Tips for maintaining your machine
Too much is better than too little
The worst thing you could do for the longevity of your machine is to never maintain it and wait until it starts to show the first signs of fatigue. By then, it might be too late to avoid a breakdown.
We know that you want a machine that does not require too much maintenance and not too much effort on a daily basis. But you still need to do a few small daily tasks if you want to enjoy your machine for many years. Nothing too complicated, but it could make all the difference!Our maintenance products
Here are 4 tips to maintain your coffee machine:
Rinsing your coffee machine cleans the circuit and warms the machine. Some machines do this automatically, but if yours doesn't, just run water instead of coffee.
Remember to clean the accessible and often removable external parts such as the filter holder, grounds container or water tank to properly maintain your coffee machine.
Coffee beans always leave some oil in the bean compartment but also inside your machine. It is important to remove this oil so that it does not block your grinder or prevent your beans from going down into your compartment.
If you are not using a filter, it is very important to descale your machine. Limescale deposits are deadly to your machine. They can block the coffee, milk and steam outlets, or damage the interior parts.
Concerning water, if your machine is not equipped with a filter, we advise you to use filtered water in a carafe or in your refrigerator.
Regularity is the key!
The first thing to remember is that you shouldn't wait until your machine starts to show signs of weakness to start maintaining it. Regular maintenance will not only ensure a good cup of coffee, but will also help your machine last longer. Regularity is the key.
The frequency of maintenance of your coffee machine, filter, manual or automatic, depends on three important factors
- the hardness of your water
- your use (residential or commercial in particular)
- the model of your machine
For example, some automatic machines like the Jura will tell you when to change your filter or descale.
If you have a family coffee machine that you use once or twice a day, quarterly maintenance is recommended. If it's a business machine that makes more than 10 coffees a day, it's recommended that youservice itmonthly.
In any case, this does not prevent you from thinking about cleaning the external parts of your machine, but also the water tank or the bean compartment on a daily basis, as seen previously.
In more detail, here are the maintenance frequencies that we recommend:
Some machines, like the automatic machines Jura, Saeco or Philips, perform an automatic rinse at start-up and at shut-down. The goal is that the coffee does not dry out at the outlet nozzle so that it does not get blocked. You can also do it yourself. For the manual machines for example, just run hot water without putting coffee. Do it the same way as for the automatic ones, at start-up and at shut-down. For steam nozzles, always rinse after each use to limit milk deposits.
Immediatelyafter your coffee, for manual machines, you must remove the filter holder, empty the coffee grounds, rinse the filter holder and clean the extraction area. If you don't do this and leave the coffee in the filter holder to dry, the fats and sugars in the coffee will build up and turn rancid on the components and give a pungent taste to subsequent coffees. It may also produce a suction cup effect and you may not be able to remove your filter holder afterwards (especially if your grind was too fine).
For the steam nozzle, in order to ensure perfect hygiene and proper functioning, it is recommended to "flush" the steam nozzle. That is to say, it is advisable to circulate steam to clean it. You should also use a damp cloth to clean the outside of your nozzle. It will be perfectly clean and ready for the next use.
If some parts of your milk system are too clogged with dried milk, don't hesitate to soak them in a water + milk cleaner solution.
Your coffee group should also be pampered. Remove it once a week, run it under warm water and let it air dry. Once the cleaning is done, remember to put some food grease in the friction corners. If your group is not extractable, as for example for the Jura coffee machines, use the recommended cleaning tablets to be put directly in the ground coffee trap following the instructions of your machine.
In summary, a 15 second routine will allow your manual coffee machine to work perfectly:
- Wipe your steam spout with a damp cloth immediately after use
- Discard the coffee grounds and rinse the filter holder with hot water
- Wipe the filter holder and the coffee outlet with a clean cloth.
For automatic machines, empty your coffee grounds container every two days or as soon as it is full (coffee grounds mould quickly), and rinse it. Do the same with the water collection tray. Do not let the water stagnate, it could generate bacteria.
