Slime and mold are common in your shower or bathroom, but did you know they like to grow in your ice machine as well? Ice machines provide an optimal environment from mold and slime to proliferate. Unfortunately, a simple bathroom cleaner isn’t enough to rid yourself of mold and slime in your ice machine. But worry not! We’re here to show you how to clean your ice machine of mold and slime.
Why Mold and Slime Grow in Ice Machines
Your ice machine’s ice bin provides the perfect environmental conditions for mold and slime to grow. It’s dark, damp, and includes plenty of areas that are difficult for cleaners to reach.
Nutrient-rich air, common is many bars, breweries, and bakeries, feed mold and slime with a constant supply of grease and yeast. The longer mold and slime linger, the longer they feed off nutrient-rich air and grow throughout the ice machine.
Can Mold and Slime Harm My Customers?
Generally, mold and slime are not particularly dangerous to people. Still, those with immunosuppressive conditions should likely stay away from them, which is why you should always protect your customers from a dirty ice machine.
Just because mold and slime don’t present an immediate health hazard, they sure won’t be happy to find mold and slime floating in one of their drinks.
Mold and slime prefer to grow in the areas where ice drops because it stays moist. If the mold or slime grows thick enough, it can fall into your ice supply, waiting to be scooped out and served to an unwitting customer. This is why knowing how to clean your ice machine from mold and slime is so essential.
What do Mold and Slime Mean for My Business?
The FDA defines ice as a food product. For this reason, ice machines require proper ice safety solutions. Unfortunately, most business owners don’t consider this, which is why ice machines are one of the first places a savvy health inspector will look during a health inspection.
Heath code violations can be very damaging to a business. Most municipalities post health code scores on government websites for the public to view. On top of that, local newspapers often publish these scores in weekly columns.
Finally, customer reviews can carry the same weight as health code scores. If a customer finds mold of slime in a drink (just in the example above), they may post a bad review of your business online.
How to Prevent Mold and Slime from Growing
The best way to clean your ice machine of mold and slime is to prevent their growth from the get-go.
Your ice machine’s air filter is your first line of defense when preventing the growth of mold and slime. Air filters trap the particles mold and slime feed on, preventing them from growing.
Another device you may want to consider is an ozone generator, particularly if you run a brewery or bakery. Installing an ozone generator on your ice machine releases ozone gas throughout your ice machine. Ozone is a powerful, all-natural sanitizer that works 3000 times faster than chlorine. Ozone gas occurs naturally in sunlight and lightning and is commonly used in water treatment facilities.
How to Clean Your Ice Machine of Mold and Slime
If you happen to find mold and slime growing in your ice bin, a solution of 20% chlorine and 80% water is the best for cleaning your ice bin.
Here is a step-by-step list you can follow:
- Use a spray bottle to saturate the contaminated surfaces
- If needed, wipe the areas to remove the contaminants
- After wiping, reapply the solution
- Important: Leave the mixture to air dry
Finally, it’s important that you get a cleaning from an experienced ice machine technician at least twice a year (more so if your workplace produces a lot of yeast).
A professional ice machine technician knows how to remove certain components from your ice machine and clean them without damaging the unit. They will also know which areas typically form the most mold and slime, so your entire ice machine can stay clean.
Here at Automatic Icemakers, we’ve been servicing ice machines since 1961! Our team of experienced ice machine technicians specialize in ice machine cleaning and can make sure your machine is free and clear of mold and slime. If you’re looking for a reliable service to clean your ice machine, contact us today!