How to clean the coffee machine

Your coffee machine is dirtier than you think.

Every time you brew a fresh espresso or cappuccino, coffee oil residues, dried milk and limescale build up in the machine. All this over time can not only spoil the taste of the finished drink, but also become an excellent environment for bacteria. In order for the coffee machine to last a long time and to keep the prepared coffee as tasty, it is necessary to clean the coffee machine correctly. A deep cleaning of your coffee machine at least once a month will help remove dirt inside the device, prevent the formation of limescale and the development of harmful microorganisms.

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Let’s take a look at how to clean a coffee machine yourself and what tools to use.

How to know when it’s time to clean your car

Agree, there is nothing worse than making yourself a cup of espresso and suddenly realizing that the coffee is sour with a rancid taste. If the coffee machine has always made the best coffee in the world, and one fine morning everything went wrong, then it’s time to clean your machine. But the taste of coffee is far from the only sign that a technique needs deep cleaning.

Typically, coffee machine service technicians recommend cleaning once a month with normal water hardness, but if the water is hard, cleaning should be done more often.

Now many coffee machines themselves will make it clear when it is time to clean. A special indicator is built into such devices, which, after making a certain number of cups of coffee, will flash and inform that it is time to clean the machine.

If this function is not provided in your coffee machine, you will have to independently determine the need for cleaning. It’s easy to do this:

  • The taste of the coffee changes. It turns sour with an unpleasant bitterness
  • Limescale deposits appear on the bottom of the mug after drinking coffee
  • The water warming up time has increased, and the coffee spills into the cup with difficulty in a slow trickle.
  • The device started to work louder, with a crackle

These are indicators that it is time to clean the coffee machine.


Which product to choose for cleaning

So, it became clear to you that the coffee machine needs to be cleaned. The question remains: how to properly clean the coffee machine and by what means? Before proceeding with the cleaning procedure, read the instructions for the device carefully. Most manufacturers provide guidelines on how to clean, how often, and what cleaning products to use.

Now the market for household chemicals offers a lot of options for domestic and foreign manufacturers of cleaning products for coffee machines. Among them are powdered and liquid substances, tablets and capsules. Each type has its own advantages. Typically, a cleaner is selected for a particular brand of coffee machine. Popular brands such as Saeco, Krups, DeLonghi, Bosch and others produce their own cleaning products. They cost more, but the result is better. If you don’t want to spend money, you can pick up a cheaper analogue.

Cleaning agents differ not only in the form of implementation, but also in purpose. So, for example, preparations for removing coffee oils are not suitable for decalcification, that is, descaling. Before using the powder or liquid product, you must check the instructions for the product and the coffee machine. If you have lost the user manual for your device, just find it on the Internet by entering the model of the coffee machine in the search bar.

On the Internet, you can find many tips on how to clean a coffee machine using folk remedies. Citric acid and vinegar are the most common suggestions for cleaning a coffee machine. But it is worth knowing that vinegar can lead to breakdown of the device immediately due to the high concentration of acid, and “lemon” with frequent use can corrode rubber and aluminum elements of the coffee machine. If you still want to save money and use folk remedies, try a citric acid solution at the rate of 10 grams of powder per 1 liter of liquid. But do not get carried away with this cleaning method, it is better to use professional cleaning products.

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All cleaning products contain acids that do a good job of removing dirt. The composition of the funds should not contain the presence of toxic substances.

  • Powders are considered universal cleaning agents. Before use, the powder is mixed with water in certain proportions, after which it is poured into a tank with water in the apparatus. Powders effectively remove scale and coffee oils, prevent corrosion of metal elements of the coffee machine. Among the versatile powders, Bubble Ice, WPRO powder and Melitta Anti Calc are distinguished. You can choose powder products from the same brand as the machine. For example, Nespresso makes a powder descaler.
  • Liquid cleaners are easier to use and do not need to be diluted with water like a powder. The liquid preparation is immediately poured into the water container up to the highest mark. Popular types of liquid preparations are represented by the brands DeLonghi DLSC500 (it is enough for 4 full cleanings), Philips-Saeco and Top House.

