How To Prevent Mold In Ice Machine? Comprehensive Guide

Helen Skeates
Helen Skeates
28 min read

If you have an ice machine, learning how to keep it mold-free will be beneficial to you. Ice machines may not seem like the ideal place to raise a family, but all kinds of poisons and mold are convinced otherwise.

Although ice makers are convenient and easy to use, adequate cleaning and maintenance are important for optimal performance. Learn how to prevent mold growth on your ice maker by following the steps outlined in this article.


Do You Have Mold Growing in Your Ice Machine?

In terms of kitchen sanitation, ice machines are among the most underappreciated items in the home. Because they are so cold, most people don’t consider them as breeding grounds for bacteria or mold. Ice machines are difficult to clean since you have to empty them and wait for them to thaw before you can properly cleanse the surface. Most homeowners aren’t too concerned with the cleanliness of their ice makers because they don’t want to clean them or believe that cleaning them isn’t required.

How to Clean an Ice Maker Of Mold and Slime? - Peso's Kitchen and Lounge

When your ice machine begins to malfunction, corrosion, grime, and mold are the most common culprits. In the event that anything like this does occur, it’s crucial that you know how to address the situation appropriately, but also how to avoid it from happening again. Your ice machine is covered with mold, so you don’t know how long you’ve been serving hazardous ice cubes with your drinks.

Myth: Bacteria and fungi won’t grow in ice machines because they are too cold.

Bacteria and fungus are not killed by cold temperatures. They merely impede the growth of the organism. As with stagnant water, germs can grow and proliferate in an ice maker that has been contaminated. However, freezers can take several weeks or even months to become infested with bacteria, unlike refrigerators, which can quickly become unsanitary.

Myth: You can put ice back into the ice machine if you don’t use it all.

In order to prevent contamination, ice should never be left out of the machine after it has been used. This can be omitted entirely. Do not keep anything you don’t utilize. Your ice maker is creating more ice all the time since it’s so easy to create!

Myth: It’s okay to take ice out of the ice machine with your hands.

In fact, this is one of the most common ways that bacteria enters ice-makers. Use a stainless steel scoop and store it in a clean location at all times.

Myth: You don’t need to clean your ice machine as long as it is working fine.

To avoid the growth of bacteria, rust, and fungus, you should clean your ice machine at least once every six months.

Cleaning your ice machine is the greatest way to avoid bacterial growth and mold formation in the bottom of your ice maker. ice machine cleaning is essential. Your ice machine will no longer be neglected, and you’ll have some peace of mind knowing it is now clean.

The Dirty Secrets That Could Be Lurking in Your Ice Machine

The frigid interior of an ice maker doesn’t seem like the best site for a house, yet unclean ice machines are cleansed every day of all kinds of bacteria, toxins, grime, and creepy crawlies. Your ice machine is a health hazard waiting to happen if any of these pests decide to settle there.

It is possible that your dirty ice machine has five distinct types of organisms and toxins, all of which will be discussed in this article. What you can do to avoid them becoming an issue.

Mold and Slime

In order to thrive, both mold and slime require two things: moisture and food. The moisture is provided by ice machines, although the food is prepared in your kitchen. Traces of fat, sugars, and yeast are released into the air whenever your employees cook or bake. Mold and slime thrive on these particles, which eventually make their way into your ice machine.

It’s simple to tell if you’ve got mold. It appears as a smattering of dark spots. If left untreated, slime might turn green, brown, or black in hue.

Mold and slime can build in your ice machine’s drop zone and end up in your ice supply if you don’t keep it clean. Despite the fact that mold and slime pose no health risks to humans, they are unsightly if they wind up in your beverage. A health inspector will issue you a citation if they find a lot of mold and slime growing on your property. If your scorecard is made public, you could lose business (which most municipalities do).

To keep your ice maker free of mildew and slime, make regular cleanings a priority. There should be no fewer than two cleanings every year. However, more frequent cleaning should be considered in areas with a high concentration of dust, yeast, wheat, or other airborne pollutants.

Mold and slime can be considerably reduced by using an all-natural, FDA-approved ozone sanitizer. We’ve put ozone generators through their paces in some of the toughest kitchens around. It’s especially important in cases when extensive mold and slime growth has developed within 3 weeks. The same ice machine was clean for nearly 15 weeks after it was fitted with an ozone generator.

