Ice machines, an indispensable tool in the world of commercial foodservice, play a crucial role in cooling beverages and preserving food. Whether you operate a bustling restaurant, a hotel, or a bar, maintaining a clean ice machine is essential for ensuring the quality and safety of the ice it produces. In this blog, we'll delve into the different types of ice machines, their uses, and provide a step-by-step guide on how to clean your ice machine effectively.

Types of Ice Machines

  1. Cubed Ice Machines: These machines produce the classic square or rectangular ice cubes we're most familiar with. They are versatile and commonly used in various settings.

  2. Nugget Ice Machines: Nugget ice, also known as chewable ice, is popular in healthcare facilities, convenience stores, and fast-food restaurants. It's soft, easy to chew, and quickly absorbs flavors.

  3. Flake Ice Machines: Flake ice is perfect for displaying seafood or in healthcare settings for therapeutic purposes. It molds well around objects and cools quickly.

  4. Gourmet Ice Machines: Often found in upscale establishments, these machines create pure, clear ice that's free of impurities and ideal for high-end cocktails.

Uses of Ice Machines

Ice machines serve several vital purposes in the foodservice industry:

  • Chilling Beverages: Ice cubes are essential for keeping drinks cold and refreshing.

  • Preserving Food: Ice can be used in commercial kitchens to keep perishable ingredients fresh during prep.

  • Displaying Seafood: Flake ice is perfect for seafood displays, maintaining the freshness and visual appeal of seafood products.

  • Therapeutic and Healthcare Use: Nugget ice is frequently used in healthcare settings to provide patients with hydration and relief.

How to Clean Your Ice Machine

Cleaning your ice machine regularly is crucial to prevent bacterial growth and maintain the quality of ice it produces. Follow these steps for a thorough cleaning:

Step 1: Safety Precautions

  • Ensure the ice machine is turned off and unplugged.
  • Put on appropriate protective gear, including gloves and safety goggles.

Step 2: Empty the Ice Bin

  • Remove any remaining ice from the machine and dispose of it.

Step 3: Remove and Clean Parts

  • Take out all removable parts, such as the ice bin and scoop.
  • Clean these parts with warm, soapy water, rinse thoroughly, and allow them to air dry.

Step 4: Clean the Interior

  • Use a soft cloth or sponge to wipe down the interior surfaces of the ice machine.
  • For hard-to-reach areas, use a brush or pipe cleaner.
  • Ensure all surfaces are completely clean and free from residue.

Step 5: Sanitize

  • Prepare a solution of sanitizer recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Apply the sanitizer to all interior surfaces and let it sit for the recommended time.
  • Rinse thoroughly with clean water.

Step 6: Reassemble and Restart

  • Reassemble all parts and return them to the ice machine.
  • Plug in the machine and restart it.
  • Allow it to run a few cycles to ensure any remaining sanitizer is flushed out.


Regularly cleaning your ice machine is essential to maintain the quality and safety of the ice it produces. Whether you have a cubed ice machine, a nugget ice machine, or any other type, proper maintenance is key. For high-quality commercial ice machines and other foodservice equipment, visit ChefAAA. Keep your ice machine clean, your customers happy, and your beverages cool!

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