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How To Clean An Ice Maker?

To clear an ice maker, use one of the popular homemade solutions (warm soapy water, water and baking soda, or vinegar and warm water mixture) and wipe down all the accessible parts of the unit. When is the right time to clean your ice maker, how does the cleaning process looks like – find the answers below!

When Is The Time To Clean The Ice Maker?

How To Clean An Ice Maker

The time to clean the ice maker is when:

  1. The ice is getting too cloudy,
  2. The ice cubes are starting to come out smaller, and they start melting quicker than usual,
  3. The taste of ice overtakes the drink, no matter if its water or a rich cocktail,
  4. You can clearly see the dirt inside the ice,
  5. The exterior of the machine is dirty.

Some ice maker models like undercounter ice makers come with built-in sensors that remind the user when to do the cleaning while others have special auto-cleaning operation modes.

The Cleaning Process

1. Unplug the Ice Machine from the Outlet

Unplug the ice maker from the electric socket and the water supply line for safety reasons, then disassemble some of its parts.

2. Throw out any Ice that’s Left Behind

If there is any ice left inside, get all of it out, including the small chips and broken bits. Remove any leftover water from the water tank to drain the unit completely.

3. Disassemble Detachable Parts

Detach all the easily-detachable parts or consult the instruction manual provided by the manufacturer. Usually, the water tank, the ice bucket, and the ice chamber protector are entirely detachable and can be washed separately.

4. Wipe the Insides of the Ice Maker

Mix some warm water and vinegar, then dip a tiny part of a damp cloth into this liquid and wipe the insides of the ice maker with it.

5. Clean/Wash the Detached Parts

Use the same mixture to clean all the parts that were previously detached from the unit. Rinse some of the parts in the sink while making sure all of them are completely dried before installed back.

6. Make some Ice Using a Cleaning Agent or a Homemade Mix

Make a mix of water, vinegar and lemon juice and pour it into the water tank of the ice maker. Plug the ice maker and turn it on. Set it to make a single cycle of ice. Throw away the whole batch into the sink or toilet.

7. Make some Ice with Water

Empty the reservoir and fill it with clean, warm water and run another cycle. This will clean away any vinegar and lemon juice leftovers, if there are any. Throw this batch as well.

8. Final Touch

Clean the outsides of the ice maker using a wet cloth and plug the machine back in.

How To Make Your Cleaning Agent?

Buy a specialized ice maker cleaning solution or make your own cleaning agent by following these steps:

  • Get some white vinegar, lemon/lime juice, and freshwater
  • Mix vinegar and water in a 1:2 ratio (e.g., two cups of vinegar and 1 cup of water) into a bowl
  • Add half a lemon/lime into the mix. It will enhance the smell but won’t raise the acidity of the solution.

Tips On How To Keep Your Ice Maker Clean for Longer?

Tips On How To Keep Your Ice Maker Clean for Longer

To keep an ice maker clean for longer, apply the tips listed below:

  • Turn off the machine during the night if you do not need ice first thing in the morning. It may come off as logical to some people, but most of the dirt comes from unnecessary ice machine work.
  • Do not allow an ice maker to cycle the same water more than once or twice.
  • Clean the ice tray every now and again. A lot of dirt comes from the ice storage and not the water or ice itself so make sure to clean the ice bin when cleaning the tray.

Wrap Up

Now that you know how to clean an ice maker properly, give it some extra love every once in a while. Not only you’ll always get nicely shaped, clear ice but you’ll also extend the unit’s life along the way.

About Aaron Walters

Aaron Walters is a code writer by day, and a cocktail enthusiast by night. Once he realized that high-quality ice is equally important as other ingredients, he started researching ice machines of all types and sizes. Icemaking101.com is a library of researched topics regarding all things ice he made along the way.

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