Fecal Matter

Staff can unintentionally introduce feces into an ice supply without realizing it. People get sick because they don’t clean up after using the restroom or taking out the trash. Not only is feces unsightly, but they can also harbor pathogens that lead to food poisoning. There is no way you want this in your ice cube trays.

In order to keep your ice supply (and your entire restaurant) clean, make it a rule for all employees to wash their hands completely after using the restroom or touching a garbage can. Always wash your hands with soap and water, rubbing them for at least 20 seconds, before returning to your work area.

Another technique to ensure that your ice supply isn’t tainted is to handle it properly. Always use an ice scoop when retrieving ice instead than your hands or any previously used glassware. Clean the ice scoop every night as well. You can use bleach or a quat-based disinfectant cleanser to clean your ice scoop, but you can also wash it in the dishwasher.

How to Clean Mold from an Ice Maker Dispenser - The Indoor Haven

Dust and Dirt

Additionally, dust and debris can negatively impact the functionality of your ice maker. The condenser of an air-cooled ice machine is cooled by drawing in air from the surrounding area via a fan. Dust and filth are carried into the machine by any air that is drawn in.

However, air-cooled ice machines feature air filters that aren’t 100% effective at trapping entering particles. To avoid clogging, air filters should be cleaned once a week at the very least. At the very least, you should get your ice machine cleaned at least once every six months, even if you have a clean air filter in your ice machine.

If you don’t clean your ice machine on a regular basis, dirt and dust may build up in the device and adhere to the condenser, eventually causing a blockage. The ice machine’s heat is insulated and retained by this lid.

Your ice machine will create less ice if your ice machine is unable to adequately dissipate heat. To add insult to injury, your ice machine’s other components are put under further strain. Over time, this leads to more wear and tear. Your ice machine will eventually need costly repairs if you neglect to clean it for an extended period of time.

Salmonella, Norovirus, and E. coli

There is a widespread belief that the ice machine’s very cold temperatures will kill off any bacteria or viruses present. Unwanted bacteria in your ice bin can be tough little buggers, which is unfortunate.

Mold and slime, as well as potentially harmful bacteria like Salmonella, Norovirus, and E. coli, can build up on your ice maker, making it unsafe to use.

Customers are more at risk from these types of bacteria than they are from mold or slime. All three of these have the potential to result in severe stomach issues for the user (Norovirus can even be fatal).

It’s vital to clean your ice maker on a regular basis to keep it free of hazardous bacteria. Also, avoid putting food or drink containers in your ice bucket. Use a quat-based cleaner or detergent to clean the outside of your ice bin at least once every month. A professional ice machine cleaning is recommended at least once every six months.

To keep harmful microorganisms from spreading in an ice maker, researchers have used ozone dispersing generators.

Cockroaches and Other Critters

It’s true that cockroaches and other pests can create a home in a dirty ice machine. There are a wide variety of species that enjoy dark, wet places and ice machines fit the bill. The cold is generally unwelcome for most bugs. Some sections of your ice machine can get up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, however. Compressor and condenser housings are two good examples.

Infestation of cockroaches in a restaurant kitchen is caused by poor kitchen sanitation, just like in any other sector. Those little scavengers are drawn to filthy flooring, open food, and unclean dishes. To get to you, they’ll just crawl right down a drain or a water pipe. Pests will seek out a new home as soon as they learn they have access to food. Cockroaches can be kept at bay by performing regular kitchen cleanings and adhering to all applicable health inspection standards. You don’t want a colony of these insects to establish themselves in your ice maker. For that matter, anyplace else in your business as well!

It’s a great pain to get rid of cockroaches or any other pest from your ice maker. The first thing you should do is turn off your ice machine. Exterminators can be called if necessary. Because the exterminator isn’t there yet, you’ll need to stock up on ice.

It is imperative that you call in a professional cleaning agency to thoroughly clean your ice maker after the exterminator has finished his work. That means you’ll have to buy more ice until a professional arrives.

You may have to spend weeks or even thousands of dollars to get rid of roaches and restore your dirty ice machine.

Cleaning is the Key

A health inspector will be none too pleased with you if you’re found to be harboring any of the above-mentioned bugs or critters. In the worst-case scenario, information of a customer’s illness spreads quickly on social media. Nobody wants to think that you’re running an unsanitary establishment. One device that you should not overlook is an ice maker. If you want to provide your guests with a fresh supply of ice, regular cleaning is a need.

