Cleaning Ice Machines: Restaurants Beware!

Almost all restaurant operators who find themselves cleaning ice machines face the dreaded sign of a poorly sanitized ice machines:  slime.

Slime in ice machines is formed when even a single colony forming unit of contamination in the air is drawn into the machine.  This is normal; it occurs during normal ice-making operations.  

Restaurants, in particular, are the perfect breeding ground for slime because there is a high concentration of food particles in the air on a regular basis.  Each particle of food has the potential to spawn slime.

And slime spreads quickly!  In fact, several species of bacteria can expand at geometric growth rates, doubling in population size every 10 minutes. That means that a singular bacterium left undisturbed for a single day on the food contact surface of an ice machine can grow into 22,300,745,198,530,600,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bacteria!

Within the restaurant environment, following the manufacturer’s suggested minimum sanitization schedule of annual or semi-annual deep cleaning ice machines is typically not adequate to control the growth of slime. More frequent cleanings can help fight against the buildup of slime in ice machines, but cleanings cost restaurants valuable time and money.   

An ice machine fouled with slime, however, is a dangerous situation. Tainted ice machines can ruin the taste to beverages, sicken guests, and fail health inspections. The potential damages can be devastating.  

One simple way to stop the spread of slime without more frequent, costly cleanings is a clean-in-place sanitation system like IceZone.

is a multi-patented Clean-In-Place (CIP) food equipment sanitation solution that prevents slime, mould, bacteria, viruses, fungi, and yeast from growing on the surfaces of ice machines and is proven by independent third-party test labs to eliminate over 99% of surface micro-contamination.

IceZone is a fully automated solution.  It is easy to install and works around the clock to protect your equipment, employees, and customers.

Check out this case study to learn about how IceZone saved the Rottinghaus Company millions, or contact us to learn more about IceZone.


BSG Scientific designs and manufactures ultraviolet light commercial and industrial applications, creating systems for sanitation, preventative maintenance, and odour control solutions.

Headquartered in Orlando, Florida, we serve clients globally, with offices in 5 countries on 3 continents.


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