10 Simple, Effective Steps To Clean Your Commercial Ice Machine!

June 23, 2024
10 Simple, Effective Steps To  Clean Your Commercial Ice Machine!
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Of all the machinery commonly used in the food industry, there are few that are as important as commercial ice making machines. Without a commercial ice making machine, there would be no way to produce enough ice required to chill beverages, store meat, vegetables, and ingredients, and serve customers. However, it is unfortunately commonplace for industries in the food business to neglect the duty to clean their ice machines. Some restaurants do not understand the importance of cleaning their commercial ice-making machines, while others attempt to clean but do not know how to achieve that objective effectively.

Failing to clean a commercial ice cream machine is a vital act of negligence that compromises food safety for clients and leads to efficiency and lifespan for employees. For this reason, it is important for businesses not only to understand the importance of cleaning an ice machine but also how to clean it effectively and efficiently. This blog will discuss the process of cleaning an ice cream machine helping businesses protect customer safety and prolonging the lifespan of their machines.


The objective is not only to clean basic but to clean thoroughly. And for this, some specialized equipment will be needed. Cleaning is quite easy but requires a large number of tools, and solutions, and all of them are important. Assembling the equipment together is the first step to save time and effort while maximizing effectiveness. Prepare the following materials:

 i. Ice Machine Cleaner: Custom ice machine cleaners are possible, but specially-made ice machine cleaners are food-grade sanitizers designed to efficiently target scale, mineral deposits, and other buildup.

ii. Ice Machine Sanitizers: Basic cleaning may be enough to keep the ice machine clean but not to tackle bacterial infection. Legionnaire’s disease is a special kind of pneumonia caused by the legionella bacteria, which thrives particularly in the damp environment found in commercial machines. To prevent infection from legionella and other kinds of bacteria, it is important to use a machine sanitizer to clean your ice machine.

iii. Soft cloths and sponges: Cleaning the interior of an ice machine involves a lot of wiping down and squeezing out water, so soft cloths and sponges are a necessity.

iv. Stiff and bristle brush: The condenser is the heart of an ice machine and often needs to be lubricated with condenser oil for efficient performance. Condenser oil is sticky and tricky to deal with as it has a tendency to accumulate debris and dust. A brush will be needed to deal with it.

v. Bucket or container: To keep the process tidy, the bucket will be used to catch the drained water from the ice machine.

vi. Gloves and eye protection: It is important to wear gloves and eye protection to avoid any health risks.

vii. Water source: Water will always be needed for cleaning and rinsing, especially after sanitizing.

viii. Cleaning rags and paper towels: To dry the machine's interior after cleaning.


Once the above equipment is collected, the cleaning process is quite easy and straightforward. Follow the following steps in order:

  1. Turn Off and Unplug the Machine: The first step in cleaning a commercial ice machine is to turn it off and disconnect it from its power source. This is a safety procedure to prevent shock or injury.
  2. Take off the removable parts: This is an expert tip that minimizes efforts and maximizes efficiency. Take out all the removable parts and start cleaning from the “main body” of the ice machine.  
  3. Drain the Water: Standing water in machines can become a breeding ground for bacteria. Find the drain valve and drain out all the water, making sure to catch it with the bucket or container.
  4. Mix the Ice machine cleaner: Most ice machine cleaners come with specifications on how to use them. It is common for 8 fluid ounces for eight gallons of water, but check the specific manufacturer recommendations.
  5. Clean the Interior: Cleaning the interior is the most demanding and vital part of cleaning an ice machine. Using a cloth and a cleaner, carefully wipe down all the components of the machine’s interior, such as the ice bin, ice chute, and ice-making components. Make sure not to damage the interior by scrubbing too hard or using abrasive materials.
  6. Clean the Condenser Coil: The condenser coil is the channel through which heat is released from the machine. Using the bristle brush, gently scrub it, removing any dust or debris.
  7.  Rinse the Machine: Apply a generous amount of water through the interior of the machine to flush out any remains of the ice machine cleaning solution.
  8.  Sanitize the Machine: Having mixed the ice machine sanitizer according to the manufacturer recommendations, proceed to disinfect all surfaces. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations for appropriate contact time and let the sanitization process go on as long as needed.
  9.  Rinse the machine: Rinse the machine one final time with clean water.
  10.  Reassemble and flush: Carefully reattach the external parts to the interior and run a couple of ice-making rounds. The objective of flushing an ice machine is to get rid of any residue of cleaning or sanitizing solution trapped in the system during the cleaning process. The first few batches of ice must be discarded.

Congratulations! In ten simple steps, you have not only efficiently and effectively cleaned your ice machine but also ensured that your customers eat healthy and safe food while keeping it as good as new.


Now, proper cleaning can only go so far. Commercial kitchen and restaurant owners all agree that proper maintenance will not suffice if one does not get a top-quality machine from a trusted supplier to begin with.  Known for its top-quality products, reasonable prices, and favorable terms of service, Willprep has become a preferred destination for commercial restaurant and kitchen equipment buyers. Willprep’s commercial ice maker machines vary in capacity, ranging from 85lb daily to 280lb daily. The company’s vast experience in selling a variety of equipment, including ice machines, freezers and refrigerators, and gas and electric deep fryers, has served as a trusted ally for those who want reliable equipment and crave business expansion. 

Check out Willprep for the most reliable and trustworthy materials on the market.

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