Like many machines, a commercial coffee maker requires a certain amount of maintenance to keep it operating properly. Between grime, general wear and tear and residue left behind by coffee grains, milk or hard water, there are a number of ways your machine can get dirty.
At Cuco, we offer a free weekly cleaning service to all customers that lease our machines. This ensures that the machines run at maximum capacity. It prevents any problems with the machine and keeps the coffee tasting great.
Even so, it might help you to know how exactly we do it. Perhaps you have your own machine and want to know how to do it yourself. Perhaps you want to find out what you can do on a daily, as opposed to weekly, basis to keep your machine in top shape. Maybe you’re just curious! In any case, here’s Cuco’s guide on how to clean a commercial coffee machine.
Bear in mind that there are many different kinds of coffee machines out there, so this article focuses more on general advice that can be applied across the board. Click here to read about how to choose a coffee machine!
The Benefits of a Clean Commercial Coffee Machine
It’s important to keep the bigger picture in mind when cleaning your machine. It’s true that emptying the drip tray alone doesn’t affect the taste of your coffee. However, When you practice all of the recommended cleaning rituals outlined below, we guarantee you will notice the difference. So, what exactly are the benefits of a well-cleaned and well-maintained coffee machine?
A clean commercial coffee machine is a hygienic commercial coffee machine. As with all food and drink products, you must clean a coffee machine regularly to keep it sanitary. Cleaning up the residue of foodstuffs prevents illness, mould and pests. Even the best-designed coffee machines are bound to accumulate a few stains over the course of their lives. It’s up to us to keep them clean.
The cleaner your machine, the better your coffee will taste. A stale, bitter flavour can be the result of an unclean machine. Here are some of the ways cleanliness affects taste:
- A buildup of limescale will affect the water in your machine and therefore change the taste of the final product.
- Old coffee grains may mix with the new as your drink is being made, resulting in a less fresh flavour.
- Residue can block the filtration system which can prevent the coffee and hot water from infusing properly.
- A build up of oil in the grinder and hopper may also affect the taste profile of the coffee.
Commercial coffee machines are often used in a business setting and it’s important to keep your customers/clients in mind. The way your office presents itself matters. We guarantee that coffee served from a clean, new machine will be better received than coffee from an old, grimy one.
A clean machine will function better and for longer. It is less likely to need repairs or to malfunction unexpectedly. As they age, components in any device can become frayed, damaged, and stop working as intended. Dirt compounds this issue. The cleaner the components, the longer they will last.
What Supplies Do You Need?
Thankfully, you don’t need too many supplies to clean a standard coffee machine. More complex models may require different tools or technical know-how, but by and large, all you need are a few basics. As coffee machines have evolved, they have become easier to maintain,
- A sponge or a cloth to wipe down parts and scrub off grime and residue
- A food-safe cleaning detergent. Stay away from bleach or anything else that can’t be ingested
- Something to mix with water for descaling, for example, white vinegar
- (optional) A brush for stubborn grime.
In terms of cleaning your office’s coffee machine, there are a few things you ought to do every day if you get the chance, especially if your machine is used regularly. These tasks are quite fast and painless.
Firstly, empty and clean the drip tray on your machine. Most coffee machines, regardless of make and model, have a drip tray of some kind. It may be a plastic basin with a lid or a flat tray with a grate on top. Rinsing and cleaning daily help prevent the grime from becoming too stubborn.
Secondly, wipe down the surface of the coffee machine with a cloth/sponge and a food-safe spray. This will keep your machine in the best condition possible.
Thirdly, If your coffee has a steam wand, wipe it down with a wet cloth. It’s particularly important to clear away milk residue because it will sour quickly. You should also replace the cloth regularly.
If you’re using a barista-style machine, clean out the portafilters and their baskets (the detachable, spoon-shaped pieces that strain the coffee). This will keep your coffee tasting fresh and prevent any blockages.
Weekly cleaning is a little more complicated than daily cleaning. It tends to focus more on the internal parts of the machine. If you are a Cuco customer, we’ll take care of this part for you!
The first thing to do is clean out the interior of your machine’s bean hopper, assuming you’re using a bean-to-cup machine. Even the fully intact beans can leave a little residue behind.
In order to clear the pipes on the inside, your machine probably has an internal system clearing option. This can take up to half an hour normally.
To descale, you use a descaling tablet or a water and vinegar (or alternative) solution depending on the type of machine. With coffee machines that require you to add your own water, you can manually wipe the inside and flush the water through several times until clear. On a barista-style machine, place the tablet on the portafilter and backwash the water through the pipes.
A well-serviced, well-cleaned coffee machine is reliable and can last for a very long time. One of the advantages of leasing a coffee machine with Cuco as opposed to buying one outright is that we service the machines on a weekly basis. This removes the hassle on your end and ensures that your machine gets the best of care from an experienced professional. Give us a call today to find out more!