Keeping Your Soft Serve Machine Extra Clean Is a Smart Business Move

Soft serve ice cream is most often associated with the carefree days of summer. It is perhaps surprising then that the production of this cold treat is closely regulated for both taste quality and food safety. Keeping a soft serve machine clean and in peak condition takes regular maintenance, namely consistent cleanings. Here’s why this seemingly simple step is vital to the entire production of soft serve service.

Service With a Smile, Not Salmonella!

Did you know soft serve ice cream machines once used eggs to get the creamy texture we know and love? In the 1970s and 1980s, soft serve ice cream began to gain popularity. This increase in consumption coincided with more people falling ill due to the presence of raw eggs in the mixture. While sensitive groups no longer need to worry about raw eggs in their soft serve, it is still absolutely necessary for soft serve machines to be cleaned regularly. It is not just a matter of compliance with regulations, but also an issue of one’s of dedication to quality.

How to Clean Your Machine In Five Simple Steps.

A soft serve machine must be cleaned at least three times a week, or every three days, although it is recommended that some heavily used machines are cleaned every day. This is necessary addition to the rotation of kitchen tasks. The total amount of time to clean a soft serve machine is not long actually.

There are five steps to cleaning any machine, whether it has been performing for a few days or if you found a used soft serve machine for sale. Incidentally, this process is similar to what is needed for a frozen yogurt machine as well. While the steps are simple, they must be followed correctly for the best result.


    1. Pre-Clean by emptying the machine of all product.

    2. Flush the machine with warm water to dislodge any stubborn bits of mixture.

    3. Disassemble all removable pieces of the machine for sanitizing.

    4. Clean with a certified cleaning solution, not soap! The wrong kind of cleaner will: cause buildup; fail to remove the fat from the ice cream; or damage the interior of the machine.

    5. Sanitize and Reassemble the machine after lubricating according to the manufacturer’s manual.

How Keeping Your Machine Clean Saves You Trouble.

A poorly maintained soft serve machine will cause a business trouble. It causes trouble of course by working badly. Ignoring the health concerns for a moment reveals several other facts about regular cleanings. To start with, a well-kept machine is reliable. Ice cream machines, especially soft serve ones, are notorious for breaking down. Secondly, cleaning the old ice cream out of the machine keeps the flavor of the fresh ice cream being made taste much better.

How the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Wants to Keep Ice Cream Clean.

There are many rules regulating the serving of soft serve ice cream. Firstly, ice cream is only labeled ‘soft serve’ if it contains between 3% to 5% milk fat. Any more such as a 10% to 18% makes it officially ice cream, and any less does not make the rate for the label. That delicious milk fat is part of what builds up in a soft serve machine. If allowed to grow, this can lead to bacteria growth within the machine.

Keeping a soft serve ice cream machine in clean working order is easier to do when you stick to a strict schedule. Clean the machine often, about three times a week. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and instructions. Doing so will not only keep your machine in compliance with the health inspector; it will also guarantee that you are able to provide the best quality soft serve for your customers.




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