Can I Use Bleach to Clean an Ice Maker?

Alice Moon

Cleaning your ice maker is a multi-step process you should complete at least once per year. The first step in cleaning any part of your ice maker is to unplug the device. In addition to washing parts of the ice maker itself, you must vacuum the fins of the condenser to keep your unit from overheating and to keep ice production at capacity.

Getting Started

Clean your ice maker before you use it for the first time and after the device sits idle during a vacation or a move. Additionally, many ice makers go through a five-minute rinse cycle when first started. Regular care and cleaning ensures your ice maker remains in good working order and extends the life of its parts. While exterior portions of the device may be cleaned using warm water and mild soap, you can use bleach to clean some interior parts of your ice maker and some of its accessories.

Mineral Scale

Clean your ice maker if you experience a buildup of mineral scale during use. The accumulation of white crusty deposits in your water or the device can affect the quality, taste and structure of ice. If your device produces thin or soft ice, scale may be to blame. The frequency of cleaning needed to address this problem depends on your water. Hard water of 15 to 20 grains per gallon may require you to clean your ice maker as often as every six months. Depending on the amount of scale present, you may need to complete several cleaning cycles and use several bottles of cleaning solution.


To clean the ice maker, turn the unit off, and wait five minutes to allow any remaining ice to collect in the storage bin. Empty the bin. Remove the drain cap from the water pan, drain away all of the water and replace the cap. Pour ice maker cleaner solution into the water pan, followed by two bottles of tap water. Select the “clean” function on the unit’s controls. A light will signal the function is working and remain on for the 45 minutes required to complete the process. The unit will self-clean and rinse during the procedure. Remove the drain cap and check the water pan. If any solution is present, you must repeat the clean cycle. Turn the unit back on once you have finished cleaning.

Interior Parts

The interior components of your ice maker that may be cleaned with bleach include the cutter grid, the water pan and the exterior surfaces of the hoses. Other parts that may be cleaned with bleach include the storage bin, the ice scoop and ice scoop holder and the gasket to the door. Wash these parts in mild soap and warm water, rinse the parts, then clean them in a solution of 1 tbsp. bleach to 1 gallon of warm water before completing a final rinse.