How to Clean an Ice Maker – Easy and Effective Way

Published by John Martin on


Ice makers have become an essential appliance in houses. They are also widely used for commercial purposes in hotels, restaurants, hospitals, and many other sectors.

What we don’t consider seriously is cleaning an ice maker with routine. If you ignore the cleaning not only it will affect the appliance’s life expectancy and performance, but you may feel an odor in ice as well. So proper cleaning routine for ice-maker is essential.

In this article, we will learn how to clean the ice maker. We will discuss how to clean it and also why cleaning it is so important. So let’s dig deep into our topic.

Why a proper cleaning routine is important for ice makers?

Ice makers are such a convenience for any household. It lifts the burden off your refrigerator and helps you throw some amazing summer parties. So such an essential appliance needs proper maintenance to perform well.

Water contains a lot of impurities like rust sediments mineral deposits and other traces that deposits in the base or sides and may keep on building especially if you have the problem of hard water in your area and not using filtered water for making ice.

The buildup may keep accumulating and becomes hard to clean. It may wear your appliance sooner than you expect. So a proper cleaning routine is important for preventing the buildup and for ensuring better performance of your ice maker.

Cleaning the ice maker is not difficult at all. But like different other chores, it takes some time and dedication. So you can invest the time and get good results in the form of the excellent performance of ice maker, good quality of ice, and long life of your appliance.

The more you delay or ignore the cleaning, the difficult it becomes to remove the limescale or other mineral deposits from your ice maker that may ultimately grow mold.

Besides water, dust and dirt also clog the machine over time. So a proper cleaning routine is the only solution to this problem.

How to Clean the Ice Maker

Cleaning the ice maker depends on your appliance as well. There are different varieties of ice makers available in the market. Some of them have a built-in cleaning process that you need to activate from time to time. Some need to be cleaned manually. So it depends on what type of ice maker you have.

Always check the manufacturer’s recommendation about how to clean the ice-maker. They usually have their own instructions that are safest to follow for a particular appliance.
Here is a necessary step-by-step process of cleaning the ice maker.

Get your supplies ready

Make sure you have everything ready for cleaning the ice-maker. It does not need much. You need a special ice machine cleaner for this purpose. It’s a solution that is specifically formulated for cleaning the tough mineral deposits and lime scales from the interior of the ice maker.

Remove the ice from the Reservoir or Ice basket

Remove all the ice from the reservoir. Press the switch and allow the ice to fall from the evaporator and reservoir. Empty the ice maker.

Remove the Dump Valve

Remove the valve for draining all the water from the ice maker.

Add the cleaner

Add the recommended amount of cleaning solution in the ice maker and let the cycle complete. It will take about 2o minutes once it is complete disconnect the ice maker again.

Remove all the Ice

Remove all the components from the ice maker. Make sure you remove all parts and prepare a solution of water and ice machine cleaner.  It’s about a gallon of water and to 16 ounces of cleaner. You can make the solution strong or light as per the condition of your ice maker. If it has a bad condition, you may raise the quantity of the cleaner in water.

Wash the Interior

Use the water and cleaning solution for washing the interior properly. Make sure you go through each and every part, creases, or corners. Go up to the door level. You may use a brush with soft bristles for cleaning the scale or mineral buildup. It may take some time, especially if you have tough stains inside.

You would notice the limescale getting foamy once it gets in contact with the cleaning solution. Scrub clean the interior, plastic parts, all sides, corner, bottom alike.

Wash the removable Parts

Use the same water and cleaning solution for washing the removable parts of the ice maker.

Rinse With Water

Once you are satisfied with the cleaning inside its time to rinse the ice maker with freshwater, run the water through all parts, making sure no cleaning solution or any of its trace is left behind. Rinse it properly so there is no risk of ice contamination left behind.

Cleaning the Ice Maker from Outside

Not only the interior, but you need to clean the exterior of ice making machine from time to time. Cleaning the exterior is less time taking and easy. Its something you can do daily.

Wipe off the surface with a damp sponge. Or if you have some stains, you can use a mild detergent or dishwashing soap as well. Wipe clean the area and then clean it again with a clean wipe. Keeping the exterior clean will make your machine look in pristine condition. It will keep looking nice for long.

How often should I clean the Ice Maker?

An Ice-maker is not something that you will be cleaning once in a week or even in a month. If you keep an eye on the basic cleaning, you may not need to deep clean much frequently. For the basic cleaning routine, you can:

  • Take out the ice.
  • Remove the ice reservoir.
  • Spray the cleaning solution on the interior and wipe it clean with fresh wipes.
  • Dry clean the interior, and it is ready to use again.

So, if you follow a basic routine and keep an eye on the condition of the ice maker, you may not need to do the deep cleaning more often. Still, there are clearer signs when you need to clean the ice maker properly.
These signs are:

  • If you feel a slight or strong odor in ice.
  • If you see the mineral or scale buildup in the ice maker.
  • If the ice-making process is taking the time, and your appliance is slow.
  • If you notice the ice is melting soon and not hard enough.

Anyone of the above signs is the clear indication that your ice-maker needs proper cleaning.

Sanitizing the Machine

Only cleaning the ice maker with a strong machine cleaner is not enough. You need to sanitize the ice maker as well to prevent any contamination and to stay safe.

After removing all the mold and mineral deposits its time to sanitizes the ice maker. For that, you need a special ice machine sanitizer.

Prepare a solution

Mix the sanitizer with the lukewarm water. Its 3:2 ration of water and sanitizer.
Use a spray bottle for spraying the solution in the ice maker, spray all parts, sides, and corners.
Use the same solutions for sanitizing the dispensers, bins, and other containers used in the ice maker.
Allow the sanitizer to disinfect the machine and its parts properly.  Wait for twenty minutes and after that, you can put back all the ice containers inside. You don’t need to rinse the interior with water after sanitizing.
Set the machine to automatically start making ice. Throw the first two batches of ice after cleaning and sanitizing.

How to Clean the filter

If you have a filter using in the ice machine, it needs to be cleaned from time to time as well. You may need to change it more often as well as water filters have a limited life span of a few months. For washing the filter just rinse it completely with fresh tap water. If it seems too difficult to clean then probably its time to get a new filter.

You can clean the condenser by switching off the machine. Check the condenser section if it has gathered dust or dirt with time. Blow compressed air through it for removing the dirt. Once you have cleaned all the dirt and dust get the power on. If dirt and dust are not cleaned even with the compressed air you should call for professional help for proper servicing the appliance.

Final Words

Keeping the ice maker clean is important for having fresh ice within less time. A dirty interior with a lot of mold and scale will slow down your ice maker cutting short its lifetime. So a routine of basic cleaning and deep cleaning once in a while will keep your ice maker in pristine condition. It will also enhance its life expectancy.


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