If you want to know how to clean a bean-to-cup coffee machine, rest assured that the process is significantly more straightforward than you may expect. It should not take you very long at all, so there’s no reason not to go and do it as soon as you have finished reading this guide.
Now, the applicable approach you will use to clean this coffee machine will vary depending on the type of water you have. That is because there is a difference in the approach depending on whether you need to do some coffee machine descaling or if your water is soft enough that dealing with limescale is not an issue. Keep reading and find out more about the cleaning process behind a bean-to-cup coffee machine.
Why Should You Clean Your Coffee Machine?
First, you may wonder why you should even bother to clean coffee machines as, after all, they are merely dealing with making coffee. Well, there’s a bit more to it than that.
These bean-to-cup coffee machines have many working parts, and ground coffee gets into every corner you can imagine. However, most coffee machines fresh out on the market are designed to include as little maintenance as possible.
The coffee machine’s manual will never state that these espresso machines require no maintenance. That is just not true, so don’t think you have escaped it with your coffee maker.
That aside, let’s move on to cleaning those bean-to-cup machines.
How to Clean Bean-to-Cup Coffee Machines: Essential Tips
Follow your Appliance Instructions
The first tip is to check the instructions for your coffee machine. This is important, as it will go into specifics, and the different cup coffee machines do tend to have their way of being cleaned.
Bean-to-cup coffee machines grind a fresh batch of coffee beans every single time you use them. That is great as it means you get coffee that tastes better, but a bean-to-cup machine requires more maintenance than other coffee machines.
The good news is that you will often find the instructions about an automatic rinsing option: this will depend on the model you own, but a one-touch cleaning cycle will do a lot when it comes to keeping on top of your routine cleaning.
Use the Cleaning Program Regularly
If you want to continue to have delicious coffee, then use the cleaning cycle that comes with your machine if you have this option. This also applies to capsule machines, and using the cleaning programme is also just hygienic.
It will use hot water and force it through the machine. This is the key part of the cleaning process, and it will stop your coffee from blocking the machine over time.
The only thing you need to do here is adding fresh water to the water filter, place a cup on the drip tray, and then let the machines do their job. It is that simple.
Use Descaling Tablets
If you live in an area where limescale is an issue, some machines include a special descaling tablet as part of the cleaning mode. Running this will undoubtedly stop the build-up of limescale in the inner workings of your machine, so run this regularly.
However, keep in mind that some machines also come with warning lights for when you need to tackle limescale build-up, but run these tablets before it gets to that stage. It will make it easier to keep your machine in perfect working order and produce great coffee.
Use Descaling Liquid
We see limescale build-up as a real issue, and aside from tablets, you can also descale using a special descaling liquid. You need to add it to the water in the machine and then select the appropriate descaling mode.
This is important because the machine will not only run to clean, but it will then run through the cycle once more to rinse and make the machine safe to use. You don’t have to worry about it, and your machine will then be in perfect working order once again.
Replace the Water Filters
Your machine may come with a water filter to help tackle the limescale issue. This is something you should look at replacing regularly.
Give the Steam Wand a Good Wipe
The steam wand is essential for making amazing coffee, but it’s something people often overlook when cleaning their coffee machine. This is not good practice as you use it to froth milk, which can be a problem over time.
All sorts of splashes will blast up into the wand, which won’t only block it, but is also the perfect place for bacteria to grow. That means you need to clean the pipe regularly to avoid any problems.
The best approach is to have a damp cloth beside you when you use it. That way, you can simply wipe off any excess milk residue or steam on the outside and inside edge of the wand. However, that’s not all.
It would help if you also looked at blasting some steam through the steam pipe. The heat and pressure will be enough to keep this part of your coffee machine spotless, and you can continue to enjoy that bean-to-cup coffee, knowing it’s free from bacteria.
Clean the Brew Head
The problem with coffee grounds is their ability to get into absolutely everything. The only place they won’t get into is the water tank, but if you don’t clear out the grounds, don’t be surprised when the machine fails.
Your average traditional espresso machine will allow you to remove the brew group, sometimes referred to as the brew unit, to enable you to get to the machine’s inner workings.
Also, your model may come with special tools for cleaning the brewing unit, and this is certainly something we recommend. The brewing unit can become clogged very quickly, and then the warm water passing through will wash in old coffee, and who wants to taste that?
Other Advice on Cleaning Your Coffee Machine
Cleaning a coffee machine should not be difficult, but it is something you should do regularly. But then, there’s no need to clean every single part all the time.
Instead, we recommend doing something along the following lines to make life easier for you.
First, wash out the water tank every time you use it. We aren’t saying you need to descale, but rinse the tank all the time.
Also, check the water filter each week to see if it needs to be changed. And don’t forget to wipe the steam wand after every use. It takes seconds to do, yet it will help keep things clean.
A word about the milk system: if you have this in your model, you should flush this out since you do not want old milk to be sitting there. The instructions will include how to clean the milk system on your model.
Finally, run steam through the entire machine as if you are making a coffee regularly, without involving the actual coffee. This allows the water to be blasted through the pipes. Along with a simple wipe of the water tank or steam wand, that should suffice for general maintenance.
But do remember to follow the instructions for your particular model. You know you will be carrying out the correct maintenance on your coffee machine, and there’s no reason it won’t carry on making great coffee for years.
Maintaining Bean to Cup Coffee Machines
And that is how to clean a bean-to-cup coffee machine. As you will see, cleaning these bean-to-cup machines is not difficult, nor is it too time-consuming. However, cleaning this machine (or any other coffee machine) is a task that should be performed regularly.
Many machines will help you out to a certain extent with detailed instructions on what to do with that model, and we recommend you follow these instructions. This is especially true if you’re dealing with a descaling program or many removable parts.
Overall, cleaning your coffee machine should take relatively little manual effort, but its impact on the quality of your next cup of coffee will make it all worth your while!
If you found this guide helpful, do share it with your friends and family. For more coffee-making tips and tricks, check out our other step-by-step guides.