How To Clean A Portable Ice Maker (and When)

Any electronic appliance that works with water such as an ice maker is bound to grow mold or scale if not cleaned properly. The same goes for a portable ice maker. Over time, if you keep using a dirty ice maker, it can potentially affect your family’s health.

Also, the developed scales may float along with ice cubes in your beverages, and nobody certainly wants that. This is why it’s important to clean your portable ice maker at regular intervals. 

If you are planning to get a portable ice maker and you’re not really sure whether to make that purchase don’t you worry because we are here to guide you on why you need one and most importantly, how to keep it clean! 

Why Do You Need A Portable Ice Maker?

Sometimes a small kitchen appliance can make your life better in multiple ways. If you have a tighter space, a portable ice maker in your kitchen can replace the space in your freezer where you store ice.

It will also come in handy if you love having guests over because with a portable ice maker you’ll never run out of ice! Ice cubes are essential for various cocktails and other beverages so you’ll always end up using the ice maker if you are a cocktail enthusiast. 

These portable appliances will be quite beneficial if you love camping, fishing, or hiking, especially during summers. You’ll also get good use out of a portable ice maker if you are a college student as well.

Just because you don’t have a personal kitchen doesn’t mean you can’t ice up your drinks sitting in your tiny dorm room during the hot months. So, yes portable ice makers are potentially beneficial to everyone. 

Why Is It Important To Clean A Portable Ice Maker?

Before we move on to how you should clean an ice maker, you should be aware of the importance of using a clean one. A clean ice maker automatically yields a longer working life for the machine. If you do not clean it regularly it will be clogged with dirt and rust over time.

Sometimes, there might be even mold build-up leading to almost an unusable appliance because the efficiency of the machine will reduce significantly. Therefore, you should incorporate both basic cleaning and internal cleaning of an ice maker to make the “healthiest” version of ice cubes. 

Moreover, a clean ice maker will create pure ice which basically means ice cubes void of minerals and debris. Sometimes you can’t detect these unwanted substances in water. But the moment they turn into ice, you’ll be able to see them. To avoid this, you should simply clean your ice maker as shown below. 

What Supplies Do You Need To Clean A Portable Ice Maker?

  • Warm water
  • Lemon juice
  • Measuring cup
  • Soft cloth
  • Spoon
  • Dishwashing detergent

How To Clean A Portable Ice Maker?

Portable ice makers require periodic cleaning to perform efficiently. You should clean it when the ice cubes melt faster, have a strange taste or odor, look cloudy, or when the interior of the ice maker seems smaller than usual. You should perform two types of cleaning as mentioned below:

1. Basic Cleaning (Once a Week) 

  • Turn off the ice maker as well as the water supply to the machine. 
  • Take out the basket from the appliance and use a soft cloth to clean the interior with a diluted cleaning solution. 
  • Clean the exterior of the ice maker with any detergent and warm water.
  • Let them dry before putting the basket inside again. 

2. Internal Cleaning (Once Every Three Months)

  • Turn off both the ice maker and the water supply to the ice machine.
  • Take out the ice basket and pour a mild cleaning solution mixed with water into the container. A 10:1 ratio of water to lemon juice would be ideal. 
  • Turn on the machine to make at least two batches of ice and throw away the formed ice cubes.
  • Pour out the cleaning solution.
  • Turn off the water line and rinse the basket.
  • Turn on the machine again and make a few batches of ice. Discard them. 
  • Replace the water with fresh water to make ice if required. Or use a soft clean to wipe down both the interior and the exterior of the appliance. 

Important Tips For Cleaning A Portable Ice Maker

  • Follow the cleaning instructions on the manual that comes with your ice maker. Since different types of ice makers may require different cleaning approaches, you should follow them to the dot. 
  • Do not start cleaning the appliance before turning off both the device as well as the water supply. Also, make sure every part is moisture-free before you put them back together and turn on the power. 
  • Do not use any harsh chemicals to clean the ice maker. Only mild or diluted cleaning solutions should be used. 

Portable Ice Maker FAQs

Q. How long does it take for ice makers to produce ice?

A. Portable ice makers make ice within a few minutes. 

Q. What type of ice do ice makers make?

A. Ice makers usually make bullet ice which is cylindrical.

Q. How big is a portable ice maker?

A. Portable ice makers are small enough to sit in the corner of a countertop and large enough to make sufficient ice cubes per batch. Usually, they might measure around 15 inches x 12 inches. 

Q. Can a portable ice maker be used in the outdoors?

A. Yes, as long as there’s a power supply to connect the appliance to, you can use it in the outdoors.

Final Words

As you can see, cleaning a portable ice maker is crucial if you want your drinks to taste the best upon adding ice. Carrying a portable ice maker to your camping trips or picnics will only work out the best if it’s filled with fresh ice. That’s only possible when the appliance is clean!

We’re positive that you’ll see a drastic change in your ice maker’s performance if you start cleaning it from now on.

Daniel Thomas
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