Professional Steps to Clean Ice Maker with Vinegar Effectively

Last Updated on May 24, 2022 by

Did you recently buy an ice maker? Then you want to know how to clean ice maker with vinegar particularly. Otherwise, you do not want to think about the kinds of bacteria you would be ingesting.

To clean ice maker with vinegar, gather cleaning materials, such as soft cloth, brush, etc., and prep the machine. Use your vinegar to sanitize the interiors and exteriors and rinse by running the ice maker and discarding the ice. Vinegar arrives in white, rice, apple cider, red wine, balsamic, rice, and others.

These varieties each have virtues for culinary purposes. However, distilled white vinegar contains high acid, and is your best option for cleaning an ice maker. Even if you dilute it, vinegar will get rid of scale scum accumulated in the machine.

Can you use vinegar to clean an ice machine?

You can use vinegar to clean an ice machine. Even EdgeStar, an ice maker manufacturer, recommends using vinegar.

Vinegar is an edible cleaning solution for cleaning even the surfaces of your machine. Since you can use it for your ice maker, expect the following benefits:

  • Clear ice

After cleaning an ice maker with vinegar, the ice will come clear always. If dirty, ice makers make cloudy ice that is not fresh and healthy. Ensure to serve guests tasty drinks, which means keeping clear ice.

  • Fresh smell

You would not get the fresh smell using a dirty ice maker. Since smell affects taste, you want to use vinegar to improve the quality of ice. You will get the best result when using a clean ice machine at your next party, camping, etc.

  • Pure taste

Speaking of taste, the ice maker you clean often prevents the machine from absorbing flavors from the water. You want to prevent mildew buildup to get pure-tasting and clean ice results.

You could even use purified water in the countertop ice maker to get tastier beverages.

  • Health

A sanitized ice maker is healthy. An ice maker is typically in contact with water. This means it will absorb nasty tastes and smells if not kept clean.

Mold and gunk accrue with time, but vinegar helps to get rid of them to improve your health.

Of course, cleaning an ice maker does not require professional services, except if you are a busy person who needs to necessarily focus time on other activities.

Dirt symptoms

Fred’s Appliance lists the signs of a dirty ice maker as follows:

  • Ice from the machine develops an unpleasant taste and smell.
  • You get smaller ice cube sizes than you would from a clean ice maker.
  • Ice cubes come out softer than usual.
  • You notice visible mildew and mold in the ice chute or machine.
  • Your clear ice starts getting cloudy. Some ice makers do produce cloudy ice though.

How to Clean Ice Maker with Vinegar

This section explains the professional steps to clean your ice maker using vinegar. Cleaning your ice maker could be done once a month or so to keep the ice clean and fresh.

Do the following:

  1. Prepare your cleaning supplies

You need the following:

  • Vinegar
  • soft cloth
  • Pitcher
  • Spray bottle
  • Measuring cup
  • Spoon
  • warm water
  • Paper towels
  • Baking soda
  • Toothbrush
  1. Prep your machine

The next step is to prep Your ice maker. Ensure that the ice maker is unplugged from its power source. Drain the ice maker completely of fluid—simply remove the plug. Fill water in the sink.

Remove the internal components from the ice storage bin, including the scoop, ice basket, or ice pick.

The final prep step is to remove the water filters from the ice maker, but not all ice makers use a removable water filter. Set them aside. Your ice maker coils may still hold old ice, so you need to run hot water over them to get rid of it.

  1. Make your vinegar cleaning solution

Vinegar is a good solution with the ability to cut right through scale buildup and disinfect the ice bin. It is also food-safe, making it a decent choice for cleaning your ice maker.

To create a vinegar solution yourself, you want to mix 10 parts, warm water with 1 part vinegar, and fill the ice maker the same way you would typically normally fill ice.

As mentioned earlier, white vinegar could be your go-to cleaning solution. White vinegar smells strong and is quite neutral. Its smell will not also linger for too long after cleaning your ice maker.

Consider using a spray bottle where you add the vinegar to improve the areas you can touch with the vinegar.

  1. Clean all ice maker accessories

You need a soft cloth for this process. Dip the soft cloth in your vinegar solution and clean the ice maker’s accessories.

The spray bottle could also be used on the accessories. Just wipe the accessories to remove any rough spots or scale buildup.

