When it comes to serving the best quality product, your soft serve ice cream machine needs to be in its best condition. This means that you're required to properly clean your machine every 3 days, in order to comply with local health codes.
Before you jump straight into ice cream machine maintenance we recommend you carefully review these pre-cleaning notes:
- Make sure your machine is on wash and not auto because freezing water could damage your machines.
- Rinse the machine with warm water first to help you get large chunks of the remaining ice cream mix (the water will help you push the mix out).
- We recommend you use a specialized cleaner, such as Stera-Sheen green label (which is what we use to clean our machines), design to remove all the oils & particles sticking to the surface of the hopper, tubes, & barrels.
- Though soap is typically used to wash things in everyday life, soap can cause more issues for your ice cream machine than they will solve because the soap might be left over inside your machine (you can't reach inside the machine without special cleaning tools to scrub the soap off)
- Not using soap will remove the extra step of having to make sure the soap is completely removed from the system
- General/store bought detergents are not designed to break down dairy fats/oils & milk stones
- If you choose to use a specialized cleaning solution (Stera-Sheen green label) in the cleaning step:
- cleaning the machines by hand shouldn't take you more than 3-5 minutes (since most of the components are clean before being put into the sink)
- The only components that are not clean are those that did not come in contact with the cleaning solution when you run the machine on the clean/wash cycle
- What we call the "sanitizing step" is not really the step where you sanitize the machine
- Actually sanitizing the machine happens after cleaning it & before adding the product mix to the machine
- Sanitizing kills any germs in the system that were introduced in the handling step (you need to handle the components after the "sanitizing step")
Recommended Procedures To Properly Clean Your Frozen Dessert Machine
First you need to flush out all of the product mix from inside the equipment. Mix the cleaning solution into the warm water (be generous with the amount, use 1 packet per barrel) & turn on the machine to the clean/wash cycle for about 5 minutes. After the clean/wash cycle, make sure you empty out the cleaning solution from the machine (empty through the nozzle where customers/you use to serve the finished frozen dessert).
Disassemble all of the components of the soft serve ice cream machine and brush clean all of the parts that didn't get washed or cleaned by the solution (have a bucket with the same cleaning solution prepared to brush the components with).
Each machine manufacturer has specifications as to how to lubricate each particular machine to ensure optimum quality & performance. We recommend you lubricate the parts according to the specifications found in the owner's manual.
* If you can't find your manual, lost it, or didn't have one to begin with, please feel free to visit our support page. We designed a page that offers easy & free access to owner's manuals and specifications for most frozen dessert machines out there.
If you need a lubricant we recommend you invest in NSF approved food grade lubricant. It's a great & affordable option to keep your frozen dessert machines performing at their maximum potential.
Mix the cleaning solution (1 packet of stera-sheen per barrel) & put the machine on clean/wash cycle for a minimum of 1 minute. You should always sanitize the machine before putting any product mix into the hopper for production. If you decide to use Stera-Sheen, know that it is NSF certified as a final rinse sanitizer which means that you don't need to rinse it with water afterwards.
Once you completely remove the cleaning solution from the system, pour your mix into the machine's hoppers and draw out a few ounces of product mix to remove any remaining cleaning solution in the machine. Then you're finally ready to freeze your product & serve!
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* Follow all local and national health codes. Always refer to local and national rules. This article is just a suggestion.
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