How to Clean Your Countertop Ice Maker: The Complete Guide

A countertop ice maker is a great way to keep a supply of ice on hand, whether for a cozy evening drink or for a big summer barbecue. However, these appliances tend to be used infrequently–so how to clean your countertop ice maker, a portable ice maker, and table top ice maker to avoid spoiling your ice-cold drink?

Cleaning a countertop ice maker is easier than you might think. Keep reading to find out our step-by-step guide on how best to clean your ice maker.

Switch off Your Ice Maker

We don’t want any unexpected activity from our ice maker, so the first thing we need to do is unplug the appliance. This also means that it’s easier for us to maneuver the machine when needed.

At the very least, ensure that the power setting is switched off so we can focus on the cleaning process.

Prepare Your Cleaning Supplies

As you’ll usually consume the ice that the ice maker creates, we want to be careful to only use appropriate cleaning products. Whilst dish soap would do the job, any soap accidentally left in the appliance might contribute to soap suds forming when the appliance is switched on, and this could cause issues. A soapy aftertaste is also the last thing we want from our ice!

In order to avoid those issues, our main cleaning product should be lemon juice. Alternatively, you can also use vinegar to clean your ice maker. Both of these are acidic, and so will help remove bacteria whilst also breaking down any mineral deposits left in the ice maker.

You’ll also need a cloth, and ideally a soft toothbrush, to make sure we can clean all the surfaces thoroughly inside and out.

Drain the Water Reservoir

Most ice makers have an outlet or small tap on the back of the appliance, which can be removed to drain any water currently being held inside. If you have one of these, now is the time to remove the cap and let any water inside drain out. Give any plugs or caps a clean, and then put them back on the appliance.

Remove and Clean Filters and Accessories

If your ice maker has accessories like an ice basket or a scoop, take them out and clean them thoroughly, as you would other items in the kitchen. If they are dishwasher-safe, you can run them through the dishwasher for an especially meticulous clean.

Similarly, if your appliance has any filters, take them out and clean them thoroughly. As they’re often relatively small, we’ve found that a soft toothbrush is a great way to reach the tough-to-reach spots.

When these are all clean, set them aside for now, and we’ll return to them once we’ve looked at the main appliance.

Wipe Down the Appliance

Create a cleaning solution by mixing the lemon juice with water. We don’t need the solution to be very strong, so aim for approximately nine parts lukewarm water to one part lemon juice.

Once your solution is ready, dip your soft cloth and use it to wipe down all the surfaces of the ice maker thoroughly. You should wipe every available surface inside the machine, and you can use neat lemon juice on any especially stubborn spots to help do the job.

At this point, it’s also useful to use the soft toothbrush to enable you to reach down to any tough-to-reach spots and give them a thorough clean as well.

Once the inside has been cleaned, you should also wipe down the outside of the machine with a damp cloth.

Put the Parts Back Together

Once you’re happy that the inside of your ice maker has been thoroughly wiped down, you should now reassemble the appliance. This means putting the cleaned filters back into their positions and returning any accessories to their usual place.

It’s also worth ensuring that any plugs or screwtops that were removed when you drained the reservoir are now back in place to avoid any spills when refilling the device.

Use the Solution to Create a Batch of Ice

Now that you have cleaned all the parts of the ice maker that we are able to reach, we’re going to use some of the cleaning solution we’ve created to clean the machine’s inner workings more deeply.

To do this, add the solution into the reservoir of the device, plug the ice maker back in and turn the appliance on so that it creates a batch of ice.

This allows the weak acidic cleaning solution we’ve added to reach all the hard-to-reach parts of the device that water touches during the ice-making process, ensuring that these parts are getting exposed to the cleaning solution too. This process is especially important for removing mineral build-up from the inner workings of the device.

Once the ice is ready, it should be thrown away as it will contain some of the lemon juice as well as any residue it was able to remove.

Drain the Appliance One Last Time

Now that we’ve used the solution all through the device, you can remove any that’s left in the reservoir. To do this, unplug the device again, and remove the outlet cap that is usually positioned on the back of the device. This should allow any remaining solution out, and the cap can then be put back on.

Fill With Clean Water and Run Once More

The final step you need to follow is to run the device once more with clean water in order to ensure that any remaining lemon juice solution has been removed from the ice maker.

To do this, just add water to the reservoir and turn on the appliance. Once the ice is ready, it should be discarded one final time in case any remaining lemon juice makes its way into the ice cubes.


Congratulations, you now have a sparkling clean ice maker! With your appliance now as good as new, it’s ready to be put back into action for your next party or for a dignified evening drink. After all that hard work, you’ve certainly earned it!

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