There’s truly nothing better than a feel-good, nostalgic frozen treat to bring together young and old in the pure joy of today and the sweet, sweet memories of days past.  Ice cream and frozen custard shops have stood the test of time and they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.  Have you always dreamed of opening a shop and offering the finest in old-fashioned frozen custard? Do you currently have an ice cream store, looking to add a frozen custard machine?

If the only thing standing in your way is the uncertainty of how to keep it clean and running well, we have you covered. Learn more about maintenance and cleaning a frozen custard machine here!

How to Clean a Frozen Custard Machine: An Overview

Okay, so let’s run through the very basics first.

The machine cleaning process is quite simple when you break it down.

  1. Rinse the excess
  2. Clean the barrels, tubes, removable parts (wash, rinse, sanitize)
  3. Rinse the barrels
  4. Put back together
  5. Sanitize

Here are 7 helpful tips to remember when cleaning your custard machine!

1. Obtain the Proper Tools

Just like when you are washing the dishes, or anything for that matter, you can only properly clean and sanitize with suitable equipment. A few things you should do or gather before beginning the cleaning process include:

  • clean bucket(s) for adding solution and draining
  • approved brushes for accurate cleaning
  • clean towels for spills
  • approved cleaning solution
  • approved sanitizing solution
  • approved equipment lubrication
  • empty your three-bowl sink for easy wash, rinse, sanitize of removable parts

2. Remember: Frozen Custard, Not Soft Serve

Like the products they produce, soft serve and custard machines are seemingly alike to the naked eye but are different in crucial ways. Soft-serve ice cream contains more air while frozen custard is a denser, heavier product.

Thus, similar products, but different ingredients and final products require different needs from a machine.

This is an important fact to keep in mind for anyone who has prior experience with soft serve machines and is just starting out with custard. Your previous knowledge will come in handy, but there is a learning curve.

3. Keep Custard Machine Refrigerated, Not Frozen

When you are preparing to clean your machine, the first step you want to take is ensuring that your unit remains refrigerated, but not frozen. Think about it in terms of what you want to happen to the liquid you are pouring into it.

You want your liquid mix to freeze and become frozen custard, but your cleaning solutions must remain in a totally liquid form so you can properly clean and sanitize your unit.

4. Use Warm Water, Not Hot or Cold

Believe it or not, using extremely cold water has the potential to damage your frozen custard machine. On the other hand, too hot is not beneficial either.

No matter what step you are on in the cleaning process, it is always best to use room temperature or lukewarm water, even when attempting to rid your machine of residual frozen custard.

5. Rid Custard Machine of Solid Product

Begin the cleaning process by removing any product remaining inside the barrel with water only. You can jump right in with your cleaning solution, but this seemingly extra step will make your life easier.

Think of this step as a pre-rinse. Once this is completed, begin your thorough cleaning with your cleaning solution.

6. Properly Sanitize and Lubricate

Always, always, always sanitize and lubricate proper parts.

Never forget to properly lubricate O-rings and other wear points when putting your machine back together, before running sanitizer. Without proper lubrication, you will not get the full life out of your machine and may also experience malfunctions.

No matter how well you clean and rise your machine, running sanitizer is an absolutely crucial final step. Without proper sanitizing, there is potential for people to get sick from bacteria or residual milkstone and dairy fat particles that are left behind.

7. Utilize the Maintenance Opportunity

To maintain top-of-the-line, quality custard, you must maintain your machine. Not only will your product be perfect, but your customers will be returning and your machine will last a lot longer. It’s a win-win-win.

Simple things like utilizing a set cleaning schedule, changing certain parts regularly based on the manufacturer’s recommendation, and keeping enough product in your barrels to prevent strain on your machine go a long way.

It is also best practice to take all possible preventative maintenance measures while you can get a good look at all the individual, critical parts while you have your equipment taken apart. This could mean doing things like:

  • keeping spare parts in-house and noticing evidence of wear while cleaning (replacing parts when needed)
  • looking at the drive belts for signs of wear and tear
  • being aware of how the machine is running while starting up, shutting down, and during the cleaning process (and calling for repairs immediately)

From Clueless to Frozen Custard Machine Cleaning Master

It’s not very hard to make your sweet custard machine dreams come true when you have the professionals on your side. Lancaster Manufacturing is your one-stop-shop for the finest in quality soft serve and frozen custard machines.

Tony has been in the ice cream and frozen custard industry for nearly 20 years! He’s a triple threat of excellent equipment manufacturing, customized offerings suited to anyone’s particular sizing needs, and truly priceless industry knowledge.

If you are ready to get started or want to learn more, contact us today!