Just like in every other machine, coffee machine maintenance promotes efficiency, prolongs lifespan, and reduces running costs. That is why owners of coffee machines, both for home and businesses are advised to pay strict attention to these machines if they are to serve them well.
Different types of coffee makers require different sorts and levels of maintenance. This guide will provide the maintenance requirements of about 99% of these machines. Other than these requirements, it is important to always study machine manuals to see if extra service is required.
Coffee Machine Maintenance: Understanding The Intervals
After each day’s use, you should endeavor to backflush your machine. You can achieve a backflush by this following simple steps:
- Run the machine’s group head and rub out all coffee residue with your machine brush.
- Add a tablespoon of espresso machine cleaner(powder) into the blind filter and insert it into the group.
- Run it for ten seconds on and for ten seconds off. Repeat this process four times.
- Allow the blind filter to rest in the group for a few minutes (during this time, clean the portafilters and the steam wands. You should also shine the machine)
- Discard the espresso machine cleaner and flush the group with clean water( ten seconds on, ten seconds off)until the water is very clear.
- Go through steps 1-5 again until the water is clean.
Every Three Months
Every three months your Machine needs a minor service, a little above what it gets every day. You will need to :
- Replace shower screens( you are advised to convert to VST or IMS Screen if you are yet to do so).
- Replace group gaskets.
- Test all buttons to make sure they are still working perfectly.
- Test group flow rates and temp.
- Test group head and water boiler.
Every Six Months
Every six months a major servicing is essential. Major servicing entails doing everything you did for the minor servicing in addition to:
- Rebuilding the water tap.
- Cleaning the boiler level probe.
- Rebuilding the steam assembly.
- Removing body panels and whipping dust particles.
- Replacing the anti-suction valve
This is your second six-month service, so you should be pretty familiar with the technique. Other than your major service routine, you should also:
- Replace your portafilter basket( if you haven’t upgraded to IMSbasket, consider doing so)
- Replace the waste pipe if the old one is worn out.
- Replace the pressure safety valve.
- Check for water or steam leaks using a dentist’s mirror.
- Repair or replace worn-out valves.
- Replace the sight glass.
- Replace the capacitor on the pump motor.
While some components of the machine might last forever, some aren’t that durable and might need regular service or even replacement. Sometimes external factors determine the durability of a machine to an extent.
For instance, if your Cafe is being supplied with poor water quality, you might need to replace your machine filters and descale them twice a year but you might need to do this only once in two years if the water quality being supplied is great.
Irrespective of how long it has been since the last time you serviced your machine, you should endeavor to repair or replace component parts each time the need arises.
Always keep in mind the lifetime of these component parts and keep an eye on their working condition to avoid an impromptu breakdown that might lead to severe losses.
For A Second-hand Value Machine
If you are to ever buy a second-hand coffee machine, make sure you get it totally refurbished. It doesn’t matter that the seller who is your distant cousin and an expert in the coffee business has given you an assurance. You shouldn’t dare to skip this step if you want your coffee machine to last long enough.
When refurbishing a second-hand machine, you should respray panels, get rid of chips and scratches to give it a more professional look. After this, you are free to carry on with the service plan laid out above.
All these forms of maintenance do seem like a lot of effort but you should keep in mind that constant maintenance is very necessary to ensure that your espresso machine keeps making the best coffee anytime any day.
Commercial Coffee Machine Maintenance
From eateries to Coffee shops Commercial coffee makers are widely used in small and large establishments.
In areas where the supply of hard water is high, regular usage can cause a high accumulation of minerals in the machine and this not only affects the machine operation but also ruins the taste of the coffee.
Before you clean a commercial coffee machine, make sure you have studied the manual properly and taken note of any specific cleaning instructions suited for your specific model.
Descaling Commercial Coffee Machine
This process requires a cleaning solution that can get rid of mineral and hard water deposits effectively. Apart from commercial-scale removers, there are few natural cleaning agents that can be used to perform this function.
White vinegar – It shouldn’t come as a surprise that white vinegar can thoroughly clean a commercial coffee maker because it has always been a popular base for various cleaning solutions. After descaling, endeavor to rinse the machine severally to remove every trace of vinegar because it is highly acidic.