If your area has hard water lines, use a toothbrush and baking soda to get rid of the limescale buildup from calcium and other hard water components.

You want to rinse the baking soda when done. The toothbrush will also be decent for cleaning the water filter if your machine uses one. Even a Q-tip Will clear out any buildup.

If notice clogged filters, soak them pieces in the vinegar cleaning solution for a few minutes.

  1. Clean the machine interior

Dip the soft fabric in vinegar cleaning solution, and spray it across the ice maker’s interior to get rid of dirt. You would also need another soft, dry cloth to wipe the area.

Spray every hard-to-reach area and brush off the dirt. Pure vinegar will disinfect lime deposits, getting rid of scale buildup.

  1. Run the ice maker

Replace the water filter, plug and drain cap on the ice maker, and connect the machine to its power source.

You would have to run your ice maker before replacing the accessories. Make ice with the remaining cleaning solution to ensure the working parts are thoroughly disinfected.

The ice you make now will better rinse the ice maker using the vinegar solution. Add the remaining cleaning solution to the reservoir before starting the machine.

Your ice maker should run the liquid till you get an empty water reservoir. Fill the ice maker with vinegar ice and have them discarded. Then drain any liquid.

  1. Replace all accessories

Replace the ice make accessories. You do not want water spots in the machine, so use paper towels to get rid of them by wiping the interior. Use the paper towels on the exterior as well, making sure the ice maker is disconnected from its power source.

Vinegar does not kill as many germs as bleach, but it is an effective and natural alternative.

Ice maker cleaning tips

Pay attention to these useful tips while cleaning your ice maker with vinegar:

  • Go through your ice maker manufacturer’s instructions. Refer to the manual for cleaning information you should note.
  • If you believe your ice maker is too frequently requiring cleaning, contact a qualified service agency to test the water quality since water treatment can fix the lime buildup issue.
  • Before you use vinegar, you want to know the manufacturer’s recommendations. Be sure that vinegar is recommended, and do not apply it to sensitive areas of the machine.
  • Cleaner and sanitizer solutions should not be mixed.
  • Vinegar may irritate your skin, so consider wearing rubber gloves and protective safety glasses when handling it.
  • Follow the instructions on the label of the vinegar solution you purchase.
  • Prevent any damage to the water pump by not leaving the control switch in the service position for too long, particularly when the water tank is empty.
  • Discard the ice the machine produces during the cleaning and sanitizing procedures. The first batch of ice produced after cleaning should also be discarded.

Best Vinegar solution for cleaning ice maker

This section of the publication reviews vinegar solutions we have used for cleaning ice makers and other machines. Consider buying any of these vinegar solutions:

  1. Green Gobbler 30% Concentrated Vinegar Home and Outdoor | 6x Stronger Than Traditional Vinegar

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This is a 6X heavy-duty vinegar solution with more cleaning power than your traditional vinegar.

If you keep pets, this vinegar solution is safe around them. It is children and earth-friendly but makes sure to supervise your child’s contact with this product.

Speaking of being earth-friendly, this is a phosphate and sulfate-free, biodegradable formula.

This solution is great for both outdoor and indoor use. Regarding indoor use, it works well for cleaning your ice maker. It gets rid of soap scum and hard water stains. It freshens the ice and does not contaminate the machine.

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  1. The Laundress – Scented Vinegar No. 247, Clean & Deodorize, for Laundry & Home, 16 fl oz

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Laundress is another vinegar option to buy for your ice maker. It is made with a fresh, essential oil-based scent.

We like that this solution is eco-friendly because it is made with plant and biodegradable ingredients.

Does not contain dyes, fillers, or any unnecessary additives. Great around your pets and kids as well.

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How often to clean ice maker with vinegar?

You should clean an ice maker with vinegar every 4-6 months to operate efficiently. You would have to perform a cleaning procedure to get rid of mineral deposits, lime, scale, and mineral deposits, and then sanitize to disinfect the unit, removing slime and algae.

Ensure to keep up on maintenance to prevent scale buildup, which can develop sticky ice on the evaporator plates. When ice sticks to the evaporator plates, heat transfer is affected, causing freeze-ups, capacity reduction, and longer, and more expensive repairs.