Ice machine cleaning

So here’s a procedure ( non-specific ) for cleaning an ice machine.

Every six months is suggested. Perhaps on our machine we need more.
It probably says something in the manual.

Can we organize a team to handle this ?

I’m not sure what the status of the ice machine is. I’m assuming it’s been turned off. When I looked last week, it was empty. Do you think it’s because it wasn’t clean?

It was working 2 or 3 weeks ago.

Ice was fine.

May be much ado about nothing, but is there a way to “test” the ice, i.e. pull a cup full or two every month or quarter and…ummm…put it in a test tube with some reagent(?), or shine a black light on it or…something? Like a soil test to see what’s in your dirt, just with ice/water.

A quick, cursory search via Google found this:

But there may be another, better way.

I love that all the people in this thread are offering to clean the ice machine on a monthly basis. :wink:


What would it cost us to have the machine cleaned regularly by a 3rd party to improve it’s overall health risk profile? Any idea?


Anyone have the actual model number of the machine? I know it will differ than the standard cube machine. The cube machines have a water dump cycle to get rid of the built up minerals vs the nugget do not. This is one of the reasons the ice is opaque vs standard cubes are clear.

I did do some brief searching, none of which produced a make & model number.

Not sure if it is a contractual matter or not, but could this be added to the cleaning service’s set of tasks?

Brings to mind Marvin Zindler’s restaurant reports from channel 13 in Houston. “Slime in the ice machine!”


I grew up in Houston, this was the first thing that I thought of with all of the talk about cleaning the ice machine. :sweat_smile:

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Why would anyone do that ? The one data point we have so far suggests every six months. Not monthly.

We need the make / model number so we can look up the machine specific procedure. Asking for volunteers / volunteering before we have that in hand is premature.

That’s within a restaurant or kitchen where there are certain standards of cleanliness expected already (that blog is for people in that industry). As a data point we should instead be looking at what the manufacturer of our machine says like you suggest we do anyway, and play a bit conservatively off that factoring the operating conditions. I can check the model this evening and see what’s up.

Honestly if we wanted to keep a machine going forward, I’d say sell this one and get a dispenser one instead. They even have some with built in UV-C disinfection (I’m actually looking at a small one with that for home)


Any equipment with UV-C lamps, the lamps have to be replaced after about 8,000 hours. So if its running 24-7, thats about a year. The light spectrum becomes degraded to where it is not effective.


Dispenser models also usually dispense cold water, we have them in some of our factories.

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We already have a cold water dispenser.

I personally prefer the scoop versions. My drinking containers seldom fit the dispenser style.

Also, with the current one, we only need volunteers and the cleaning chemicals. Upgrading the machine would be costly.

And this is where the trouble lies

IIRC it’s not running 24/7 but it is a good point. Wonder what that cost is consumables wise on those machines.

I definitely like the idea of a dispenser model if we are going to have an ice maker. Honestly not sure why we didn’t go with that in the first place. We have one at work and I find most yeti like cups and such fit under there. And if they don’t it’s easy enough to fill a cup that does and then transfer the ice to whatever bottle you want. It definitely seems cleaner that a scoop situation where people lean over the opening. And holding their bottle over the ice and just pour a scoops over ice over their container with lots of ice falling onto their hands and back into the container…


Granted, I don’t know what I’m talking about, but it seems like ice would make the air cooler in the woodshop. I’d be ok with dirty ice because its already pretty dirty in there. Seems like we need a fan and maybe some cat litter for the water / humidity?

Swamp cooling is pretty bad for the machines, and to dessicate the air coming out of one isn’t really practical. If the media isn’t changed frequently the machinery will rust pretty fast

I worked in the research wing of the Dallas VA Hospital and saw how open-bin ice makers are treated by scientific professionals (not amateurs, not volunteers, not the general public on a tour). No way I’d consume ice from a scoop dispenser machine. No way I’d use ice from a scoop dispenser machine in anything that requires the ice to be cleaner than a cow patty in a hail storm.