We see a lot of pretty yucky ice machines in our business, and the reason is, it’s not that easy to a clean an icemaker.
To clean an ice machine you have to take it apart. We take apart and clean the entire water distribution system. The water distribution system conveys the water into the plates where it freezes. If it is gunked up the water won’t flow evenly onto the plates and you’ll start to get ice that is thin in parts, and thick in other parts. All that is wasting energy and reducing output. If your icemaker doesn’t have a filter, you’ll see buildup that eventually will clog some of the holes. And the worst gunk comes from restaurants that bake their own bread, the yeast in the air gets into the machines and grows. It takes our guys 2-3 hours to disassemble, clean, and sanitize an ice machine, and they really know what they are doing.
We also descale the plates with a manufacturer approved descaling solution (and manual scrubbing) – this is important because plates build up scale from minerals in the water, and that scale makes the ice stick to the plates, eventually causing the ice to not release properly.
We soak all the parts in buckets of sanitizing solution and scrub until clean. Then put it all back together. After it’s back together we start it up and adjust it until it is making perfect cubes. We observe at least a couple of cycles to make sure that everything is operating properly.
Some of our customers operate 24 hours a day, and the ice machine might be in a busy drive through. They can’t have us in there while they are trying to serve food. We see that all the time, and schedule the cleanings for slow times. Last week we cleaned an ice maker in the middle of the night because that was the only slow time.