Like other appliances, an icemaker should be regularly cleaned to ensure that it will always make fresh and clean ice each time it is used. Cleaning the machine regularly also ensures that the machine runs perfectly and preserves the quality of the icemaker’s performance for a long time.
Unlike its larger counterparts, portable ice machines are low maintenance and very easy to take care of. However, if you do not regularly take time to maintain the machine, it can pose problems to the ice-making process. Water has several properties and particles that can affect certain gears or parts once it accumulates in these areas.
Even if the machine were to have safeguards against these particles, clogging is still possible if the machine is not properly cleaned. Lime scale and mold are also possible if the icemaker is not cleaned and dried correctly.
If nothing is done, the ice cubes formed by these unmaintained icemakers are smaller than usual and they can be cloudy in nature; the taste may also be affected.
There is no “strict” way to clean a portable icemaker, even if companies highlight how to best clean their portable icemakers. However, there are certain ways to maintain any portable icemaker, regardless of their model, size and type and they are the following:
- Before cleaning your portable icemaker, make sure that it is not plugged into any outlet and it is turned off. If you clean your icemaker while it is still connected to a socket, you are likely to experience electric shocks in the process even if the machine is off.
- Scoop out everything inside the icemaker, including the unused water or melted ice. Some portable icemakers have drain plugs that will help you easily remove the water.
- After removing the extra ice and water from inside the machine, start disassembling the parts that can be removed from the machine. Some of the usual removable items in a portable ice machine include the ice tray, ice basket and the molder. Make sure you check the instruction guide included with your portable icemaker on how you can remove these items safely.
- Use a cleaning solution—3 parts water plus an ice-machine friendly cleaning solution—to clean the internal parts of your icemaker. Cleaning solutions for icemakers can help remove dust, rust, and other accumulated particles in the machine. Users can also use lemon juice or vinegar as substitutes for cleaning solutions.
- Once the cleaning solution cleans every area inside your icemaker, rinse the interior with water and make sure all of the solution is rinsed out of the icemaker. Double check with your machine’s instruction manual which type of water would be good to clean your machine; some portable icemakers recommend that their machines be cleaned with tap water or warm water.
- Clean or replace the parts that would require a thorough clean such as the water filter. Wipe the interior and the removable parts carefully, and make sure they are completely dry before putting them back inside the machine. Use a soft cloth when wiping your machine’s interior, and make sure it does not create scrapes or scratches along the way.
- Ensure that the machine is completely dry by leaving it open to ensure that moisture will not form inside the machine. Some portable icemakers may have a cleaning cycle that will help dry the machine.
- Install all the removable parts once the interior is dry before plugging it back into the electric outlet.
- Make a first batch of ice once you turn the machine on to see if the cleaning procedure was properly done. Remove the first batch of ice from the machine and see its quality and taste. Once satisfied, drain the machine again and make another batch of ice for your use.
- When storing the machine, make sure the machine is dry from inside out with a soft cloth before storing it on a shelf or the counter. Make sure every part is dry to prevent rusting or mold growth.
- Also remember to clean the ice scooper regularly.