Cleaning Ice Machine with Bleach – Is It Safe? and How to Do It?

Cleaning ice machine with bleach

After a period of use, cleaning the ice machines is extremely important because they cannot only create quality product lines, ensure hygiene during operation, but also improve the service life during use, limit unnecessary failures. To make cleaning the ice machine simpler and easier at home or in beverage shops and does not cost users a large amount of money every time they bring the machine to a service center, bleach can be used to clean the machine.

Why should you clean the ice machine regularly?

Your ice maker should be cleaned and sanitized at least every six months to function properly. You must first perform a cleaning procedure to remove limescale, scale and mineral deposits, followed by a cleaning procedure to disinfect equipment and remove algae and slime.

Reasons to clean your ice maker regularly:

Avoid health risk

Ice is not only used at home but also in other food service settings like restaurants, coffee shops, bars, healthcare facilities, ect., so it is important to keep the ice fresh and clean to drink.

Because ice maker is considered one of the appliances that easily gets dirty, we need to clean and keep it work smoothly to produce ice in good quality. Cleaning the machine regularly can protect the health of the machine as well as health of other people.

If you neglect to clean it, mold and slime have good condition to grow. Besides, other dangerous germs like E. coli, Salmonella, Norovirus will appear and make you or your customers sick. Therefore, it’s necessary to make sure your ice machine is in a hygienic condition to avoid any health risk that may occur.

Keep the machine in good condition and more durable

After using for a while, like other kitchen appliances, your ice maker will get dirty with rust, limescale, or mold which can be harmful to our health and to the machine itself.  It may also lead to unnecessary wear on the ice maker, the machine cannot operate smoothly and effectively. Proper cleaning helps to prevent costly repairs, capacity reduction, and formation of mold and slime.

Maintain the quality and taste of the ice

Once the ice machine gets dirty, it will produce the contaminated ice which is greatly affect the taste for drinks. Sometimes, it is just the strange smell, but it can be more serious if you suffer from harmful germs that make you sick.

Your ice maker should be cleaned every six months
Your ice maker should be cleaned every six months

Signs need to clean the ice machine

If you are experiencing some of the following problems, it may be time to clean your ice maker:

  • Low ice capacity
  • Ice creates an odor
  • Machine does not produce ice
  • Ice maker does not go into harvest mode
  • Machine produces shallow or incomplete ice cubes
  • Ice machine has problems with the operation during ice-making process
  • Poor quality of ice (look not clear, melt faster, feel softer or taste different)

Is it safe when cleaning the ice machine with bleach?

After a while, plaque, scale or rust begins to adhere to the pipe surface. This reduces the pipe area, effectively reducing water circulation, energy consumption. Therefore, cleaning solutions will be used to remove plaque and sediment. The purpose is to return the pipeline to its original state.

It is safe to use bleach to clean the ice machine. Besides, bleach also works to clean metal surfaces. Especially for cleaning grease, washing machines, and industrial tools. Therefore, it is not harmful to use bleach to clean the ice maker. However, to avoid negative effects to health, you need to wash it immediately after cleaning the ice maker.

Further reading: Types of Ice Makers and Factors to Consider for Buying a Suitable One

How to clean your ice machine with bleach

Preparation tools:

  • A bucket
  • Any cleaning solution
  • A clean piece of cloth
  • A soft brush or a sponge
  • The clean water, warm water

Periodic cleaning

Step 1: Remove all ice from the bin or dispenser. All ice cubes must be removed during the cleaning and sanitizing cycle. To remove them, follow one of the methods below:

– Press the power switch after the ice has been batched

– Press the power switch and let the ice melt completely

Step 2: Press the “clean” or “wash” button. The water will flow through the drain valve and down the drain. Wait until the trough is full and the display shows more chemicals. This process usually takes at least 1 minute.

Step 3: Add bleach in the amount recommended according to your instruction manual.

Wait until the clean cycle is complete. This process usually takes at least 20 minutes. After the cycle is complete, disconnect the power to the ice maker.

Further reading:  How Long Can You Keep Ground Turkey in the Freezer?
Only use bleach in the amount recommended according to your instruction manual
Only use bleach in the amount recommended according to your instruction manual

Deep cleaning

Remove all components inside the ice maker for cleaning. For safe and proper cleaning, refer to your machine’s instruction manual. After all parts have been removed, continue to the next step.

