In order to ensure maximum performance of ice makers and ice machines, regular maintenance is essential to remove dirt and bacteria. Every so often you’ll see in the news that someone has been made ill from bacteria in ice, so avoid the bad publicity and take care of your machine.
The question is, how do you clean an ice machine and how often should you clean your ice machine?
Why do I need to clean my ice machine?
If you’re a catering or food based business, every single piece of equipment you use needs to meet the British regulatory standards.
Any part of an ice machine that’s had contact with water can easily develop limescale, slime or mould. This build up will contaminate your ice, and potentially harm your customers and therefore hurt your reputation.
How often should I clean my ice machine?
You should try and give your machine a deep cleaning and sanitising at least every six months. The cleaning procedure will remove any limescale and minerals, whilst the sanitiser will disinfect the machine and remove algae or slime.
How to clean an ice machine
Firstly, prepare the machine by removing all the ice. If your machine has an auto clean or self rinse feature, use this now to flow water through the machine. It will prompt you to add cleaner after around a minute. Once the cycle is complete, disconnect the ice machine from the power.
You may have to look at your user manual to see which parts can be removed for deep cleaning. Do this, and mix a solution of ice machine cleaner and water in a bucket. Soak the ice machine parts and use a soft brush, sponge or cloth to clean them. Once you’re done, rinse these in clean water.
You will also need to use the cleaning solution to clean all the surfaces of the ice machine and bin. Use a brush of sponge to clean the walls, base, evaporator parts, bin and dispenser. Rinse these with clean water until all the solution has been removed and your bin is sparkling.
Next, you’ll want to sanitise the machine. Mix together ice machine sanitiser and water and use this to clean the parts you removed, and the surfaces on the machine.
Replace all your removed parts, and wait around half an hour for the sanitiser to take effect before plugging your machine back in.
How to clean the outside of an ice machine
Remember to clean the outside of your machine and it’s surroundings to avoid dirt and grease build up. Wipe the surfaces down with a damp cloth to remove any dirt and dust. If there’s still a greasy residue, use some mild dish soap and water solution with the damp cloth.
Tips to keep your ice machine hygienic
Other than regularly cleaning your machine, there are steps you can take to keep your ice as bacteria free as possible.
- Always use a sanitised ice scoop and never use your hands or a glass to remove ice from the machine.
- Keep the lid closed when you’re not using the machine to prevent airborne bacteria infecting the ice.
- Never return unused ice to the machine once you’ve taken it out.
- Change your water filter regularly to help keep your ice machine clean and free of limescale.
- Don’t store ice for long periods of time. Drain the machine down regularly.
If your ice machine has stopped working or needs a maintenance booked, we can help. Get in touch for a quote.