When it comes to appliances, regular maintenance is key to optimal function. Even individual components like your ice maker require consistent upkeep to produce clean, fresh ice. These ice maker maintenance tips detail how to clean an ice maker quickly and easily so they can be part of regular appliance care.
Ice Maker Maintenance Tips for Clean, Fresh Ice
Ice maker troubleshooting typically begins when you notice smelly or bad-tasting ice. To avoid this outcome, our ice maker maintenance guide provides step-by-step instructions for a simple but thorough cleaning. But first, exactly how often should an ice maker be cleaned?
How Often Should I Clean My Refrigerator Ice Maker?
It’s recommended that an ice maker be cleaned at least twice a year. If you live in an area with hard water, cleanings may require higher frequency. This is because hard water can leave mineral deposits on the ice maker’s coils that hinder the freezing process.
#1. Clear Old Items From the Refrigerator and Freezer
Ice maker maintenance actually begins in the fridge and freezer. Old, expired foods and spills can affect the taste and smell of ice even if the ice maker is clean. Remove any old, unused food containers and clean up any spills before proceeding.
#2. Unplug the Refrigerator
Should you turn off your ice maker before cleaning? Yes, to prevent your ice maker from making ice while it’s being cleaned. Many models have an arm or lever that’s lifted up to turn off the ice maker. However, the safest thing to do when performing any refrigerator maintenance is to unplug it.
#3. Clean the Ice Cube Bin
Check your owner’s manual to determine if your ice bin is dishwasher safe. If not, remove the bin by sliding it out or lifting upward. Dispose of any ice and wash the bin with these simple steps:
- Wipe down the ice bin with a washcloth dipped in warm soapy water or a mixture of baking soda and water
- Rinse under warm running water
- Allow the ice bin to air dry completely before replacing
#4. Remove Crusted Ice From the Ice Maker
If you notice any ice on the ice maker’s components, melt it with a warm washcloth or gently chip it away with an ice pick. Here’s how to clean the ice maker once the ice is removed:
- Make an ice maker cleaner of 1:1 white vinegar and water.
- Dip a washcloth in the cleaning solution and wipe down the ice maker
- Use a toothbrush dipped in the solution for hard-to-reach areas
- Dry the ice maker completely to remove any remaining moisture
#5. Check the Ice Maker’s Filter
Part of ice maker maintenance also includes checking the filter. Over time mineral particles can clog the filter and affect the taste of ice. Ideally, the filter should be changed every six months to prevent a buildup of mineral particles. Refer to your owner’s manual for the correct replacement filter for your ice maker.
#6. Dispose of the First Few Ice Batches
After restoring power to your refrigerator and turning your ice maker on, we suggest throwing away the first few batches of ice. The first batches after cleaning may contain residual dirt or cleaning solution, affecting the taste of the ice.
Ice maker maintenance can be fast and simple when you know the right steps to take. But if a cleaning still leaves you with poor ice production, call A+ Appliance for an expert ice maker repair!