Keeping Your Coffee Maker Clean

May 20, 2021

Often customers say they need a new brewer because their coffee just doesn’t taste right anymore. More often than not, cleaning is the issue! Before you throw out that coffee pot, read this!

Cleaning your coffee equipment – from grinder to carafe – ensures that your coffee is consistently excellent. It also prolongs the life of the equipment you use to make your daily brew. Here’s what you should know when it comes to how and when to clean your coffee equipment.

How and when to clean your coffee equipment

Immediately after brewing your coffee, remove the filter and rinse the brewer. If necessary, use a soft cloth to wipe any ridges or ribs on the inside of the brewer. This removes any coffee oils which collect there.

Immediately after emptying the pot, rinse the Chemex with hot water. If it needs more than a rinse — if, for example, your coffee sat in it for a few hours — use a dishwashing wand to get around the inside of the pot. It’s pretty much a sponge on a stick that you can find in the housewares aisle of any supermarket for about two bucks.

Immediately after each use, empty and clean the filter basket. Gently wipe the underside of the showerhead — the part where the water dribbles down over the coffee. This is one that many people overlook when cleaning a coffeemaker, however it can collect a lot of rancid coffee oil over time.

Follow the manufacturer instructions for descaling your machine. Instead of running a cup of vinegar through the coffeemaker once a month, look for Urnex and Full Circle products meant especially for descaling automatic drip coffee brewers. They cost a little more than vinegar, but you don’t want your machine smelling like pickles — you want to clean it.

Cleaning your espresso machine is a bit more complicated than cleaning a drip coffee brewer. There are a lot more moving parts to consider, so to speak. Empty the portafilter every time you make a shot. While you have the portafilter off, run the pump for a few seconds to rinse away any coffee or grounds from the shower screen. Rinse the portafilter holder. If necessary, push a toothpick through the spouts in the portafilter holder to clear out any blockage. Note: if you have to do that, take it as a hint that you really have to step up your coffee cleanliness game!

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions with regards to cleaning the group head and shower screen. For many espresso machines, this means backflushing with a dedicated cleaning product.

  • Follow the manufacturer instructions for descaling your machine regularly.
  • Wipe down the steam wand to remove any milk residue.
  • Empty the drip tray and wipe it out regularly.

After every use, wash the carafe and brewer. Do not forget to clean any other parts that come into contact with the coffee.

After every use, rinse under running water. If needed, use a soft brush to dislodge any coffee grounds or coffee residue.

It only takes a few extra minutes to make sure that your equipment is clean after using it, but investing those few minutes will guarantee that all you taste in your cup is that perfectly brewed cup of coffee.

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