How to Clean Ice Machines with Descaling

Written by mary lougee
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How to Clean Ice Machines with Descaling
Ice machines provide a large quantity of ice for a home bar. (ice cubes image by Karin Lau from

Ice machines are a great convenience item for producing large amounts of ice cubes for a bar area in the home or for entertaining guests. An ice machine makes sheets of ice, cuts them with a warm wire into pieces and then drops them into a bin for easy access. Ice machines develop scaling over time from the minerals in the water line that accumulate on the interior surfaces. This is evident when the ice cubes leave slight sediment in the bottom of glasses. Using a descaling solution removes the minerals from the system for clear ice cubes.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Ice scoop
  • Screwdriver
  • Bucket
  • Gloves

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  1. 1

    Remove all of the ice from the bin with an ice scoop. Either place the ice cubes in a freezer or dispose of them.

  2. 2

    Insert a screwdriver into the front panel at the top of the ice machine. Turn each screw counterclockwise around the perimeter and pull it straight out. Pull the front panel straight off the ice machine and set it aside.

  3. 3

    Turn the control knob to the "Off" position.

  4. 4

    Grasp the water shutoff valve on the water line and turn it one-quarter turn to turn it off.

  5. 5

    Unscrew each screw in the top panel of the ice machine and pull them out. Pull the top cover straight off the appliance and set it aside.

  6. 6

    Pull the plastic cover over the coils up and out of the machine in the machine top.

  7. 7

    Place a bucket under the bottom of the water reservoir drain. Loosen the clamp with a screwdriver and pull the clamp off. Let the water from the reservoir drain into the bucket. Replace the clamp and tighten the screw on it clockwise.

  8. 8

    Put on gloves to protect your hands. Mix scale remover with water according to the package directions. Pour the solution on the evaporator coils. The evaporator coils are under the plastic cover that you removed in Step 6 and are bright copper tubes.

  9. 9

    Replace the evaporator cover and turn the machine to the "On" position. Let the machine operate for five minutes, then switch the control to the "Clean" position for one minute. Repeat this Step 3 times to clean the machine properly.

  10. 10

    Remove the evaporator cover and pour hot water over the coils. Replace the cover. Pour hot water into the ice bin to melt any ice made in the cleaning process.

  11. 11

    Replace the top and front panels with screws. Turn the water supply valve one-quarter turn to open it, and turn the control knob to the "On" position.

Tips and warnings

  • Undiluted scale remover has acid in it that may burn hands while mixing the concentrate. Always wear gloves when handling undiluted chemicals to protect your hands.

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