After a long time of using my refrigerator’s icemaker, it finally gave out. Initially, I was buying bags of ice at the local convenience store, but they ran around $3.50 which got old fast. Replacing an entire refrigerator didn’t make sense to me, so I looked into buying a portable ice maker that sits on my kitchen countertop. It produces over 30 pounds of ice each day which replaces several bags of ice each day and was under $100.
It’s turned out to be a great little machine and it quickly turns a gallon of water into lots of ice. It’s probably one of the best kitchen appliances I have purchased in years.
Here’s how I clean my portable ice maker.
If you have one, you know that the cleaning process isn’t as straightforward as it really should be. I wish the countertop ice maker had some automatic cleaning functions, but it doesn’t. My ice maker is made by Euhomy (check the price on Amazon) and is similar to the igloo portable icemaker and many others out on the market.
Essentially it contains a Reservoir an ice tray, a scoop, and you simply have to replace the water in the reservoir to make ice nearly all day long.
Because of the humidity, I noticed that the icemaker started getting black mold inside of the reservoir, and some of the articulating parts inside of the area that makes the ice was prone to mold growth and a reddish film, mineral deposits, and mineral deposits.
As I took my first stab at trying to clean the portable icemaker, I noticed that it seemed like I needed to turn the unit over in order to dump out the water that was remaining in the reservoir.
However, you don’t want to do this. Because it forces the oil into places that will need time to settle.
Initially, I didn’t realize that there was a drain plug on the bottom of the unit that will allow you to drain out all of the water. You may have to look closely. I’ve taken some pictures of the drain plug on my unit. I’ve searched the Internet trying to discover the best way to clean the unit and coupled it with my own experience.
Cleaning Process for Portable Ice Machines Step-by-Step Guide
Prior to Getting Started, You Will Need the Following:
|Access to warm water (like the kitchen sink)||Required|
|A clean cloth||Required|
|A mild detergent (for exterior wipe down)||Optional|
|A spray nozzle for example from my kitchen sink.||Optional but very Helpful|
|A bucket to catch reservoir water tank||Required|
|White vinegar and/or Lemon juice||Optional|
|Distilled water, Purified Water or at least clean water||Optional|
Ice Maker Machine Manual Cleaning Overview
- The First Step is to unplug or disconnect the unit from power.
- If necessary remove the water line.
- For best results move the unit to the edge of the sink to clean the ice machine.
- Remove plug from bottom of the water reservoir and drain water.
- Remove all removable interior parts such as the ice scoop, removable ice bucket with any ice cubes.
- Soak removable parts (ice bin, ice scooper) in warm soapy water.
- After draining the unit spray down the inside with the sink sprayer to remove any film that has developed over time with clean water
- Allow the water to drain from the bottom.
- Use a water vinegar solution or lemon and water diluted cleaning solution in a spray bottle to clean the interior of the unit.
- Rinse and Repeat Multiple Times.
- Wipe down the exterior of the ice machine with a clean soft cloth or rag containing.
- Optionally fill the reservoir with a 1:10 up to 5:10 ratio of vinegar and make a cycle of ice.
Ice-Making Machine Detailed Steps Cleaning Procedure with Pictures
- Make sure that power plug is not inserted in an outlet and any water line is disconnected.
- It’s helpful to move the portable ice machine to the edge of a sink or push it to the edge of the counter and place a bucket to catch the water below.
- Remove the components inside the unit that are detachable. This includes the ice tray and scoop.
- Inspect the unit for areas that appear to be dirty and in need of thorough cleaning.
- Find the drain plug, which is most likely under the unit.
- Avoid turning the unit on its side or turning over the unit.
- Put something over the drain so that if your plug comes in 2 parts that small parts don’t fall down the drain.
Here is an image of what my drain plug looks like after removing and what it looks like from below.
- On some units, there may be a screen to prevent larger items from being sucked into the pump.
- You may be able to remove yours simply by pulling upwards on it or gently prying it upwards.
- You will clean this separately with the scoop and ice tray.
- It’s helpful if you have access to a low pressure sprayer to rinse out the the contaminants from the unit. If you have a regular sink faucet, you can buy an inexpensive adapter and spray like this one (check price on Amazon).
- Around the area that is responsible for making the ice cubes, there are some articulating parts.
- Gently lift them where possible to see if there is any dirt underneath (as you can see in the picture below).
- Use your sprayer to rinse the area.
- You can also use a spray bottle to apply a premixed solution as mentioned in the steps above.
- I like to use a sponge brush to get into the areas where my hands are too big to get to. You may find that a thin film of algae has formed in areas that aren’t easily visible. The scrub brush will ensure you can reach those areas.
- Next, use a q-tip to get into the areas that are difficult for a sponge or your fingers to clean.
Here you can see how much debris the cotton was able to collect.
- Use the qtip to clean the water intake for the pump.
- Use a gentle pressure so you can avoid leaving pieces of cotton in the intake area.
- To clean stubborn areas, cut the qtip in half and instead of using the cotton end, use the cardboard/stick end to gently scrape stubborn debris.
- Clean the scooper, ice basket and intake screen with warm soapy water and dry.
- Once you finish cleaning the unit, you can use a clean, dry cloth to do a final wipe down on the inside and out.
- Replace the water intake screen and re-insert the valve to make sure water doesn’t leak from below the reservoir.
- Optionally, you can clean dust from the fan, if it has accumulated there with pressurized air.
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