How to Clean Your Commercial Refrigerator and Ice Maker

To keep your commercial refrigerator and ice machine working properly, you need to clean them on a regular basis. Ready to get rid of gunk and debris and protect your equipment? Review these cleaning essentials.

Note that these tips apply to commercial refrigerators, walk-in coolers, and ice machines, but you should always check your owner’s manual for specific instructions related to your model.

1. Gently Wipe Down the Interior and Exterior

Ideally, you should wipe down the interior and exterior of your commercial refrigerator and ice maker often. Use soap and water and a soft towel, and avoid harsh cleaners, metal scrapers, or anything that could damage your equipment.

If you need to remove built-up grease, try a baking soda paste for interior shelves or bins and a stainless-steel degreaser for the outside of stainless-steel appliances. For ice makers, remove and clean your ice bin on a regular basis. Make sure to clean the bin if your ice is cloudy or has a scent.

2. Keep the Interior Dry

Sitting water can harbor bacteria and increase condensation that can freeze. Wipe up spills in your refrigerator, and when you clean the ice bin on your ice maker, make sure that you thoroughly dry it.

3. Clean the Condenser Coil

When the condenser coil gets dirty or dusty, the temperature in your unit can increase, causing the motor to work harder to cool the refrigerator to your set temperature, potentially leading to a breakdown. To clean the condenser coil, turn off the power to your refrigerator or ice maker. Then, wipe down the coil with a damp towel. You may need to use a degreaser or some dish soap if your unit is near a fryer, a griddle, or other greasy cooking appliances.

4. Take Care of the Evaporator Coil

In addition to cleaning the condenser coil, you should also examine the evaporator coil. This coil absorbs the warm air that passes through the refrigeration system, which is an essential process to keep the inside of your refrigerator or ice maker cold. Dust and debris can affect the function of this component, so to be on the safe side, you should wipe off the coil as needed.

Additionally, pay attention to where you place food in your fridge. If you block the interior vents, this can cause the evaporator coil to freeze, which can lead to leaks or a temperature increase inside the refrigerator.

5. Maintain Door Gaskets

The door to your commercial refrigerator has a seal around its edges. This is called a door gasket, and this seal prevents cold air from leaving and warm air from entering your refrigerator. Wipe down the gaskets regularly to keep then clean, and check the gaskets on a regular basis to make sure they form a tight seal when your fridge is closed. If they begin to degrade, have them replaced.

6. Check Filters

Both commercial refrigerators and ice makers have filters. These filters stop dust and debris from getting into the rest of your system, but if you don’t clean them regularly, they can get full and stop working properly. Locate your filter and remove dust with a shop vacuum. If you see a lot of greasy build up, you may need to remove and soak the filter in water treated with a degreaser. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how often to replace your filter.

7. Empty Drain Pans

Finally, your commercial refrigerator and ice maker may have a drain pan. The pan collects water that forms due to condensation in your system and over time, the sitting water may attract bacteria and release odors. To prevent that from happening, you should empty the water frequently and clean the tray with warm soapy water. If possible, also look at the tubes leading to the drain pan, and make sure that they don’t have any visible clogs.

To safeguard the life of your commercial refrigerator and ice maker, consider hiring a commercial refrigeration expert to service your equipment. At N.E.T.R., Inc. we offer commercial refrigeration and HVAC services. To learn more, contact us directly.

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