Posted on: July 28, 2020 |

Proper maintenance can extend the life of your vending machine, and also help to ensure the safety and satisfaction of your customers. Your ice vending machine requires less upkeep than most vending machines, since it doesn’t have to be restocked regularly. With an organized schedule and plan, you can keep your machine in full working order and your customers happy, while spending minimal time and energy. Follow these tips for maintaining your ice vending machine and you can easily run your business remotely.

6 Tips for Maintaining Your Ice Vending Machine

how to maintain your ice vending machine

1. Keep an Organized Maintenance Schedule

The best way to make sure that your vending machine maintenance stays on-track is to keep an organized schedule. With a written plan for what maintenance steps you need and when to make them, you can keep from getting behind. You might keep a spreadsheet in your computer, a checklist on your phone, or a written schedule in your office. The SMARTICE app provides all the maintenance checklists you need in one place, making it easy to manage.

Wherever you keep it, your maintenance schedule should include the following:

  • Weekly maintenance: Disinfect surfaces, clean the exterior, remove dirt and mud, clean up trash and empty trash cans where possible.
  • Monthly maintenance: Clean the ice maker, augers and add salt.
  • Yearly or as-needed: Sanitize ice bin, sanitize water dispenser, and clean the machine floor.

2. Set Reminders

Without reminders, maintenance can easily get forgotten. An important tip for maintaining your ice vending machine is to set reminders, either on your phone, computer, with sticky notes on your calendar, or somewhere else.

Wherever you place your reminders, make sure you will see them, and you only dismiss them when the maintenance is taken care of. Use your spreadsheet or checklist (see the point above) to document that your maintenance was completed.

3. Monitor and Plan for Water Contamination Events

Your ice and water vending machine draws water from the local water supply. This means it’s important to watch for water advisories in any area you have ice vending machines set up. If the water supply in your area is contaminated or water advisories are issued, you’ll need to take additional cleaning measures. Depending on the type of water advisory, you may need to note when the machine is and isn’t suitable for use.

Keep a water advisory maintenance plan for these events, including the following:

  • Sanitization: sanitize the applicator, container, bin and auger
  • Clean filters: clean the dechlorinator and sediment filters
  • Clean or protect the machine floor: While you are conducting maintenance, place towels on the machine floor to keep it clean, or sanitize the floor after you’re finished.

4. Enlist Extra Help When Needed

You can monitor your ice vending machine remotely using the SMARTICE application, so you can easily earn money from your ice vending machine while traveling, managing other investments, or enjoying other activities. If you plan to travel for long periods, or if you won’t be able to conduct the maintenance needed yourself, it’s a good idea to enlist help for maintenance.

Your Ice House America vending machine installer will show you how to conduct all necessary maintenance. You may want to show another person how to do these steps, such as a friend, family member, or business partner.

5. Plan for Lot Repairs and Maintenance

The overall appearance of your vending machine and the surrounding lot help to encourage customers to visit. If the surrounding lot is dirty, lights are out, or there are significant potholes or other problems, it can detract from your business. Make a plan for lot repairs and maintenance as well as machine maintenance. If you own the lot, this might mean adding maintenance steps such as surface repairs or lightbulb replacements. If you do not own the lot, it might mean talking with the land owner about repairs and negotiating where necessary.

6. Anticipate Surges

As your machine gets more use, it becomes more likely to need maintenance or repairs. It’s helpful in this case to anticipate activity surges. These may occur during especially warm times of the year, during special events, or during holidays. Use the SMARTICE monitoring software to compare purchases month over month and year over year, so you can anticipate your busiest times.

Keep these vending machine maintenance tips in mind as you plan to start or expand your ice and water vending machine business. With some pre-planning and organization, you can prevent break-downs, extend the life of your machine, keep your ice and water clean throughout the year, and keep your customers happy.