It’s no secret that a well-maintained coffee machine is essential for brewing the perfect cup of coffee. This comprehensive step-by-step guide will walk you through all the key aspects of cleaning and maintaining your coffee machine, from daily practices to deep-cleaning tasks such as descaling.
Daily Maintenance for Optimal Performance
To keep your coffee machine in top shape, incorporate daily maintenance tasks into your routine. Regular cleaning ensures consistent taste and maximises your machine’s longevity, providing you with the best coffee experience possible. Remove dust, coffee grounds, and stains by wiping your machine’s body and work area with a damp cloth. Then dry it with a clean, lint-free towel. The brew basket holds coffee grounds and filters, while the drip tray catches accumulating liquid. Empty out used coffee grounds after each brewing cycle, and rinse both components with warm soapy water. Make sure they’re fully dry before reassembling. Your carafe or travel mug should be thoroughly rinsed under hot water after every use, ensuring any remnants or oils are washed away. Stubborn residue? Clean it with a combination of baking soda and water. Remember: transparency is key!
Weekly maintenance for those extra miles
Going beyond daily tasks, here are some vital maintenance routines that should be performed regularly in order to maintain optimum coffee machine performance.
Descale your coffee machine
Over time, mineral deposits from water accumulate within your coffee maker. Left unchecked, these deposits – or “scale” – can cause blockages and even corrode internal parts. To combat this, coffee machine descaler should be used at least once a month (or as recommended by your manufacturer) to dissolve build-up and restore efficiency. Follow the instructions provided by your descaler or consult your machine’s manual for guidance.
Note: Never use vinegar on aluminium, it reacts with metal and may cause harm.
Clean the shower screen
The shower screen is what dispenses water over your coffee grounds – a clogged screen can lead to poor extraction and subpar brews. Remove it according to your model’s guidelines, then soak in a 50:50 mix of hot water and descaler for about 10 minutes. Rinse thoroughly afterwards, ensuring no solution remains, before reinstalling.
Rinse Out Your Water Reservoir
Stale water will compromise the taste of your morning joe. Make a note of emptying your reservoir, then giving it a quick wipe-down using a damp cloth or non-abrasive sponge. Pay attention to any mildew spots and stubborn grime before rinsing and drying completely.
Maintain the Grinder
If you have an integrated coffee grinder, its upkeep is just as important as maintaining the machine itself. Regular maintenance keeps it grinding consistently, helping deliver peak flavour from freshly ground beans. Burr grinders, whether conical or flat, benefit greatly from periodic cleaning. While frequency depends on usage, a good rule of thumb is to brush or wipe down the burrs every few weeks. To do so, remove hopper and ensure it’s empty before taking off the top burr assembly according to manufacturer guidelines. Use a soft brush or cloth to remove debris from both burrs, reassemble, and recalibrate if necessary.