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How to care for your coffee machine – from cleaning to descaling

Coffee Lovers, Help & Advice

Looking after your coffee machine is very important for a multitude of reasons. Firstly, coffee machines, for many people, are an investment, so keeping your machine running to the best of its ability will ensure it produces the best cups of coffee for years to come.

Because they are warm and damp, coffee machines can easily breed germs and bacteria – gross, we know. However, a thorough routine clean and continued maintenance will help to keep any nasties at bay.

Many people don’t realise that their machine requires regular maintenance, so if you can’t remember the last time you cleaned your coffee machine, don’t sweat it. No one wants their machine ruined by a build-up of limescale or mould, so keeping your machine in working order will help to deliver quality taste and aroma. Read our top tips for how to care for your machine below.

  1. Create useful habits.

When you’ve finished using your coffee machine, taking away the removable parts and washing them will help to remove any coffee build-up. Usually, the drip tray and filters are removable and dishwasher safe.

Wiping down the steam wand will also remove any dry milk and bacteria. It is also helpful to keep a designated steaming cloth that doesn’t contaminate any other area of your kitchen. Washing this cloth regularly will also prevent dampness and the build-up of germs getting into your milk!

  1. Don’t forget to turn off your appliance.

Leaving your coffee machine on overnight not only wastes electricity but can damage the longevity of your appliance. So, turn off your machine when it is not in use to conserve energy and keep your machine operating to the best of its ability.

Leaving your coffee machine on all the time will increase the likelihood of degraded wiring and heating which can lead to a costly repair or total replacement.

Turning your machine off when you’re not using it will result in perfect espresso and reduced energy bills – score!

  1. Remove any coffee grounds.

Whilst you simply may forget, especially if you’re entertaining guests, leaving coffee grounds in your machine can quickly cause bacteria to grow.

A fun fact we love is that coffee grounds can be used in the garden for composting. With an espresso machine, it’s easy to get into the habit of rinsing the group head and disposing of coffee grounds before making your next latte art masterpiece.

It’s also a good idea not to over-tamper your coffee. Pushing too much into the filter basket so that water can’t pass through can cause an immediate build-up and leakage, something no one wants to deal with! Coffee machine leaks can be dangerous and cause irreversible damage to your machine.

  1. Invest in high-quality cleaning products through Gerald Giles.

Whilst we wish it were true, cleaning your machine with just tap water isn’t an effective cleaning method. Fortunately, many coffee machine descalers on the market help to backflush the machine.

Whilst some may recommend using a combination of vinegar and bicarbonate of soda, this won’t work for all appliances and could do more harm than good. It is worth following the recommended maintenance in the handbook of your brand-specific machine.

Backflushing refers to removing all build-up from the valves and tubes. Doing this just once a week can prevent any limescale damage. If your machine suffers from calcium deposits, then consider using filtered water to clean and make espresso.

Bean-to-Cup Coffee Machines

Cleaning bean-to-cup coffee machines like the Miele CVA7445 PureLine Bean-to-Cup Coffee Machine With Cup sensor often seem like the biggest job, but you’ll be pleased to know these machines require very little maintenance.

This clever appliance includes a wide range of maintenance and cleaning programmes doing the hard work for you. With removable components and automatic cleaning processes, limescale and mould are a thing of the past.

Although these machines seem like they don’t require regular cleaning, like any appliance, they do. Forgetting to clean your machine regularly can result in wasted coffee and very bitter tasting espresso.

At Gerald Giles, we also stock Miele GPCC001C AutoCleaner for automatic cleaning of Miele coffee machines. This can be bought either as a one-time purchase or a yearly subscription. The Miele AutoCleaner removes residue from the brew unit and milk pipework, lasting for around 1 year. What better way to keep your appliance in running order?

Espresso Machines

For traditional style espresso machines like the Smeg ECF01BLUK Espresso Coffee Machine 50’s Retro Style and the KitchenAid 5KES6503BBK Artisan Semi Automatic Espresso Machine, regular cleaning will have to be done by hand. However, these appliances include many removable, dishwasher safe pieces making routine maintenance a breeze.

With espresso machines, the brew head, where the hot water is dispensed from, will need to be regularly cleaned and flushed. If you use a finer ground coffee, you may need to unblock the filter baskets which can get clogged very easily.

The portafilter of your appliance may also need to be unclogged occasionally. Cleaning this will help to keep your espresso tasting great. Most espresso machines include a pin to specifically clean the portafilter and detailed instructions on how to maintain machine hygiene.

Ultimately, keeping your coffee machine clean will help to conserve power and avoid any replacements in the future. Partaking in daily upkeep and a routine deep clean every now and then will help your machine to work a lot more efficiently.

Happy brewing!

At Gerald Giles, we stock a wide range of best-selling branded coffee machines helping you to bring quality coffee straight to your kitchen.

If you’re interested in buying a coffee machine, visit us in-store at our Ber Street location in Norwich. Alternatively, call us on 01603 621772 or email us at sales@geraldgiles.co.uk for more information or assistance in coffee machine maintenance.

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