A restaurant kitchen boasts many hard-working appliances, but one of the most used and most crucial is the ice machine. Ice helps keep food safe, it keeps customer's drinks fresh, and a bar simply cannot function without it. To keep your ice machine in good shape, it's important to conduct regular maintenance.
Here are three things all restaurant owners should consider to properly care for their ice machine and extend its life, from the experts at ACityDiscount, a food service equipment company:
1. Conduct regular sanitation
Mold, grim, dirt and other microscopic gunk can build up in an ice machine, even if you can't see it with the naked eye. But regular cleaning and sanitation is very important for you, your customers, and the health inspectors should they hit you with a surprise visit. Your ice machine should be emptied and thoroughly cleaned every six months. You can clean your ice machine with a nickel-safe scale remover and an ice machine sanitizing solution.
2. Consider antimicrobial protection
Some commercial ice machines are made with special antimicrobial protection features. For example, manufacturer Hoshizaki makes ice machines that have removable antimicrobial protection filters that you can clean yourself. These protect the ice machine components from things like dust, grease and flour. Manufacturer Scotsman has a patented water purging system called WaterSense to reduce scale build-up in the machine. These filters and designs help to keep your machine free of mold and grime, and can help to extend the operational life, so they might be worth the investment.
3. Replace water filters
It's best to replace your ice machine's water filter every six months. A water filter helps remove the amount of sediment and minerals from the water, keeping the ice clean and clear. It also helps remove odor and bad flavors so your customers' drinks taste fresh and delicious. It can help your machine run well because it slows scale build-up with can reduce ice production. Some companies, such as Ice-O-Matic, offer extended warranties at no extra charge when customers replace the filter in their ice machines every six months.
These three pieces of advice will help extend the life of your commercial ice machine, ensuring every day you'll successfully complete service and keep your customers happy. And happy customers keep coming back again and again.