How to Clean a Commercial Ice Machine
Cleaning an ice machine is important for health and safety. A solution of vinegar and water is used. Here’s how to clean an ice machine in just a few easy steps.
Commercial ice makers are in use all across the world. North America, and particularly the United States, accounts for 38% of all ice makers. If you’ve ever considered opening a business with beverages, or want one in your house, you may have wondered how to clean an ice machine.
Taking care of your ice machine is important. It is a matter of health and safety that they are cleaned and properly maintained. Thankfully, it isn’t difficult to take care of a commercial ice machine.
There are a few things you should know before you start cleaning your own ice machine. Keep reading to find out.
Ice Makers for All Needs
Ice makers come in all shapes and sizes, but how they function is the same.
As water runs through an ice machine and becomes ice, problems can arise. Water may look clear, but it rarely is. From minerals dissolved in the water to a build-up of mold or mildew, a lot of issues can occur.
No matter what you are using your ice machine for, these risks persist. Just because your ice machine doesn’t get used often doesn’t prevent it from becoming dirty. Another issue is that ice machines often get wet. When water is present, the chances of a bigger problem increase considerably.
It is important to clean not only the inside of your ice machine but also around it. The floor, countertop, and wall behind the ice machine should be regularly cleaned as well. You already know how to clean walls, floors, and counters, so let’s get down to business.
How to Clean a Dirty Commercial Ice Machine: Step-by-Step
It is possible to purchase chemicals designed to clean ice makers with, but they aren’t always necessary. Instead, you can clean yours by mixing vinegar and water together. There is no secret recipe to this, but you may hear some variance of 1 part vinegar, 10 parts water.
Step 1: Remove the Ice in the Ice Maker
The first step of ice machine cleaning procedures has to be to remove the ice. You can save the ice you remove by placing it in a freezer or cooler. It is important to do this step because you don’t want any contaminated ice getting out to customers or in your drink.
To store the ice, consider using a plastic, lidded container. You could also use a sanitary plastic bag to save the ice. If you set up your cleaning routine, you may find it best to do at the end of a shift or night so that you are already low on ice and don’t waste as much.
Step 2: Set the Ice Machine to Clean
On some ice makers, there will be a mode you can set it to clean. If yours has that mode, please make sure to do that. Then you put the vinegar and water mixture into the ice maker and let it run as normal. The vinegar and water will be flushed through the lines cleaning the path that water takes.
Step 3: Remove the Ice That Is Made
The ice that is produced during this process will have to be disposed of as well. You don’t want anyone getting ice that tastes or smells like vinegar. This could ruin drinks and become an expensive mistake.
Step 4: Clean the Inside of the Ice Maker
You should take this opportunity to clean the inside or reservoir of the ice maker. The perpetual moisture here can lead to all kinds of health hazards, like mold. Make sure to scrub the inside and all around the rim to remove any potential problems.
Step 5: Flush the Machine
Make sure to run the machine for a while and toss all the ice it makes. You don’t want a stray vinegar flavored ice cube to get into a drink. Plus, this gives a chance for anything worked loose to come out that didn’t occur during the main cleaning phase.
Make sure once you have finished with this that you dry the inside reservoir. Use a towel to do this, and if you had any mineral deposits come loose, you will whisk them away as well. Removing the extra moisture will help the ice you make from clumping together.
Step 6: Finishing Touches
So you’ve cleaned the inside and flushed it with vinegar and water. That means that the primary cleaning is finished. Make sure that you clean around the ice machine as well, it could be wet or slick after cleaning.
Post the Ice Machine Cleaning Procedures
Cleaning commercial ice machines is not as difficult as it may seem at first. Once you have practiced and cleaned the machine a few times, things get smoother and easier. It is a good idea, if you intend to have anyone else clean it, to have posted ice machine cleaning procedures.
Having posted instructions makes it more likely they will be followed. You will also avoid having to explain how to clean the ice machine over and over again. Everyone that works with an ice machine should know how to clean it and be experienced so that the job never gets missed.
Now You’re Finished!
Now that you’ve completed all the steps, you are finished with cleaning the ice machine. Don’t let the thought of having to clean the machine keep you from owning one. They are an excellent investment for any business. Even if you don’t sell drinks, your employees will appreciate having ice around.
How to clean an ice machine is a straightforward process that doesn’t take much time. The key to it is that you don’t allow any contaminated ice to go out. If you have any questions about cleaning your ice machine, don’t hesitate to consult your manual.
Ice Maker Depot sells commercial ice makers to a variety of customers. Whether you own a grocery store, restaurant, or just want something for your house so you won’t run out of ice, we can help you.
If you’re looking for a new ice machine, contact us for a free quote.