Ice Machine Cleaning Guide
Regular cleaning is one of the most significant maintenance practices that need to be conducted to keep ice making machines functional. These appliances often get dirty with continued use. Regular and thorough cleaning goes a long way in helping you get the best tasting ice pellets, nuggets, or cubes. To keep the machines in good condition, it is recommended that they are cleaned every sixty days.
The frequency with which you clean your machine depends on the quality of water that you use to manufacture ice and the condition of the location that you install the unit. Cleaning ought to be considered as one of the maintenance practices of an ice maker. The main objective of cleaning ice makers is to prevent the buildup of scum and scale, which reduces the efficiency of the machine.
Steps to Take When Cleaning an Ice Maker
Empty and unplug the machine. An ice making machine can only be thoroughly cleaned when it is empty. To avoid being electrocuted, make sure that it is unplugged from its power source. Remove and discard any ice that is left in the machine. This will help you clean the internal parts meticulously.
Remove the ice and clean it. Most models come with manuals about how it can be unhooked from the interior of the machine. The tray needs to be cleaned separately. Scrub it meticulously to remove any buildup. Stubborn stains or deposits ought to be scrubbed off using a tablespoonful of vinegar mixed with water. Inspect other components of the machine such as the cube sizing controls, the evaporator, water sensors, distribution parts, and water hoses to ensure that there is no debris, which can restrict the flow of water.
The unit’s interior also needs to be carefully wiped using a soft piece of cloth. Ensure that each part is wiped off since this is the area where a lot of debris accumulates in ice machines. In case the ice maker’s interior is too dirty, use vinegar to wipe off the buildup, and to kill germs. Vinegar also helps to remove calcium buildup, which often results from using hard water to make ice. The dispenser and the storage bin should be cleaned and sanitized as well.
After ensuring that all buildup has been removed from the interior, reassemble your unit. This might sound difficult but it is actually quite simple. It only involves returning the ice tray to its initial place and plugging the appliance back to its power source. After that, run one cleaning cycle through the unit. Use a blend of water and lemon juice to ensure that all the remaining impurities and calcium buildup is completely removed from to ice maker. Running vinegar through a new unit is also recommended because it helps remove plastic taste leftovers that are common in new units.
After you run lemon or vinegar through the system, running two normal cycles with warm and clean water is advisable. This ensures that any leftovers, vinegar, and impurities are completely flushed out of the system. The cycles similarly help to completely rid the system of plastic taste that is common in new units. After running clean water through the unit, use a soft piece of cloth to wipe the exterior. If possible, use warm water to erase stubborn dirt or dust. This will give your appliance a clean and glossy appearance.
The Significance of Cleaning Ice Making Machines Regularly
Ice is classified as a food product by the FDA. This means that it must be produced under clean conditions, just like any other food product. Regardless of the type of ice machine that you use at your home or business establishment, you need to clean and sanitize it regularly. Internal parts of the unit that often come into contact with water during the ice production process can easily develop mold, slime, or slime. Such conditions can lead to contamination, which may harm you or your customers.
Cleaning the unit regularly also keeps it functional for a long time. Calcium deposits, algae, slime, and other debris limit the effectiveness of an ice maker. Such buildup often impedes the transfer of heat through the system, something that results in longer harvest times, a drastic reduction in capacity, costly repairs, and freeze-ups. Cleaning the exterior of the appliance similarly helps maintain its newish appearance.
When Should an Ice Maker be Cleaned?
You need to watch out for a number of indicators, which will show you that your unit needs to be cleaned. An ice machine should be cleaned if it fails to release ice, or when it slows down its rate of production. In the event that it fails to cycle into its normal harvest mode, or it produces poor quality ice that is either unclear or soft, you should clean it. The production of incomplete or shallow ice cubes is another indicator that the machine needs to be cleaned.
Other Things to Keep in Mind
In case you notice that an ice machine requires to be cleaned and sanitized too frequently, it is advisable that you consult a competent technician who will help you establish the quality of water that you use to produce ice. More often that less, poor quality water hastens the rate of mineral buildup within the system. This may force you to clean the unit too frequently, which is a tiresome task. It is equally important to follow the instructions given by manufacturers as far as cleaning an ice making machine is concerned. There are manufacturers who recommend specific sanitizers and cleaning solutions for their models.
Regular cleaning can remarkably extend the life of your ice maker. When cleaning the appliance, observe all the safety requirements. If possible, wear gloves when cleaning the interior to avert accidental cuts. Flake and Nugget Ice Machines are different from other appliances due to the presence of more moving parts. Always use clean water to produce ice. This will greatly improve the lifespan of your unit. Cleaning is the most efficient preventive maintenance measure, which can save you from incurring unnecessary expenses.