Margaritaville Machine Cleaning, Disassembly and No, Nos.

A Short Video To Clear Things Up

Margaritaville Machine TipsOver the course of this last year we’ve gotten a number of questions about Margaritaville frozen concoction maker issues. I probably shouldn’t say issues although one of these items can become a big issue if you don’t heed my warning by keeping your fingers away from the ice shaving blade. These issues come in the following categories.

  • Cleaning of the machine.
  • Disassembly of the machine.
  • And one big thing you shouldn’t do.

In the short video below will go through these three things and hopefully clear up a little bit of confusion in the process. This video was filmed using a Fiji machine but can applied all the other machines in the Margaritaville line up.

 

 

 

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45 Responses

  1. Paul
    | Reply

    what is the best way to clean the ice chute from the product spraying up into it?

    • Tom
      | Reply

      The only way I know of is to disassemble the ice reservoir and shaver, then take a warm sponge, press it up inside the chute and then scrub as best as you can. You can look down from the reservoir to see how clean it came. If you need to get in some of the smaller areas use a wet Qtip.

    • MICHAEL Alexander
      | Reply

      Ok I found a lot of junk to clean up, the video that was posted on the website was great everything came out and cleaned up and back in no problem ! However the chute that is used to move ice to the blender and the area around it is not accessible on the inside. It looks like there’s a stainless steel trim that holds the mounting in place. And requires a special screwdriver with a notch in the center. Question how to get the special screwdriver ?
      Thanks Michael

      • Tom
        | Reply

        Ok I can’t verify that this bit will fit inside the recessed hole that the screw resides in but there is a screwdriver set called the Syntus 71 in 1. You can find it on Amazon and take a look at the bit, it’s in the bottom right set on the photo of the bits supplied.

        Just be really careful disassembling it and if it is still under warranty don’t disassemble it or it will void the warranty.

        Oh and please do let me know if this works for you.

  2. Sally Cardinal
    | Reply

    How are you supposed to clean out the shoot above the pitcher? Fruit and liquid flies up in there because of the open lid and is impossible to clean out. I’m about to toss my maker unless you can tell me how to disassemble it to clean it properly. I can’t be the only one that has this problem.

    • Tom
      | Reply

      Sally,

      Please refer to my response to Paul at the bottom of the page.

  3. Sally Cardinal
    | Reply

    Thank you, I did once I realized he had inquired about the same thing. But man, it’s a mess up in there and after not noticing it for quite a while is really hardened on. Not sure if I can get it totally cleaned out. That’s a terrible design on a $400 blender.
    Thank you.

  4. Jeff Clough
    | Reply

    We used ours for quite a while and thought we were keeping it pretty clean. Then we “benched” it for a while and when we went to start using it again…WOW! Filthy. We took it as apart as we could, but there is still some gunk leaking out of the slide up ice chute cover and we can’t figure out how to take it off. I don’t want to break it, it’s pretty expensive as we all know. Anyone know how to get that part off?
    There are some screws in the back above the ice melt reservoir, would that lead to getting it further apart? I agree with Sally here, it’s a pretty crumby design for such an expensive machine.
    But man, it does do a great job of making margaritas, doesn’t it?

    • Tom
      | Reply

      Yes this area can get pretty dirty if not cleaned after every use. Unfortunately there is no easy way to clean it.

      The best solution is to clean the inside of the spout with a warm sponge to remove the build up after every use.

      Shortly I will be adding a video showing how I clean it.

  5. wanda
    | Reply

    I just found the gunk in mine too. I’m going to place a piece of foil paper on mine when I use my machine. Unless the ice is coming down you can have a foil ready to slide right over the top after the ice is done shaving.

    • Tom
      | Reply

      Interesting work around but this can cause problems if you have a machine that has pre-programmed blending cycles.

  6. Susan
    | Reply

    I have not used my machine in over a year. Went to use it and decided to clean first. Got to the metal shield that spins to make the ice go against the blade and it will not come out. Turns but sounds like it is turning like it would if using it, does not unscrew. Any suggestions?

    • Tom
      | Reply

      You need to hold the button down that is underneath the machines head next to the pitcher. Then spin the ice blades until it locks in ( Do not release the button ). The blades should now unscrew as long as you are still holding the button.

      • Ellen Salvaggio
        | Reply

        I’m having the same problem as Susan and have been doing exactly what you said, but it still will not unscrew. It is on so tight that when you try to unscrew it while holding the button, it pushes the button out again, like the button can’t hold it locked. What can I do to get it off?

