The Ultimate Ice Machine Cleaning Checklist

The Ultimate Ice Machine Cleaning Checklist

You might not be aware of it, but there’s one piece of equipment in your hotel that needs to be cleaned more often than you realize. When you’re planning your facility’s annual maintenance lists, be sure to add ice machine cleaning to it!

Why Should Ice Bins Be Cleaned and Serviced Regularly?

First and foremost, ice bins are regularly exposed to bacteria and viruses. How? From human contact as well as general exposure to dust particles in the air. While it’s not necessary to perform a full-fledged ice machine cleaning every night, ice bins should be a part of your housekeeping department’s daily duties.

The Ultimate Ice Machine Cleaning Checklist

The rest of your ice machine cleaning can happen on a quarterly or biannual basis. There are several steps to cleaning it properly.

First, Perform An Inspection of Your Ice Machine.

Before you start servicing any parts, you’ll want to do an overall inspection of the unit.

  • Inspect the water system pressure. Make sure the regular is providing the proper amount of water pressure, usually around 40psi.
  • Now, check the inside temperature of the unit. Ice machines work best in cooler environments because they often run 25 degrees warmer than the room’s temperature.
  • Then, check controls and wiring for fraying.
  • Look for any corrosion and clean it if discovered.
  • Inspect the water sensor next. Ice machines often work best with water no warmer than 50 degrees.
  • Make sure your thermistors are properly working.
  • After that, make sure your water distributors and hoses are in clean and working order.
  • Inspect the bearings to make sure they’re all functioning properly — these can be expensive repairs if they seize up.
  • Finally, inspect the water reservoir to make sure the valves are filling it properly.

Next, Clean and Service The Ice Machine

During your ice machine cleaning, there are 15 things to do — and in this order!

  • Most importantly power down the machine before doing any maintenance.
  • Now, disconnect water supply. This is extremely important to make sure water doesn’t flow into the system at the wrong time.
  • Discard any ice in the bins and drain the water from the reservoir and lines.
  • Now it’s time to disassemble the unit. During this process, you’ll want to inspect each part that comes in contact with water to ensure they’re free of mold, slime, or scale. If so, clean and disinfect them thoroughly.
  • Next, make sure that the evaporator plates are free of calcium, lime or any iron buildup.
  • Each ice machine has a specific cleaning solution for it. Be sure to clean each part with what your manufacturer recommends.
  • Now, it’s time to flush the water system completely. After all water is evacuated, circulate the cleaning solution through the system.
  • While the system is drying, remove all parts and clean with the appropriate solvent.
  • While your housekeeping crew probably cleaned it recently, go ahead and clean storage bin at this time too.
  • Take a good look at the condenser coil, removing any grease or debris from it.
  • Carefully inspect and replace the air and water filters at this time.
  • Once everything has fully dried, reassemble the unit and then clean its exterior.

Finally, Restart The Ice Machine

After reassembling and reconnecting the water supply, let it generate some ice. As necessary, you’ll want to adjust the ice level sensor. Finally, before letting any guests use it to be sure to run two cycles of ice through the machine to make sure it’s 100% clean and functioning properly.

What Other Annual Cleaning Items Should We Be Aware Of?

That’s a great question, and we’d love to sit down with your maintenance team to help them develop a robust annual cleaning plan. Contact us today and a member of our team will be in touch to schedule your consultation!

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The experiences I have had with the CMI team out of Denver has been nothing but positive.  If conversations for HVAC or national Boiler services were to open up, I will most definitely reach out to you.

Maile Keliikuli

Facilities Manager, REI Co-Op