There is nothing more refreshing than an ice-cold drink, and the best way to preserve the quality and taste of your ice is with regular cleaning and maintenance. Read on to learn how to clean an ice maker/machine and discover why it is such an important part of any cleaning routine.
Signs You Need to Clean Your Ice Maker
Once you’ve chosen the best ice maker to suit the needs of your family and lifestyle, it’s important to maintain it to prolong the lifespan of your appliance. Signs you need to get cleaning include:
- Ice has an unpleasant taste or odor.
- Ice cubes are smaller than normal.
- Ice feels softer and melts faster than usual.
- Ice has a cloudy appearance.
- There are visible signs of mold, mildew, or other debris on the interior of the machine.
- It has been six months or more since the last cleaning.
How to Clean an Ice Machine
Clean your ice machine at least once every six months or more depending on the frequency of use. If your ice maker has an automatic wash cycle, read the manufacturer’s instruction manual and follow directions to clean the unit. For manual cleaning follow the steps outlined below:
Unplug the Appliance
Ensure the unit is turned off and unplugged to avoid the ice maker starting production during cleaning, allow easy access to your sink for draining, and avoid the risk or shock or injury. Remove the ice basket and scoop and set aside for cleaning.
Drain the Water
Locate and remove the drain plug and allow the water from the reservoir to flow into a container or your sink until all the water has drained from the machine.
Wipe Down the Interior
Spray or dip your cloth into a cleaning solution made from a 10:1 ratio of warm water and either vinegar or lemon juice, nickel-free ice machine cleaner, or other cleaning agent recommended by the manufacturer. Wash the interior walls and hard to reach areas such as the water reservoir, corners, and the area where the ice is made. Rinse well several times using clean water and wipe dry with a clean cloth. Clean the ice basket and scoop using a mild detergent and set aside to dry.
Clean the Exterior
Wipe down the exterior using a soft cloth and warm soapy water, and dry using a clean towel.
Restart the Machine
Reassemble the ice maker and ensure the drain plug is in place. Insert the ice basket and plug in the unit.
Make a Batch of Ice
Fill the water reservoir with the cleaning solution, make a batch of ice, and discard. Unplug the ice maker and drain the water once again. While the plug is removed pour clean, fresh, water through the reservoir and let it drain into the sink. Continue to rinse the unit several more times before reinserting the plug and resume making ice as usual.
Why Clean Your Ice Maker?
If neglected, your ice maker can begin to grow mold and bacteria which may have a negative impact on your health, or it may accumulate a scaly build-up which can shorten the lifespan of the machine.