Why you should clean your ice machine (and how)

Your ice machine can be a source of ultimate comfort, especially during the summer season. If you live in an area like Los Angeles during the summer, you’ll definitely feel the heat. Just picture it now. It’s over 98 degrees outside in the hot sun. You want a refreshing beverage to cool yourself down. Do you go to your ice machine, scoop up some ice in a cup and pour your favorite thirst-quenching drink? You take a nice long sip and ahhhhh, you feel amazing. 

Now imagine that same hot summer day. It’s 98 degrees outside so you think “let me go grab something to drink”. You grab your glass and open your ice machine. Immediately you notice a weird smell but think nothing of it. That’s until you pour your beverage in your cup and take a nice long sip. You’re then left with a sour face thinking to yourself why your favorite drink tastes like feet. If you clean your dishes thoroughly then the culprit is your ice machine.

Like any other appliance, your ice maker needs some cleaning every now and then. You’ll know it’s time to clean out your ice machine when:

  • The ice has a bad taste
  • The ice isn’t as solid as before
  • The ice comes out cloudy
  • There are specks of dust and dirt on the ice cubes
  • You can visibly see mold and/or mildew in the ice machine

How do I clean my Ice Machine?
Cleaning your ice machine regularly is the best way to prevent future issues. Depending on how much you use the unit, you may want to even clean it a bit more often. Some ice machines have automatic wash cycles which are great, but you can clean it a bit better manually. If you want to wash it by hand, follow these steps:

Unplug the appliance
Start by making sure the ice machine has no power running through it. This will ensure that you won’t get harmed by any moving parts or electrical shock. It also allows for easy access to the rest of the steps highlighted below.

Drain the water from the ice machine
Find the drain plug and remove it and allow the water to completely drain out. You can use a container or sink to put the water after it is completely drained. 

Wipe the appliance clean
Once all the water has been removed, you can now start wiping the inside of the ice machine. Make sure to use a spray or cleaning solution that is recommended by the manufacturer. Since the parts are delicate inside the ice machine, using non-recommended cleaning products will eventually cause damage and leave a residual unpleasant taste. Wipe down all the interior components, corners, walls, and areas where the ice is produced. Rise your cleaning cloth frequently to remove any residual cleaner. Once finished, wipe it with a dry clean cloth. 

Clean the outside
Don’t forget to clean the outside as well. Dust and dirt frequently get caught in the small tight spaces of an ice machine. 

Plug it in and test
Once you have completely cleaned the ice machine, plug it in and let it work its magic. You can also take it a step further and fill the reservoir tank with a cleaning solution to clean out the ice forming template inside. 

Why you should clean your ice maker
Cleaning an ice maker is essential to have good ice that is clean and free of any mold. Drinking dirty water or ice, especially if it has mold, can cause serious health issues. 

Build-up often occurs when an appliance isn’t cleaned in a long time. Be sure to check your ice machine from time to time to ensure that there aren’t any harmful things building up inside it.