Also remember to clean the milk systems, whether it is a steam nozzle or a hose for automatic machines. It should be cleaned after each use. Dried milk is your enemy. Not only can it clog your machine, but it can also make you sick if bacteria develop. Use special products for cleaning milk.
However, always use the brand name of your machine during your warranty period.
Coffee naturally produces fat or oil when roasted. The accumulation of fat can damage your machine. That's why we advise against using oily coffee in your automatic machines. And in general, you should degrease your machine as much as you can.
Start by cleaning your bean container once a week with a dry cloth to remove the excess grease deposited by your beans. This will also allow them to flow more easily into the compartment without being held back by the grease.
To clean the inside of your machine, especially the grinder, there are cleaning and degreasing tablets that will remove a maximum of residue so that your grinder does not get blocked. We advise you to do this once a quarter, or even once a month if you tend to use black coffees, which are more oily.
Scale forms more or less quickly depending on the hardness of your water. The harder your water is, the faster your coffee machine will scale. Your consumption also plays a role in this. How does it work? As the water heats up, it deposits mineral particles on the walls of your coffee machine. It is recognizable by the white deposit that you can see with the naked eye. This is a natural phenomenon that you can limit by maintaining your machine, and especially by descaling it regularly.
If you use a filter or filtered water, we recommend descaling once or twice a year, depending on the hardness of your water.
If you use unfiltered tap water, monthly descaling would be ideal.
You can also, if your machine suggests it, rely on its recommendations and perform descaling when your machine indicates it.
There are liquid or tablet/powder descalers. Both are equally effective. The tablets are perfectly calibrated and allow you to control the dosage of your product. The liquids dissolve quickly in the water of the circuits. It's really up to you what you prefer.
Always be sure to remove the water filter from your tank before descaling.
So in summary, we recommend that you:
Take the time to test the hardness of your water before installing your machine. This will help you determine how often you should descale your machine.
Always have a damp cloth handy to clean the outside of your machine after each coffee. If you use your steam nozzle, take the time to wipe it down with your cloth.
Whether it's your water tank or your bean container, take the time to clean them weekly. A dry cloth to remove the grease from the coffee beans will do the trick.
Be sure to follow the maintenance instructions your machine gives you. If it requires descaling or changing the filter, do it as soon as possible.
Maintenance products to use
We always advise you to use the products recommended by the brand of your machine during your warranty period. Once the warranty is over, you are free to use the products of your choice, while making sure that they are adapted to your needs and your machine.
Products not recommended for your coffee machines
Vinegar: this is a natural product that our grandmothers used, which has proven itself, but it is no longer suitable for modern machines. Indeed, the acetic acid that white vinegar contains is not compatible with the seals, parts and pipes that make up your coffee machine. Over time, you will simply create leaks because the acetic acid will "eat away" at the seals. Your warranty will be denounced if your machine breaks because of this. Therefore, you should not use vinegar to clean your modern appliances, especially your coffee machine.
Distilled water: as mentioned above, it is best to use filtered water for your coffee machine. You can use tap water and filter it with a carafe or by putting a filter in your coffee machine. Why not distilled water? Well, simply because when you use distilled water to make coffee, since there are no minerals in the water, the acidity of the coffee is intensified. Filters or carafes remedy this by filtering out the minerals in the water, while maintaining the proper level of minerals for a balanced tasting coffee.
Abrasive tools: Whether it is for your steam nozzle or for your external elements such as your drip pans, do not use abrasive tools such as the green side of a sponge or steel S.O.S. style pads, you risk damaging the steel coating of the stem and exposing the copper underneath for example, which is a health risk. You could also scratch all your components.
Dish soap: Dish soap is designed to coat surfaces with an anti-grease substance that will also fight the natural oils that flavor your coffee. Therefore, it is not recommended to use it to clean your coffee machine.