A countertop ice maker can get dirty over time and start making ice cubes with decreased quality. You can use a mixture of vinegar and lemon juice to clean it properly to restore its performance and maximize its lifespan.
Owning a high-quality ice maker is one of the best ways to produce ice cubes quickly. However, a countertop ice maker doesn’t stay clean forever.
Dirt, minerals, and limescale start to build up inside your ice maker. Not only will it affect the performance of your appliance but it’ll also decrease the quality of ice cubes, which can lead to health problems.
In this article, we’ll discuss a detailed step-by-step method that will help you understand the correct way to clean a countertop ice maker properly. Reach and follow each step carefully to achieve the best results.
How to Clean A Countertop Ice Maker: A Detailed Guide
If you have a countertop ice maker and you haven’t cleaned it in a long time, consider using the steps listed below. It’ll help you clean the appliance thoroughly to maximize its performance.
Step 1: Prepare the Ice Maker
The first step is to prepare your countertop ice maker for the cleaning process. You’ll need to unplug it from the wall outlet and then drain the reservoir.
Place and hold a bowl or bucket below the cap of the appliance’s water tank and remove the cap.
The cap or latch will be located on the backside of the ice maker and removing it will allow the water to escape the reservoir.
Step 2: Remove and Clean the Basket and Scoop
Now, you’ll need to remove the scoop and basket of your appliance by opening the top compartment. Then, use a soft towel or sponge to clean these two parts separately with mild soap.
You’ll need to employ the same scrubbing technique that you use while cleaning any other dish. Rub the sponge or towel on the basket and scoop gently and use fresh water to rinse them. After that, let them dry and set them aside.
Step 3: Clean the Inside
After cleaning the basket and scoop, you’ll need to make a cleaning solution to clean the inside of the ice maker thoroughly. The best ingredients that you can use for this purpose are vinegar and lemon juice.
That’s because they’re safe and effective cleaning solutions and also have descaling and disinfecting properties. Not only do they remove the buildup of bacteria, minerals, and limescale but they can also deal with bad smells effectively.
Here’s how you can use these ingredients to clean the inside of your countertop ice maker.
- Add one cup of vinegar, one cup of fresh water, and two tablespoons of lemon juice to a bowl and mix them well.
- Once they’re well-mixed, add the cleaning solution to a sprayer bottle.
- Spray the inside of your ice maker and use a clean and dry towel or microfiber cloth for scrubbing.
- Make sure that you cover the bottom, side walls, and underside of the opening lid of the ice maker properly.
If you see some stubborn stains, then you’ll need to use an undiluted solution of vinegar and lemon juice and use the same scrubbing technique to remove them.
Additionally, you might also need to use an old toothbrush with soft bristles to clean hard-to-reach areas, such as crannies and nooks. Just dip the toothbrush in the same solution you made and rub hard-to-reach spots with it.
Step 4: Clean the Outside
You’ll also need to clean the outside of your countertop ice maker to improve its appearance. The less the debris and dirt on the outer part of the appliance, the less likely they’ll move inside.
Use the following instructions to clean the exterior part of your countertop ice maker.
- Add two cups of warm water and a few drops of mild detergent inside a bowl and mix them well.
- Grab a sponge or a piece of microfiber cloth and dip it inside the solution you just made.
- Rub the entire exterior of the appliance gently to remove dirt and other debris.
- Grab a dry piece of cloth and dampen it with fresh water.
- Use the dampened cloth to clean the exterior properly to wipe off the cleaning solution’s residue.
- Now use a dry towel to remove the moisture and dry the outside of your ice maker.
Step 5: Make Ice with the Cleaning Solution
Reinstall the basket and scoop and fill the reservoir with water mixed with one cup of vinegar. Don’t forget to close the water reservoir’s drain hole.
Connect the appliance to the wall outlet and turn it on so that it can start the ice-making process. It’ll allow the parts of the ice maker that you can’t reach but have buildups to be removed.
The mixture of water and vinegar will clean those parts, such as the ice maker’s teeth, while the appliance is making ice cubes.
Once the ice cubes are ready, remove them from the machine and discard them.
Step 6: Remake Ice with Water
Now, you’ll need to refill the ice maker with filtered water and turn it on again to start the ice-making process. It’ll collect the residue of water and vinegar solution to clean the internal parts properly.
Remove and discard the ice cubes again once they’re ready. While you can use them safely, we recommend you avoid doing so. That’s because they’ll have the taste of vinegar, making them unpleasant.
How Often Should You Clean a Countertop Ice Maker?
Ideally, you should clean your countertop ice maker at least once every three months using the steps mentioned above. However, the frequency of cleaning also depends on your use.
For example, if you use your countertop ice maker regularly/daily, you’ll need to clean it once or even twice a month.
Not only will it allow you to avoid the health problems that unclean ice can cause but it’ll also help you maximize the lifespan and boost the performance of your appliance.
How Do You Know When You Should Clean Your Countertop Ice Maker?
There are many tell-tale signs that will help you determine whether or not your ice maker needs to be cleaned. If you notice any of the following signs, consider cleaning your countertop ice maker as soon as possible.
- Your ice maker is making smaller cubes than it’s supposed to.
- Your ice cubes start melting quickly once you have removed them.
- You see a limescale or dirt buildup inside your countertop ice maker.
- The ice cubes are no longer clear and have a yellowish color.
- The taste of the ice doesn’t feel quite right.
- The ice cubes or the inside of your ice maker smells odd.
- The ice maker is taking a longer time than usual to make ice cubes.
Tips to Maintain Your Countertop Ice Maker
Following a regular maintenance cycle will ensure that your ice maker keeps working optimally and make the highest quality ice cubes. You can use the following tips to maintain your appliance properly.
- If you need to store your ice maker for some time, consider cleaning it thoroughly before storing it.
- Plug your ice maker into the wall outlet only when you need to use it.
- Clean the exterior of your ice maker daily using a damp cloth.
- Inspect your appliance once a month for signs showing that your ice maker is dirty. It’ll allow you to clean the appliance timely.
- Always add filtered water to the reservoir of your ice maker. That’s because filtered water has less mineral content and it’ll keep your appliance clean for a longer time.
- Clean the basket and spoon of your ice maker after every use to remove bacteria and impurities.
- Always use safe materials such as vinegar and lemon juice to clean your ice maker. Never use anything that contains abrasive and harmful chemicals as they’ll lead to health problems.
FAQs about How To Clean a Countertop Ice Maker
Can Bacteria Grow Inside a Countertop Ice Maker?
Yes, bacteria can grow inside a countertop ice maker with time. That’s because the inside of your ice maker produces a perfect environment for bacteria to grow because of high moisture levels. So, make sure that you clean your ice maker regularly.
What’s the Safest Way to Clean a Countertop Ice Maker?
The safest and most effective way to clean a countertop ice maker is to use a mixture of water, vinegar, and lime juice. These ingredients are safe for human consumption and they also have disinfecting properties.
What Type of Vinegar Should You Use For Cleaning a Countertop Ice Maker?
You can use the traditional household vinegar, also known as distilled white vinegar, to clean your countertop ice maker. If your appliance is giving foul odors, you can also add one tablespoon of baking soda to the cleaning solution to deal with this problem.