Summer will be here before you know it. Point being, our icemakers will be working overtime cranking out those cubes so we can enjoy a refreshing, cold drink. Thinking back to the last time you put ice into your drink, did it taste just a little off? If that was the case, your taste buds may not have been having a bad day. Icemakers and ice machines need to be cleaned on occasion, especially after periods of long dormancy. Just like any other machine, buildup and stagnation can occur, only in this case, they impact the flavor of the ice.
Cleaning Your Ice Machine
This is something you want to make a habit of doing about every six months. I like to do it just as the warmer weather kicks in before heavy use, then do it once again over the winter when I am less prone to use the ice machine. This ensures that we are getting the freshest tasting ice all year round.
This is something you can do on your own in a few easy steps:
Turn off appliance – this is something you want to make a habit of when cleaning any appliance. Always kill the power to ensure safety.
Remove parts – in most cases, you can remove the entire catch bucket for the ice. Consult your user’s manual for other pieces that can be easily removed and clean them all thoroughly with warm soapy water. Be sure to rinse thoroughly and set aside to dry while you work on the other parts.
Drain water – if the ice machine in you refrigerator has a water reservoir, drain it completely, then wipe down the interior of the reservoir. Make a mixture of 10 parts water to one part white vinegar for the cleaning solution. Use cleaning brushes to clean out the hard-to-reach areas, such as the slots were the ice comes out.
Clean exterior – using the vinegar solution, wipe down the outside parts of the ice machine.
At this point, you can reassemble the ice machine.
Sanitize lines – when I clean my machine, I like to run the vinegar solution through by filling up the reservoir and allowing it to cycle through. You can then redrain the reservoir, wipe down thoroughly to ensure vinegar solution is gone, then allow it to run through another cycle to remove the vinegar water from the lines.
Once you run through a cycle, the ice maker should be ready to go again with clean, fresh ice.