Lemon juice – Just like vinegar, lemon juice also has high acidity but it smells nicer and is easier to remove. You can either descale using fresh lemon juice or organic lemon juice. Either way, rinse thoroughly to remove every trace of lemon after cleaning.
Citric acid – Just like lemon, Citric acid doesn’t smell as bad as vinegar and is also not very acidic like the others. Therefore you do not have to rinse the machine severally before use.
Having made the choice of which cleaning agent suits you best. The next thing is to go into descaling proper. Below are the steps for descaling a coffee machine:
- Step 1. Make a solution by mixing the cleaner thoroughly with distilled water. To reduce the acidic content of the mixture, use 2/3 of distilled water with 1/3 of the cleaning agent. The resulting mixture Should be enough to fill your coffee pot.
- Step 2. Transfer the solution into the machine’s water receptacle.
- Step 3. Just as if you want to brew a cup of coffee, start a brewing cycle. Instead of brewing a cup of coffee, the machine will be slowly removing scales and hard mineral deposits.
- Step 4. Once the brewing cycle is completed, flush out the contents of the pot.
- Step 5. After descaling, turn off the coffee maker and unplug it from the wall socket. Then, separate the spray head from the rest of the machine.
- Step 6. Use a soft bristle brush and warm distilled water to clean the spray head thoroughly. Do not forget to wipe down the opening too.
- Step 7. Plug the machine cord back and switch it on. Rinse and re-rinse the machine again to remove every particle and unwanted odors of the cleaning agent. The number of times this process is repeated often depends on the acidic content of the cleaning agent.
- Step 8. After rinsing, turn off the coffee machine again and unplug it. After you must have unplugged it, fix back the spray head to the machine.
Here’s how to descale your coffee machine using a de-scaler made at home.
Cleaning With a Filter Funnel
Over time, lots of scales and get clogged up in the coffee machine filter funnel. Clean the funnel every week with a soft-bristle brush damped in soapy water. If the funnel appears to have scale deposits on it, scrub with warm water and any of the cleaning agents( white vinegar, citric acid or lime juice).
Cleaning the Coffee Machine’s Exterior
The internal components aren’t the only thing that Should be of interest. From time to time the exterior parts of the coffee machine needs cleaning, repairs, and general maintenance. To clean the exterior of a commercial coffee machine, meticulously wipe down the unit at least once every week.
Always turn off the coffee machine and unplug from the wall socket before any cleaning is done. When you spray the cleaning solution on the exterior, leave it for about a minute before off. Baking soda can be used to wipe off greasy spots from the machines’ exterior.
Best Espresso Machine Cleaners
Some examples of coffee machine cleaners widely available in the market ;
- Espresso machine cleaners by puro Caff(EP_CLEAN)
- Espresso machine cleaning Combo (EP_CLEAN_COMBO)
- Espresso machine Blackflush kit (EP_CLEANKIT)
- Espresso machine Cleaning Kit Deluxe( EP_CLEANKIT_ DLX)
- URNEX GRINDZ Espresso/Coffee Grinder Cleaner(URNX_GRINDZ)
- Cafiza Espresso Machine Cleaning Tablets(URNX05)
- Dezc Activated Descaler Powder (URNX08)
- Urnex Dezcal Pro 7oz Pkt(URNXDEZPRO)
- Puro Espresso Machine Cleaning Powder
Hiring An Espresso Coffee Machine Maintenance Company
Here, we refer to companies that concern themselves with ensuring that coffee machines are in good shape and that customers are served the best at all times.
They offer a wide range of services such as; Engineering services, Customer service Advisory, Water treatment Management, planned maintenance, compulsory boiler inspections, and Grinder management.
The coffee machine is just like your precious guitar or any other musical instrument you adore so much. It is an art of work that deserves taking care of.
Coffee machine maintenance requires more than merely whipping it out with a damp tower at the end of the day. Like most coffee machine owners, you should go through the different service plans to find out which works best for you.
If you are buying a new one, don’t forget to check the coffee machine maintenance and cleaning guide that usually comes with the new package. For people using commercial coffee machines, you might want to consider the services of cleaning and repair experts.
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