Ice makers have been gaining increasing popularity in the household kitchens and food establishments.
As the machine produces ice in just a few minutes and in unlimited quantity, it makes mixing refreshing juices and beverages possible in every occasion. That is why there is always a need to maintain your ice maker.
This will not only ensure a fresh and clean ice but also an efficient ice maker in the long run.
Maintaining your ice maker includes daily cleaning and sanitizing procedures. But before doing those must-do procedures, here are some important reminders.
Always – ensure that the ice maker is protected from extreme temperatures. Avoid exposing your machine to temperatures less than 40F and higher than 90F. Make sure that the ice maker has an unrestricted air flow.
Weekly – clean the exterior of your ice maker to wipe off greasy residue and inhibit mold growth.
Frequently – rinse out ice machine air filters to remove grease, dust, and lint accumulation. Avoid hitting the air filters on anything to clean since it will damage the filters.
Never – use the ice machine for storing anything.
How to Clean Your Ice Maker
It is important to maintain the cleanliness of your ice maker. Make sure to clean your machine every 3-6 months with proper cleaning solutions and materials. This will remove lime, scale, and mineral deposits in your ice maker.
Taking time in cleaning your ice maker will result to scale buildup. This impedes heat transfer and results in freeze-ups, delayed harvest times, reduced ice production, and costly repairs.
Before cleaning, always read first the owner’s manual to avoid any damage to your machine that may be caused by improper cleaning or wrong choice of cleaning solutions.
Here are the steps in cleaning your ice maker:
- Unplug and turn off your ice maker. Avoid electric shock. Make sure that the water supply to the ice maker is turned off and remove all ice and water from the bin or dispenser.
- Remove parts for cleaning. Refer to your owner’s manual on how to properly disassemble the parts to avoid any damages in the machine.
- Mix the cleaning solution with water. Refer to your owner’s manual on the appropriate amount of solution needed. You may also use a vinegar solution as an alternative cleaner. Use this to thoroughly clean all the ice maker’s parts.
- Rinse all of the machine’s areas with clean lukewarm water. This will remove any traces of chemical.
How to Sanitize Your Ice Maker
The sanitizing procedure is important to disinfect the unit and remove algae and slime. Not doing this procedure will result in the formation of dangerous slime and algae which can cause food-related diseases.
- Mix the sanitizing solution with water. Refer to your owner’s manual on the appropriate amount of solution needed.
- Use a spray bottle to apply the solution to all surfaces of the removed parts. You may also soak the removed parts in the solution.
- Replace the parts. Refer to your owner’s manual on how to properly reassemble the machine’s parts.
- Wait for 20 minutes for the sanitizer to properly disinfect the machine.
- Restart the ice maker. Press “clean” or “wash” button.
- Wait until the water trough refills then add the proper amount of sanitizing chemical for the sanitizing cycle. This usually lasts for 20 minutes.
- After the sanitizing cycle is complete, set your machine to automatically start making ice.
- Discard the first batch of ice made after cleaning and sanitizing since it still has residues.
How to Clean Your Ice Maker’s Exterior
Overlooking this simple procedure, you may run the risk of contaminating not only the ice but also your drink. The dirt you get from touching a dirty exterior will be transferred to the ice. Cleaning this part of the machine needs a diluted bleach solution, and a damp cloth to wipe off dirt and residue.
- Clean the ice maker’s exterior as often as necessary, at least once a week. This will maintain machine’s cleanliness and efficient operation.
- Wipe the machine’s surface with a damp cloth rinsed in a diluted bleach solution to remove dust and dirt from the outside of the ice maker.
- See your owner’s manual for restrictions. Do not use chlorinated, citrus-based, or abrasive cleaners on exterior panels and plastic trim.
Ice makers, if maintained properly, will be a valuable tool for any home and food establishments. They can help quench thirst especially during the heat of summer. As with any appliances, ice maker needs daily cleaning and sanitizing to be always at its best.
There is a myriad of cleaning and sanitizing solutions in the market. Make sure to choose what is best and safe for your machine.
Always read your owner’s manual for instructions and cautions. Follow the list outlined above and you will enjoy many years with your dependable ice maker!