How To Properly Care for Your Soft Serve Ice Cream Machine

Why You Need to Clean and Maintain Your Machine

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that each year roughly 1 in 6 Americans gets sick, 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die of foodborne diseases every year.  Regularly cleaning your soft serve ice cream machine ensures you are doing your part to not contribute to these numbers. Proper cleaning and maintenance also extends its lifetime.

Your local health department governs how often food-handling equipment needs to be cleaned so you should be sure to check your local guidelines. The Manufacturer’s Operator Manual for your equipment also provides specific cleaning guidelines, examples and step-by-step instructions, so you should always refer to the manufacturer recommendations to ensure the proper cleaning and maintenance of your machine.

How to Clean Your Machine

While the cleaning process will vary by type and model of machine, it generally involves 3 steps: cleaning, lubricating and sanitizing.

Start by flushing out all of the product mix from your machine. Use a cleaning solution mixed with warm water. Turn it to the clean/wash cycle for approximately 5 minutes and then empty it out. This should flush out any food, ice or ingredients left behind after the day’s use.


Once you’ve emptied the cleaning solution from the machine the next step is to disassemble each component of the machine and brush them thoroughly with a brush dipped in the same cleaning solution. This ensures thorough cleaning.


Your Equipment Manual will identify which parts of the machine need to be lubricated. Lubricate each component based on the specifications in the manual before you reassemble the machine. This ensures that each part continues to work at maximum effectiveness.


Sanitizing is the last step before placing any product mix into the machine. Mix the cleaning solution with water and put the machine on a clean/wash cycle for approximately one minute, then remove the solution.

Using the right products will lower your water usage and reduce your labor and cleaning costs.  Systems such as Hydra Rinse also enable you to get better results in half the time you would spend on a manual clean.

Most importantly, set up a cleaning schedule and be sure that everyone who uses the machine knows when and how to clean it.

Maintaining Your Machine

Regular maintenance of your machine is just as important to it operating properly as daily cleaning is. Manufacturer recommendations will vary by type and model of equipment so you’ll want to refer to your Operator’s Manual. You can also refer to this article for specific tips on maintaining your Taylor® Frozen Dessert machine.

Soft serve ice cream is a popular treat and owning a machine allows your business to be a part of this exciting industry.  If you clean and maintain your equipment properly, you ensure that it will operate safely and efficiently for many years to come.

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