Coffee is an essential part of the day for most Italians who are keen coffee fans and consumers. This is why, although the mocha continues to be the favorite coffee making method across Italy, more and more often people are choosing to buy an espresso coffee machine. Chosen for the flavor and the convenience, often though the importance of regular cleaning is underestimated. So, having given you some handy hints and tips on the maintenance of your bar espresso machine, today we will be looking at how to clean your home coffee machine.
The importance of coffee machine maintenance
The home espresso coffee machine allows you to enjoy a creamy, distinctly flavored coffee every day. This electrical home device can work either with ground coffee or with pods and capsules: in any case, a good result is guaranteed but the wear and tear on the components can lead to progressive deterioration of the machine.
It is fundamental not to neglect cleaning the espresso coffee machine above all for these two reasons: on the one hand, the presence of limescale can mean that the mechanism gets jammed, on the other hand, insufficient cleaning can also lead to the proliferation of bacteria. So the machine should be cleaned frequently for both technical and hygiene reasons. Let’s now take a look at how you should proceed.
How to clean your home coffee machine and eliminate limescale
The first time that you clean your home coffee machine, you need to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer of the machine itself which can be found in the instruction booklet. Indeed, sometimes, some specific strategies and products may be recommended for removing limescale.
In general, the decalcification of the coffee machine is the main cleaning and maintenance activity. To do this, you simply need to put a solution of two parts water and one part white vinegar in the water tank. Then you need to turn on the machine and proceed as if preparing a normal coffee.
The liquid which is produced will be slightly cloudy: this is the proof that the solution is effectively removing the limescale inside the machine. Before preparing the next coffee, you need to run the machine 2 or 3 times using only water, until the resulting “dose” of espresso comes out completely transparent.
With regard to how often you should carry out this type of cleaning, the experts suggest it should be done about once a month. More often if the machine is used very frequently, and only once every two months if the machine is used only every so often.
Why is vinegar used to remove limescale?
This strategy for descaling and cleaning the coffee machine is both economic and ecological, as well as being an effective method for all household appliances on the market – except where expressly indicated by the manufacturer. It works because the vinegar together with hot water, has the power to dissolve limescale residues. A perfect solution for the coffee machine also because – in principle – there are no contraindications.
However, another viable alternative you can use is citric acid. This is another example of using an ecologically sound substance, but it is not so easy to get hold of and may cause skin irritation. So it should be used with caution, but it is also very effective in removing limescale.
How to clean the rest of the coffee machine
Limescale is the main problem in home coffee machines, but it is not the only aspect that requires care and maintenance. It is also important to clean all the other parts of the appliance that can be dismantled like, for example, the tank.
In some models it is also possible to extract the tube which connects the water tank to the boiler. The anti-scale filters and the milk tank must also be washed . In general, in the components which come into contact with milk (cow’s milk or vegetable versions) it is more common to find residues, even invisible ones, which, over time can create problems of bacteria accumulation and also mechanical function.
All the removable parts can be washed with water and a delicate degreasing detergent. It is very important to leave them to dry completely before re-attaching the parts and re-starting the coffee machine. All of these cleaning activities must be carried out with the machine switched off and unplugged.
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