If your Chicago business uses a commercial ice machine, you want to make sure it delivers the safest, most sanitary ice for your customers or employees. Many areas of an ice machine can attract mold, slime, or other pathogens that can lead to ice contamination. Automatic Icemakers has been professionally cleaning commercial ice machine equipment in Chicago since 1961, so we know a thing or two about which ice machine cleaner you should be using to maintain the machine’s performance. Your employees should include light, daily cleaning on your ice machine between professional cleanings.
A dirty ice machine can not only make people sick, but it uses more energy and water than a clean ice maker – so cleaning can save you money in utilities as well! Here are some of examples of ice machine cleaners you can use to keep your machine in the best condition.
What is the Best Ice Machine Cleaner for an Ice Maker’s Exterior?
Chicago businesses should aim to clean their ice machine’s exterior daily. Ice machine cleaning should be an important part in cleaning your business. Make sure to include it in your staff’s daily cleaning regimen.
There are many disinfecting agents approved by the EPA that are perfectly suited to clean an ice machine’s exterior.
The first step to cleaning your ice machine’s exterior is to wash away any heavy amounts of grime with soap and warm water. You want to make sure the disinfecting agent can make contact with the ice machine’s surface – and dirt can prevent that from happening.
“Ice machine cleaning should be an important part in cleaning your business. Make sure to include it in your staff’s daily cleaning regimen.”
When choosing a disinfectant, make sure it’s designed to kill the contaminant you’re looking to eliminate. The majority of disinfecting agents can eliminate most bacteria, but viruses like coronavirus or norovirus are harder to kill. Make sure to follow the directions on the label for correct dilution rates and contact times, so your ice machine cleaner can effectively eliminate all contaminants.
Which Ice Machine Cleaner is Best for Inside of an Ice Maker?
When it comes to cleaning the inside of your ice machine, there’s only so much the average Chicago business can do without risking damaging the unit. A professional ice machine technician is the best person to call for a deep cleaning of your ice machine’s interior. Professional cleaning involves taking out components inside the machine and disinfecting them with a specialized ice machine cleaner. Tasking your employees to do this may result in damage to the unit.
If you have an Automatic Icemakers rental, you can leave the professional cleaning to our technicians. We monitor the service history of every ice machine rental we install to ensure they stay clean and sanitary. We also offer professional cleaning for your existing ice machine.
Many ice machine manufacturers include “user-friendly” instructions to clean internal components, like the ice machine’s evaporator. You can find these instructions in the service handbook that came with the unit or on their manufacturer’s websites.
If you decide to perform some light cleaning on your evaporator, make sure to use the ice maker cleaner recommended by the manufacturer. Many ice machine parts are constructed with different materials that need special care. You can risk damaging the ice machine if you choose to use the wrong ice maker cleaner.
“When it comes to cleaning the interior of your ice machine, there’s only so much the average Chicago business can do without risking damaging the unit.”
For example, Hoshizaki ice makers build their machines with a stainless-steel evaporator plate that can hold up to many acid-based cleaners. A food-grade, 85% Phosphoric Acid cleaner is the best ice machine cleaner for these models. For more information on cleaning a Hoshizaki commercial ice maker, check out our Hoshizaki ice machine cleaning guide.
Manitowoc ice makers (along with other brands) use nickel-plated evaporator plate. These units require a nickel-safe ice machine cleaner that won’t damage the plating on the evaporator. There is a nickel-safe Manitowoc ice machine cleaner they recommend on their ice machine models. For more information of Manitowoc ice machine cleaning, check out our Manitowoc Ice Machine Cleaning Guide.
Cleaning the evaporator plate should be part of any professional ice machine service. Scale from hard water can lead to expensive problems for commercial ice machine evaporators. Automatic Icemakers cleans evaporators during every one of our preventive maintenance visits.
What Ice Maker Cleaners are Best for Inside an Ice Bin?
Your ice bin holds all the ice your ice machine produces. Since the FDA defines ice a food, the interior lining of your ice bin is considered a food-contact surface, much like a cutting board, prep area, or serving tray. Chicago businesses should aim to clean, disinfect, AND sanitize the interior of your bin. Sanitizing helps to lower the level of bacterial pathogens on a surface.
“Sanitizing helps to lower the level of bacterial pathogens on a surface.”
There are many food-safe disinfectants recommended by the EPA that can double as an ice machine cleaner. With a food-contact surface like your ice bin lining, make sure to rinse away any remaining disinfectant. Most disinfectants are toxic at high-concentrations and can make customers sick when left on a food-contact surface.
Make sure to shut the machine off and empty out the bin. You don’t want any of the disinfectant to contaminate your ice supply when cleaning.
After disinfecting, you’ll also want to sanitize the interior of your bin after rinsing away the disinfectant. Many disinfecting agents double as sanitizing agents when mixed at a lower concentration. Always make sure to read the label for sanitizing instructions on safe dilution rates or spraying times. Unlike disinfecting, you don’t want to rinse the ice machine cleaning solution after cleaning. Instead, allow the mixture to air dry.
Clean Your Ice Machine Regularly – But Leave the Deep Cleaning to The Professionals.
To maintain a safe and sanitary ice supply, routine ice machine cleaning along with ice handling practices is imperative. Employees should wipe down the machine down and sanitize the machine between uses. As far as deep cleanings go, a qualified ice machine technician in Chicago is the best person to call.
If you’re looking for a new ice machine for your Chicago business, we have ice machines for sale to cover all your business’s ice needs. Our all-inclusive ice machine lease program comes with the best commercial ice machines from Hoshizaki and Manitowoc, along with 2 preventive maintenance visits and comprehensive cleanings a year.
If you already own an ice machine, we provide quality ice machine service for the Chicago area.