Coffee Machine Maintenance Guide

How to clean your coffee machine

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A good cup of coffee can be affected by many factors, one of which is the cleanliness of your machine. Built-up oil or grime can taint the flavour of your home brew and leave it tasting bitter. So, if you want a great cup of coffee, you’ve got to do the dirty work and make sure your machine is as clean as can be.

To ensure the extraction of great quality coffee, you should endeavour to undertake daily, weekly, monthly and yearly cleans. As an added bonus, this cleaning regime should guarantee that your machine stays healthy for as long as possible. Learn how to properly clean your coffee machine with this Canstar Blue guide.

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Cleaning your coffee machine

How to best go about cleaning your coffee machine will be entirely dependent on what coffee machine you have. Most brands and products will have instructions as to how to best clean and service the machine, with a good chunk of the cleaning to do with wiping down the external and most-used areas, as well as occasionally running cleaning cycles or manually descaling the machine to eliminate build-up. However, to get the most out of your machine, following the instructions will often be the best bet, but if you’re looking to cut down on how much time you spend cleaning your machine, we’ve listed below smaller, more regular cleaning schedules that may help keep your machine running optimally.

Daily coffee machine clean

Anything that is used in the process of producing coffee should be wiped frequently to remove grinds and oils that are left behind. Each time you use the machine you should clean the following items:

  • Machine exterior: wipe down the outside of the machine with a soft damp cloth.
  • Drip tray rinse: empty the drip tray and wipe it down.
  • Milk frothing wand: purge and wipe down the milk frothing wand.
  • Filter basket: remove the filter basket and wipe it with a clean cloth.
  • Portafilters: for manual machines, remove any traces of coffee from the portafilters (handles that hold the coffee) and rinse thoroughly.
  • Backflush: after you’ve finished making coffee for the day, run a cleaning cycle (if your machine has one). Otherwise, backflush the appliance using a coffee machine cleaner. Follow this up with a rinse cycle as coffee cleaning chemicals are typically quite strong.

Weekly coffee machine clean

Your machine should be cleaned more thoroughly at least once a week (or fortnight if you don’t use it every day). The following items should be cleaned weekly:

  • Individual components:thoroughly clean the machine’s housing, water tank and drip tray. Note: never use solvents or abrasives on the appliance’s outer surface, as this may cause more damage than good.
  • Chemical clean: soak the group head, shower screen and portafilter in coffee machine cleaner solution.

For automatic/pod machines, ensure the used pod receptacle is empty by sliding the container out. Never put your hands inside the capsule shaft.

For manual machines, empty your knock box (the container that collects used grounds from the portafilter).

Monthly coffee machine clean

On a monthly occasion, it’s recommended to clean the internal parts of your coffee machine. The following cleaning processes should be followed:

  • Descaling for automatic/pod machines: run a descaling cycle, which will help break down mineral build-ups on the inside of your machine.
  • Descaling for manual machines: run either a descaling agent or a solution of water and vinegar through your machine. Make sure to rinse thoroughly afterwards.

Yearly coffee machine clean

Every year you should dedicate some time to do a deep clean of your coffee machine. When doing this, make sure to clean these items:

  • On-board hopper: wipe the on-board hopper down with a damp cloth.
  • Coffee grinder: if your machine features a coffee grinder, brush grounds from around the burrs.
  • For stainless steel machines: use a metal polish to finish.
  • Replace old parts: this may include the pressure safety valve, portafilters, or sight glass (among other parts).

Coffee machine servicing

Even if you regularly clean and maintain your coffee machine, functional problems may still arise. Thankfully, there are many professional services that will help you out. Calling in one of these companies is handy if your machine requires general servicing, problem diagnosis, an emergency repair or updated parts. It’s also worthwhile keeping an eye on your machine’s warranty, as you may be covered if there’s any breakages.

How long should my coffee machine last?

There are a variety of different coffee machine options on the market, whether they be manual, automatic or pod-style. The lifespan of a regular coffee machine is dependent on many factors including price, brand, regularity of use and how well your appliance is maintained. As a result, your machine could last anywhere from five to fifteen years.

You can only clean your coffee machine for so long – eventually you’ll need to purchase a new model. For tips on which brand may serve you best, check out our best-rated coffee machines.

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Original Author: Veronika Hleborodova

Kate Lockyer
Kate Lockyer is a content producer for Canstar Blue’s Home and Lifestyle team. She is currently studying a Bachelor of Journalism at the University of Queensland and has written for a variety of different organisations and publications for multiple years.

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