Freestanding Ice Maker Cleaning Tips



By Kim Hillegass, Sears PartsDirect

Do-it-yourself appliance repair is what we're all about here at Sears PartsDirect. We genuinely enjoy helping others with the problems they experience with their appliances. We also know that the best DIY repairs are the ones avoided by simple routine maintenance.

A freestanding ice maker needs regular cleaning to operate at peak efficiency. With routine maintenance, you can also avoid costly failures to system components. These ice maker cleaning tips will help you keep your ice maker running at its best and avoid the premature failure of parts that lead to repairs.

Clean the Ice Maker System

The minerals removed from the water during the freezing cycle eventually form a hard scaly deposit in the water system.  Cleaning the system regularly removes this build-up.  How often you need to clean the system depends on how hard your water is.  With hard water—15 to 20 grains/gallon—you should clean the system every 9 months.  Use one 16 ounce bottle of ice maker cleaner, following the directions on the bottle or in your owner’s manual. If you’re not sure whether you have hard water, this video will help you figure it out.

Sanitize Ice Maker Interior Components

Sanitize the interior of your ice maker periodically, especially after an extended period of non-use.  You might find it convenient to sanitize the interior components every time you clean the ice maker system when there’s no ice in the container.  Clean the ice storage bin, ice scoop, ice scoop holder and cutter grid with a soft sponge and a solution of 1 tablespoon of household bleach to a gallon of water, then rinse with clear water.  See your owner’s manual for detailed instructions.

Vacuum the Ice Maker Condenser Coil

A dirty or clogged condenser obstructs airflow and reduces the amount of ice produced.   It also makes the components hotter, which may lead to component failure.  Vacuum the condenser coil every 6 to 9 months, using a brush attachment, to remove lint and dirt.  The condenser coil is on the back of most freestanding ice makers.  See your owner's manual for specific directions on accessing your condenser coil. 

Wipe the Ice Maker Exterior

Periodically clean the exterior surfaces and gasket with warm water and a mild detergent or appliance cleaner.  Do not use abrasive cleaners on enameled surfaces, or chlorine bleach on stainless-steel surfaces.