Informational Guide

Cleaning a Hoshizaki Ice Machine

Learn how to effectively clean a Hoshizaki ice machine with our complete guide. Get clear, clean and fresh ice today.

by Josh Mitchell

While having a heavy-duty ice machine like the Hoshizaki has many perks, there are many moving parts that require regular care and maintenance. Failing to keep up with this maintenance can result in poor-tasting ice or no ice being produced altogether.

To keep ice machine issues from happening and keep your ice tasting as fresh as possible, follow this complete guide with step-by-step instructions on how to clean a Hoshizaki ice maker.

ice cubes

There are a number of different Hoshizaki ice machines to choose from, so the first step in deciding on the right model is determining which type of ice you (or your patrons/customers) prefer. There are 6 different styles of ice produced by the Hoshizaki machine, including:

  • Sphere
  • Crescent
  • Top Hat
  • Square
  • Cubelet
  • Flaker

From there, you'll choose between an air-cooled machine or a water-cooled one. The difference between the two is that air-cooled machines use air to transfer heat out of the ice maker through the use of internal fans and vents.

On the flip side, water-cooled ice makers use water to cool instead of the transfer of air. Air-cooled is more popular, which is why you’ll see more of these offered by Hoshizaki.

Remember that no matter which Hoshizaki ice machine you get, cleaning it should always be a part of your regular maintenance routine.


Considerations Before Cleaning a Hoshizaki Ice Machine

Before getting started, you want to make sure you have all the tools and materials you need for your Hoshizaki ice machine cleanout. The most important thing to have handy is your model's user manual since this will give you all the specific steps and details for each one.

You’ll need a food-grade cleaning solution (that means no ammonia!) as well as the Hoshizaki Scale Away product for descaling (getting rid of limescale buildup). Aside from that, here are the primary considerations to keep in mind before getting into the cleaning steps:

  • Read and follow the directions on the Hoshizaki Cleaning Manual.
  • Remove all the ice from the ice storage bin and dispenser.
  • Remember to go through the cleaning steps below at least once per year.

Cleaning Your Hoshizaki Ice Machine: DIY Step-by-Step Guide

There are 4 different phases to go through before you can say your Hoshizaki ice machine is fully clean: Cleaning Prep, Cleaning, Cleaning Rinse, and Sanitizing.

Check out the exact steps below to clean your Hoshizaki. Keep in mind these steps are specifically to clean the Hoshizaki ice maker KML-631MAH model - a popular commercial ice maker - so if you have a different model, be sure to check your user manual to see the exact steps.

Cleaning Prep

  1. 1
    Remove the machine’s front panel and turn the control switch to the Off position. After 3 minutes, move the control switch to Ice, then put the front panel back in place.
  2. 2
    After 3 minutes, remove the front panel and then move the control switch to Off again. This will remove the cubes from the evaporator.
  3. 3
    Manually remove all ice from the dispenser unit and ice storage bin. Once these steps are done, you’re ready to move on to the cleaning steps.

Cleaning

  1. 1
    Remove the front panel and move the service switch to Drain. Then, move the control switch to Service and replace the panel. After about 2 minutes, remove the panel again and switch the machine to Off.
  2. 2
    Dilute the Hoshizaki Scale Away solution with warm water (refer to the table in your manual to figure out the proper dilution ratios). After removing the front insulation panel, pour the cleaning solution into the water tank and replace the panel.
  3. 3
    Move the service switch to Wash and the control switch to Service. Then after 30 minutes, remove the panel, move the switch to Drain, and replace the panel once again. To prevent damage to the water pump, do not leave the control switch on Service for too long when the water tank is empty.
  4. 4
    In bad water conditions, you might have to do a more thorough cleaning of your Hoshizaki ice machine. In that case, use 5 ounces of Scale Away for every 1 gallon of warm water. Remove and clean the cube guides, float switch assembly, water supply tubes, spray tubes, and spray guides. Rinse well, then put everything back in their correct positions. If a deeper clean isn't necessary, continue straight to the Cleaning Rinse.

