Ice machines produce cloudy or soft ice when they need to be cleaned. Ice may also be smaller than usual. Minerals may deposit inside the ice maker, which decreases the quality of the ice. Manufacturers recommend cleaning products in ice maker manuals; however, other acids can be substituted for commercially made cleaners.

Bottle of bleach
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Cleaning Ice Machines With Vinegar

Vinegar is safe to use in ice machines, as it will not harm the nickle plating found in many machines. Vinegar is a weaker acid than commercial cleaners, so it may take a longer period of time or several repeat applications to see results. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for cleaning the ice maker, but substitute full-strength vinegar for the commercial cleaner during that step. After cleaning the machine, discard the first set of ice that is made. Vinegar is safe to handle, economical and accessible.

Cleaning the interior of the machine can increase the length of time before the entire system needs cleaning. Wipe down the interior with a clean towel and warm water to dislodge any dirt or particles.

Cleaning Ice Machines With Bleach

Although bleach is readily available in most homes, it is not recommended for use with ice machines. Bleach can corrode the nickle plating inside ice machines, which can destroy the machine. Using quaternary ammonium is a suitable replacement for bleach, and it can be found at chemical suppliers or home improvement stores.

Commercial Cleaners

Following the manufacturer's recommendation for cleaners will produce the safest and most satisfying results when cleaning an ice maker. The ice machine manufacturer has tested the best solution for thoroughly cleaning the machine, so following its instructions for cleaning and maintenance ensures that your ice maker will last. The manufacturer-recommended cleaner will be nickle safe so that the metal parts of the ice maker will not get corroded.

Installing a filter into your machine or water supply can also improve ice quality. Removing salt or mineral deposits in water before it reaches the ice machine keeps the machine clean and free of buildup.