Has the taste of your coffee changed? Do you find that your office coffee machine isn’t making those great quality drinks you know and love? After sitting down with our technical experts, we’ve compiled some handy information about how to maximise the life of your coffee machine, from regular cleaning advice to general no-no’s.
How do you clean a coffee machine?
When you buy a coffee machine, make sure you have a clear understanding of the general upkeep that is required. There are two types of cleans required: automatic and manual. Most machines – such as our Carimali SolarTouch Plus – will provide visual guidance on their screens to help with regular automatic cleans.
While this is helpful, a manual clean is needed just as regularly. Not many people are aware that cleaning your machine is split into these two categories, and it’s important to make sure both are covered.
Whether it’s a bean to cup or an capsule machine, your commercial coffee machine will guide you through an automatic clean via its digital interface. The machine interface will guide you through the specific steps for your machine. Generally speaking you will need to wipe down the machine with warm soapy water first. Then simply follow the cleaning cycle instructions using the required cleaning tablets and solution.
Although this is the second part of the cleaning process, it’s just as important. Manual cleaning involves maintaining general hygiene of the machineTypically, this means removing certain aspects of the machine such as the grounds bin, drip tray and milk foamer. The best way to clean the removeable parts is by washing with warm soapy water, or putting them in the dishwasher and drying them thoroughly to prevent the growth of bacteria.
For machines that use fresh milk, this should be done daily to prevent contamination. If left unchecked, fresh milk can leave residues that could lead to food poisoning. For powder machines you can do a manual clean once or twice a week, depending on your needs.
What is a ‘service’, and do I need one?
Even if you are cleaning your machine daily, it’s important to remember that this is an electrical product and will need a certain amount of technical care. Similar to a car, you should allow a professional to take a look at your machine once a year to check everything is in order.
A service is more than cleaning – it’s a chance for a trained professional to have a look at all the aspects of your machine and make sure it’s functioning at its best. Check the machine’s warranty when you purchase it, so you are fully aware if this is included with the price. Additionally, paying for a thorough yearly service is vital to keeping your coffee machine working at its best.
What common coffee machine cleaning mistakes should I look out for?
Cleaning your coffee machine can be as simple. You need to regularly take out and wash removeable parts while monitoring it yearly. That said, there are a few things you shouldn’t do.
Forgetting about the fresh products
It’s important to remember that milk, flavoured powders and coffee grounds are still food products and should be treated as such. Make sure you empty your milk container and foamer every day, washing it with warm soapy water.
Don’t simply empty out the coffee grounds at the end of the day either. To prevent the build-up of mould, wash out the grounds bin and drip tray every day with warm water.
Descaling your coffee machine yourself
Although descaling seems like something you can easily do, beyond the automatic machine maintenance, you shouldn’t be adding any products into your machine. If descaling is done wrong, you risk damaging the coffee machine. It’s best to get a professional in to descale it for you.
Using cleaning agents
Cleaning agents shouldn’t be used on the internal parts of your machine. The cleaning agents are a lot harsher than soap, so can cause damage to these parts. Using them on your office coffee machine could leave residue in the internal parts, which could be dangerous if using strong products such as bleach.
Forgetting the daily routine
Just like a fridge, dishwasher or bin, a coffee machine is something that needs to be regularly cleaned and maintained. Empty and fully clean aspects like the grounds bin, water container on non-plumbed machines and milk foamers every day, making sure each part is fully dry before replacing it.
Removing the water, milk and grounds containers can also help avoid the build-up of bacteria and limescale, while preventing things going wrong in the machine. There’s more to water build up than limescale, but regularly emptying out the water container will extend the life of your coffee machine.
Why should you clean your coffee machine?
It’s often forgotten, but coffee machines contain food stuff such as fresh milk, powders or coffee grounds. Just like any other food stuff in your kitchen, it is vital to clean them to discourage germs.
With regular cleaning and upkeep, you can help maximise the life of your machine, adding years to your office coffee machine.
The best ways to maintain your coffee machine
Despite what you may think, the upkeep of your coffee machine can be quite a simple task. Remember, there are two parts to cleaning; automatic and manual cleans. Avoid using harsh products and thoroughly wash parts of the machine that has fresh products in it.
When buying a commercial coffee machine, make sure you’re clear about what is within your warranty too. Here at Tchibo we provide services and mini-services, so you are guaranteed a long-lasting coffee machine. Contact one of our team to discuss how you can maximise the life of your commercial coffee machine.
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