Cleaning a Commercial Coffee Machine is EASY!
Cleaning of your commercial coffee machine is probably the most important daily task you can perform. Neglecting to clean your coffee machine on a regular basis could lead to the following:
- Your coffee is going to start tasting nasty! This is because used coffee grounds will work their way into the machine and like any perishable food stuff surrounded by heat, it will quickly start to alter the taste of your coffee. This is something that will get customers turning on their heels and heading to the nearest Costa!
- It could lead to a breakdown! The inner workings of a coffee machine contain many small pipes that channel the hot water to your cup. These can become blocked over time and could lead to damage due to the pressurised water trying to find an escape. Repairing a commercial coffee machine is expensive and as the saying goes, prevention is better than a cure.
Follow these easy steps and you will have the cleanest coffee machine in all the land, and your customers will keep coming back time and time again.
1. Clean the visible parts of the group head
This removes much of the coffee grounds from the shower head and seals. It will also agitate the coffee grounds making them easier to remove when espresso cleaner is used. There are many group head cleaning brushes on the market and generally there isn’t much between them in price and quality.
Whilst you are at it, hit the free flow water button and give the group handle a good scrub at the same time.
There we have it. You’ve cleaned most of the heavily caked on coffee grounds and now we are ready to back-flush your commercial coffee machine using some espresso cleaner. Back-flush you say!? We’ll get to that now…
2. Back-flushing the machine using espresso cleaner.
Back-flushing is important because it basically forces water and cleaner back up into the machine (don’t worry, it won’t damage it) to remove any residue and prevent any forms of build up. This will keep your espresso machine purring like a kitten and kicking out a damn good espresso!
To back-flush your commercial coffee machine you will need to put a blind filter in the filter basket (pictured below) and add the recommended dosage of espresso cleaner to this. A blind filter is the name given to a filter that has no holes –the water has nowhere to escape so it will ‘back-flush’ back into the machine.
Next you want to fit the group handle as normal and press the free flow water button. Generally you will count to ten with the button pressed then stop it for 10 seconds. You need to repeat this process between 3 and 5 times to get a thorough clean. When you have finished take and the group handle and it will look something like this –
For good measure we like to then repeat the process a few times (this time without cleaner) just until the water runs clear. You can give yourself a approving nod at the thought you’ve done the best job you can.
3. Clean the steam wand(s)
You will find that over the course of the day your steam wand can become a stalactite of baked on milk, but as you wipe it clean after each use and purge the steam wand this shouldn’t be the case… If your steam wand resembles something like the below pay special attention to the next point!
To clean the steam wand you will need some milk cleaner. Dilute a small amount of the cleaner with some water onto a jug (an old foaming jug is the best). Then steam the solution like you would if you were steaming milk. Wipe clean, repeat a few times and hey presto, you’ll have a steam wand fit for the queen – or at least your fussiest customer.
4. If you really want to go for the deep clean…
Over the course of the day your steam wand can become a stalactite of baked on milk. (but as you wipe it clean after each use and purge the steam wand this shouldn’t be the case) If your steam wand resembles something like the below pay special attention to the next point!
After a period of time you will want to give your group handles a really good clean and they will start to look something like –
To do this simply submerge the group handles in some diluted espresso cleaner and soak overnight. Any large container big enough to submerge them will be fine.
Rinse them off the following day and use some old ground coffee from the day before to ‘season’ the machine. This will warm the machine up the day. We all know the first pancake is always the worst!
I hope you have found this article useful and please feel free to add any comments below.