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How to Clean an Ice Machine

Update:11-08-2020
Summary:

Commercial ice machines are the unsung workhorses of th […]

Commercial ice machines are the unsung workhorses of the beverage and foodservice industries, keeping drinks at optimal temperatures for taste and safety. Yet this piece of equipment can easily be forgotten when it comes to cleaning, allowing deposits including lime scale and mold to develop that could contaminate ice and put customers at risk for illness. Since ice is considered a food by the FDA, it’s important to meet government standards by regularly cleaning and sanitizing all components. Do you know how to clean an ice machine? Follow the step-by-step instructions below to keep ice production and safety rock solid at your facility.

How To Clean Ice Machine | Ice Machine Cleaning | SuppliesSupplies You’ll Need to Clean an Ice Machine
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – including rubber gloves and protective safety glasses
Synthetic scrub pad or stainless steel wool
Ice Machine Cleaner
Sanitizer
Coil Cleaner
Pail for fresh water
Paper towels/clean cloths
Sponge/non-abrasive pads
Directions for How to Clean an Ice Machine
The interior and exterior of your ice machine should be cleaned weekly to remove water scale and other deposits that can interfere with machine function.

Interior Ice Machine Cleaning:

Turn off ice machine and remove all ice from bin or dispenser
Wipe the interior of the bin to remove excess water and loose dirt and soil
Apply properly diluted Ice Machine Cleaner to interior of the bin.
Allow cleaner to remain on surfaces to dissolve scale and deposits;
scrub stubborn deposits as needed.

Rinse with fresh water
Wipe dry and apply sanitizing solution. food contact sanitizer that has multiple applications, including ice machines.
Allow to dry before turning on machine

Exterior Ice Machine Cleaning:

Wipe exterior surfaces to remove loose dirt and soil
Apply diluted Ice Machine Cleaner to exterior surfaces
Use a damp cloth or non-abrasive pad to remove deposits
Rinse with fresh water
Wipe dry and apply sanitizing solution.
Allow to dry
PRO TIP: Water quality can affect machine performance. Have your water tested if ice flavor is not optimal.
Machine Operational Cleaning/Sanitizing Cycles
Plan to run your interior operational system cleaning and sanitizing cycles at least once every six months, more often in hard water areas. Run a cleaning cycle more often if and when you notice any of the following:

Machine is slow to release and/or harvest ice
There is low ice output
Your ice cubes are soft or cloudy
Your cubes are smaller than usual
Cleaning Cycle:

Turn off machine and allow ice to melt off evaporator
Remove access covers
If equipped, turn on CLEAN/WASH cycle
Wait for water to fill trough and flow over evaporator
Add properly diluted Ice Machine Cleaner to trough
Let machine run through cleaning cycle
Turn off machine
Remove and clean interior parts as needed (follow manufacturer’s directions); heavily scaled parts may need to soak in diluted cleaning solution
Rinse parts and all areas with clean water
Sanitizing Cycle:

If equipped, turn on CLEAN/WASH cycle
Wait for water to fill trough and flow over evaporator
Add properly diluted sanitizing solution to trough. Let machine run through sanitizing cycle
Turn off machine
Sanitize any removed parts and allow to air dry – do not rinse
Replace any removed parts
Replace access covers
Turn on machine
Remember that any ice produced during the above cleaning and sanitizing cycles must be discarded, as well as the first batch produced after cleaning.

PRO TIP: For maximum effectiveness and safety, be careful not to mix cleaner and sanitizer.
Condenser and Filter Cleaning
For optimal airflow and performance, the ice maker condenser and its filter should also be cleaned every six months. Follow the steps below:

Turn off power
Clean the coils with Coil Cleaner to remove soils and dirt, so your machine will run at optimal efficiency. Take care to avoid sharp fins.
Restart machine
Don’t lose your cool! By having a simple ice machine maintenance plan in place you can avoid unhappy customers and costly repairs. Cleaning and sanitizing your commercial ice maker on a regular basis will keep your ice looking and tasting great while protecting your investment and customer safety. As a recap, you can download and post these Procedures for How to Clean an Ice Machine.

 

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