Beat the Heat Part 1: Maintaining Your Restaurant's Ice Machines

How do you keep cool in the heat of the summer? By enjoying your favorite beverage over ice. Ice, and ice machines, are an integral part of any restaurant. Unlike Europeans, Americans typically like a lot of ice in their drinks. Some restaurants, such as a smoothie bar, even use ice in their recipes. To keep your ice machine in proper working condition, here are a few general maintenance and cleaning tips from your friends at Fast Fix LLC.

Preventing Contamination

As with any piece of equipment, you can avoid costly food-service equipment maintenance in Missouri by keeping your kitchen nice and clean. Both the exterior and inside of your ice machine should be kept clean, and you should try to avoid any contamination of the ice. Workers who are handling ice should be trained to follow a few rules:
  • Wash your hands before scooping ice
  • Don't handle ice with your bare hands
  • Only touch the ice scoop by the handle only
  • Don't dip into the ice with a glass or anything other than the designated ice scoop 
  • Don't return unused ice to the ice storage chest or ice machine 
  • Keep the access doors closed except when removing ice
  • Clean the ice scoop daily in the dishwasher
  • Clean the ice storage chest or bins at least once a month, or weekly if possible 
  • Never store food items inside ice storage chests or bins 

Sanitize and Delime

While you can do everything in your power to keep contaminants out of your restaurant ice machine, you can't prevent it altogether. Therefore, it's important to sanitize and delime your equipment at least twice a year. Some ice machines even feature an external light that reminds you when it needs cleaned. By doing so, you will reduce the likelihood of unplanned ice machine maintenance. In addition, failing to properly delime and sanitize your ice machine can result in poor-quality ice. The taste, odor and clarity of the ice can all be negatively impacted.    

The Water Supply

The majority of ice machine problems, approximately 70% of them, are due to the water supply. This could include poor water quality, slow water fill, insufficient water supply or no water supply. Unfiltered hard water can restrict water flow to the ice machine, and can also be introduced into beverages as the ice cubes melt. When water containing lime is frozen, the heavier particles fall out of the water during the ice-making process, and build up on the surface of the ice machine. (Hence why you need to delime your machine twice a year.) All of these water supply problems cause ice machines to work harder to make the ice, which reduces their efficiency and increases maintenance costs. It is important that you fully understand the type of water supplied to your ice machine to keep it working efficiently.

Regular ice machine maintenance can be performed by our honest, reliable and professional restaurant equipment repair technicians in Missouri and Western Illinois. We'll check each of the important equipment components for issues. In addition to regular maintenance, Fast Fix LLC also offers 24/7 emergency repair services. Give us a call at 573-254-3748 to schedule your routine maintenance or repair service today!

Fast Fix LLC. Restaurant Equipment Service & Repair - 

One Call Does It All! 

Fast Fix LLC. Restaurant Services
9403 County Road 154
Auxvasse, MO 65231

Phone: 573-254-3748
St. Louis Customers: 636-FASTFIX

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