        • Tom
          | Reply

          I have added a new video to the page. Hopefully it will help you get it dislodged.

  7. Gerry
    | Reply

    The ice that I load on the top of the machine won’t shave. When the switch is turned on it won’t do anything to the ice. I noticed that the clear cover on top of the ice the spring and plastic clip towards the back that had a spring broke. Do I need to order a new top piece? I find it hard to believe that is stopping the ice from shaving from the switch. Is that possible? The machine really wasn’t used too much.

    • Tom
      | Reply

      The spring you referenced is part of what tells the machine that the lid is on. Without this signal the ice shaver will not operate. So yes this could very definitely be your problem.

  8. Thomas
    | Reply

    Hello Tom,

    I have an older model, the explorer, Model #NBMGDM0900 – I lent my machine to a friend for their vacation (honestly I haven’t used it in a couple of summers) and now that I have it back it doesn’t seem to be working. I fill the top w ice and a typical amount of liquid in the blender. I hit the power button and it lights up blue as it should but when I hit the “start” button it blinks and then turns red blinking. If I turn the unit off and back on I am able to use the “blend” manual function but nothing w the automatic start function, or the manual shave function either.

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks for any info!

    • Tom
      | Reply

      I wish I had some better information for you, but here goes.

      The flashing red light means that there is a fault in the system. Tell you something you already didn’t know right.

      This can be caused by the electronics in the control system going bad or the machine is not seeing that the reservoir and lid are properly attached. First thing to do would be to check this and make sure that both are properly seated and latched.

      Another reason it might not be seeing the reservoir as attached is because of the spring and plunger located at the back of the reservoir. If this is broken or hung up it will not depress the button in the body of the machine telling it that is installed. Take both the reservoir and lid off and the press the small button at the back of the machines body with a toothpick (it should depress about a quarter of an inch). While still holding it down (and keeping your fingers away from the blade) see if the manual shave will operate. If it does you will need to replace the lid, reservoir or both. If it still doesn’t work then the electronics have given up the ghost.

      I know for fact though that not seeing the reservoir and lid properly attached will display the symptoms you are talking about.

      It doesn’t help either that this machine has been discontinued by the manufacturer.

      To order a new lid and/or reservoir simply go to this link.

      Explorer replacement parts

      I hope this is been of help.

      • John
        | Reply

        Tom,
        I have the same problem with the blue light blinking red. I’m thinking it is the electronics. Is there a way to get to the electronics?

        Thanks

        • Tom
          | Reply

          It may be the electronics or that the ice reservoir and lid are not properly attached.

          I don’t know of any way to get into the electronics. All I can say is contact the manufacturer at the link below. They can give you the number of a repair facility and you can discuss it with them.

          Contact Margaritaville.

          • John
            |

            I found out it was not the electronics but the shaver motor.
            After taking the blender apart, I greased up the gears. Everything works great now.

          • Tom
            |

            Great! Glad to hear it worked out for you. Now on to some happy concoction making.

  9. Erica
    | Reply

    Hi there, thanks for the video on cleaning. Unfortunately even after following your directions I cannot get the blade to come off. This was a hand-me-down from a friend and obviously has not been cleaned in a very very long time. Is it possible it’s just stuck in there from not being used for so long? Is it a lost cause ?

    • Tom
      | Reply

      The blades are held in using a simple machine screw stud and the only reason it wouldn’t come out is that the last time it was cleaned someone strong armed it in there and it’s just tightened to far.

      Do the blades lock when you push in the button under the head (and continue to hold it down) then try to remove the blades turning in a counterclockwise direction?

  10. T.R. Fatscher
    | Reply

    Thomas, I had the same thing happen to me after the unit was stored for winter went to use for first time and got red blinking light was willing to send to have serviced but they don’t have any authorized service centers, so I decided to take the machine apart myself long story short is was the ice shaving motor once it was exposed I was able to free it up apply a little grease to shaft and bearing and it has worked fine since. 2 additional things after seeing the warning about, sharp blades, for over a year it finally got me, IT WILL take the tip of your finger off. BE CAREFUL. secondly I would love to meet the person or persons who designed this machine it took 2 seasoned marine mechanics hours to get it completely apart lots of hidden screws.Good luck T.R.

    • Tom
      | Reply

      You are much braver than I am to disassemble it. I learned a long time ago that if it has gears I should let professionals handle it.

      Glad you got it going though.

