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Ice-o-matic ICE Series Cleaning/Sanitizing Procedures

ICE-O-Matic GEM-MFI Series Cleaning/Sanitizing Procedures

Cleaning and sanitizing instructions for the ice machine and/or the bin/dispenser

  • Cleaning should be done twice a year at the very least.
  • Cleaning should be followed by sanitizing, which should be done after each cleaning or as needed.

Note: When conducting the following cleaning steps, keep in mind that the power will be turned on.

Cleaning and sanitizing any commercial ice machine are critical operations that should be included in every operator's preventive maintenance plan. These two treatments, while comparable, are distinct and accomplish different goals. Cleaning or de-liming the evaporator dissolves mineral deposits and eliminates scale, calcium, and other mineral buildup. Sanitizing the machine disinfects it and removes microbial development such as mold and slime.



In either scenario, it's critical to choose treatments that aren't harmful to the ice maker. Never use cleaning or sanitizing solutions containing Nitric Acid, Sulfuric Acid, Hydrochloric Acid, Carbolic Acid, Acetic Acid, diluted Acetic Acid, or non-food-grade vinegar (concentration of acetic acid greater than 6% and does not contain enzymes created during processing), or any chlorine-based solution such as bleach, chlorine dioxide, or any type of salts such as potassium chloride (pH 7.2) or any chlorine-based solution such as bleach, chlorine.

To be sure, look at the label or the manufacturer's Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). These substances can cause corrosion and flaking on the evaporator's surface as well as other metal components. RO water is acidic and can corrode the evaporator and other metal components in the ice machine. Because the RO process removes all minerals and metals from the water, microbial, mold, and slime growth can be accelerated.

Ice-O-Matic suggests that if RO water is used, the pH of the water be certified to be a neutral 7.0 to reduce corrosive effects. The use of improper cleansers, sanitizers, and RO water with an unbalanced pH could violate the machine's warranty.

Cleaning

Perform the following steps before cleaning the ice machine and/or the Bin/Dispenser:

  1. Remove the front panel of the ice maker.
  2. Make sure the evaporator is completely free of ice. If you're making ice, wait until the cycle is finished before turning the machine off at the ICE/OFF/WASH selector switch.
  3. Turn off the ice machine's potable water supply.
  4. Empty the storage bin of all ice. (Cleaning and/or sanitizing is required.)

Ice Machine Cleaning Instructions

  1. Turn on the ICE/OFF/WASH switch to the "WASH" position to start the wash cycle. To flush the remaining water from the water trough, hit the Purge Switch. When the water trough is empty, turn off the Purge Switch.
  2. Turn the ICE/OFF/WASH switch to the "OFF" position to end the wash cycle.
  3. Fill the water trough with the necessary amount of certified nickel-safe ice machine cleaning (diluted according to the manufacturer's recommendations). (Refer to the cleaner's instructions on the packaging.)
  4. Turn the ICE/OFF/WASH switch to the "WASH" position to start the wash cycle. To eliminate mineral deposits, allow the cleaner to circulate for around 15 minutes.
  5. Press and hold the Purge Switch until the ice machine cleaner is flushed down the drain.
  6. Turn the ICE/OFF/WASH switch to the "OFF" position to end the wash cycle. Remove the splash curtain and check the evaporator and water spillway for any remaining mineral residue.
  7. Wipe any leftover residue from the evaporator, spillway, and other water conveyance surfaces with a clean soft cloth if necessary. Remove the water trough, disassemble, and clean with a bottlebrush if necessary to remove all scale or slime accumulation. Remove the water distribution tube, disassemble, and clean with a bottlebrush if necessary. To remove any leftover residue, reassemble all components and repeat steps 2 through 5 as needed.
  8. After cleaning, the Ice Machine must be sanitized according to the Sanitizing Instructions.

Storage Bin/ Dispenser Cleaning Instructions

  1. Remove all of the ice from the storage bin by opening the bin door and placing it in a clean container for reuse or disposal.
  2. Pour in the necessary amount of nickel-safe ice machine cleaning (diluted according to the manufacturer's recommendations).

(Refer to the cleaner's instructions on the packaging.)

