We are currently amid the summer season, which means you are probably getting good use out of your ice machines. But are you keeping up with the rules around ice cleanliness? The FDA considers ice a food, which means there are food safety rules and regulations that every establishment must follow. No matter the type of ice machine you use, making sure it’s clean, sanitized, and maintained must be a top priority. Most ice machines require cleaning and sanitization every 6 months, which includes removing lime, scale, and mineral deposits followed by a disinfecting procedure to remove harmful algae and slime. Not maintaining your ice machines can cause scale buildup which leads to poor heat transfer, freeze-ups, longer production times, and expensive repairs. Keep your ice clean and safe with the maintenance tips below.
When is it time to clean?
Some things to look for when it’s time to clean your ice machine:
- Ice machine does not release ice or is slow to harvest
- Ice machine does not cycle into harvest mode
- Ice quality is poor (soft or not clear)
- Ice machine produces shallow or incomplete cubes
- Low ice capacity
Maintaining and Cleaning
Feel free to check your ice machine’s equipment manual to see a list of all approved chemicals, cleaners, and replacement parts. Your ice machine’s water filters regulate the amount of sediment and minerals from the water, so make sure you are replacing your filters accordingly to keep your ice clean and clear. When cleaning your ice machine, make sure to disassemble, soak, and clean as many parts as possible. Only use chemicals that are approved by the manufacturer to clean your ice machines. Don’t forget to clean the underside of the machine, all drain lines, and even the outside of the bin or dispenser. Toothbrushes, nylon brushes, and mild abrasives can all be used to keep your ice machine clean and sparkly, but try to avoid using anything that might scratch any surfaces, as this will allow for bacteria to grow and attach to. After cleaning your ice machine, it’s always a good idea to conduct a production test to make sure your machine is running properly and your customers are getting the best quality ice possible.
3Wire has all your ice machine preventative maintenance and repair parts from water filters to descaler. Shop 3Wire today!