ice-machine

How to clean an ice machine

Ice machines are used in a whole host of different settings and services including restaurants, clubs and coffee shops. While you may not think that they are particularly dirty appliances as they are not in contact with any type of food, ice machines can easily develop scale, mold and slime if they are not maintained appropriately.

All ice machines will come with individual maintenance requirements, but most tend to follow the same basic process.

Read KCR’s guide on how and when to clean an ice machine effectively.

How to tell when your ice machine needs cleaning 

There are a number of issues that can occur with ice machines that are usually an indication that they are not working as they should be and would benefit from a good clean. You should consider cleaning your ice machine if:

  • It is not releasing and ice or the ice is slow to harvest
  • The ice is of a poor quality e.g. not clear or soft
  • Ice cubes are of often coming out shallow and incomplete

How to clean your ice machine

  1. Remove all of the ice – this includes from the evaporator compartment and the bin or dispenser. You can either do this by pressing the power switch at the end of the harvest cycle once the ice has fallen from the evaporators or press the power switch and allow the ice to completely melt.
  2. Press the clean or wash button – By doing this, water will flow through the water dump valve and down the drain. The cleaning cycle will usually take around 20 minutes to complete, and once it has finished disconnect the ice machine and the dispenser.
  3. Remove parts for cleaning – referring to your manual for instructions of how to disassemble, take all of the removable parts of your ice machine out and set to one side ready to clean with a cleansing solution. Prepare the solution by mixing a cleaner with lukewarm water. Read the instructions for advice about how much cleaner to mix with how much water. Use a soft bristle brush to gently clean all of the parts and then rinse using with cool water.
  4. Clean all of the food-zone surfaces of the ice machine, bin and dispenser- Using a nylon brush, thoroughly clean the side walls, base, evaporator plastic parts and the bin or dispenser.

Your ice machine should be cleaned every 6 months, but if you notice it requiring more cleaning, consult a service company to test your establishment’s water quality as treatment may be required.