  1. Rinse all surfaces within the bin, including the bin door, bin walls, window track, and snout region, thoroughly with soap and water. It's possible that a soft bristle brush with an extended handle will be necessary.
  2. Allow the cleaner to absorb into the mineral deposits for around 15 minutes to eliminate and loosen the deposits. It's worth noting that this includes the bin outflow.
  3. Rinse all surfaces within the bin, including the bin door, bin walls, window track, and snout region, thoroughly with soap and water. Note: If necessary, repeat Steps 3, 4, and 5.
  4. After cleaning, the Storage Bin/Dispenser must be sanitized according to the Sanitizing Instructions.

Sanitizing

Perform the following steps before sanitizing the ice machine and/or Bin/Dispenser:

  1. Remove the front panel of the ice maker.
  2. Make sure the evaporator is completely free of ice. If you're making ice, wait until the cycle is finished before turning the machine off at the ICE/OFF/WASH selector switch.
  3. Turn off the ice machine's potable water supply.
  4. Empty the storage bin of all ice. (Cleaning and/or sanitizing is required.)

Ice Machine Sanitizing Instructions

  1. Use an EPA-approved food equipment sanitizer with the manufacturer's suggested solution mix.
  2. Fill the water trough with enough sanitizing solution to overflowing, then turn the ICE/OFF/WASH switch to the “WASH” position and allow circulation to occur for 10 minutes while inspecting the water transport system for leaks. Wipe out any additional ice machine splash spots during this time. Inspect to ensure that all components of the water transportation system are in proper working order.
  3. Press and hold the Purge Switch until the sanitizer is drained down the drain. Turn on the ice machine's potable water supply and wait 1 to 2 minutes for the residual diluted sanitizing solution to flush out of the water trough.
  4. Replace the front panel and set the ICE/OFF/WASH switch to the "ICE" position
  5. Toss the first two ice crops in the trash. DO NOT USE ANY OF THE ICE MADE BY THE CLEANING SOLUTION.

Bin/Dispenser Sanitizing Instructions

  1. Use an EPA-approved food equipment sanitizer with the manufacturer's suggested solution mix.
  2. Use an approved sanitizer to sterilize the bin interior, which includes the bin door, bin walls, window track, and snout region, according to the sanitizer's guidelines. It's worth noting that this includes the bin outflow.
  3. Toss the first two ice crops in the trash. NO ICE FROM THE CLEANING SOLUTION SHOULD BE USED.

Ice-O-Matic Ice Machine/Bin Cleaning Frequently Asked Questions

The process of eliminating mineral accumulation and scale from the evaporator and other components of an ice machine is known as de-liming. The ice machine should be cleaned at least once every six months, according to Ice-O-Matic. Depending on the water quality and filter system utilized, more frequent cleaning may be required.

It is the operator's responsibility to choose the best frequency for their specific environment. Microbial, mold, and slime cannot be removed by cleaning. After cleaning, the machine should always be sanitized.

Ice-O-Matic suggests using a “nickel-safe” cleanser like Viper Nickel Safe Ice Machine Cleaner or something similar. The chemical makeup is usually as follows:

  • Water 53% to 82%  
  • Phosphoric Acid 15% to 40%  
  • Citric Acid 3% to 7%

Cleaning should be performed by a skilled technician who follows the full processes outlined in the Technical Service Manual. Most cleaners include an ounce to gallon combination for the optimum volume of solution in their directions. Directly pouring undiluted cleaner into the water trough may not achieve the desired dilution level. Before pouring into the trough, Ice-O-Matic recommends mixing in a plastic container.

Ice-O-Matic Ice Dispenser/Bin/Machine Sanitizing

An ice maker should be sanitized or disinfected at least once every six months, according to Ice-O-Matic. If the machine is in a high yeast environment or if RO water is used, more frequent sanitizing may be required. It is the operator's responsibility to choose the best frequency for their specific environment. An EPA-approved sanitizer, such as Viper Nickel Safe Ice Machine Cleaner or comparable, is recommended by Ice-O-Matic. Running an EPA-approved sanitizer through the ice machine/bin/dispenser and wiping down surfaces with the sanitizer is all it takes to sanitize.

Sanitizing must be done after the cleaning process if it is done at the same time as the cleaning process. Stick to the procedure outlined in the Owner's Manual.

Note that this procedure requires the removal of the ice from the bin.


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