Ice machines can be found almost anywhere, from restaurants, to hospitals, and even in your own home. Unfortunately, these ice machines are typically not cleaned as often as they should be, leading to a build-up of bacteria and mould. Ice machines can actually have more bacteria in them than toilet water, which obviously, isn’t healthy. How do you keep this from happening to your ice machine? What’s the best solution to use? Clean and disinfect your ice machine regularly, and always use the products recommended in your user’s guide.
So What Survives In The Deadly Cold?
The most overlooked factor with ice machines is the belief that as it’s frozen, bacteria can’t survive. This is, in fact, a myth. Molds and fungi can grow in ice machines where it is damp, but not submerged. Bacteria live in a slime, known as a biofilm, that can’t be removed with gentle cleaning. This biofilm helps the bacteria to multiply, giving it a home in your ice maker. The biofilm can also be found in a variety of other places, such as medical devices, and water piping. This is why it’s important to clean and disinfect your ice maker.
A common bacterium called Pseudomonas Aeruginosa can be found in 2% of drinking water samples. Depending on the presence of biofilm, this bacteria can be found in faucets and shower heads and can cause chronic infections in people with compromised immune systems. It can also be found in ice machines. Regular cleaning helps to remove and even prevent the buildup of mould, biofilms, and bacteria.
What, then, should you use to clean your machine?
Whether you’re looking to clean a home unit or one in a restaurant, the general process will be the same. Make sure you consult the user’s guide before you begin. That manual will tell you what to use to clean and disinfect, along with the steps you need to take to clean it.
General steps to removing bacteria and molds after they have begun to form in your ice machine are:
1. Remove the ice.
2. Wipe it down with mild detergent and rinse completely.
3. Sanitize the water lines.
4. Finding brown slime? It’s likely a yeast mould. Scrub every surface, or it will grow back.
5. Check for signs of bacteria growth. This will look like a pink or black film. Use a spray bottle with a half bleach/half water solution and spray all surfaces. Rinse thoroughly and wash again with detergent. Rinse again.
6. Change the water filter.
Rotating ice machines are less likely to develop the biofilm and mould deposits, due to the moving parts. Those that are stationary will develop these things much faster, as there is nothing to disrupt the process. Ensuring that your ice maker is regularly cleaned will help prevent the buildup from coming back.
Descaling and general upkeep of an ice machine are similar to cleaning up an ice machine that has been neglected:
1. Descaling and general upkeep should be done at least every six months.
2. Access the evaporation compartment and remove all the ice. Make sure the machine is off. Alternatively, you can power off your machine and let the ice melt before draining the water.
3. Press the “clean” or “wash” button. The actual name may vary, depending on your model. Wait until the water trough is full and the display says to add the cleaning agent.
4. Wait for the clean cycle to be complete.
5. Remove parts for cleaning.
6. Make a solution of the cleaner and warm water.
7. Use half the solution to clean the parts. Wait for it to stop bubbling. Rinse well with water.
8. While you’re waiting for the parts to stop bubbling and soak, clean all surfaces that the water and ice touch with the rest of the solution.
9. Rinse everything really well with warm water and replace parts.
10. Turn machine back on to normal setting. It is usually recommended that the first load of ice after cleaning be thrown out, just to be sure there is no solution left in the machine.
The exact directions for this process will be in your user’s guide. Make sure to follow those directions closely. The directions above are simply a guideline to illustrate the steps that should be taken.
Types Of Ice And Ice Machines
There are several different ice machines on the market.Therefore, it is recommended to check a retailer that have a range of ice machines for various purposes like Ice Machine Direct. Click here to view what kind of ice are you after to get some solid idea of the machine. Whether you’re looking for one for home, or you are looking for a new model for the office, the restaurant or the hospital, there are lots of options. There are different shapes for the ice, depending on your purpose. These are cube ice, fast ice, and shaved ice. For the purposes of this article, we will look at cube ice models. A few of the best ones available currently are the Hoshizaki IM Series Cube Ice Small Undercounter, the Manitowoc Self Contained Underbench Series and the PuraIce Cube Ice. Each of these comes in different model sizes, so you can get the exact machine you need for your space.
There are a lot of different options for ice machines right now. Some make different shapes of cubes, like crescents or octagons, some have high or lower quantities of ice production in a 24-hour period. Each of them has their own benefits, depending on the purpose of the machine.
Keeping your ice machine bacteria and mould-free is not a difficult task. Starting with a new machine and ensuring that you are cleaning and descaling it will help to keep your ice maker functioning properly and will also keep it in top shape for years to come. If you are unsure of how to clean your unit, check the user’s manual, which should have specific instructions on how to do it. Use only company approved parts and cleaning solutions and you’ll be able to extend the life of your ice machine and keep it nice and bacteria free. Remember, it’ll be easier to keep that machine clean if you do it regularly right from the beginning.