Every six months, call a good ice machine cleaning service to come and clean the machine for you. The people who use your ice machine will be grateful that you took care of whatever was in there.

Why Does Mold Grow On Ice Machines?

Keeping your ice makers mold-free requires an understanding of why and how it grows.

One of the primary causes of its expansion is the presence of dirty water. Mold can grow on your machine’s side if contaminated water is conveyed to it.

Due to their inability to keep their inside frozen, ice machines frequently become breeding grounds for mold.

Mold can develop in freezing temperatures, despite the fact that many people find this odd. Consider the case of freezer mold.

To learn more about how to remove mold from a freezer, check out this page.

Mold thrives in environments that are rich in nutrients, such as pubs, bakeries, and restaurants. Yeast and sugar can be found in wine, beer, bread and other foods in this environment.

Invading the air, these particles eventually find their way inside your ice maker, where they provide mold with a nearly limitless source of moisture and food.

If you store ice machines in wet, dark places, microorganisms will thrive. Another probable cause is forgetting to clean and sterilize the bin at least once a week.

Steps On Preventing Mold In Your Ice Machine

If you have an ice machine, learning how to keep it mold-free will be beneficial to you. Ice machines may not seem like the ideal place to raise a family, but all kinds of poisons and mold are convinced otherwise.

Although ice makers are convenient and easy to use, adequate cleaning and maintenance are important for optimal performance. Learn how to prevent mold growth on your ice maker by following the steps outlined in this article.

The easiest approach to avoid mold growth on your ice makers is to prevent it from occurring in the first place. Regular cleaning and upkeep are necessary to keep your home in good condition.

Step #1. Thoroughly clean your ice machine

Clean your ice maker as soon as you notice any signs of mold growth. Growth can be restricted in this way.

You’ll need to act quickly to prevent the spread of mold. The rapidity with which mold multiplies is detailed in this article.

You should drain the water and disconnect your ice machine before beginning the cleaning process.

Create or buy a solution, depending on your preference. Using a spray bottle, you can mix a solution of 20% chlorine and 80% water and spray it on your skin.

Spray the polluted area with the solution and allow it to dry. If necessary, use a scrubbing brush to thoroughly clean the affected areas.

With mild dish soap, wash the ice bucket, scoop, and other removable parts. Then, put them away to dry.

A soft cloth and warm, soapy water can be used to clean the outside. Dry with a clean towel. All mold and dirt must be removed, and the ice machine’s interior must be cleaned thoroughly.

Step #2. Keep air filters clean

Mold thrives on a variety of particles that can be found in the air, and air filters are the first line of protection. Your air filter should be cleaned once a week to prevent mold from forming.

It doesn’t take long to clean. Disinfect with a spray of warm water and a scrubbing brush.

Step #3. Install ozone generator

Installing an ozone generator is another way to keep mold at bay. Your ice machine will be filled with ozone gas thanks to this equipment.

Ozone gas is created by lightning and sunshine. As a powerful disinfectant, it is 3000 times more effective than chlorine.

In addition to inhibiting the formation of mold, ozone is a powerful disinfectant.

Step #4. Regularly maintain your ice machine

Make sure you clean your ice machine at least once a month to prevent mold from forming. Mold can be avoided by keeping your ice machine free of any buildup of residue.

Check to see that your ice maker is unplugged prior to putting it away for a long period of time. To keep your ice maker in good working order, wash it completely and dry it with a dry cloth.

Only pure and clean water can be used to fill the reservoir. Your ice maker may become damaged if unclean water is used.

Is Mold In An Ice Machine Dangerous For You?

Although the adjective “dangerous” is a bit excessive, it can nevertheless be detrimental to some degree. Healthy people with a normal immune system are not particularly at risk from mold.

People with immunosuppressive disorders, on the other hand, can’t say the same. Mold avoidance is strongly recommended for them at all times.

It is critical to maintain a mold- and bacteria-free ice machine in order to keep them safe. Although mold poses no immediate health concern, it is extremely unsanitary and disgusting.

What Are Signs Of Mold Growing On Ice Machines?

Identifying mold is simple because it appears in the shape of black patches. If mold is allowed to grow on the ice machine’s drop zone, it could contaminate your ice supply.

Drinking iced beverages from dirty ice machines can make you sick |

The machine’s sidewalls, the water reservoir, and the lid are the most likely sites for mold to form. If you haven’t used your machine in a while, you should thoroughly inspect it for mold before using it again.

