Even the highest quality home coffee machine will produce foul coffee if it isn’t properly cleaned on a regular basis. Traditional coffee machines should be rinsed out with hot, soapy water after every use and cleaned thoroughly every six months. If you have an espresso machine you should be giving it a thorough clean every week.
Follow these steps to properly clean your traditional coffee machine
- Rinse with vinegar
Mix 3oz. vinegar with 20oz. water and run the combination through your coffee machine. Run a batch of pure water through twice afterwards to rinse everything out. You may want to run the fresh water through three times to make sure the vinegar flavour is completely gone.
- Brush out the dirt
The fastest way to clean out your coffee maker is with an espresso machine cleaning kit that contains high quality brushes. With these you can more easily access dirt in the corners of the machine and scrub off the sticky stuff.
- Scrub the sides clean
If there’s any left over dirt scrub it out with a Scotch-Brite Pad or other scrubbie of your choice. You can also use an espresso cleaning fluid for this part.
Read also: DIY Guide To Successful Coffee Grinding
Follow these steps to clean your espresso machine thoroughly
- Run espresso cleaning fluid through the pump
There are several types of espresso cleaning fluid with the most popular being Cafiza, PuroCaf, and JoeGlo. Each one comes with its own flush instructions. Generally, you want to run the detergent through the pump 4-5 times in 15-20 second stop/start intervals.
- Rinse the portafilter
Loosen the portafilter, hold it over the brew head and engage the pump. The portafilter basket will fill with water and cleanser. Wiggle it around to make sure the cleanser gets to all the residue.
- Brush the portafilter
Now you should clear any deposits out of the portafilter with an espresso cleaning brush. Be sure to thoroughly rinse off the brush afterwards so it can be used again.
- Wash out your drip tray
Residue on the drip tray is often the cause of the nasty flavour in your espressos. Wash it with a small amount of espresso detergent and rinse thoroughly with water. Lock your portafilter into place and reinstall your now-clean drip filter.
Repeat the flushing process by running pure water through the pump three or four times in 15-20 second intervals.
- Clean the steam wand
Wipe the steam wand down with a clean wet dishrag. You can also get a steam wand cleaning brush which can be dipped in detergent and used to clean the interior of the steam wand.
- Separately clean the portafilter basket and steam tip
Take the portafilter apart completely and soak it in a container with 90% water and 10% detergent cleaner. After the soak scrub off any remaining dirt with a Scotch-Brite Pad and rinse everything with fresh water three times.