It might not seem like the most crucial piece of equipment in your commercial kitchen, but your ice machine plays a significant role in your daily operations. If you’re having trouble believing that, just wait until it breaks down. Customers and employees alike will have a fit!
Like all other kitchen equipment, you need to perform some basic maintenance to keep your ice machine running its best. Continue reading to learn more about maintaining your ice machine:
- Sanitize: Ice machines must be sanitized according to the manufacturer’s recommendations to prevent or remove algae and slime accumulation. You can sanitize the equipment using a 5 percent sodium hypochlorite solution or a product designed specifically for ice machine sanitization.
- Clean the interior: The sanitizing process takes a little while to complete. In the meantime, you can set to work cleaning the interior. First, get to work cleaning the condenser coil and fan blades. Remove all grease and grime with a non-corrosive cleaner and then rinse them with water.
- Wipe down the exterior: Next, use a soft cloth and a neutral cleaner to sanitize the stainless steel exterior and the storage bin. Note any rust accumulation, and do your best to remove it using a toothbrush and baking soda solution.
- Perform an inspection: While you’re performing all of these cleaning duties, keep an eye out for anything that seems strange with the unit. The earlier you detect problems, the less expensive they will be to resolve.
- Hire a professional: You and your team are more than capable of completing basic commercial ice machine maintenance. However, it never hurts to bring in a professional. A yearly tune-up goes a long way in keeping your unit in tip-top shape.
Why does this maintenance matter?
Maintaining your ice machine can be a bit of a pain. Nevertheless, here are a few reasons why it’s an important process in any commercial kitchen:
- Keep everyone healthy: The primary reason to sanitize your machine is to prevent bacterial growth. Without proper care, salmonella, norovirus and E. coli can all infect your ice and lead to severe illness. Sanitizing the interior of the machine once every few months should be adequate in eliminating these germs.
- Prevent breakdowns: Ice machines can malfunction for a variety of reasons, but many of them can be traced back to negligence in maintenance and care. Simply performing these maintenance tasks once a month can reduce the risk of a breakdown and the chance of dealing with unsatisfied customers.
- Extend system lifespan: The last thing you want to spend money on is a new commercial ice machine. You can ensure you get the most out of your machine by performing your own maintenance tasks on a regular basis and hiring a professional at least once a year.
Is it time to have your equipment inspected?
If it’s been a while since you’ve hired someone for commercial ice machine maintenance, or if your equipment has been acting funny, contact our team at Commercial Equipment Service Inc. We specialize in general maintenance of all types of commercial equipment, and we offer some of the most competitive prices in town. Call today—we look forward to working with you!