How to Clean an Ice Maker of Mold and Slime

Although we’ve all seen mildew or slime in our bathrooms and showers, did you realize that ice machines are also prone? Know that ice machines need specific attention when it comes to cleaning them.

We at Easy Ice are professionals in mold and slime as well as ice machines. More than 20,000 ice machines later, we’re still going strong. Every day, we clean the ice machines and endeavor to keep mildew and slime at bay. Mold and slime buildup in ice makers can be caused by a variety of factors, which we’ll explore in this article.

The Origins of Mold and Slime

Microbial growth can thrive in an industrial ice machine and ice bin because of their ideal conditions. As a result, the trash bin often goes uncleaned or unsanitary, even though it should be cleaned on a weekly basis.

It has been our experience that an ice machine that had been kept clean for two weeks or less can develop severe mold development.

More importantly, ice maker mold and slime can grow rapidly in an environment with abundant nutrient-rich air. In most restaurants, pubs, and bakeries, you’ll encounter this type of air. The beer, wine, bread, and other foods that are handled in these surroundings produce a lot of sugar and yeast. Moisture and food for mold and slime are readily available when these airborne particles are saturating the air.

Within a little of two weeks, even a brand-new ice machine can become infested with mildew. Not because the owner or personnel are ignoring it, but rather because the machine is in disrepair. A mold-friendly environment is created by placing the ice maker in a location where it can grow quickly. Workers frequently work near a prep station where they mix bread, or near a fermentation section where they ferment beer, so these are common locations. As a general rule, any area where yeast is used frequently is likely to be at risk for mold.

We conduct a thorough site study before installing any ice machine because mold is such a typical problem. If a customer’s workplace poses a specific challenge, we’ll work with them to come up with ways for preventing excessive mold growth.

What Are the Risks?

It’s OK for most individuals to eat mold and slime, but those with compromised immune systems should avoid them. Regardless, you’ll need to know how to clean an ice maker so that these impurities don’t jeopardize the success of your company.

For the most part, clients are turned off by ice maker mold and slime. Wherever ice falls from the evaporator compartment into the storage bin, pollutants like these likely to proliferate. Depending on how much of the growth gets into the ice, you could be in for a bad review, a loss of sales or an investigation by the Health Department.

I’m referring to the department of health here…

How a Clean Ice Maker Can Reduce Health Violations

No restaurant owner wants to be found in violation of a health code. Even the tiniest violations can lead to a poor health rating if enough are found by an inspector.

An ice machine is considered food by the FDA, therefore health inspectors aren’t a fan of slime and mold. In fact, since they may be so difficult to maintain, ice makers and storage bins are often the first things health inspectors review.

The presence of mold or slime could be a serious health violation, depending on the health inspector or the health legislation in your city. Citations are tremendously damaging to a company’s bottom line. You may lose a lot of business if your sanitation rating is made public, as it is in most places.

Cleaning your ice machine every six months may be enough to keep mildew and slime at safe levels in many workplaces, but every workplace is unique. There is an increased need for professional cleaning services in challenging situations, and many companies mandate that employees do light cleaning duties on a bi-weekly basis. Cleaning an ice machine isn’t the only way to keep your ice maker free of contaminants. The more often we clean and take preventive steps (such using an ozone generator), the fewer mold spores we find.

How to Clean Your Ice Maker to Prevent Mold

You can try to prevent the spread of mold by cleaning the affected areas as soon as you notice signs of it, but if it’s developing at a quick rate, you’ll wind up wasting a lot of time and effort. To prevent mold from forming in the first place, you can clean other parts of your ice machine.

Every week, we advise our personnel to change their air filters at Easy Ice.

Mold and slime can build if your air filters aren’t cleaned regularly. Particles that feed on airborne pollutants can be filtered out by air filters. Employees at Easy Ice are encouraged to clean the air filters every week in order to keep the ice machine clean. Cleanup of air filters is a snap. To clean them, simply use warm water and a spray bottle. Allow the filter to air dry after cleaning.

Installing an ozone generator is another method of halting growth. Light from the sun and lightning create ozone, a harmless gas found in the atmosphere. It works 3000 times faster than chlorine and disperses into the air as pure oxygen, so there is no need for rinsing with it..”

Mold, slime, and other potentially dangerous pathogens are all slowed down by ozone, a powerful sanitizer.

