How to Clean Your Espresso Machine

Photo Credit: Yuppiechef

As many of us know, an espresso machine doesn’t come cheap, but if you’re passionate about coffee, it can be worth every penny. If it’s properly maintained, it can last a very long time, paying for itself as the years go by. If it isn’t, however, it can suffer from residue and hard water deposit build-up that will eventually impede its productivity. That’s why it’s so vital to learn how to clean your espresso machine.

It’s one of those things that we often neglect when we’re cleaning our kitchen – the coffee machine, or, if we’re lucky enough to have one, the espresso machine. But if we’ve paid a fortune for this beautiful piece of equipment that makes our mornings shine in caffeinated bliss, then cleaning our espresso machine on a regular basis is really a small price to pay for its sustained efficiency and longevity. Not to mention the fact that the coffee will taste much better, too. When espresso machines are not cleaned, hard water deposits called “scales” can start to accumulate, and once they take hold they can be very difficult to get rid of. You can easily detect these scales as they will be white or greenish in colour, gradually coating the jets and shower screen holes of your machine. Eventually, these hard water sediments can completely bock up the inner workings altogether, drastically curtailing their life span. How often you should clean your espresso-making equipment depends on how often you use it as well as how “hard” your water is. Hard water is water with a high content of minerals suspended throughout it, and it has a variety of causes, including highly-mineralized ground water or metallic water pipes. Check your espresso machine often to see how frequently scale build-up is happening, and then plan your cleaning schedule accordingly. Your best bet is to clean your machine on a weekly basis by just working it into your regular household cleaning routine. That way, you won’t have to worry about it.

Another reason why it’s important to clean your espresso machine regularly is the overall flavour of the espresso. If you want to always have coffee that tastes as good as it did when you first brought the machine home, then it’s important to flush the system out weekly. In addition to scale build-up, coffee oils can accumulate in your machine as well, affecting the overall flavour of the coffee. If left unchecked, your coffee will eventually develop a very bitter, even rancid, taste – not pleasant at all, and so this is another good reason why you should keep your espresso machine clean between uses. You might think that heavy-duty chemicals are necessary for cleaning away coffee residues and hard water deposits, but this isn’t true. If you commit to cleaning your machine at least once a week, then a simple vinegar solution will do, as well as the hot water that comes through the machine itself. These the are some of the best eco friendly cleaners you can use for all around the house. This very useful article on how to clean your espresso machine comes from the “Yuppy Chef” website, where you can find many more helpful house cleaning tips and tricks for the kitchen.*

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