Whether you have a free standing or a built in ice maker, there are going to be times that you need to clean it. Usually the manufacturer will suggest a thorough cleaning before the first use and every 3 months. Besides those two times, you may notice other times that it needs to be cleaned.
Here are some examples why you may want to run a cleaning cycle on your machine.
- Your ice is cloudy
The reason your ice could be cloudy, besides the fact your water may be impure, may be because you have build-up in your trays or in your reservoir.
- Your Ice tastes bad
There are two reasons your ice may taste bad. The water may be contaminated or you have a deposits in your ice maker. Rust will give your ice a metallic smell and taste. It is common to have rust build-up in ice makers.
- Your ice is smaller than normal
If you ice is starting to come in smaller pieces don’t seem to be as hard as they once were than you have a build-up in your ice trays.
- Your bin isn’t keeping your ice as long as it was
This can be two different problems. You can either have a broker seal or mold and rust has caused a gap in the way your bin is sealed.
- Your ice machine quit working
If your ice machine has suddenly gone out, you may need to remove the build-up that has created a blockage that prevents your ice maker from working.
Once you have decided that you definitely want or need to clean your machine, you have to decide what type of cleaner you are going to use. You can go online and find many brand name cleaners that are toxic to you if you drink it. These cleaners are essential to breaking up calcium, rust, and lime build-up. They are also great for removing hard water deposits that are left behind from using tap water. They also will kill mold that has built up in your machine. All of these things that you are cleaning are normal occurrences. Even if you use nothing but bottled water, you are going to need to clean your machine to rid it of unwanted build-up. Outside use, such as camping and outdoor kitchens, is going to increase your need to clean because these areas introduce more dust into the air which can get trapped in your machine.
This cleaner comes in both 16 ounces and 32 ounces. You should use 3 ounces per 1 gallon of water. It does not need to be diluted. You do have to discard any ice that comes from using this cleaner. It does not leave any residue. After you use this, you will need to run two cycles of plain water and discard the ice. This is to make sure that you get all the cleaner out.
The interesting thing about this product is that it is a descaler. It comes in a 10-ounce bottle. You only need 2.5 ounces for a typical machine. All you do is add it to your reservoir with the normal amount of water that you put into it. You will need to dump the ice and flush your machine before you get good ice. This is the best thing to do for a machine that isn’t working properly. It will also clean out the reservoir.
This comes in 10 ounce bottles. It gets poured directly into your drip tray with two full bottles of water. You will want to throw away all the ice that contains this cleaner but you do not have to rinse the product out. It is simple to use. It will kill all toxins that are preventing your ice maker from working properly.
To use this product, you will need a small nozzle squirt bottle. You pour it and two bottles of water into the drip tray. Then you run the cleaning cycle on your machine. It is simple and works great.
Other than these cleaners, you have more options for cleaning fluids. You can use lemon juice or vinegar in your machine. You will want to do a 3 to 1 ratio. This means that you need 3 cups of water to one cup of vinegar or lemon juice. It will clean your machine just like the chemicals that you order off the internet. The best part is that if you don’t get all this out in the cleaning process, your ice will taste funny, but it will not make you sick.
Step by Step How to Clean Your Machine
Step One: Turn off or unplug your machine
Step Two: Drain all the water
Step Three: Remove all the removable parts and clean them by hand.
Step Four: Put your machine back together and fill the reservoir with the cleaning solution
This is where the directions can go different ways depending on your device. If your machine has a self-cleaning button then you will just need to push the button, let it run the cycle and then discard the ice. The next step is for those who do not have a self-cleaning machine.
Step Five: Allow the machine to make ice until all the solution is out of your machine.
Step Six: Run clean water through your machine to rinse. THROW AWAY THE ICE.
Step Seven: Wipe down your machine to remove dust.
Your ice machine needs to be cleaned on a regular basis. It is just like any other device you own, it needs some maintenance. How often it needs to be cleaned depends on how you use your machine. Normal everyday indoor use will need bi yearly cleaning. If you have your ice maker outside a lot, you may need to clean it once a month. Usually, it takes a full day to do a complete cleaning cycle. If you regularly maintain your ice machine, you can add years to the life of it.