How to Clean an Ice Maker With Vinegar?

Ice makers are one of the most convenient appliances in existence.

Instead of wasting time filling ice trays with water and waiting seemingly forever for the trays to solidify and turn to ice, all you need to do is fire up your ice maker and you’ll have all the ice you need in a matter of minutes.

This is what makes them so convenient. They save time more than nearly any other appliance.

Because all an ice maker really does is make ice, you wouldn’t think that they would need to be cleaned, but you would be surprised.

Ice makers require periodic cleaning in order to run optimally, and one of the best ways to do this is with vinegar.

Before learning about how to clean your ice maker with vinegar or its related substances, you should first learn about why ice makers need to be cleaned and why vinegar is effective when cleaning them.

Why do You Need to Clean an Ice Maker?

All ice makers do is make ice.

Why do they need to be cleaned when all they do is produce frozen water?

There are two answers to this.

First, understand that a lot of particles surround your ice maker. 

These particles can get into the inside of your ice maker as well as on the exterior of the ice maker and they will affect not only how much ice the maker can create, but the quality of the ice.

Also, do not forget that your ice maker utilizes a lot of mechanical parts in order to operate effectively.

These parts are around water and they can get dirty because most of them are made of steel. Thus, they need to be cleaned.

Why Use Vinegar to Clean an Ice Maker?

Vinegar is a very effective cleaning solution that will decisively clean anything, ice makers included.

This is because it contains substances that will decisively eliminate not only dirt but also other toxic particles that your ice maker can be exposed to.

Other cleaning solutions could damage certain parts of the ice maker, especially on the interior.

How to Clean an Ice Maker With Vinegar

Not only will vinegar clean your ice maker more effectively if you do it right, it will also ensure that the parts of the ice maker that you clean will remain undamaged.

Using vinegar will remove dirt, eliminate unwanted particles, and unlike most other cleaning solutions and substances, it will also reduce residue.

However, you cannot just use any kind of vinegar to clean an ice maker. Use the wrong kind of vinegar, and your ice maker will be ruined.

What Kind of Vinegar Should You Use to Clean Your Ice Maker?

There are a few kinds of vinegar out there, each with their own different properties.

The most common kind of vinegar is white vinegar. This vinegar contains 5 percent acetic acid with the rest of the vinegar being water.

While white vinegar can be used for cleaning, it won’t do much as a cleaner for your ice maker.

You might be able to use it in a pinch if you do not have any other kind of vinegar, but in order to clean an ice maker with vinegar, you’ll want a stronger kind.

These two kinds are cleaning vinegar and industrial vinegar.

Cleaning vinegar contains 6 percent acetic acid, and that makes all the difference when it comes to cleaning an ice maker.

Use cleaning vinegar when cleaning your ice maker regularly. It will work wonders.

You’ll need industrial vinegar if you have been ignoring cleaning your ice maker.

Also called horticultural vinegar, industrial vinegar contains 20 to 30 percent acetic acid. 

This will decisively clean any blemish on your ice maker but beware. Use too much, and you will damage your ice maker, especially when cleaning the insides.

Making a cleaning solution with cleaning or white vinegar is easy: Use a ratio of 1 part water to 1 part vinegar. This is what you will use when regularly cleaning your ice maker.

You want to use considerably less industrial vinegar when making cleaning solutions with industrial vinegar if you intend to use industrial vinegar to clean an ice maker. 

This is something you should keep in mind.

Read Also: Soft Serve Ice Cream Machine Reviews

Cleaning The Exterior of The Ice Maker

The exterior of your ice maker is the first thing you will wipe down with your vinegar and water cleaning solution.

You’ll be surprised at how much dirt and residue develops on the exterior of your ice maker, and you should definitely clean this regularly.

Resist the temptation to spray the solution directly onto the exterior of the ice maker. Instead, spray the solution onto a cleaning cloth and wipe down the exterior of the ice maker with it.

Make sure this cleaning solution is fairly warm. Don’t forget that you are dealing with something that is used to very cold temperatures, so it will take a warm substance for you to clean it properly.

Cleaning The Interior of Your Ice Maker

The interior of your ice maker will require a little more attention than the exterior of it.

You’ll need to make sure your cleaning solution is a little warmer than the cleaning solution was when cleaning the exterior. This will help with cleaning the parts in the interior that are a little cooler than others.

While the solution doesn’t need to be terribly warm, it does need to be considerably warm in order to clean the residue from the interior of the ice maker properly.

Be as delicate as you can be when cleaning the interior of your ice maker. While the only thing you are really doing is removing dirt and residue, remember that you are dealing with very small parts that break easily.

Make sure that your cleaning cloth is not too wet either. If you wipe the interior areas of your ice maker with a cloth that contains too much solution, they might get damaged when they freeze back up.

This is also why you should also have a dry cloth on hand that you should wipe the interior areas of your ice maker with after wiping them with the wet cloth. It will prevent further residue from developing.


Although you might think that it isn’t necessary, your ice maker will be a lot more effective if you clean it regularly.

The best way to do this is to use vinegar when doing this.

Be very aware of what kind of vinegar you are using when doing this. You want to be using either white vinegar or cleaning vinegar when cleaning your ice maker regularly.

You can use industrial or horticultural vinegar when cleaning deeply, but be careful when using this. Use too much, and you’ll damage the ice maker, especially if you are cleaning the interior.

Take care not to spray any part of the ice maker directly with whatever cleaning solution you are using. If you do this, you’ll risk causing damage to the ice maker, especially the interior.

Instead, spray some cleaning solution onto a cloth and wipe any areas of your ice maker you need to clean that way. Use a different cloth as well, this way you do not undo whatever cleaning progress you have made.

Cleaning your ice maker using vinegar will ensure that your ice maker will last a very long time, this way you can continue to enjoy all the conveniences it has to offer.



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Q: How do you clean the inside of an ice maker?

A: Thankfully, it’s easy to create your own ice maker cleaning solution. Mix 10 parts warm water with 1 part vinegar and fill up the ice maker as you normally would to make ordinary ice. White vinegar is neutral, and although it smells strong, the smell won’t linger when the cleaning process is over.

Q: What kind of vinegar can I use to clean my ice maker?

A: The most common kind of vinegar is white vinegar. This vinegar contains 5 percent acetic acid with the rest of the vinegar being water. While white vinegar can be used for cleaning, it won’t do much as a cleaner for your ice maker.

Q: Can you put bleach in an ice maker?

A: Never use 100% bleach directly on your ice maker. This could cause health concerns and might be abrasive to the machine’s internal parts, as well. Some companies recommend using a solution of 10 cups water to 1 teaspoon of bleach to disinfect your machine thoroughly. This should always be followed by a rinse cycle with clean water.

Q: How often should you clean your countertop ice maker?

A: You should perform this process every four weeks or so to ensure your ice is always clean and fresh. Just make sure you go step by step. To clean your countertop ice maker, gather some warm water, vinegar, a pitcher, soft cloth, spoon, and measuring cup.