An Easy and Safe Way to Clean Mold in A Portable Ice Maker

More than half of stomach infections happen because of consuming unclean and unhygienic water. And this is why it is always important to drink filtered and clean water and use potable water for cooking as well. The same holds for ice that you mix in drinks too. The ice cubes should be of very high quality and should be clean and free from impurities, hard minerals, and of course mold and slime. But when you draw ice from your portable ice maker, there are all chances that your ice may be layered with a coat of mold if you are not cleaning and maintaining the appliance appropriately. And there are all chances that this mold gets unnoticed until it makes an obnoxious smell and taste to the ice and makes your stomach sick.

Drinking juices and consuming drinks with ice that is layered with mold, can bring a series of stomach infections and can also make you sick with flu, fever, and throat infection. It can also easily alter the taste and quality of your drinks and bring discontent among your guests and make your party a disaster. So here is what you can do to get rid of mold in your portable ice maker easily and safely.

Understand Why Molds Form in the Ice Maker

Mold in A Portable Ice Maker
Credit: BBISHOPPCM’s World

Any place that is wet and has moisture will attract fungal growth and thus there are all chances for the portable ice makers to get infested with time. The residual water gets transmitted to the sides of the ice maker fostering mold growth and their main target is the countertop ice maker as they do not hold a freezing temperature to arrest mold growth. 

Using unclean water and failing to clean the unit periodically will result in the growth of mold. Users have to ensure that the unit is maintained clean at all times, both interiors and exteriors. It has to be washed thoroughly with soap and water once a month and rinsed thoroughly. And users should refrain from taking the ice with their hand, instead of the ice scoop, as by using the hand you are feeding your unit with germs, that later multiply to form molds.

Mold in ice maker chamber
Credit: BBISHOPPCM’s World

These two guides will also help you maintain your ice maker:

  1. Portable Ice Maker Won’t Make Ice: Troubleshooting Your Problem
  2. Portable Ice Maker Instructions For Setup and Maintenance

Getting Rid of Mild From Your Ice – Easily, Safely, and Efficiently

Do we ever allow mold to form inside the walls of our home even during rainy and cold weather? We know that the presence of mold in the home can bring about several long-term health problems. The same happens with the portable ice maker as well, if you leave it in your storage for some time and have pulled it out recently to make some ice, without cleaning it. It is possible to easily get rid of the mold easily and safely, by following these instructions.

1. Clean, clean, and clean

The main attractions for mold growth are the inside walls of the ice maker and the cover of the unit and they can be easily avoided by cleaning them at appropriate intervals. You can clean with a homemade cleaning solution or buy them as instructed in your user manual.

For preparing a homemade cleaning solution, take a little bleach and dilute it in water. You can dilute a spoon of bleach in five cups of water, but do not overdo it to prevent your ice from smelling bleach. Dilute in warm water preferably and clean the ice maker thoroughly.

You can use this to clean the insides and the outsides of the appliance to prevent mold formation and this also helps in preventing the formation of mold in the future. The step-by-step cleaning action can be followed as given below.

  • Saturate all the contaminated surfaces with the cleaning solution by spraying action
  • Wipe the areas first with a clean cloth before spraying the cleaner
  • Allow the solution to sit for ten minutes
  • Wipe and rinse the area clean thoroughly
  • Remove the ice bin and clean it with a washcloth dipped in soapy water.
  • You can also mix baking soda with warm water to wipe and clean the ice bin and the ice scoop
  • Rinse the removable parts well and keep them aside to air dry.
  • Mix vinegar in water and take it down on a clean washcloth. Use this solution to clean the ice-making prongs and the insides of the ice maker as much as possible, taking much care to not damage the components.
  • You can also use a fine bristled toothbrush to access the parts that cannot be reached with a washcloth to clean them.

Thus, you can use bleach, vinegar, warm water, mild soap, or the cleaner prescribed by your manufacturer to clean the exteriors and the maximum interiors possible, without causing any damage to the unit. Make sure to use a dry washcloth to wipe off any residual moisture from the ice maker. Make sure the unit is completely dry before reassembling it.

Also check this cleaning guide: How to Clean an Ice Machine?

2. Sanitizing and deodorizing the unit

The formation of mold will leave an obnoxious smell on the interiors of the ice maker. The best way to get rid of this smell is to deodorize the ice maker and its walls with baking soda. Use a solution of four spoons of baking soda mixed with one quart of water to deodorize and rinse the ice maker thoroughly to make sure that the residual cleaning solution is gone completely. 

After cleaning and deodorizing the ice maker, run a few ice-making cycles perhaps two or three ice-making cycles, and discard the ice cubes formed in them. If your appliance has an automatic cleaning function, use the option once a week to give a thorough rinse to the interiors of the ice maker.

3. Checking the water filter

Some ice makers come with water filters to ensure pure water gets into the ice-making process. There are chances for this water filter to get clogged with minerals which can affect the quality of ice. And they are also good sources of mold formation. It is important to clean them once a week and change new filters once in six months or as instructed by the manufacturer.

Final Words

Cleaning the ice maker is an important, yet neglected task in many homes. It is very easy to clean the portable ice maker and is pivotal for health safety. It is mandatory to carry out this cleaning routine at least once a month, to enjoy fresh and clean drinks for many years. An appliance that is maintained appropriately will also last for many years without breaking down and inviting professional troubleshooting. 

I'm Sara Wilson, the founder, and author of HomeyCart. I'm also the head of the expert team that tests various ice makers and brings the best advice.

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