How To Clean Your Commercial Ice Machine

How To Clean Your Commercial Ice Machine

We know there are a million articles out there on how to clean your ice machine, but how many of them are written by people who spend the majority of their time around ice machines every day? Because that’s who we are. Between researching them and selling them, we can accurately (but still humbly) claim to be basically experts on the subject.

Using that as our foundation, we’ve put together a fairly basic set of instructions you can employ in maintaining a nice cold, clean machine. Keeping your commercial ice machine clean is crucial for ensuring the quality of your ice and the longevity of your machine. Without further ado, let’s dive into the frosty details and get that machine sparkling!


***How to Clean Your Commercial Ice Machine: A Step-by-Step Guide***

(This article is not intended to be a replacement for the manufacturer’s suggested methods so please consult the owner’s manual for more elaborate directions specific to the brand of your machine!)


Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

Before you start, make sure you have the following on hand:

– Ice machine cleaner (nickel-safe if your machine a nickel-plated evaporator; if not, consult your owner’s manual)

– Sanitizer (quaternary ammonia is the industry standard as bleach can wreck your internal components and void your warranty)

– Soft cloths or sponges

– Bucket

– Gloves

– Clean water


Step 2: Power Down and Empty the Machine

Safety first! Turn off and unplug your ice machine. Remove any ice from the bin and discard it. This ensures that you’re starting with a clean slate. (PSSSST! Perfect time to wash and sanitize that ice storage area too!)


Step 3: Remove Parts for Cleaning

Take out any removable parts, such as the ice bin, water trough, and any other components specified in your machine’s manual. This makes it easier to clean every nook and cranny.


Step 4: Clean the Removable Parts

Mix your ice machine cleaner with water according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Soak the removable parts in the solution for the recommended time. Use a soft cloth or sponge to scrub away any residue. Rinse thoroughly with clean water and set aside to dry.


Step 5: Clean the Interior

Using the same cleaning solution, wipe down the interior surfaces of the ice machine. Pay special attention to areas with visible buildup. Be gentle to avoid damaging any components. Rinse with clean water and dry with a soft cloth.


Step 6: Sanitize

Prepare a sanitizing solution as per the instructions on your sanitizer. Apply it to all interior surfaces and removable parts. Allow it to air dry completely. This step is crucial for killing any lingering bacteria or mold.


Step 7: Reassemble and Restart

Once everything is dry, reassemble your ice machine. Plug it back in and turn it on. Run a couple of cycles and discard the first batch of ice to ensure any remaining cleaner or sanitizer is flushed out.


Step 8: Regular Maintenance

To keep your ice machine in tip top shape, clean it every 3 to 6 months, or more frequently if it’s in constant use or if you’re in an area with hard water and/or high mineral content. You may have forgotten about that filter, but now is a good time to get that filter changed too… which your local food service equipment provider probably carries, so double check with the MFR for compatibility before mixing brands).

Regular maintenance prevents buildup and ensures your ice is always safe to consume.


And there you have it! A clean ice machine means happy customers and a happy business. Keep it cool and may your ice always be pristine.

Reach out to us today if you could any further assistance, or a new ice machine… or for “Ice, Ice, Baby” to get stuck in your head after one of us insists on playing it on repeat around the office while talking about ice machines.

Click here to contact us right now. We want to talk!