Taking Care Of Your Ice Machine
Did You know you can get sick from ice cubes? Ice cubes can be contaminated with food poisoning bacteria.
Since ice produced by your ice machine will be consumed by customers, the ice machine is considered a food contact surface area. Following manufacturer's instructions, clean and sanitize it at least once a month.
Cleaning will remove scale/lime build-up and other mineral deposits and sanitizing will remove algae and slime growth.
For maximum filtration efficiency, replace the primary filter cartridge every six months.
This occurs when airborne yeast sticks to inside surfaces of the machine. This protein build-up is sometimes mistaken for algae or slime growth.
The closer your ice machine is to your oven, the more often you may need to clean your ice machine - weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, etc.
Cleaning & sanitizing your Ice Machine Bin
Cleaning the interior - Empty the bin
The cleaning and sanitizing of the bin is a two-part process. The unit should first be de-limed using a de-scaler such as Lime-A-Way or Scale-A-Way.
To clean the interior, mix a solution of water and de-scaler together following the manufactures recommendations from the bottle(Usually 5-6 ounces per gallon). Note: It is important not to mix the de-limer and the sanitizing solution. When mixed these chemicals can create gases that may be harmful if inhaled.
Use a spray bottle to apply this cleaner to the inside of the bin. It is best to remove the baffle from the interior of the bin by removing its thumbscrews. Then using either a clean cloth or a nylon brush scrub the entire interior of the bin as well as the baffle and soak the scoop until all scale deposits are removed.
After the scale has been removed flush the bin, baffle, scoop and cleaning utensils thoroughly with fresh water until all traces of the de-scaler has been removed.
Next, the unit should be sanitized. This is done following the same method as used above however, this time you will use a sanitizing solution of Sodium Hypochlorite (Chlorine Bleach) and water. Mix the sanitizing solution of 1/2 oz of chlorine bleach to 1 gallon of water. Apply this solution with another spray bottle and with a clean rag wipe down the entire interior surface of the bin as well as the baffle, thumb screws and scoop.
Thoroughly flush the interior of the bin as well as the other parts that were sanitized again more with fresh water until all traces of the sanitizer is removed.
Note: It is important not to mix the de-limer and the sanitizing solution. When mixed these chemicals can create gases that may be harmful if inhaled.
Outside of the bin -(This should be done at least once a week)
This part of the bin usually does not come in contact with the ice, but it is important to keep it clean. Cleaning will prolong its appearance and prevent any sort of damage from rust colored stain or corrosion caused by high levels of chlorine either in the incoming water supply or cleaning agents which may be used in close proximity to the ice machine.
Using a clean soft cloth and a neutral cleaner, such as a mild soap solution or a commercial cleaner such as 409 and wiping the entire exterior surface clean. Cleaning the exterior will reduce the effects of lingering chlorine gases that can damage the stainless steel surface of the unit and bin.
Types of Ice Machines:
Air Cooled: A type of refrigeration system that discharges heat into the surrounding air, usually using a fan to force the air to flow.
Water Cooled: A refrigeration system of an ice machine that discharges heat into water. The water is usually discharged to a drain. Water-cooled machines use 10 times as much water as air-cooled machines
Remote Air Cooled. A refrigeration system of an ice machine that discharges heat into the air, in this case the air being discharged is not near the ice machine.