Cleaning Rinse

  1. 1
    After the previous steps, wait 2 minutes, then remove the panel and move the control switch to Ice before replacing the panel.
  2. 2
    Wait another 3 minutes before moving the service switch to Wash and the control switch to Service. After 5 minutes, remove the panel and move the service switch to Drain before replacing the panel.
  3. 3
    After 2 minutes, remove the panel and move the control switch to Off. Repeat the Cleaning Rinse steps 3x to rinse thoroughly, and then move on to Sanitation.

Sanitizing

  1. 1
    Dilute 5.25% chlorine bleach with warm water. You’ll find a table for dilution information in your Cleaning manual.
  2. 2
    Remove the front insulation panel and pour the sanitizing solution into the water tank, then replace the panel.
  3. 3
    Move the service switch to Wash and the control switch to Service.
  4. 4
    After 15 minutes, remove the panel and move the service switch to Drain, then replace the front panel and after 2 minutes, remove it again and move the control switch to Off.
Rinse 1:
  1. 5
    Move the control switch to Ice, and after 3 minutes, remove the front panel. Then move the service switch to Wash and the control switch to Service before replacing the panel.
  2. 6
    After 5 minutes, remove the front panel, and move the switch to Drain, replace the front panel.
  3. 7
    After 2 minutes, remove the front panel, Move the control switch to Off, replace the front panel.

You’ll repeat the steps in Rinse 1 a second time, and then clean the dispenser unit and ice storage bin liner with a mild cleaner. Once you’re done, rinse thoroughly with warm water, move the control switch back to Ice, and replace the front panel.

ice block

People also Ask (FAQs)

How do I start Hoshizaki Ice Machine after cleaning it?

To turn the machine back on, just switch it to ICE - it should take about 3 minutes to start producing ice again. It's vital that you discard the first batch of ice just in case any cleaning solution was left behind after the Rinse phase.

What preventative maintenance can I do for my Hoshizaki ice maker?

There are some steps that you should do yearly - like the steps listed above - but then there are a few tasks to do monthly in order to keep your Hoshizaki well-maintained. You'll need to clean the water filters, machine exterior, and ice bin door every month, and it's also a good idea to sanitize the ice scooper every day.

Why is my Hoshizaki ice machine not making ice but will clean? Where is the reset button?

If your Hoshizaki ice machine will clean but not make ice, there could be a few different things going on. It might be a bad power supply or blown fuse, or it could be a defective door switch or faulty motor. Always check the power supply first before focusing on other issues.

Can you clean an ice maker with vinegar?

For small residential machines, vinegar usually does the trick, and Hunker says that using vinegar to clean ice machines is useful because it “eats away the scale scum that accumulates in ice machines, eliminating the need for toxic chemicals.”

However, for a large commercial-grade ice machine like the Hoshizaki ice makers, it’s recommended to use more heavy-duty cleaning solutions.

How do you remove the agitator from a Hoshizaki Ice Maker?

First, you’ll switch the ice maker to the Off position, then remove all ice from the storage bin and dispenser. Unplug the machine, remove the top panel, and remove the ice bin cover. Then, rotate the agitator piece counterclockwise, and it should lift easily out of place.


Conclusion

Hopefully, after reading this comprehensive cleaning guide, you’re no longer feeling in the dark about how to clean my Hoshizaki ice machine? Now you have all the info you need to keep your Hoshizaki running smoothly for years.

Josh enjoys researching, testing and diving into home improvement & DIY products. He has a passion for tools, learning new skills and fixing the everyday problems that arise around the house.

  1. Home
  2. /
  3. Blog
  4. /
  5. Kitchen
  6. /
  7. Ice Makers
  8. /
  9. How to Clean a Hoshizaki Ice Machine – Step by Step Instructions
Top