Food Service Warehouse
Toll-Free: 1-877-877-5655
Se habla español 877-877-5491
Safe Ice Handling
Safe Ice Handling

Clean Your Ice Machine

Ice that is served to customers is considered food ice and needs to be treated like any other food product. This includes proper ice machine care, ice handling and old ice disposal. A regular commercial ice machine maintenance and cleaning schedule is required to combat mineral deposits and slime build-up inside the machine. When commercial ice machines are not properly maintained both overall performance and ice quality suffer.



  • Re-freeze ice once it begins to melt
  • Use a dedicated container – either an ice tote or ice caddie – for transporting ice.
  • Handle or scoop ice by hand
  • Use plastic ice scoops with ice. Only plastic scoops are NSF approved for ice handling
  • Use ice buckets or glasses as scoops
  • Store the scoop outside of the ice storage bin, preferably in a dedicated container or scoop caddie
  • Store bottles or other products in food ice
  • Sanitize your ice bin regularly
  • Dump unused ice back into the ice bin

Dispose of Old Ice

Food ice has a shelf-life, just like any other food. It needs to be disposed of:

  • Once it starts to melt.
  • If it has become contaminated by food or broken glass.
  • If it has been used to chill bottles.

To dispose of old or contaminated ice, simply dump it in the soiled compartment of a 3-compartment sink and let it melt away.

Clean Ice Supplies

  • Clean and sanitize all picks, scoops, scoop caddies and other small ice handling items in a commercial dishwasher.
  • Hand wash ice totes, inside and out, with warm soapy water. Store them hanging upside down to assure the interior stays dry when not in use.
  • Wash all portable ice caddies with warm soapy water, inside and out, using a plastic bristle brush. Pay special attention to spout and faucet. Thoroughly rinse with hot water and towel dry inside to remove pooling water. Leave faucet open until interior is completely dry. Store in a clean dry place.

Become an FSW Insider

Contact Information


Information & Inspiration for the pro


Information & Inspiration for the home cook