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5 Steps to Clean An Ice Machine

Ice is a kind of food as defined by the FDA – Food and Drug Administration. However, ice is not only be used in food service such as in restaurants, bars, cafeterias, cafes but also be used in medical service such as in nursing homes and hospitals. Has ice ever been deal with and care for in the same manner like other kinds of food? This article will detail steps to clean and maintain your appliance properly to keep your ice machine or portable ice maker performing well.

Any part of an ice machine that has contact with water will incur scale, slime and mound at any time that could contaminate ice. Not frequent cleaning ice machine will raise issues such as not releasing ice or slow to harvest, ice will not be cycled into harvest mode, and machine produces shallow or incomplete cubes and costly repairs.

To maximize the life of an ice machine and to keep having clean, clear, odorless and taste-free ice; a deep and thorough cleaning operation should be done every 6 months or more frequent in bad water areas. Cleaning process is included in the instruction manual shipped together with the machine.

Following are 5 steps to clean an ice machine:

Step 1: Discarding all ice

Remove remaining ice from storage bin or simply switch the power off and leave the ice to melt completely.

Step 2: Maintenance cleaning

Apply maintenance cleaning by pressing “clean” or “wash” button. The maintenance will make fluid running through hoses and surfaces that water to make ice usually flow through. Once the cycle is done, switch the machine off and unplug the appliance from the electricity supply.

Step 3: Component cleaning

Clean removable components with warm water and with half amount of chemical cleaner indicated in your manual. For safe and proper removal, check your ice machine’s manual. Removable components include water curtain, the distribution tube, ice thickness probe, water level probe, water trough, evaporator tray and water pump. All removable components must be rinsed off with clean water after chemical cleaning stage.

Removable components then will experience sanitizer solution. Sanitizer can be a mix of bleach and water. All ice machine components need to be soaked in the sanitizer. The other option is that all these parts can be sanitized with a cloth soaked in the sanitizer solution. After sanitizing stage, all parts must be rinsed with water again and then inserted into the machine.

Check the water filter and replace with a new one if necessary. A water filter  on the incoming water line helps to remove dirt and inhibits scale buildup, which can reduce ice production, or cause your ice machine to produce inferior ice cubes

Step 4: Internal Cleaning

Clean internal parts of the ice machine with warm water and with the other half amount of chemical cleaner. Internal parts include the evaporator’s plastic parts, the bin and dispenser, and the trim along the molding.

Also, you need to apply sanitizer and turn the machine on to clean inside parts. Sanitizer can be added to the water trough at the bottom of the evaporator plate. Be reminded to use clean water to flush any item and any surface contacted with chemicals.

Step 5: External cleaning

Clean the condenser with brush attachment of a vacuum to remove all dirt, lint and dust off the fan.

Clean and sanitize the ice scoop and ice holder thoroughly as the scoop and the holder are the direct links between ice handler and the consumer.

Clean the areas around the ice machine to as often as possible to maintain cleanliness and efficient operation.

Whether you are using ice in food service or in medical service directly or indirectly, it is imperative that you use the fresh and clean ice. The first batch or even the first two batches of ice after cleaning process must be through away. Once completing all above steps, you can utilize the ice machine with peak productivity while preventing increased energy cost and keeping harvesting clean and safe ice. Be reminded once more time to refer to the ice machine manual for specific instructions (E.g: Edgestar portable ice maker).

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