How To Clean An Ice Maker In 7 Easy Steps

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In this article, we will discuss the best ways to clean an ice maker. There are many different methods and opinions about the best way to clean an ice maker when it comes to ice maker cleaning.

The most popular method for cleaning an ice maker is to remove all items inside and then fill up a bowl with water and vinegar for 30 minutes before draining it all away. Cleaners are also available in different varieties for this very purpose.

Some people recommend using a mixture of bleach or vinegar and water in a spray bottle or bucket.

Others suggest adding a little dish soap to the water and then pouring it over the unit.

Some recommend boiling a pot of water on your stovetop and pouring it over the machine while it’s running for 5-6 minutes.

No matter which method you choose, remember always to unplug your machine before proceeding! Clean your ice machine every 3-6 months to avoid problems in the future.

Things To Consider

One way to save money on buying an ice machine cleaner is to choose one that’s nickel-safe. Nickel-safe cleaners won’t affect the equipment itself.

Plus, you can choose a cleaner with powder or liquid limescale eliminator, hard water remover, or algae eliminator. Nickel-safe ice maker cleaners will also work on several different types of ice makers.

Even if you have a self-cleaning ice maker, manually clean your ice maker every 3 to 6 months.

Finally, different types of ice makers will require different cleaning methods.

Some units require manual cleaning while others do not. It depends on the type of unit you have, which is why owner’s manuals come in handy. For example, a portable ice machine will differ from an under-counter ice machine. Always read it to learn how to clean your specific model.

Ice makers that don’t have automated cleaning systems will require a different process. Your manufacturer’s manual should tell you more about this. When in doubt about which cleaning advice to follow, it’s best to be safe and follow the manual’s instructions.

Why You Should Clean Your Ice Maker

Cleaning your ice maker is essential because it can help you get the best out of your appliance and increase the device’s lifespan.

A clean ice maker will work better and more efficiently and maintain a cooler temperature that will prolong its life. You can also improve the efficiency of your water filter by cleaning it periodically.

If left unclean, dust, dirt, mold, and other nasties build up inside the device. This accumulation of debris leads to unnecessary wear on your ice maker. Even if you use a filter, at some point, your machine will need some cleaning.

You should change your filter once every 3-6 months. An excellent way to remember to clean an ice maker is to clean it when replacing the filter.

How To Know If You Need To Clean Your Ice Maker

If you notice that your ice cubes are murky or brown, then it’s time to clean the ice maker. If you have an ice maker with a filter, you need to clean the filter because it can’t properly function if it is clogged.

1. Check your water supply and make sure that there is no rust or sediment in it. If there is, then this could be the reason for the color of the water going into the ice maker.

2. Examine how often you use your ice maker and try to keep track of how much time has passed since you last cleaned it or changed its filter (if there is one).

3. Alternatively, try running a cycle without any water in it and see whether any rust comes out of the machine during the dry run.

If you spot any of these signs, then it’s time for deep cleaning:

  • Smaller than normal ice cubes.
  • Ice that is cloudy in appearance.
  • Ice that feels softer and melts faster.
  • Ice that has a strange taste or odor.

How To Clean An Ice Maker – Method 1

  1. Turn off the water supply to the ice maker.
  2. Locate the access panel on the front of your appliance and remove it by pulling it away from the appliance, flipping it over, and removing the screws that secure it in place.
  3. Remove any ice or other debris from the inside of your appliance by hand, if needed.
  4. Vacuum out any dirt or dust that may be inside your appliance using a wet/dry vacuum cleaner.
  5. Wash down any surfaces that are dirty with a mild dish detergent and water solution (or other cleaning solution).
  6. Rinse surfaces with clear water and allow them to dry completely before placing them back in place on your ice maker’s front paneling, if necessary!
  7. Reinsert the parts and turn on the water supply.

How To Clean Your Ice Maker – Method 2

  1. Turn off the ice machine, then disconnect it from the power supply.
  2. Ensure that the water supply to the appliance is turned off before proceeding.
  3. Empty and discard all ice and water from the machine.
  4. Remove all parts that come in contact with ice from the machine.
  5. Wash and sanitize with 1 part ice machine cleaner and 3 parts water.
  6. Rinse thoroughly in clean water.
  7. Reassemble the ice maker, wipe all exposed surfaces, and let it air dry.
  8. Restart the machine and discard the first batch of ice it makes.


It’s essential to clean your ice maker regularly for optimal operation. You know you need to clean it out if the ice changes in size, taste, or looks. We recommend cleaning your machine every 3-6 months.

You should consult your machine’s owner’s manual before cleaning it, especially for those with automatic cleaning. The steps listed above can help you get off to a good start on keeping your ice maker clean.

References & Further Reading:

Paul Wade
About the author

Paul Wade

I’m Paul, and I founded Ice Maker Basics with my friends. We are dedicated to good drinking with ice and great living.
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