How well do Refrigerator Water Filters Work

Refrigerator Water filters are quite common in US households. While people do opt for them, they have one perennial question – do they work?

The answer is most cases will be in the positive, but still – some of you may want to validate that answer.

In this post, let us check if refrigerator water filters work, and if they do – how?

How do Refrigerator Water Filters work?

A report by WHO indicates that around 32 million US citizens fall ill due to water-borne diseases every year. The water being supplied to you is filtered and cleaned from most of the contaminants. However, there may be a high chance that there are still a host of contaminants in that water.

Some of the contaminants like Arsenic, Beryllium, Fluoride, and Nickel can be present in the water which are quite harmful for humans. Refrigerator water filters can be effective in cleaning most of these contaminants. But how do they work?

Ideally, these filters force the water through activated carbon to clean the impurities. The carbon traps the contaminants and thus lets you have access to cleaner and healthier drinking water. Simple – isn’t it? But, it isn’t that perfect as it appears!

Do Refrigerator Water Filters Really Work?

That is exactly where the issue of actual functionality comes to the fore. The refrigerator water filter can ideally take care of the contaminants like lead, fluoride, chlorine, mercury and chloramine.

A study by Arizona University has found that refrigerator water filters work quite efficiently in handling your clean water requirements. They have been considered to be one of the most effective options for removing the pollutants. They are much more efficient than the pitcher water filters and help you remove most of the contaminants.

However, one of the factors you need to take care of is the condition of the filters used inside the equipment. An overused refrigerator filter can get clogged and thus may not be as effective as you would expect it to be. Since these filters use activated carbon for filtering, you will end up with a carbon filter completely covered with pollutants which needs replacement.

While the water will continue to be supplied to you without being filtered, the wholly covered filter can also dislodge the trapped contaminant back into the water and make it more contaminated than it originally was.

Make sure you regularly check the condition of the filters and activated carbon inside it. Replace them on a regular basis.

Are Refrigerator Water Filters Really Worth It?

While various studies have proved that refrigerator water filters work efficiently, there are several factors you need to give a thought to.

Some of the basic elements that would be needed for getting the best results from your refrigerator water filter are as follows-

  • A specific type of filters removes a specific kind of contaminants. From that perspective, it may be practical to give a thought to the actual pollutants found in your area. Get your water supply tested to know proper information about the pollutants present in it and then choose the correct refrigerator water filter that handles these pollutants.
  • Make sure you change the filter regularly. If you want your refrigerator water filter to work effectively and clean your drinking water, make sure you do not ignore this point. Most manufacturers give you information about the lifespan of such filters while purchasing. Make sure you replace the filters as per that lifespan.
  • Check out the total number of members in your family and their water consumption habits. It will help you understand the exact capacity of the refrigerator water filter you need to choose. This will help you not just to save money but will also ensure effective performance and longer life.
  • While selecting the filter, take into consideration the speed at which the water is being filtered. It has been observed that a few filters tend to be too slow in handling the filtration process.

How to Choose a Refrigerator Water Filter?

Well, in addition to the points and factors that we have already mentioned above, there are a few features you may need to give a thought to before buying your refrigerator water filter.

First and foremost, check your local water supply. If it contains mostly organic compounds to be cleaned off, it should be enough to go with a filter that has an activated carbon filter.

If your local water supply has several contaminants with varied composition, it may be a good idea to go with a refrigerator filter with reverse osmosis functionality.

One of the most important research you would need to take up is the period for which filter would last. Choosing a refrigerator filter that comes with extra long life will be ideal as this will help you achieve the best results in terms of time and cost involved.

How to Clean a Refrigerator Water Filter?

For cleaning a refrigerator water filter, you need to first detach and remove it. The filter is usually located at the back side of the refrigerator. Catch the filter firmly and then release it by turning the knob. You can look out for exact instructions to remove the refrigerator water filter in the instruction manual.

Once removed, inspect it properly. Many times, the filter needs to be replaced and not just cleaned. For cleaning, soak the filter in clean water after removing the dirt from the filter.

You can also use specialized cleaning equipment like cleaning brush and solution available specifically for refrigerator water filters in the market. Make sure you dry it properly before you put it back.

Another common area which is most neglected when it comes to refrigerator water filters is the water dispenser. Keeping the dispenser cleaner is another very important aspects you need to take care of.  Make sure you are opting for the best cleaning & maintenance practices- both for the filter as well as the dispenser for a healthy and happy lifestyle.


We have tried to cover all aspects of refrigerator water filters- right from how they work, how to clean & maintain them and more importantly- whether they are as efficient as they are said to be.

If you would like to share any extra information or your opinions? Do share the same through your valuable comments.

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