      As far as that little ice shaver razor blade is concerned its tagged me twice. You figure I would learn.

      The designer I’m sure works in a deep dark secure room at Sumbeam somewhere.

  11. WILLIAM HOOVER
    | Reply

    MY Maragritiville Bahama DM0500 will not run in Automatic mode even thogh the light is green. It works in manual mode just fine. I press the solid green start button in middle and nothing happens. Any ideas?

  12. Raysha
    | Reply

    I’ve had mine for only a month have used it twice and went to use for the third time and it won’t even turn on. Any suggestions? I’ve tried all my plugs, checking for obstructions, etc and nothing has worked

    • Tom
      | Reply

      As long as the switch on the side is turned on you should at least get a flashing light on the drink progress bar. If that light is flashing then check to make sure that the ice reservoir is properly seated since if it isn’t the machine will not operate.

      If that wasn’t the problem then I suggest you contact the manufacturer at the link below to use your warranty.

      Margaritaville Cargo

  13. Gord
    | Reply

    Our ice chopper works but our blender has quit working, both on the automatic cycle and with the manual switch. It only shaves ice and nothing else.

    • Tom
      | Reply

      If you have had it less than a month I would suggest returning it back through Amazon ASAP. If you have had it longer please contact the manufacturer at the link below.

      Margaritaville Cargo Support

  14. Gord
    | Reply

    Thanks for getting back to me Tom. We have had it for a couple years now. I went to the website and found a service center near us. Many thanks!

  15. Kimberly
    | Reply

    I’m having the same problem as a person listed above, but the answer was cut off: my blade will not unscrew and the button will decompress no matter how hard you try to keep it pushed in. I know the blades we’re screwed back to tight and he machine has not been used in a long time. I’ve tried hot water and heat. What is the solution?

    • Tom
      | Reply

      As long as you are continuing to hold the button down while at the same trying to turn the blades counterclockwise you’re doing it correctly. The only other idea I can give you is to have someone else hold the button down while you try to turn the blades. Make sure you keep your fingers away from that blade though.

  16. Kevin Flynn
    | Reply

    I wish to replace the power button as it is faulty. It will not power on the machine when pressed. You need to re-press it dozens of times at varying angles and it flashes on quickly or stays on if you hold down the button.

    I cannot access the lower assy. b/c there are security screws on the bottom of the unit.

    Where can I get a driver for these security screws?

    This is a very easy fix if I could simply get those screws off. Worst case, if I cannot find a replacement on/off button is to simply connect the wiring directly and then unplug/plug-in the unit as needed. I could even get an extension cord with a power switch and use that…

    Point is, I need into the unit!

    What is the best way to make this happen?

    • Tom
      | Reply

      That’s a tough one. The only thing I can tell you is to contact the manufacturer at the link below. They can probably put you in touch with a repair center where you can order what you need.

      https://www.margaritavillecargo.com/contactus?cid=contact-us

      • Kevin Flynn
        | Reply

        Okay thanks for the info. I am sure repair would be over $100. Ebay has these used for $50-$80 plus shipping (typically $20)
        If I can get the screws off, even if I cannot find a replacement power button I can always bypass it and use a power strip to turn off/on… Just seems like a waste b/c the unit is in immaculate shape and works very well. When you can get it on.

        • Tom
          | Reply

          Just contact them and see if they’ll sell you the parts and tool.

  17. Tony
    | Reply

    Hello I have a DM1000. Everything appears to work but when I actually put liquid in the blender with some shaved ice it does not mix. Blade seems to spin but not close enough to start actually blending anything …. any ideas ? Thanks for the advice.

    • Tom
      | Reply

      Wow that is the first time I’ve heard that problem.

      The only thin I can say is contact the manufacturer and ask the question using the link below.

      Margaritaville Customer Support

  18. Cherrie' C
    | Reply

    Has anyone been able to come up with a work-around solution for the blade not unscrewing? I have tried ice to cool it again, but it will not unscrew. It pushes the button back out instead of unscrewing the assembly. I had it put away for a while and now I can’t take it apart. Help

  19. Donna
    | Reply

    My blender gears are turning when the blender jar is not on but blade does not turn when container is in place. The outer rubber gears of the blender and container do not look stripped.
    HELP

    • Tom
      | Reply

      I must say I’ve never experienced this problem before. It does sound like there is a problem with the power switch not shutting off completely. About the only thing I can say is to contact the manufacturer here and explain the problem to them so they can provide guidance…

      Contact Margaritaville

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