Step 1: Mix a solution of clean water and bleach.

Refer to your machine’s manual for the correct amount of solution. Depending on how much dirt has built up, you may need to use more bleach.

Step 2: Use half a mixture of water and bleach to clean all the components and parts you removed.

Most solutions will begin to bubble when they come into contact with lime, scale, and minerals.

Step 3: After the foam is gone, use a nylon brush, sponge or soft cloth to carefully clean all parts and then rinse with clean water.

Step 4: Then clean all remaining surfaces with the other half.

Use a nylon brush or cloth to clean the following areas of the ice machine.

Rinse all areas with clean water. This will help remove chemicals to prevent the ice from becoming contaminated.

Exterior cleaning

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to clean the outside of your hotel or restaurant ice machine.

  • Make sure the area around the ice maker is clean and well ventilated. This will maintain cleanliness and efficiency.
  • Wipe surfaces with a damp cloth coated with water to remove dirt from the outside of the ice maker. Never use abrasive brushes.
  • If grease remains, rinse with a damp cloth in a solution of water and mild dish soap. See your machine’s manual for restrictions. Do not use cleansers containing chlorine, lemon, acids or corrosive cleansers on exterior panels and plastic trim.

Factors to notice when cleaning an ice machine with bleach

Before cleaning your ice maker, you should read and follow the instructions on the machine’s manual. Also, if you use commercial cleansers or sanitizers, you need to wear rubber gloves or proactive glasses for safety reasons.

Followings are things you should know to avoid the regretful results after cleaning the unit.

  1. During the cleaning process, do not use the abrasive brushes as they will scratch your machine’s surface or damage some parts. Also, you should not use caustic chemicals as they are not good for the machine at all.
  2. It’s better if you use a filter to make the ice purer as well as you can save time of cleaning the unit. However, you should change the filter every 5 or 6 months.
  3. Use the pure water source will be good for the ice and for the machine. Ice is considered a kind of food, we should clean the ice machine regularly as well as using clean, purified water to produce ice.
  4. Do not mix all kinds of detergents because it may lead to chemical reactions that will be harmful to your ice maker.
  5. Normally, the ice machine should be clean every 6 months. However, depending on your using habit and the model of ice maker, you can make the right decision when to clean it. In addition, some models are recommended to use a special sanitizer, so you read the manual careful.

How about other cleaning solutions?

Using bleach is a common method used in many families. You can use other commercial cleansers or sanitizers to clean it. Besides, there are many traditional, cheap cleaning solutions available in your kitchen like vinegar, lemon juice, dish soap that you can apply to clean your ice maker. You can choose the solution which is most convenient to you.

Cleansers and sanitizers: You can easily go online and search the information to buy a suitable type of cleansers from supermarkets or any stores. These cleansers are often more expensive, but they are worth your money.

Dish soap: You can use it to clean the ice maker. It is safe for your unit and money-saving.

Vinegar: It can clean the mold in fridge or freezer effectively, so you can use it for cleaning the dirt in your ice maker. Vinegar can perform the cleaning job well in both porous and non-porous surfaces.

Lemon juice: It is also a perfect choice for cleaning solution as it is not only environmentally friendly but also cheap and available in your kitchen.

You may also like: How to Prevent Mold in Refrigerator

Conclude

By cleaning and sanitizing your ice machine regularly, you’ll be able to maintain its performance, prevent increased energy costs, and produce clean and safe ice that’s ready to use. Do not worry when cleaning and sanitizing the ice machine with bleach, because it’s safe.

Reference:

  1. Can I Use Bleach to Clean an Ice Maker?, Alice Moon, Sept. 2017
  2. Simple Steps For Cleaning Your Ice Bin, easyice.com, Retrieved on Dec. 26, 2021
Jenny Brown
Hi, I’m Jenny. In the hustle and bustle of daily life, a compact fridge or freezer becomes one of the essential items in many homes. On my blog, you will find helpful advice about using and organizing these kitchen appliances. You will also receive the recommendations on choosing a compact refrigerator or freezer that best fits your demands. Besides, frozen meals from the freezer bring many incredible benefits because they ensure freshness, deliciousness, and full nutrients. Many helpful tips from experts on frozen meals will also be found.