Even if you have the best portable ice maker at home, there is a chance that it might not have the self-cleaning feature. Ice makers that have this feature also need to be cleaned manually sometimes since the machine cannot also reach in places where you can, using a Q tip. Knowing how to clean a portable ice maker would save you a lot of trouble later on when the ice is coming out all dirty and smelly.
Why should you clean your ice maker?
Some people might wonder why there is a need to clean the ice maker since it is not being exposed to anything dirty. You are simply putting in water and ice is coming out. How could this make your ice maker dirty?
The answer is that the water can make your ice maker dirty. Tap water is not entirely clean. No matter where you are taking your water from, there will always be some residues of minerals in the water. These residues accumulate in the ice maker and tend to give off a pungent odor after a while. This is why it is important that you clean the ice maker.
Other than water, dust from the air is also making your ice maker dirty. The dust particles can clog up the ejector blades or ice molds of the machine. If mold is growing in the machine or rusting has begun, it would be difficult for the machine to work to the best of its ability.
Read More: How Portable Ice Maker works
When should you clean your ice maker?
This differs from one brand to another. It also depends on which model or kind of ice maker you are using. However, there are some signs that show you that your machine is not doing well and it needs to be clean as soon as possible. You will start noticing certain things like:
- The ice produced by your machine is smaller in size and appears cloudy
- Ice melts faster and is softer
- Ice gives off a certain odor
- Ice is not clear but has a different color
If any of these things are happening, it is time for you to clean the ice machine. Some machines come with cleaning instructions written on the manual. For others, you have to just use the best possible method.
How to Clean a Portable Ice Maker?
You can clean the ice maker internally and externally. The steps for doing this are pretty simple and you will surely have all the cleaning supplies at home.
Method 1: Cleaning Externally
The machine can get dirty or dusty from outside as it is exposed to air. If you took it with you on a road trip, you should clean the surface of your portable ice maker since it would have gathered a lot of dust on its way.
- Take a bowl of warm water and put a drop of mild detergent in it.
- Soak a sponge or cloth in this water and clean the exterior of your ice maker.
- Remove the ice basket and use the same solution to clean the inner side.
- Once dry, put the ice basket back in its place.
You should do this regularly if you take the portable ice maker outside or it is placed on a countertop near the window, where it will gather dust.
Method 2: Cleaning Internally
Now, let us move on to interior cleaning. This is a bit more delicate but it is very important for the proper working of the machine.
- Start by taking the ice basket out and then prepare a cleaning solution for the ice maker.
- Make the solution very mild i.e. add 10 parts water and one part lemon juice.
- Run the machine two to three times to make some batches of ice. Discard them.
- Use a cloth to clean the solution off the reservoir.
- Clean the water line and rinse it.
- Now, add fresh water and run a few batches.
- Discard this ice and water from the reservoir.
- Then, wipe off the residual cleaning solution from the machine and add fresh ice.
Do not use tissues for cleaning the ice maker as remains of tissue paper can clog the machine even more. Always use a dry cloth. Use Q tips to reach the smaller parts on the inside.
Method 3 – Alternate
In this method, you will follow the same steps as Method 2 but you will use vinegar instead of using lemon juice. You could use dish soap too but we do not suggest it. If you do not clean the ice maker properly, you will have a soapy taste in your ice. Also, the suds from the dish soap could get stuck in the ice maker. This is why lemon juice and vinegar are better options. They clean just as well but do not cause any further damage.
How to know if the Ice Maker is Clean?
At home, you have multiple uses of a portable ice maker. So, you need to ensure that it is clean at all times. You can confirm this by looking at the quality of ice.
- Ice is crystal-clear, without any cloudiness.
- There is no aroma.
- The ice tastes great and does not have any weird taste or color to it.
We hope this guide would have taught you how to clean a portable ice maker. Now, you can get your supplies together and clean your ice-making machine.