Most problems associated with coffee machines arise from poor cleaning and servicing of your machines regularly. Simply carrying out a routine clean and checkup will ensure then longevity of the machine and the quality of coffee produced. Below are some cleaning and maintenance tips that may increase the life of your coffee machine.
Group head-- Clean the group head every morning with a teaspoon of group head cleaner by adding it a porta filter and attaching it to the group. For 15 seconds, run the delivery switch, stop for a few seconds and run it again. It is recommended that you do this at least 4 times after which you should remove the porta filter, rinse it and repeat the process again. After you are done, remove the porta filter, rinse it and do this for another 4 cycles. Please note that this process is only for machines that have an E61 group head.
Throughout the day, it helps to repeat this procedure but without the cleaner to ensure maximum efficiency. This process is known as back flushing and should be performed daily. It is important to note that this procedure can only be performed on machines that have a 3-way electro valve as they are the only machines that allow back flushing to the drip tray from the porta filter. It is also recommended that you replace the group head seal and shower screen every year as they are subject to wear.
Grinder--Clean your grinder every day by closing the gate of the hopper, removing it and washing it with warm water and detergent. Dry it off completely by placing it in on towels or a drainer each night. Do not place a damp hopper back on the machine as it will cause the grinding wheels to rust.
Water filter-- If you are in an area with hard water, it is advisable to acquire a water filter to prevent scaling in your machines. De-scale your machine in regular intervals as scale buildup is a costly problem since it reduces the quality of coffee produced, overall efficiency of your machine and causes the eventual breakdown of machine.
To avoid replacing the filters often, you should clean the filters by soaking them in hot water and a detergent overnight to dissolve coffee grain deposits.
Steam head-- The nozzles and steam head require just as much attention as the other parts. You are required to also clean steam nozzles by wiping the steam wand with a warm damp cloth or removing the tip and cleaning with detergent.
Furthermore, ensure that you look out for any unusual behaviors, sounds or lights while your coffee machine is powered on. They may indicate that your machine has a problem and may require professional assessment.