How to Clean an Espresso Machine
Every time you prepare a fresh portion of espresso or cappuccino, a residue of coffee oils remains in the espresso machine, dried milk and scale accumulates.
All this over time can spoil the taste of the finished drink and become an excellent environment for bacteria. For the espresso machine to last a long time and the prepared coffee remains delicious, it is necessary to clean it properly. Deep cleaning at least once a month of your coffee machine will help remove dirt inside the device, prevent the appearance of scale, and develop harmful microorganisms.
Usually, maintenance specialists recommend cleaning once a month at normal water hardness levels, but if the water is hard, the cleaning should be carried out more often.
Now many coffee machines themselves will let you know when it is time to clean. Such devices have a unique indicator built-in, which, after preparing a certain number of cups of coffee, will start flashing and inform you that it is time to clean the device.
If your espresso machine does not provide such a function, you will have to determine the need for cleaning yourself. It’s easy to do this:
The taste of coffee changes. It becomes sour with an unpleasant bitterness.
There is a residue of scale at the bottom of the mug after drinking coffee.
The water heating time has increased, and coffee is spilled into the cup with difficulty in a slow trickle.
The device began to work louder, with crackling.
How to Choose Cleaning Products for an Espresso Machine
There is a range of fine espresso machines to choose from home: capsule, Chaldean, horn. You can find out how to select the suitable espresso machine for your home without losing your budget. Every time after use, you can clean the surface of the device and make some minor procedures to keep it fresh and neat.
After a month or around, it will become clear that the espresso maker for the home needs to be cleaned thoroughly. Before proceeding with the cleaning procedure, read the instructions for the device carefully. Most manufacturers provide recommendations on how to clean, how often, and what cleaning products to use.
Now the household chemicals market offers many options for domestic and foreign manufacturers of espresso machine cleaning products. Among them are powder and liquid substances, tablets, and capsules. Each type has its advantages. Usually, the cleaner is selected for a coffee machine of a particular company. Such famous brands as Saeco, Krups, DeLonghi, Bosch, and others produce their cleaning products. They cost more, but the result is better. If you do not want to spend money, you can choose a cheaper analog.
Cleaning products differ not only in the form of implementation but also by purpose. For example, preparations for removing coffee oils are not suitable for decalcification, that is, descaling. Before using the powder or liquid, it is necessary to consult the preparation instructions and the coffee machine. If you have lost the operating manual for your device, find it on the Internet by entering the model of the espresso machine in the search bar.
All cleaning products contain acids in their composition, which cope well with the removal of impurities. The product should not include the presence of toxic substances.
Powders are considered universal cleaning agents. Before use, the powder is mixed with water in specific proportions. Then, you pour it into a tank with water in the apparatus. Powders effectively cope with the removal of scale and coffee oils; prevent corrosion of metal elements of the coffee machine. You can choose powder products of the same brand as the coffee machine.
Liquid cleaners are easier to use. They do not need to be pre-diluted with water, like a powder. The liquid preparation is immediately poured into the water tank to the highest mark.
Whichever tool you choose, read the instructions carefully. Failure to observe the proportions and improper cleaning of the coffee machine can damage the entire device.
Tablets and their kind — capsules, used for capsule espressp machines, are a more modern and safe means for decalcification. It is the same powder, only compressed into a tablet. This packing is convenient because one tablet is used for one cleaning session. Manufacturers of cleaning tablets offer them in two versions: for decalcification and removal of coffee oils. The main thing to consider here is that one tablet does not replace another. If you need to carry out descaling, buy the appropriate tablet. Before use, the tablet should completely dissolve in water, and only then can the cleaning process begin.
Automatic cleaning is the easiest way to remove scale and coffee oil residues from the brewing unit. But not everyone has such a function; usually, auto-cleaning is provided for more expensive models of espresso machines.
The process itself is pretty 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 to the maximum level.
Pour in the pre-prepared solution.
Turn on auto-cleaning. Usually, cleaning takes about 5 minutes.
After disconnecting, rinse the water tank and pour clean water.
Carry out the usual coffee brewing mode two times.
Then make coffee, but pour it out. The first cup of coffee after decalcification is necessary to remove chemical residues and clean the espresso machine.
Care and Maintenance Tips
Any equipment needs care, and the espresso machine is no exception. Follow these simple rules, and the coffee machine will last you a long time:
Before buying a cleaning product, read the instructions for the coffee machine. It is better, of course, to give preference to cleaning products of the same brand.
once every two weeks or once a month, perform a complete cleaning of the device
Do not get carried away with folk remedies. It may cause the espresso machine to break down.
When brewing coffee, use purified water. Therefore, the scale will form more slowly.
Rinse the cappuccino machine after each serving of the prepared drink.
Use high-quality coffee beans or ground coffee of proven brands. Cheap coffee analogs can clog up the equipment.
Take care of the coffee machine regularly, and then it will always prepare delicious aromatic coffee for you.