Cleaning for ice machines: its importance and essential tips

Within the commercial and hospitality sector, having an ice machine that is always operational is essential. Imagine having a bar where we serve Premium cocktails, which depend on high-quality ice cubes, and that one day, without prior notice, the device breaks down due to lack of maintenance. While an important part of maintenance, such as replacing the water filter or other vital components, requires a technical expert, cleaning should be carried out by a commissioned technician or installer. In fact, learning to clean the device is the most economical and efficient option, since it is a recurring task that we must carry out every 6 months. Unfortunately, even though cleaning is very easy and straightforward, many users ignore it, significantly neglecting the condition of their ice machines. The accumulation of dirt, mold and ice sheets on the dispenser tray and internal components can directly affect the operation and life of the device. Currently, the cleaning of ice machines is of enormous importance, due to the COVID-19. These must be clean and sanitized at all times.  

Why is a conscious cleaning program important?

For responsible ice-machine users, it is not about cleaning the device when the idea pops into their heads and they have a couple of hours to spare for this task. This is a specialized device that, in commercial settings, is subjected to high stress. Therefore, keeping it up-to-date is essential to ensure its proper functioning. A cleaning program for the ice machine consists of defining multiple dates per year in which to clean the components in a disciplined manner. This programming must be respected, since it can depend on the proper functioning of the device at the most critical moments. In addition to preventing significant failures, cleaning is important to preserve hygiene at all times. We must remember that we are talking about ice for human consumption, used in drinks and gastronomic preparations, so avoiding bacteria and germs is vital. Now that the importance is clear, let’s move on to the essential tips.    Cleaning of ice machines  

Tray water and bleach

One of the components that is most important to keep in a perfect hygienic state is the tray where the ice produced in cubes is stored. For what reason? Water is the ideal medium for the preservation and distribution of germs and bacteria, so ice cubes represent an efficient vehicle for the distribution of these organisms. With this in mind, it becomes evident how important it is to maintain a tray that is impeccably sanitized and free of microorganisms, thus guaranteeing ice that is safe for human consumption. Using hot water together with a soap that is strong enough and a sponge will suffice. From ITV we recommend throwing the first two cycles of ice, to eliminate any type of trace of the bleach.  

Brushing the condenser

For those who are concerned with cleaning the ice machine, it is important that they learn to recognize which of the internal components is the condenser. This component has an external part that covers it, on which dirt accumulates. With a wire brush, this external component must be brushed until it is free of impurities. Letting this component be covered with residues can affect its temperature and, consequently, its performance.  

Perform internal cleaning with Calklin

We recommend descaling the ice machine with specific lime removal products, such as Calklin, to avoid limescale that may decrease the performance of ice machines.   It is always important to have a complete cleaning of the ice machines, but today it is even more important. Save this article and follow these instructions to achieve a clean and sanitized ice machine, always available and without any danger of contagion for anyone.