It’s very easy to ensure your coffee machine is clean, hygienic and working well despite recent news stories that might have given you cause for concern. We have some tips for coffee machine owners to make sure that the taste of your coffee is never compromised.
Coffee machine care
How can I be sure that my coffee machine is really clean?
You needn’t fear coffee spoiling associated with poor hygiene if you pay attention to the most vulnerable areas of the coffee machine. Coffee machine care extends the life of your trusted appliance by removing potential blockages, lime scale and other substances that may degrade the pipes.
Owing to design, most water is difficult to drain from a reservoir so how can you ensure that microbes are fully removed from all recesses?
Getting to work
One of the best and cheapest ways to bring coffee machines back to perfect condition is to use distilled white vinegar. It is non-harmful in a way that bleach or other detergents would be to both people and environments, is far cheaper but equally as effective.
The acetic acid in vinegar combats bacteria at the same time as removing lime deposits. If using a drip style machine, a solution of one part vinegar to four parts water can be passed through the system. Finally, pass pure water through the system twice before using again. The basket should be washed in hot soapy water after every use as should the jug but should any staining be present, white vinegar combined with a little salt as a non-toxic abrasive will bring them back to pristine condition.
Those using pod or sachet varieties of machine should rinse the collection tray every day in hot water. The corners of these trays are the most likely to harbour bacteria so it is advisable to work a little vinegar or lemon juice into them for a spotless finish.
In busy offices, it is tempting to believe that someone else is responsible for cleanliness which is why studies carried out in workplaces have uncovered alarming levels of bacteria in machines as well as on communal mugs. Cross contamination can occur if dirty cloths are used to wipe either machines or cups so these should be subject to a strict policy. It is highly advantageous to have a specific person responsible for maintenance; ideally one with a rigorous approach to cleaning that can give it the attention required.
Many offices, restaurants and hotels favour state-of-the-art coffee preparation machines such as bean to cup or dispense vending varieties now with intelligent software that advise when de-scaling should be carried out.
Different components will be present on different varieties of coffee machine so we have compiled a list that may or may not be present on your particular model but where present should be subject to daily cleaning.
Drip tray – This should be removed and thoroughly cleaned inside and out with particular attention to the underside of the grate and any grooves or crevices. A light antibacterial can be used in the surrounding area to keep germs at bay generally.
Mixing bowl – should be removed and cleaned/soaked especially in high usage sites. This will prevent blockages which can cause a lot of mess!
Coffee Brewer – should be flushed daily. This is the “engine” of every bean-to-cup coffee machine and goes under very high pressure with every coffee dispensed. Flushing it daily will ensure the seals last longer and drink quality will be kept at an optimum.
Waste containers – whether gathering old grounds, pods or sachets, ensure that any waste collection areas are emptied daily and cleaned along with the void in which the waste collection is sited.
Steam spout – the milk frothing steam spout if present,needs to be wiped after every use and have a blast of steam for 10-20 seconds at regular periods throughout the day to prevent blockages.
Automatic cleaning may be an option on many of the state of the art machines that we provide. Models such as the Cino range have an aided or automatic cleaning cycle utilising a cleaning tablet which offers a significant time saving for flushing the internal pipe work and reservoir. If you should be in any doubt about care for your coffee machine, we would be happy to advise you or provide detailed cleaning instructions should you require them for reference or training.
Upgrading your machine
It is possible that your machine has simply passed its efficient life span to offer any real service or peace of mind. Imagine the boost to your workplace with a state-of-the-art coffee machine in your kitchen or canteen.
Superior hot and cold drinks need not cost you the earth either. Our affordable rental agreements give you an opportunity to offer the very best to your employees and customers as well as giving complete peace of mind with our comprehensive installation, training and ongoing maintenance plans; why settle for second best when it comes to refreshment? Contact us to find out more.