Coffee Machine Cleaning Tips For the Best Brew

coffee machine cleaning tips

You love your morning cup of joe, right? It’s the delightful lifeline that catapults you from the land of slumber into the world of productivity. But what if the secret to this daily joy is not just the quality of the beans or your brewing skills but something as simple yet overlooked as your coffee machine cleaning routine? 


Stay with us, and this article will be your treasure map to understanding how to extract the very best from your coffee machine and your brew. “Clean my coffee machine?” you ask. “Absolutely,” we answer, “and it’s going to be effortless!”

Coffee Machine Cleaning: A Cornerstone for Coffee Lovers

Cleaning your coffee machine is more than a chore; it’s a ritual that stands between a decent brew and a truly excellent one. The lingering oils and grounds, if left unchecked, will not only decrease your machine’s performance but can also create a bitter, unpleasant taste in your cup. Plus, think of the hygiene side: a clean coffee machine is a healthy coffee machine. 

Why Clean My Coffee Machine?

Let’s start with the most obvious question. Why bother to clean your coffee machine? After all, it’s running some super-hot water through it, which will most likely kill off those pesky lurgies, right? 

Well, coffee machines, especially the ones used daily, are prone to coffee grounds and oil build-ups. These residues can turn rancid over time, affecting the taste of your brew, deteriorating the performance of your machine, and posing health risks due to bacteria growth. Now, do you want that lurking in your morning coffee? We didn’t think so!

best brew with a clean coffee machine

The Essential Steps: How to Clean a Coffee Machine

Cleaning a coffee machine may sound like a bit of a bore, but it’s actually easier than you’d think. With the right steps and tools, you’ll have your coffee machine purring like a happy kitten and your coffee tasting better than ever.

Cleaning Manual Coffee Machines

Manual coffee machines, like the impressive De’Longhi Stilosa Pump Expresso EC260BK, have their unique cleaning needs. To keep them performing their best, start by removing and washing all detachable parts with warm, soapy water. Pay special attention to the coffee filter and the dispenser, where most coffee grounds and oil residues accumulate. After that, descale your machine regularly with a suitable descaler. Remember, mineral deposits from water can affect the inner workings of your machine, shortening its lifespan.

Delonghi Stilosa Pump Expresso - EC260BK

Delonghi Stilosa Pump Expresso – EC260BK

Cleaning Capsule Coffee Machines

Capsule coffee machines have a different design and, thus, a different cleaning process. Start by emptying the capsule container and drip tray. Then, fill the water tank with a mixture of water and descaling solution. Run the machine without a capsule, allowing the descaling solution to work its way through the machine, breaking down the mineral deposits. Finally, rinse the water tank thoroughly and run the machine with only water to ensure no descaling solution residue is left.

Cleaning Automatic Bean-to-Cup Machines

Automatic machines, like the spectacular Siemens Automatic Bean-to-Cup Coffee Machine TQ505R09, are indeed a coffee lover’s dream. Yet, they require regular cleaning to maintain their performance. Start by rinsing and cleaning the coffee ground container. Then, use coffee machine cleaning tablets following the machine’s instructions.

Siemens Automatic Bean-to-Cup Coffee Machine - TQ505R09

Siemens Automatic Bean-to-Cup Coffee Machine – TQ505R09

A Deep Dive Into Coffee Machine Cleaning Tablets

Coffee machine cleaning tablets are the unsung heroes in the world of coffee machine maintenance. They’re potent, convenient, and highly effective. But how exactly do they work?

The Magic Behind Coffee Machine Cleaning Tablets

Coffee machine cleaning tablets, like the descaling tablets we recommend, are specially designed to deal with two key culprits that affect your coffee machine’s performance and longevity – coffee residues and mineral build-up.

Coffee residues mainly comprise coffee oils and micro-particles that, over time, can form a coating on various parts of your machine. These can not only affect the taste of your coffee but can also provide a breeding ground for bacteria and mould.

Meanwhile, mineral deposits, also known as “scale,” are created by hard water. They can accumulate in your machine, obstructing the water flow and the machine’s heating elements.

Coffee machine cleaning tablets work by releasing cleaning agents when they come into contact with water in your machine. These agents are carefully formulated to be powerful enough to dissolve and break down the coffee residues and scale without damaging your machine.

