How To Properly Clean Your Ice Machine To Avoid Repairs
Properly cleaning your ice machine can help to avoid future repairs. Keeping your machine clean and sanitized will prevent dirt, dust, hard water minerals, mildew, mold, and other contaminates from getting into the unit. Every ice machine is a little different, so make sure to reference your service manual for specific cleaning and sanitizing instructions. Once you have a plan, it’s time to get started.
Check The Water Filter
Your ice machine uses water to make ice and this water can contain a variety of contaminants. Some of these are harmless, but others can be harmful to your health. If your ice maker is producing cloudy or muddy ice, it may be time to check the water filter. This is important to ensure proper cleaning of the ice machine and can prevent costly repairs in the future. The most common contaminant that ice makers are susceptible to is lime scale. This mineral buildup can disrupt the functioning of your ice maker and affect its longevity. It also can lead to clogging of solenoid valves, which can cause your ice maker to not work at peak efficiency.
Clean The Exterior
Ice machines play a vital role in food service, from restaurants and bars to hospitals and nursing homes. It is essential for these businesses to clean ice makers regularly to ensure the safety of their customers and staff. Commercial ice makers should be deep cleaned and sanitized on a regular basis to help reduce bacterial growth, prevent biofilm from developing and extend the life of the unit. These cleaning procedures should be performed according to local health department guidelines and manufacturer recommendations. After removing the water pan from the back of the machine, fill it with a 16 ounce bottle of an approved ice maker cleaner. Mix the solution in the water pan using the ratio recommended in the manual.
Clean The Interior
The interior of an ice machine should be cleaned regularly, at least once a year, to ensure it remains clean and free of contaminants. This process helps ensure ice cubes stay fresh, and it can also prevent buildup of rust and corrosion in your unit. Depending on your machine, cleaning and sanitizing your ice maker will require a variety of steps. Please refer to your ice machine’s manual for the appropriate procedure, but here are a few general guidelines that will help you get started: First, empty your ice bin and remove the drain cap. This will allow any remaining water to drain into another container. Once this is done, reconnect the ice machine and run a clean cycle. This can take anywhere from 20 minutes to 45 minutes.
The best way to clean your ice machine is by following the manufacturer’s cleaning and sanitizing directions. This will keep your business and customers safe from germs, toxins, bacteria, and other harmful contaminants. Sanitizing a machine also removes the buildup of mold, algae, and slime growth. This can be done with a sanitizing solution that is mixed according to the manufacturers instructions for proper concentration. For the first step, mix a lukewarm cleaning solution of cleaner and water with the ratio recommended in your service manual. Run a clean cycle that takes about 22 minutes per your manufacturer’s instructions.