How to Clean an Ice Maker
It’s important to keep your kitchen appliances clean and maintained in order to ensure they work properly year after year.
If you have an ice maker or machine at home, it’s just as important to keep this appliance clean.
In this article, we’re taking a closer look at this process so you can rest assured your appliance is clean and operating properly.
How to Clean an Ice Maker
Have you ever given any thought to all of the things that you love and use often but never really offer back any support or care? When you have a bad day and you want to vent to someone, you call your best friend. But, when your best friend’s bad day arrives, will you be there to listen and offer support?
All is well until the day it isn’t. Ice machines don’t stay clean just because. No – they stay clean because you care for them and you clean them. You show up when they need you.
And, because your ice maker is an important piece of daily life, we thought you may want to know how to clean it.
Why Clean It?
Having a clean ice maker is important for a number of reasons. First, it will keep your ice maker producing clear ice. When the cubes become cloudy (unless it is designed this way), you may be dealing with a buildup of debris that is causing this. Second, your ice should taste like pure ice – nothing else. However, when you don’t clean your ice maker, it can begin to get a funky mildew taste. And, let’s be honest, no one wants that.
Along with taste comes a smell that can be attributed to an unclean ice machine. Simply put, your ice should not smell like anything. Ice itself does not have an odor. Unfortunately, if you don’t take care of your ice maker it can begin to absorb smells over time. And, with this, your ice will not only taste funny but smell weird, too.
Lastly – and most importantly – you consume the ice that your ice maker produces. And, it runs off your water supply. What happens when you have a constant stream of water? You have the chance for mold and mildew to find their way in. When that happens, you will find yourself consuming the mold and mildew remnants which can be dangerous to your health.
In other words, you must clean and take care of your ice machine.
First Things First
The first thing you want to do when it comes to cleaning your ice maker is to unplug the refrigerator and freezer. Remember, water and electricity are not friends.
This is a crucial step that should always be taken when you begin to perform maintenance on any appliance.
Carefully pull out your refrigerator as far as possible so that you can reach the plug to unplug it. And, bonus – what a great time to sweep behind and underneath your refrigerator!
Gather Up Your Supplies
Your next step to a clean ice maker involves gathering up your supplies. Many of these items you probably already have in your home which makes cleaning your ice maker even easier.
You will need:
- A soft cloth
- A solution of 1 part white vinegar to 10 parts warm water
- A measuring cup or spoon
If you have not cleaned your ice maker in a while – or if you have never cleaned it – you may need to also gather the following:
- Baking soda
- A soft toothbrush (that you don’t need for your teeth)
- Paper towels or other dry cloth
Remove as much of your ice maker as you can from your refrigerator/freezer. Unhook the water supply and let any unused water drain into your sink or a nearby bucket. And, if you have added filters in your ice maker, remove them and set aside.
Using your homemade solution of vinegar and warm water, begin wiping down all reachable areas of your ice maker using the soft cloth. Any areas that require an extra boost, use your baking soda and toothbrush to get them clean.
You can carefully plug your refrigerator/freezer back in.
You will also want to fill your ice maker with this solution so that the next batch of ice will contact the vinegar and water. Don’t worry, you can toss this batch of ice. To be sure future batches taste clean and fresh, it is best to run one more cleaning batch of ice through this machine. This time, however, leave out the vinegar!
Finally, once you have wiped everything down with the solution, rinse it in warm water and dry it with a soft cloth.
You are now ready to re-assemble your ice maker and enjoy some fresh ice.
How often should you clean your ice maker?
How often you should clean your ice maker varies from person to person. Some insist you should clean it annually. Others, every six months. Some people even wait until they see signs that something is going on and then decide to clean it.
A good rule of thumb is to thoroughly clean once a year. And, rinse and wipe down the ice storage bin every time you clean your refrigerator, preferably monthly.
It is easy to believe that as long as our appliances are working fine, they don’t require anything from us. However, if you’d like to keep your investment working for you for years to come, you are going to want to perform the care and routine maintenance necessary to keep your appliances running efficiently.
Your ice maker brings you such joy. Take the time to clean it and keep it running in a healthy manner – and it will keep you healthy, too.