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How to Get the Most Life Out of Your Commercial Ice Maker
If you’ve ever been a waiter in a busy restaurant on a hot day, you are highly likely to have a special kind of appreciation for an ice maker machine. It helps to keep drinks fresh and cool - making it a crucial element for restaurants, bars, cafes and other businesses.
So, it is essential that your commercial ice maker functions properly and lasts a long time. Here are some maintenance tips to help you get the most life out of your commercial ice maker.
Keep It Clean
One of the essential aspects of maintaining your ice machine is consistent cleaning. A good idea is to clean the ice bin often. Aside from being a requirement for the stringent health codes, this is also for your own health.
Every six months or so (based on your instruction manual), you should empty the ice machine and give it a deep clean. It is necessary to be careful here and only use a nickel-safe remover alongside a sanitizing solution especially reserved for ice machines.
You will need to also assess regularly for scale build-up, particularly if you live in an area with hard water. Scale build-up can collect on the internal ice machine parts and cause a freeze-up. It can be quite tricky to remove.
Freeze-up is detrimental to your ice machine. The build-up of scale hinders the transfer of heat and acts as an insulator of the freezing surface. This will mean that ice cubes stick to the plate and may lead to uncontrolled ice freezing on the evaporate plate.
So, it is very important to regularly check for scale build-up and use a mild phosphoric acid solution to remove it. This will help to make sure that your ice maker continues to function properly and produce quality ice.
How Often Should You Clean It?
If up until now, cleaning your ice machine has not been at the top of your priority list, it should be. The frequency of your clean may depend on your type of ice maker.
A manual unit, for instance, may demand a more regular process than an automatic system. Similarly, portable ice makers may have different requirements. As such, we always recommend going back to the instruction manual when you are unsure. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
There are a few telltale signs of an ice machine that needs a clean. It can start off by noticing a funny smell and taste in your drink. The ice may feel slightly softer and melt that much faster. The ice machine may also become cloudy. All these signs mean that you should perform a thorough clean.
In addition to keeping your ice maker clean, you might want to consider antimicrobial protection. This could come in the form of antimicrobial filters that you can clean to get rid of any grease or dirt.
Buildup of mold, dust and slime can be extremely dangerous for your customers as well as being very bad for the machine. Another consideration we recommend is having an ice scoop specifically dedicated to ice in the machine.
Regularly Clean the Air Filter
When you have an ice machine that requires air cooling, you will need to clean out the air filter every few months. This process involves checking for any potential dust build-up on the compressor.
It’s a good idea to do this when you clean out the ice bin as you would have already pulled your ice maker out from its spot. When putting your machine back in its designated spot, always make sure to leave an air gap around it so that it doesn’t overheat
Replace the Water Filter
You should replace your ice maker’s water filter every six months. This tip is excellent to ensure you keep your machine running smoothly and your ice fresh. The water filter helps to remove sediment and minerals from the water to keep your ice clear. This also removes bad flavors or odors.
To keep your ice fresh and delicious, proper ice maker maintenance is important. Make sure that you read your ice maker’s instruction manual and perform maintenance regularly to get the most life out of your commercial ice maker.
This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or management of EconoTimes