My 3 Top Tips For Keeping Your Coffee Machine in Tip Top Condition

How To Keep Your Coffee Machine in Tip Top Condition

Keeping your coffee maker properly maintained is vital if you want to prevent clogging, poor-tasting coffee, and breakage of the machine. The good news is that the essence of keeping your coffee maker well maintained is little more than simple regular cleaning.

Chemically cleaning your machine once a week to dissolve built-up espresso debris is highly recommended. To rid your machine of built-up oils, milk-proteins, and mineral deposits, descale your machine every three to four months.

Note¬†You should always follow your coffee machine manufacturer’s maintenance and cleaning instructions that accompanied the machine when you bought it. However, if you no longer have access to the manufacturer’s maintenance and cleaning instructions, the general cleaning instruction given below will keep your coffee maker running well and your coffee tasting good.

Here are some top tips on how to clean your coffee and espresso machines.

1. Daily Cleaning

Try to adopt a brief daily routine cleaning schedule to help extend the life of your coffee machine, as follows:

Espresso Machine (single serve coffee brewer):

  1. After you’re finished using the machine discard the coffee dregs and remove the basket from the portafilter.
  2. Rinse, then scrub the portafilter and basket using a nylon brush or a scrubby pad to dislodge grounds from the portafilter and basket.
  3. Rinse the basket and portafilter with hot water and wipe the items dry.
  4. Allow all parts to air dry before reassembling.
  5. Wipe the exterior of the machine.

Drip Coffee Maker:

coffee machine cleaning agent graphic
Coffee machine cleaning made easy
  1. Remove the filter and grounds.
  2. Rinse the basket of the coffee maker.
  3. Scrub the basket with a nylon brush (again, use unscented soap).
  4. Wash the drip coffee maker’s carafe with hot water and washing-up liquid.
  5. Towel dry the basket and carafe before reassembling.
  6. Wipe the coffee maker’s exterior.

2. Weekly Cleaning

It is normally recommended that you chemically clean your machine once a week to dissolve built-up espresso debris, milk proteins and oils.

Espresso Machine:

Perform a “backflush” if your espresso machine has a three-way valve. If it does not have a three-way valve, do not attempt a weekly backflush. Do the following instead:

  1. Simply put half a teaspoon of white vinegar or cleaning solution into a “blind” filter (no holes) and put it in the portafilter.
  2. Turn on the pump and let it run until it quietens down.
  3. Turn off the pump and wait for the cleaner to be forced through the machine and into the drip tray.
  4. Repeat this process between two and five times with plain water to wash out the cleaning solution residue.

For regular espresso makers without a three-way valve, simple soak your portafilter, basket, and steam wand in a cleaning solution or mix of white vinegar and water. Wait at least 20 minutes before rinsing the soaked components with clean water.

Drip Coffee Maker:

For drip coffee makers, a weekly cleaning is not usually necessary if you’re keeping up with the daily schedule.

However, if you’re using the coffee maker more than usual – such as several times a day with no chance to clean it properly, then you may want to perform the following cleaning method on a weekly basis.

Prepare either a commercial cleaning solution or mixture of vinegar and water, then send this through your drip coffee maker. How much cleaning solution or mixture and how many times to send the mix through varies with each model. So check your coffee maker’s instruction booklet for details. The following tips are general:

  1. Pour an amount of cleaning solution or mix, of one part white vinegar to two parts water, into the reservoir.
  2. Run your espresso machine as usual with the basket in place (no filter).
  3. Pour out the cleaning mixture when it has cooled.
  4. Run two reservoirs of clear water through the machine to remove the remains of the cleaning solution.

3. Quarterly Cleaning

You should descale your machine every three to four months to rid it of built-up mineral deposits, milk-proteins, and oils. Do this as follows:

Espresso Machine:

  • Decalcify your machine at the recommended intervals.
  • In hard water areas or for machines used a lot, it may be necessary to decalcify your machine more often, possibly once a month or every other month. This removes calcium and hard water deposits that build up in the espresso machine.
  • You can use a decalcifying agent specifically made for espresso machines. It comes in packets, and you pour a packet of the solution into the reservoir, give it a good stir and switch on your machine.
  • Sources say that de-calcification is not necessary if you have a charcoal filter in your espresso machine that you change every other month.

Drip Coffee Maker:

Each month, send a mixture of white vinegar and water through your drip coffee maker. How much vinegar and how much water and how many times to send the mix through varies with each model. So check your coffee maker’s instruction booklet for details. The following tips are general:

  • Pour an amount of cleaning solution or mix, of one part white vinegar to two parts water, into the reservoir.
  • Run your drip coffee machine as usual with the basket in place (no filter).
  • Pour out the cleaning mixture when it has cooled.
  • Run two reservoirs of clear water through the machine to remove the remains of the cleaning solution.

Now that you know how to keep your coffee machine clean and well maintained, you can enjoy really great tasting coffee every day.