I have owned an Igloo ice maker for several years and love it.
It’s the perfect compact portable ice maker, and I use it at home and for camping. It’s just that perfect size for carrying from place to place.
People always ask me how I have kept my Igloo Portable Ice Maker working so long, and I usually give them a list of things that I do, like keeping it dry in storage, unplugging it during storms, changing the water several times a week, and making sure that it’s always clean.
All portable ice makers get considerably dirty over time, and my Igloo Portable Ice Maker isn’t an exception. So, keeping it clean is a priority. If you don’t keep your portable ice maker clean, mold, bacteria, and dirt will form in your unit’s water lines and inside walls making your water and ice dirty.
Now, there are several things that you can do, as I listed above, to keep mold and dirt from forming in your Igloo portable ice maker. One of the things is drying it before you store it for a long time, not throwing dirty ice into the storage bin, and using a scoop to get the ice. These hacks keep your ice maker clean while using it, but it won’t be clean forever.
I suggest you completely clean your portable ice maker every two weeks to ensure that your ice tastes great and is clean to eat. I know what you’re thinking, cleaning my Igloo Ice Maker is going to take a long time, but it’s actually a straightforward process.
In this article, I will walk you through the entire process I take when cleaning my Igloo Ice Maker or any portable ice maker and how you can ensure you’re eating clean ice.
Unplug Your Igloo Portable Ice Maker and Move it Closer to a Sink or a Place to Drain it
The first step is unplugging your portable ice maker and moving it closer to your sink. You’ll have to unplug it to move it, but you never want to clean inside the unit while it’s powered on.
You want to drain the water from the reservoir, so having it closer to your sink will help you do that with minimal mess.
Locate the drain plug on your igloo portable ice maker, which is normally on the bottom or the left side of the unit. You just unscrew the cap and pull out the plug, and you’ll want the water to drain right into the sink.
When the reservoir is empty, you can place the plug back into the unit and screw on the cap.
Wash Your Portable Ice Maker
Remove the ice scoop and the storage basket and place it to the side.
You can wash these in a separate sink or a bucket with soapy water. I have a double sink, so I fill the second sink with water and let the ice scoop and basket soak.
I add water back into the ice maker, probably half full, and add a cleaning solution to the water. I love using a cleaning and descaling solution, but you can choose any mild cleaner that will do the trick. Once you add the cleaner to the water, you can use a soft cloth to wash down the walls of your unit.
I use a silicone brush to wash the areas I cannot reach. It works amazingly, and I highly recommend you purchase one. It makes the job a lot easier. I also fill a spray bottle with a cleaning solution to reach all the challenging areas. I just spray it, and the dirt dissolves.
Once the ice maker is washed, you can go ahead and empty all the water out of the reservoir.
Run Your Portable Ice Maker or Cleaning Cycle
Now that your ice maker is empty again. Put the plug back in place, and again fill your ice maker with water and a cleaning solution. You’ll have to return the ice storage basket as well.
Next, you’ll run your machine and allow the cleaning solution to run through all the lines. We want to ensure that everywhere water runs is clean, so this is an important step.
Please don’t miss this. You don’t want to eat the ice. You throw it in the sink. We just want to rotate the water through the unit.
Some Igloo Portable Ice Makers have a cleaning cycle and will just rotate the water through the ice maker without making ice. If you have that feature, you’ll want to enable it. Hold the cleaning button for three seconds, and you’ll start to hear the water cycle begin.
You can do this for 15-20 minutes or until 2-3 ice baskets have been thrown away.
Rinse Your Portable Ice Maker
Now it’s time to rinse off all that cleaning solution.
I open the drain plug and empty the leftover cleaning solution in the sink. You can use a spray bottle, cups of water, or a removable tap to rinse out your unit and let the water drain into the sink. It should constantly flow into the portable ice maker and then out of the portable ice maker and into the sink.
Rinse the unit until you feel all the cleaning solution has been removed and the ice won’t taste like soap.
Run the Portable Ice Maker Again
I put back the drain plug and returned the portable ice maker to its rightful place.
Next, I make ice, but I just throw the ice away. I do this until the water reservoir is empty and I’ve made several batches of ice. This just ensures that no cleaning solution is left in the ice maker and that my ice won’t taste like soap.
When I make ice for the second time in my Igloo Portable Ice Maker, I notice the ice’s freshness. My Igloo Ice Maker is spotless, and the ice it produces is clean and tastes great.
Cleaning the Exterior of Your Portable Ice Maker
Before the chore of cleaning my Igloo Portable Ice Maker is complete, I wash the exterior of the unit. The way this is accomplished is dependent on the type of exterior your Igloo ice maker, or any portable ice maker, has as a design.
If your ice maker is stainless steel, I use a stainless steel cleaner to give it a fantastic polish. If my unit is plastic, then I use the cleaning solution to dissolve any material deposits or dirt.
It’s important to end with cleaning the exterior of the unit because dirt that builds up on the outside of the ice maker will eventually get to the inside. If you don’t wash the outside of your Igloo Ice Maker, you will clean the inside a lot sooner next time.
It feels good to know that the ice my portable ice maker produces is clean and safe to eat. It’s also ice that tastes great. This is why I always keep my Igloo Portable Ice Maker Clean.
I find that a clean portable ice maker helps it to run efficiently, and solves a lot of issues that make cause your Igloo Portable Ice Maker to malfunction.
Keeping my Igloo Portable Ice Maker clean is one of the reasons I have kept it working for so long and I love the ice it produces each day in my home and on the road.
Follow my simple steps to clean your Igloo Ice Maker right now.