How to Maintain Your Ice Maker

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Published: 16th May 2011
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Imagine coming inside after a morning of yard work, anticipating a cool, crisp drink of ice cold water, and finding that you are all out of ice and the closest you can get without driving to the local grocery store is lukewarm tap water. Ice makers can be a great convenience in your home. Ice makers reduce or completely eliminate the potential situation in which drinking lukewarm water might occur. Although ice makers are extremely user-friendly, in fact, they require practically no work at all in order to produce ice; they necessarily require maintenance and cleaning from time to time.

By cleaning ice makers regularly, people greatly reduce the necessity of maintenance or repair. Ice makers can begin to accumulate large blocks of ice inside if they are left unchecked for a long period of time. In order to effectively defrost ice makers, it is usually necessary to unplug the refrigerator and allow all of the ice to melt in the freezer. You may remove the food from the freezer around ice makers and place it in another freezer or in a cooler if you wish to do so. It is not recommended that you allow meat to defrost all the way and then re-freeze it because of the potential for bacterial growth. Contrastingly, if the food is only allowed to be in an unrefrigerated environment for a short time, it is unlikely that it will spoil or be compromised. The freezer will defrost more quickly if you leave the door open. Be sure to have towels available to soak up any water that accumulates as freezers and ice makers defrost.

Remove the storage tray from beneath ice makers and empty out all of the ice into the sink. Because it is common that ice makers release new ice before all of the old ice is gone, there are often very old pieces near the bottom. Storage trays for ice makers should be completely cleaned with warm, soapy water at least every few months. If ice makers are not cleaned often enough, mold and mildew can build up. Ice that has been in the freezer for long periods of time can also begin to acquire the taste of food that is frozen around it. Before returning ice trays to ice makers, they should be allowed to dry thoroughly.

Once ice makers have defrosted, they should be sanitized. By cleaning and sanitizing ice makers, you can avoid the introduction of harmful substances into the water that is being frozen. If this step is necessary in the cleaning of your ice maker, instructions and guidelines for sanitization should be found in the owner’s manual.

When ice makers have been cleaned thoroughly and allowed to dry completely, then they can be reassembled. When the ice maker is back together then the refrigerator can be plugged in again. It is important to remember to lower the power bar; without doing so, ice makers will not begin making new ice. By following these steps for cleaning, you can keep the ice fresh and the ice maker in good working condition.

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