Do you have a commercial ice machine cleaning checklist? If not, you should. The FDA mandates ice be stored and handled in accordance with the same standards as food. This means that ice machines must be cleaned and sanitized at least 2-4 times per year according to most manufacturers.
If you don’t follow a list of restaurant ice machine maintenance tasks, mold, bacteria, and even viruses can grow inside the unit. These microorganisms can cause illness for your customers and embarrassment and loss of business for you (not to mention costly violation fees) if your dirty ice becomes public knowledge. At the very least, a commercial ice machine cleaning checklist will keep your machine functioning optimally.
Commercial Ice Machine Cleaning Checklist: Inspect, Clean, Repair
To avoid malfunction, bacteria in ice machines, and costly repercussions for you and your customers, we’ve put together a commercial ice machine cleaning checklist that covers everything you need to know.
Ice Machine Inspection
While an experienced technician will conduct this inspection as part of his or her own commercial ice machine checklist, these steps should be part of your regular machine inspection as well. Refer to your manufacturer’s guide for verification of pressure and temperature.
- Verify that the pressure in the water system is correct.
- Check the unit’s interior temperature.
- Test the controls and check their condition, as well as the condition of the wiring.
- Inspect fasteners for corrosion.
- Check the water sensors, distributer parts, hoses, bearings, sump or reservoir, valve, and screen.
Ice Machine Cleaning
When it comes to how often should ice machines be cleaned, most manufacturers recommend at least 4 times per year. A qualified refrigeration service provider should complete this part of your commercial ice machine cleaning checklist. This ensures that the right cleaning solutions are used for your type of machine and the following items are addressed:
- Turn the machine off and disconnect the water supply and power source.
- Dispose of any ice and drain water and disassemble the unit.
- Using the proper cleaning solutions for your machine components, clean off any lime, calcium or mineral deposits from the evaporator plates.
- Circulate cleaning solution through the water system, taking care to flush it first.
- Any removable parts can be cleaned with the solution and a brush while a soft cloth can be used for rubber parts.
- Wipe down the storage bin with the cleaning solution and pressure clean the drain.
- Using a non-corrosive cleaner and brush, remove all debris from the condenser coil.
- Any parts that come in contact with water or ice must be sanitized with a commercial solution. These parts must air dry before reassembling with clean hands.
- Water filters must be replaced every 6 months. Replace filter if necessary.
- Wipe down the exterior.
- Reconnect water and power source.
- Adjust ice level sensor.
- Dispose of first ice batch in case any cleaning solution remains. Observe first two cycles, noting freezing and harvest times.
Ice Machine Maintenance and Repair
Regular maintenance and adherence to your commercial ice machine cleaning checklist is priceless in safeguarding against the costly and distressing aftermath of contaminated ice. Follow these steps for proper maintenance per federal law:
- Have your commercial ice machine professionally cleaned at least 4 times per year, depending on use.
- Replace the water filter at least every 6 months.
- Take advantage of enrolling in a service agreement plan to ensure that no step in your commercial ice machine cleaning checklist is forgotten.
Tiger Mechanical is happy to provide your restaurant ice machine maintenance so that you never have to worry. Give us a call to set up a service plan or schedule a cleaning today!