It’s officially summer and with the season comes extra reason to re-evaluate just how clean your commercial ice machine really is. You can plan on sun-cooked-patrons filling their drinks with ice during the summer months, but nothing ruins that refreshing beverage like dirty ice from an over seasoned machine.
Have no fear! Cleaning an ice machine is easier than it seems. Here are some general cleaning instructions:
Cleaning the Ice Machine
- Consult your ice machine manual for specific cleaning instructions and power switch locations, as not all ice machines have the same design.
- Open ice machine door to access internal components.
- Ensure ice machine is turned off and clear evaporator grid of any remaining ice.
- Turn on ice machine clean mode.
- Add nickel-safe ice machine cleaner to trough as it fills with water. Amount of cleaner used is specific to your brand and model of ice machine.
- Let machine run through clean cycle.
- To sanitize ice machine, repeat clean cycle with sanitizer instead of cleaner.
- Once cleaning cycle is complete, turn machine from CLEAN to OFF mode.
- Remove internal components (water curtain, water trough, and water distribution tube), and clean with a mild detergent.
- Clean inside of ice machine with cloth, water, and mild detergent while internal components are removed.
- Replace internal components.
- Turn ice machine back on.
Cleaning the Ice Bin
- Remove ice from bin and either discard or save for reuse.
- Remove drain plug and allow any excess water left in bin to drain.
- Wash inside of bin with mild detergent. Sanitize and rinse thoroughly.
- Replace drain plug.
- Depending on climate and location, hanging a slime remover stick inside bin may help reduce build-up.
Adding/Replacing the Water Filter
- If you’re not filtering the water used in your ice machine, you’re letting all kinds of minerals affect the quality of the ice.
- Be sure the filter you use has a scale inhibitor to help eliminate scale build-up.
- Replace the water filter of your ice machine every 6 months to 1 year.
- Replacing a filter is as easy as removing the old one and attaching the new one.
Again, the climate and location you’re in determines how often you’ll want to clean and sanitize your ice machine. In bakeries and breweries, where yeast and particles fill the air, cleaning has to happen almost monthly to keep those particles out of the machine and ice. Be sure to keep these factors in mind when establishing a cleaning and filter replacement schedule.
Clean ice means clean drinks, confidently cool beverages, and happy customers. It’s time to make sure your ice machine is up to snuff and ready to perform this season!