To extend your espresso machine’s lifespan and keep it in tip-top working condition, you want to ABC: Always Be Cleaning. By “always”, we mean after every use—reasonable for a loved kitchen appliance, we hope!
After brewing your cup of delicious espresso, the more immediately you clean the used parts of your coffee machine, the easier the cleaning task becomes. Over time, any excess coffee or milk will dry up as stains and require more elbow grease before they come off ultimately.
As with all appliances, besides cleaning them regularly, using the proper method is also very important to prevent spoilage. Here are eight tricks to keep your coffee machine in tip-top condition so that they not only work longer but work better too.
1. Remove Used Coffee Grounds Immediately
Once the machine has brewed your cup of espresso, empty the used coffee grounds from the machine or the portafilter immediately. Leaving them in for a long time may result in the coffee grounds or their natural oils sticking, making it harder to clean your machine. Worse, the oils attached to the machine will turn sour and rancid, leaving you with unfavourable espresso.
If your machine uses a portafilter, you can get the De’Longhi Stainless Steel Coffee Knock Box to keep your countertop clean and mess-free. Simply knock the portafilter against the horizontal bar and let the used coffee grounds fall into the box.
2. Always Wipe Down the Steam Wand After Every Use
Milk makes a fantastic addition to espresso, but any spilt or splatters of milk left unattended will eventually smell bad and promote the growth of bacteria.
This is why you should wipe down your coffee machine’s milk frother or steam wand after every use. Use a clean cloth and take care not to scald yourself.
For a thorough clean of your milk frother, you can also use the De’Longhi Milk Clean Solution, explicitly designed to help you remove any milk deposits in the milk carafe and steam tubes. This cleaner is suitable for all pump espresso machine’s milk frother nozzles and fully automatic coffee machines’ LatteCrema systems.
3. Soak and Clean Removable Coffee Maker Parts Once per Week
If you’ve used your coffee machine at least once this week, it’s good to set aside time to soak and clean all the removable parts of the machine on a less hectic day.
You can do a deeper clean and pay attention to less accessible and narrow crevices in your machine. Use a mixture of hot water and espresso machine detergent.
Doing this helps remove any unwanted build-ups inside your machine, which can negatively affect the taste of your espresso. After carefully choosing your coffee beans, it would be a waste to let that happen!
Remember to let the parts dry completely before assembling them back.
4. Use a Specialised Cleaning Brush or a Toothbrush to Access Tricky Areas
If your coffee machine comes with a cleaning brush, use it frequently to clean crevices. Otherwise, you can also use an old toothbrush or purchase special cleaning brushes to do the trick.
Don’t neglect hard-to-reach areas in your machine because, over time, any dirt and build-ups within them may undermine the performance of your appliance.
You should also stand by a toothpick or needle to clear any small holes in the machine parts. With the right tools readily available, deep cleaning your coffee machine will be a breeze!
5. Use Canned Air to Clean Dust
Canned air, which is readily available in major supermarkets or general hardware stores, comes in handy in blowing away dust stuck in narrow crevices on the exterior of your machine.
Once in a while, upkeep your machine by wiping or blowing away dust, especially on the sides that are usually out of sight.
6. Have a Regular Descaling Schedule
Other than coffee grounds and milk, you also need to remember that water can leave hard limescale deposits in your machine over time.
This can clog up the internal components, increase electrical power consumption, and even lead to your coffee machine malfunction. It can also affect the optimal brewing temperature and cause your coffee to taste unpleasant.
Have we convinced you of the importance of descaling yet? Ideally, you should descale every 3–4 months, or sooner if your machine alerts you that it needs to be descaled. To help you descale your coffee machine and keep your brew fresh and intense, use the De’Longhi EcoDecalk Coffee Machine Descaler.
However, if you don’t have it on hand but need to descale your machine urgently, you can also use citric acid instead.
Fill up the reservoir with one tablespoon of citric acid for every two cups of water. Then, “flush” the machine with water at least twice to remove residue.
We recommend citric acid over vinegar as vinegar contains large amounts of acetic acid, an aggressive chemical substance that can be corrosive. Moreover, the vinegar smell and taste will linger if not rinsed off properly.
7. Address severe damages immediately.
Wear and tear do happen, so address it immediately if your machine suffers damage. For instance, replace cracked coffee pots that are no longer safe to use or burned power cords that can be a fire hazard.
If you find that your De’longhi machine doesn’t perform the way it used to, you can also arrange for it to be serviced. This helps extend the lifespan of your machine.
You can contact our friendly customer care advisors at De’Longhi Group Customer Care for assistance and product servicing.
8. Let Your Machine’s Exterior Shine
Finally, don’t forget to show the exterior of your machine some love by giving it a shine now and then.
Use a damp microfiber cloth with a blob of soap to maintain the beautiful shiny look of your coffee machine. Polish your coffee machine regularly, as once the surface turns dull, it may require more effort to get it looking shiny and good as new again.
A Well-Maintained Machine Brews Better Coffee
Maintaining your coffee machine should not be a chore with the right tools and tips. Invest a little bit of time regularly cleaning and maintaining your coffee machine. You’ll be rewarded with better-tasting coffee, optimal performance and a shiny, glossy machine that’ll elevate the aesthetics of your home.
Speaking of glossy finishes, if you’re looking for a high-performance statement pump espresso machine, check out our new Dedica Metallics series. Create barista-style Italian coffee with perfect latte art in the comfort of your own home. Dedica Metallica brews a wide range of coffee and milk-based beverages using your favourite coffee ground blend or pod.