How to look after you coffee machine
Many of us own a coffee machine at home, whether it’s a capsule or commercial machine, and we all need to know how to look after them properly. Here are a few basic tips and tricks to keep your machine in tip top condition:
- It may sound like an obvious one, but read the manual before you set up the machine! There may be some little tips in there that you may not have known.
- Ensure you have enough water in your machine at all times, if you don’t have enough your machine will draw air into the pump instead. It’s better to overfill than not have enough.
- Don’t set up your machine next to the stove as the heat from it may damage parts of your machine.
- Turn off your machine when you are not using it, this will conserve energy.
- For a commercial machine, flush the group head of your machine between each shot.
- For a capsule machine run water through without a capsule in place to clean out weekly (depending on how often it gets used).
- If you have a steam wand, purge in between each use and wipe down with a cloth.
- Make sure you wash out your water tank on your capsule machine every month.
If you use a capsule machine you will likely have lime scale build up and will need to descale the machine every 3 – 4 months. Some brands provide descaling tablets that you can purchase directly from the company. However, if your coffee machine brand does not, we suggest the following homemade descaling solution.
- You will need: Citric acid (which can be purchased at health food stores) or lemon juice that has been strained from pulp (which can be purchased at supermarkets).
- For citric acid you will need a ratio of one part acid to 20 parts water, for lemon juice a 50/50 ratio.
- Pour the solution into your water tank, choose the largest volume brew and keep running the solution through the machine for roughly 15 minutes. If your machine won’t work without a pod in place, use an old one that you have already made a coffee with.
- After you have finished running the solution through the machine you will need to run 2 full cycles of water through your machine before using it to make a coffee.
- NOTE: Homemade solutions usually pose no threat to your machine but always check with your coffee machine supplier before using this method.
Green, S 2019, ‘5 Useful tips for maintaining your coffee machine’, Lifehack, viewed 15/03/2019 <https://www.lifehack.org/480673/5-useful-tips-for-maintaining-your-coffee-machine>
Easthope, A 2013, ‘Coffee Machine Cleaning Tips’, Five Senses, viewed 15/03/2019 <https://www.fivesenses.com.au/blog/coffee-machine-cleaning-tips/>
Guerra, G 2018, ‘How to Clean & Maintain your Espresso Machine’, Perfect Daily Grind, viewed 15/03/2019, <https://www.perfectdailygrind.com/2018/11/how-to-clean-maintain-your-espresso-machine/>
Capsule House 2017, ‘How to clean a capsule coffee machine’, Frequently asked questions, viewed 15/03/2019, <https://capsulehouse.coffee/en/faq/how-to-clean-a-capsule-coffee-machine/>
Café Liegeois 2019, ‘DIY Instructions for Cleaning and De-scaling your Nespresso® Machine’, Blog, viewed 15/03/2019 <https://www.cafeliegeois.us/blogs/nespresso-compatible-capsules-news-and-blog/diy-instructions-for-cleaning-and-de-scaling-your-nespresso-machine>