dispense water, discard the first two batches of ice because the carbon particles can get frozen in ice cubes. In general, flushing your filter follows 4 basic steps:

To flush:

1. Grab a large container that fits in the water dispenser of the refrigerator (this can be a large measuring cup, a large drinking cup or anything big enough that conveniently and comfortably fits into the dispenser)

2. Position the container in the water dispenser and press in to begin dispensing water and fill the container

The number of times you will need to fill the container depends on the type of container you are using. For example, if you are using a 4-cup measuring cup, you will need to fill it four times to make 1 gallon. Remember: four cups equal one quart and four quarts equal one gallon.

3. Discard the water into the sink. You can reserve the water for watering any plants (tiny carbon bits will not harm the plants)

4. Repeat steps 1-3 until you have flushed 3-5 gallons of water

For specific directions to flush your refrigerator water filter, check the owner’s manual. Instructions can vary slightly depending on the type of filter you have so the owner’s manual will be the safest way to ensure all installation and set-up processes are followed correctly.

Regardless of the type of refrigerator you have, you can find your refrigerator water filter here. If you have any questions leave them in the comments below and we’ll be happy to assist you.