A portable ice maker is a standalone device that makes ice for multiple servings. Most of these appliances constitutes of refrigeration, controls and dispenser for hassle free production. A user only requires providing power and water supply to the machine.
The portable ice maker units are the fastest and smallest ice-makers present in the market and can easily fit on counter-top. A bullet shaped ice with cloudy to opaque appearance is the ice produced by the machine.
Once you turn on the power and add water, the first batch of the ice can easily be produced within 10 minutes. Since, it is a small portable unit; therefore, the water should be added manually. In big ice machine, the water is pumped into a small tube with metal pegs immersed in the water. The pegs use a heating and cooling system inside to freeze the water around them and then heat up so the ice slips off the peg and into the storage bin. The size of the ice cubes is entirely dependent on the freezing cycle i.e. a longer freezing cycle will always result in thicker cubes.
Why it is essential to clean your ice maker?
Whether you have purchased a best portable ice maker or undercounter ice maker machine. For a proper and smooth functioning it is very important to periodically clean your ice maker machine. It will ensure an efficient working without any hassle. You must perform the cleaning procedure to remove lime, scale, and mineral deposits and then follow it with sanitizing procedure to disinfect the unit and remove algae and slime. Timely cleaning of the machine ensures avoid the scale build-up on evaporator plates and prevent impeded heat transfer. Moreover, it keeps the harvest time short and helps your machine to maintain full capacity.
The correct way to determine that whether it is time for cleaning or not is when the cubes are smaller than usual, become cloudy in appearance, feels softer and melt faster or have a strange taste or odour then it’s probably time to give the machine some attention. For a chance, if you are using some filters in your ice maker machine then it is advisable to change it every three to six months.
How to clean portable ice maker?
For your guidance I have written a simple step by step guide to clean your portable ice maker machine:
Basic Surface Cleaning:
- First thing first you need to take the ice basket out.
- There should be no ice inside the Ice maker, you must remove all ice during the cleaning and sanitization process.
- Clean the interior of the machine with a diluted cleaning solution along with warm water and a soft cloth. (Note: avoid using any kind of caustic or abrasive chemicals or solutions nor clean your ice maker with any flammable fluids. This will damage the Ice maker machine)
- You can regularly clean the outside of the ice maker machine with a mild detergent and warm water.
- Wipe the outer surface with a damp cloth rinsed in water to remove dust and dirt from the outside of the ice machine. Avoid using any kind of abrasive pad or brush.
- If there’s still any greasy residue remaining, you can use a damp cloth rinsed in a mild dish soap and water solution. Do not use chlorinated, citrus-based, or abrasive cleaners on exterior panels and plastic trim.
- After you clean, always dry the interior and exterior with a soft cloth.
- Take out the ice basket.
- Add a mild cleaning solution mixture to the water reservoir. Use a 10:1 ratio of water to either white vinegar or lemon juice.
- Run the ice maker to make a couple of batches of ice (at least 2). Do not forget to discard that ice.
- Drain the cleaning solution from the water reservoir.
- Remove the water line from above the evaporator and clean and rinse it out.
- Add fresh water to the water reservoir up to the water level mark.
- Run the ice maker to make a few batches of ice. Discard the ice.
- Drain the water.
- Add fresh water to the water reservoir to make ice, or dry the interior and exterior with a clean soft cloth to store the machine.
- The ice scoop should be washed regularly. Wash it just like any other utensil.
How to use Ice Machine Sanitizer?
- Mix a solution of ice machine sanitizer and lukewarm water. Generally, the water to cleaner ratio is 3 gallons of water to 2 ounces of sanitizer.
- Use half of the water and sanitizer mixture to sanitize all components and parts you have removed. You can even use a spray bottle to liberally apply the solution to all surfaces of the removed parts or you can soak the removed parts in the solution.
- Do not rinse parts with water after sanitizing.
- Use the other half of the water and sanitizer mixture to clean all food zone surfaces of the ice machine, bin, and dispenser.
- Wait 20 minutes. This allows the sanitizer to properly disinfect.
- Now, you can reconnect the ice machine to power. Press your unit’s “clean” or “wash” button.
- You need to wait until the water trough refills and the display indicates to add chemical. Add the proper amount of sanitizer to the water trough.
- Set your machine to automatically start making ice after the sanitizing cycle is complete. This will typically take at least 20 minutes.
How to clean an ice machine condenser and filter?
- Disconnect power to the ice machine head section (and the remote condensing unit, if applicable).
- Shine a flashlight through the condenser to check for dirt between the fins.
- Blow compressed air through the condenser to remove dirt. You can also rinse it with water from the inside out.
- Check for remaining dirt. If dirt still remains, we recommend that you contact a service agent.
- To clean your machine’s filter, simply rinse it with mild soap and water.
Some of the best ice maker cleaner available online :
- Affresh W11179302 Ice Machine Cleaner, White
- Manitowoc Ice 000000084, Cleaner
- HOSHIZAKI SCALEAWAY CLEANER/GAL