The dissolved residues and scale are then flushed out when you rinse or brew water through your machine, leaving it clean, hygienic, and ready to deliver the next round of perfect coffee. Regular use of these tablets ensures your machine stays clean and functions optimally, making them an indispensable part of your coffee machine cleaning regimen.

How a Dirty Machine Affects Your Coffee

Coffee residues are like uninvited guests at your coffee party: they’re not particularly harmful at first, but their prolonged stay spoils the fun. These residues, if not cleaned, can cause your coffee to taste bitter or burnt, and nobody wants that. Furthermore, they can also breed bacteria and mould over time, leading to potential health risks.

Coffee Oils?

Coffee oils, also known as ‘coffee essences’ or ‘coffee solubles’, are the aromatic compounds that give your brew its distinctive flavour and aroma. When you’re brewing a fresh pot, these oils are your best friends, contributing to the rich taste that coffee lovers around the globe crave. You can learn more about coffee oils on this informative page.

However, while these oils might be essential for a good cup of joe, they can overstay their welcome. Over time, these oils can accumulate and solidify inside your machine, leaving a stubborn residue. If not regularly removed, this residue can negatively impact the taste of your coffee.

Enjoy Your Clean Machine

There you have it, the A-Z of coffee machine cleaning. Now, armed with your new-found knowledge, not only are you a coffee drinker but also a coffee machine cleaning aficionado. 

With your secret weapon, the coffee machine cleaning tablets, the longevity of your machine and the quality of your brew are assured. Remember, a clean coffee machine is the key to a great-tasting cup of coffee. So, go on, clean your coffee machine, and keep savouring that fantastic brew, cup after cup.

If you’re after an elevated coffee experience, take a look at our exciting range of coffee machines.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here at Hirsch’s, we understand you may have more queries about coffee machine cleaning. Here are some commonly asked questions that we’ve answered for you:

What is Hard Water?

Hard water is water that has a high mineral content, specifically calcium and magnesium. While not harmful to human health, these minerals can build up over time in your coffee machine and other appliances, affecting their performance and longevity.

Where is Hard Water Found in South Africa?

While the hardness of water can vary, some areas in South Africa are known to have harder water than others. These include parts of the Western Cape, such as Cape Town, and areas in the Free State. However, water hardness can fluctuate, so it’s always a good idea to check with your local water supplier for the most accurate information.

Can I Put My Coffee Machine Parts in the Dishwasher?

Whether or not you can put your coffee machine parts in the dishwasher depends on the manufacturer’s instructions. Some parts may be dishwasher-safe, while others may require hand-washing. Always refer to your machine’s user manual for specific cleaning instructions to avoid damaging your coffee machine.

How Often Should I Clean My Coffee Machine?

The frequency of cleaning your coffee machine depends on how often you use it. As a rule of thumb, a daily user should perform a deep clean with a coffee machine cleaning tablet at least once a month. Regular rinsing and cleaning after each use will help maintain the machine’s performance and the quality of your brew.

How Do I Use a Coffee Machine Cleaning Tablet?

Using a coffee machine cleaning tablet is usually straightforward, but it’s always best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Generally, you will need to dissolve the tablet in the machine’s reservoir and run a brewing cycle without coffee. After that, run at least one more cycle with clean water to rinse out any remaining cleaning agent.

Can I Use Vinegar Instead of a Coffee Machine Cleaning Tablet?

While vinegar can be used as a natural alternative for descaling due to its acidity, it may not be as effective in removing coffee residues. Additionally, it may leave a lingering smell or taste. A coffee machine cleaning tablet is designed specifically for coffee machines and is generally the most effective and safe method.

Can I Clean My Coffee Machine Without a Cleaning Tablet?

While it is possible to clean your coffee machine without a cleaning tablet, these tablets are specifically designed to effectively remove coffee oils and mineral deposits. Using alternatives might not provide the same level of cleanliness and may even harm your machine if not used properly. For the best results, we recommend using a dedicated coffee machine cleaning tablet.

Remember, these are just guidelines. For any specific queries related to your machine, always refer to the user manual or consult with the manufacturer.