How to Clean an Ice Maker with Mold and Slime

However, if you notice growth in your machine already, what should you do? The EPA recommends using a disinfecting and sanitizing ice machine cleaner to remove mildew and slime from your ice maker. Make sure you follow the label’s directions for both disinfecting and sanitizing while cleaning the inside of your ice bin. To avoid contaminating your ice supply, be careful to turn off your ice maker and empty your ice bin.

Mold and slime can build up in your ice maker, so here’s how to remove it:

  • Saturate the polluted areas with an EPA-approved cleanser.
  • Wipe the contaminated areas if necessary.
  • Rinse the area well after allowing the disinfectant solution to remain for 10 minutes.
  • Follow the “sanitizing” directions after rinsing.
  • Spritz the solution on to the problem area
  • Rinsing is not necessary. Leave it out in the open to dry.

More information about ice machine maintenance can be found in our Ice Machine Maintenance Schedule.

Professional Cleaning Further Prevents Mold and Slime Buildup

Preventing mold and having your ice machine professionally cleaned are two benefits of using the same company. Routine cleaning is often neglected by businesses due to a lack of resources. Clean an ice machine properly and install an ozone system to prevent mold or slime from forming at Easy Ice. Professional cleaning services are well worth the money you’ll invest, even if you get a negative review or fail a health inspection in the future.

Hoshizaki and Manitowoc ice machines are included in our all-inclusive ice machine subscription service. For a low monthly fee, we also provide professional cleaning, maintenance, and ice machine repair services. Our ice machine subscriptions might also include optional ozone generator installations if your workplace is exceptionally tough.

Maxx Ice MIM50 50 Lb. Stainless Steel Ice Maker - for sale online | eBay


Can I run vinegar through my ice maker?

Disconnect the ice maker and remove all of the ice from the storage container. Make sure the ice maker is clean by spraying the inside with the vinegar mixture. Re-spray the ice maker after waiting five minutes. Take a five-minute break from it.

What causes mold in ice machine?

The moisture is provided by ice machines, although the food is prepared in your kitchen. Traces of fat, sugars, and yeast are released into the air whenever your employees cook or bake. Mold and slime thrive on these particles, which eventually make their way into your ice machine.

Can mold in an ice machine make you sick?

People have fallen ill as a result of dirty ice makers because of mold in the ice maker. Salmonella, E. coli, and shigella can all be found in contaminated ice. Mold is a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi that can cause illness in humans.

How do I stop my ice machine from making slime?

To keep ice machines clean, IceZone blocks the growth of slime and mold as well as germs, viruses, fungi, and yeast. There’s no need to set aside time or keep track of a schedule while using IceZone, which is always ready to go.

How often should I clean my ice machine?

A food regulation mandates that the cleaning and sanitizing of ice machines must be performed at least twice per year, however the manufacturer’s recommended frequency is four times per year (once every three months) (once every six months).

Can you use CLR to clean ice machine?

CLR should not be used to clean ice machines. Our product’s acids are incompatible with the parts of ice producers because of their nature. We always recommend consulting the manufacturer’s recommendations for safe and effective items to use on the material.

What is the white stuff floating in my ice water?

When your ice cubes begin to melt, you may detect white specks floating in your drink. This could be calcium carbonate. In many water sources, calcium carbonate is a naturally occurring mineral, but it is usually not visible in the water you drink since it dissolves so quickly.

Why is there black stuff in my ice?

It’s possible that your icemaker’s mold body is defective if you notice black specks or particles in your ice cubes. A new icemaker would be required. Carbon dust can be produced by a new water filter on water filter models.

What happens if you don’t clean your ice machine?

Scale development can cause ice to attach to the evaporator plates, resulting in freeze-ups, longer harvest times, reduced capacity, and costly repairs if you don’t keep up with regular maintenance. The growth of harmful slime and mold might also occur if your machine isn’t properly cleaned.

How do you get mold out of a Frigidaire ice maker?

Make the solution using 10 cups of water and a cup of vinegar. Lemon water can be added to the solution to aid in the eradication of mold growth within the Ice Maker. Make the solution with white vinegar, which has a strong fragrance.

What is ice machine sanitizer?

Sanitizer IMS-III is an inexpensive sanitizer for all ice machines that reduces odors and slime buildups. For general use, such as cleaning ice machines and other food dispensers, this product can be used.


To prevent mold from growing and spreading, clean it quickly at the first hint of its presence. The key to preventing mold in an ice machine is to maintain it on a regular basis.

Helen Skeates

Helen Skeates

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