Preparing your ice maker for the summer? The hottest season of the year is fast approaching and, just like many other homes out there, you’ve probably already started getting your family ready for it. Of course, one of the first things that you have to do is to dust off your ice machine.
If your regular cleaning ritual involves just rinsing it with water, then you’re doing it wrong. What if we tell you that by doing that, you’re putting your family’s health at risk. That’s right. Those machines need a special kind of ice maker cleaner.
Don’t wash it just once. You need to use an ice machine cleaner and sanitizer. Also, you should either pull it apart or scrub it really hard before you can safely use it again.
Don’t worry; we got you covered. In this article, we’ll teach you how to clean ice maker machines. We’ll also explain you which products make the best ice maker sanitizer and ice maker cleaning solution.
Why Cleaning Is so Important?
A common misconception that most people have is that because ice makers only deal with water, then they don’t need cleaning anymore. That’s not true, and it could be dangerous to stick to that idea. Any machine, no matter the type, will always need regular cleaning.
If you don’t clean that appliance, sooner or later, your cubes would start tasting like moss or algae. That’s because those plants grow inside your ice maker over time. If you don’t make it a point to remove and scrub them off, then they’ll keep multiplying in there until destroying your machine from the inside.
How Often Should I Clean My Ice Maker?
Ideally, you should give it a good wash every time you’re finished using it and before storing it away. However, this is just a regular clean, and it isn’t enough; occasionally, let’s say a week, you need to do a general clean up. You’ll find out how in the discussions below.
Cleaning Different Types of Ice Makers
There are three types of ice makers. We have the portable, undercounter, and the commercial one. These three appliances need different kinds of attention and making a mistake while cleaning could destroy them.
Portable is the easiest type to clean. It’s tiny and light, so you can easily lift it and thoroughly scrub its insides. It usually comes with a small side drain or filters, which will make your life easier when cleaning them. Also, check for removable parts.
Portables are made to be super compact as they sometimes have hidden parts, compartments, and so on; all over them without you knowing. This could mean bad news for you, especially when water gets into that part, and you fail to dry it off before storing the machine. It would make your future cubes smelly and gives them a bad taste.
Undercounters are much bigger. They usually come with wider drains and more helpful self-cleaning features. However, you still need to pull it apart and clean its insides thoroughly.
Commercials are, probably, the hardest to clean. They’re huge and heavy, but you have to do it, so get a friend or two to help you out. Just do the same process and clean the inside as well as other parts. Leave it out to dry for a couple of days before lifting back into your store and plug it into a socket.
Step-By-Step Cleaning Process for Your Home Ice Maker
1. Gather Your Supplies
Here’s what to use to clean ice machine appliances:
- Ice maker descaler
- Ice machine sanitizer
- Ice maker sanitizer
- Lukewarm water
- Microfiber cloth
- Q tip (for smaller units)
This is an answer to the question what can i use to clean my ice machine, if you’re wondering. Make sure that you have all these materials before starting and try your best not to use alternatives. A detergent soap and body wash may seem suitable. But they actually won’t do a great job at cleaning that appliance. You need to get the right stuff.
2. Prepare Your Ice Maker for Cleaning
Of course, you first need to drain your ice maker. Make sure that there is absolutely nothing in it. Then try to pull every removable part off, like a freezer, storage bin, filters, etc.
Then set them all out side by side. This is a very important step because some ice makers, especially the portable ones, have small removable parts. The last thing you need is to lose any part of your ice maker, which can make it less efficient or even unusable.
3. Make Your Cleaning Solution
You’re probably wondering what to use to clean ice maker appliances. For sanitation, we recommend going with any Nu Calgon Products, because they already have that entire ice maker cleaning process figured out. Plus, it’ll work great with a refrigerator too, so if you have any, you can use it for that.
For cleaning solutions, try Elite Ice. It’s not that expensive, but super effective and popular online, so you’re sure that it works great. For descaling, try Impressa. It’s made in the USA, and has glowing recommendations online, which tells us how practical it is.
4. Clean Your Accessories
Scrub a removable part of your ice maker ever. Make sure to scrub it with the ice maker cleaning solution, so they don’t smell and affect the quality of your cubes. Use a sanitizer to make sure that they’re safe to use again.
If the parts are too small, use Q tips. Just make sure to scrub every piece, especially the little edges, because there usually appear mildew and bad odor. Then rinse with water and use a microfiber cloth to dry them thoroughly.
5. Wipe Down the Interior
Make sure to scrub the insides of your machine really hard. This part causes many odor and taste problems that your ice cubes could suffer from. Make it’s spotless and use the best cleaner and ice machine scale remover that you can get your hands on.
The mineral that gets stuck in your machine over time is usually what causes the scale to build up. This is hard to clean, but with the help of an ice machine descaler, you’ll be able to do it. Just be patient with that interior and try not to miss a spot.
6. Prepare the Ice Maker
After you’re done doing all the steps above, put the entire appliance back together. However, make sure that they’re already dry before doing it. Set them out for half a day and then wipe them with a microfiber cloth to make sure they’re really bone dry.
Then follow your manual and assemble the device right. Don’t forget to put back all the little parts and ensure that it’s complete and working. Getting this process wrong could break that entire machine, so be careful when doing it.
7. Make a Round of “Wash” Ice
Take your cleaning solution and pour it into the ice maker. Don’t panic, we know what we’re doing, and it’s completely safe. Just make a single batch of ice using that cleaner.
When it’s done, throw out all the cubes that it made. Don’t use your machine yet, because it’s full of chemicals that are harmful to the body when ingested. We’re still not done with the cleaning, so don’t stop halfway through and keep going.
8. Make a Round of “Rinse” Ice
Don’t use tap water. If you can, use the cleanest and purest water possible. You may use distilled water, it’s much better, but not that necessary. Just find the cleanest water you can get and make another batch of ice.
It will clean remaining cleanser that we scattered all around the appliance when we made the previous batch of ice. Be sure to get rid of this batch of cubes as well, because they’re not safe to drink either. Keep them away from other people, especially kids.
9. Replace Parts and Dry
Wet surfaces are more prone to get mouldy. This problem won’t only give you lousy tasting and smelling ice; it’ll also deteriorate your machine faster. So, to make sure this doesn’t become an issue, keep your unit dry when you’re not using it.
How to Clean a Clear Ice Maker
This process is actually the same as cleaning any other ice maker. The only difference is that they have more filters than regular machines, and they need a different kind of solution. So, instead of regular ice cleaners, go with a mixture of vinegar and water. However, use a tiny amount of vinegar and plenty of water, so it doesn’t harm your machine.
A Note on Dish Soap
As much as possible, try not to use dishwashing soaps to clean your appliances. They take a long time to wash off, and less effective than cleaners. They don’t kill the needed bacteria that usually can be found on your ice makers.
Make sure to follow all the se steps properly. Thus, your device will stay in a nice condition for a very long time. In case you’re just planning to buy a unit, here’s a link to our review of the best portable ice maker; also, check our insights about the best countertop ice maker that we’ve tried so far. For more helpful tips browse through our articles. Maybe, we could help you out with something else. Share with us your thoughts and comments, maybe we missed something that you find useful?