Whichever remedy you choose, read the instructions carefully. Failure to comply with the proportions and improper cleaning of the coffee machine can damage the entire device.

Cleaning tablets

Tablets and their variety – capsules, which are used for capsule coffee machines – are a more modern and safer means for decalcification. In fact, this is the same powder, only compressed into a tablet. Such packaging is convenient because one tablet is used for one cleaning session. The cleaning tablet manufacturers offer them in two versions: for decalcifying and removing coffee oils. The main thing to consider here is that one tablet does not replace another. If you need to descale, buy the appropriate tablet. Of the popular types, Bosch TCZ8002 is distinguished for its versatility, Top house is an inexpensive option that perfectly copes with scale.

Before use, the tablet must be completely dissolved in water and only then can the cleaning process begin.

Auto cleaning

Automatic cleaning is the easiest way to remove limescale and coffee oil residues from the brewing unit. But not everyone has such a function; usually, auto-cleaning is provided for more expensive coffee machine models.

The process itself is quite simple – all you have to do is follow the instructions carefully, step by step.

  • Clean the tray and coffee grinder from coffee residues;
  • Fill the tank with hot water up to the maximum mark;
  • Pour in the previously prepared solution;
  • Turn on autovacuum. Cleaning usually takes about 5 minutes;
  • After shutting down, rinse the water tank and fill with clean water;
  • Carry out the usual mode of brewing coffee 2 times;
  • Then make coffee, but pour it out. The first cup of coffee after decalcification is necessary to remove chemical residues and to clean the coffee machine.

How to clean the coffee machine manually

When your espresso machine does not have an automatic cleaning option, you will have to take a little more steps to clean the espresso machine.

You need to descale the coffee machine and remove the coffee oils that accumulate in the brewing unit of the coffee machine. In coffee machines, a removable brewing unit and a non-removable one are distinguished. For example, in carob coffee makers, it is the horn that acts as the brewing unit. To clean it, you need to remove the horn and place it in a solution with a cleaning agent, then rinse thoroughly under running water. You can also wash the water supply container.

If your coffee machine has a built-in brewing unit, it will be cleaned automatically. You need to load the tablet into the ground bean compartment and press the button for preparation from ground bean. Before doing this, pour about 2 liters of water into the device. All liquid that comes in should be discarded. When the device finishes working, let it stand for 30 minutes, and then rinse with water.

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For capsule coffee machines, a tablet specially designed for this type of device is also used. The tablet is loaded into the capsule compartment and the normal coffee preparation mode is activated.

Cleaning the cappuccino maker

Keeping the cappuccinatore clean is even more important. It is recommended to wash it after each preparation of a drink. Dried milk and cream promote mold formation and are a breeding ground for bacteria, and milk clots can clog the ducts.

Cleaning the cappuccino maker is simple:

  • Place a container of water instead of milk and switch on the normal cappuccino function. When the water becomes clear, this will mean that the device is completely cleaned and ready for further work.
  • Rinse the removable cappuccino maker under high pressure under running water or in the dishwasher.
  • You can also use special products for dairy systems. These can be liquid solutions or tablets.

Care and prevention tips

Any equipment needs maintenance, and the coffee machine is no exception. Follow these simple rules and the coffee machine will serve you for a long time:

  • Before purchasing a cleaning agent, read the instructions for your coffee machine. Better, of course, to give preference to cleaning products of the same brand.
  • Once every two weeks or once a month carry out a complete cleaning of the device
  • Do not get carried away with folk remedies. Doing so could damage the coffee machine.
  • Use purified water when brewing coffee. This will make the scale build up more slowly.
  • Rinse the cappuccino maker after each portion of the prepared drink.
  • Use quality coffee beans or ground coffee from trusted brands. Cheap coffee counterparts can clog your appliances.
  • Take care of your coffee machine regularly, and then it will always prepare delicious aromatic coffee for you.

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