How to Clean a Portable Ice Maker

Depending on the type of portable ice machine that you’ve chosen, the cleaning process and maintenance specifics will differ, so check the owner manual first. However, you won't need any special ice maker cleaner. Usually, the manufacturer will provide detailed instructions about the right steps to undertake. Proper cleaning and care are both very important for extending the longevity of the ice machine and enjoying delicious ice cubes every single time.

If you don’t know how to get started, you may want to keep to a couple of universal steps. These apply to all kinds of ice making machines, whether they need to be drained or whether the ice-making machines come with a system capable of re-using the water.

Proper Ice Maker Cleaning Steps

To clean your countertop ice maker machine, you will need to follow these simple steps:

  1. Empty the appliance before getting started: No matter how thorough you’re going to be with the cleaning process, emptying the ice-making machine from ice residue and water is imperative before moving on to the next step. Take out the ice bin and dump and leftovers in the sink. The same applies to the water reservoir.
  2. Wipe everything down: Now that the ice tray and the water tank have been taken out, use a soft cloth or such as a microfiber cloth and a little warm water to wipe the entire interior of the appliance clean. Go over all of the walls, the nooks and the crannies where buildup could potentially accumulate. Spraying a bit of vinegar on the interior prior to wiping it with a soft cloth can make it even easier to get rid of dirt.
  3. Clean the ice bin and the water reservoir: Before putting these two parts back inside the portable ice machine, you may want to wash them thoroughly, as well. Wash the ice tray with soapy water and dry it with a microfiber cloth before putting it back inside the machine. The same procedure can be used to clean the water tank.
  4. Reassemble the appliance: Make sure that all of the parts you’ve taken out have been returned to the right spot inside the portable ice maker.
  5. Run at least one clean cycle: Fill the water reservoir and run one clean cycle. The cycle is complete when all of the water in the tank has been used up. For best results and highest quality of the ice, dump this batch. Next time you fill the water tank, you’ll get to make fresh and delicious ice.
  6. Clean the exterior of the appliance every now and then: While cleaning the interior is most important in terms of hygiene, you should also get in the habit of cleaning the exterior every once in a while. It could accumulate dust, dirt and grime, especially when placed near other kitchen appliances. Use a product that you rely on for kitchen cleaning and a soft microfiber cloth to freshen up the exterior of the appliance.

A Few Additional Tips

This basic process will deliver satisfactory results every single time but you may want to rely on a couple of additional steps to boost efficiency even further.

You don’t need to use any specific ice maker cleaner inside the ice maker. You can wipe the interior with vinegar or a little bit of baking soda. Once you fill the reservoir with water once again, add a few drops of lemon juice to it. The lemon juice passing through the machine will take away any bad taste or odor. The next batch of ice that you make after cleaning the appliance is going to be completely taste-free afterwards.

Make sure that the ice maker is turned off and unplugged before getting started with cleaning. Safety should always come first.

After you wipe the interior with a microfiber cloth, you may want to give the appliance a bit of additional time to air dry. Air drying results in perfect cleanliness and it prevents the accumulation of dirt or grime inside the machine.

If you have an ice maker that has an automatic cleaning feature, go through the instructions booklet and rely on this cleaning option. There will be no need to go through the entire manual process if the machine can handle everything on its own.

Finally, stick to any additional recommendations and instructions provided by the manufacturer. These are very important for extending the lifespan of the portable ice maker and ensuring its safe functioning.


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