Ice makers, especially portable models, are often overlooked in the maintenance. You may think there’s no need in cleaning your machine each time you make a bunch of ice cubes because you’re going to make the next one tomorrow. However, there are two things to consider: first – bacteria and second – quality. The ice makers that haven’t been cleaned for a long while tend to make low-quality ice.
Regular cleaning of your portable ice maker will provide quality ice cubes and will help keep your machine in tip-top working condition. Here are a few ice machine cleaning tips to follow. Grab a soft sponge, some mild detergent, lemon juice, or vinegar, and give your arms their dose of exercise while polishing your sweet tooth life-saver.
1. Unplug and remove any ice or water inside the reservoir
This sounds obvious, but many people simply forget to unplug their machines. Now that you unplug it, make sure there’s no liquid inside the reservoir. Hold your ice maker upside down for about 2 minutes to let the remaining water completely pour out.
2. Remove and clean the ice tray
Carefully remove the ice tray from your machine and clean it by using a soft sponge and a tiny bit of vinegar or mild detergent. If the tray has too much buildup, feel free to scrub it well. Remember to use either cold or lukewarm water. Hot water can damage your ice tray, no matter whether it’s plastic or glass.
3. Wipe off the interior
Set the tray aside and start cleaning the interior by using the same cleaning method. I suggest using vinegar or lemon juice since a detergent can leave an unpleasant chemical-filled odor. Drop 1-2 tablespoons of vinegar onto your sponge or soft cloth and scrub the walls to remove any calcium and dirt buildups.
4. Clean the exterior
Not only will you give your ice maker a better look, but you will also prevent any harmful bacteria from getting and lurking in the machine. Depending on how dirty your machine is, just wipe it off with a wet soft cloth.
5. Let it dry and place the ice tray back into the machine
Leave your ice maker dry for at least an hour. Put the ice tray back in the machine and plug it. If you see that it’s not completely dry, don’t plug it.
6. Run your ice maker through a cleaning cycle
This will help to remove any detergent, or vinegar, or plastic taste leftover, if your ice maker is brand new. If there’s some buildup left inside, run a cleaning cycle with a teaspoon of lemon juice combined with water. In this case, run a cleaning cycle twice to remove any odor or buildup leftover. End up with a final cleaning cycle that involves only clean and warm water.