Using your pod machine on a daily basis and want to ensure you're drinking bacteria-free coffee? Looking to extend the life of your machine and keep it running at peak performance for years to come? You may have guessed from our title, that the key to achieving these things is found in regular cleaning, and descaling.
For all that our coffee machine gives us each and every day, often we’re not always so good at providing it with the love and care it needs in return! Even the most devout coffee fanatic might go weeks, months, or even years without properly caring for their machine. Cleaning your coffee machine not only extends its life, but also ensures the quality of the coffee you brew.
Did you know, the water you use affects your machine?
Most people don't realise that the water they use plays quite a key role in the overall "health" of their coffee capsule machine. As rainwater falls, it is naturally "soft". However, as this pure water makes its way through the ground and into our waterways, it picks up minerals like chalk, lime, calcium and magnesium which, in turn, changes this soft water into "hard" water. And it's a fact that these hard water minerals are no friend to our beloved coffee machine!
If you've ever looked inside a kettle after 6-12 months of use, you'll likely see a hard chalky deposit where hard water has evaporated - this is a mineral/limescale build up. Accumulating layers of limescale building up within your machine can prohibit water flow and may result in loss of pressure, drop in temperature, blockages and leakages. This not only creates immediate functionality issues but also reduces the efficiency and lifespan of the appliance.
Water hardness levels depend on a few things, like whether you filter your water, or use a private water supply, and also can simply just differ from state to state. So it's important to keep an eye on how your capsule machine is performing, and care for it accordingly. The process of removing this mineral buildup from the internal mechanics your coffee maker is referred to as descaling. Not unlike servicing your car, descaling is a crucial part of keeping your machine happy, and in optimal working condition.
Can I use vinegar to descale my machine?
Short answer? A firm no. More often than not, the wrong cleaners are used and machine performance continues to decline as a result. Incorrectly formulated detergents and soaps leave residues, odours and deposits that certainly have no place in your next shot of espresso!
There is some public misconception that vinegar and hot water are an adequate descaling solution for pod machines, however this simply isn't true. Vinegar doesn't remove coffee oils the way a professionally formulated coffee machine cleaner does. There is a reason we use soap to wash our hands and detergent when washing dishes - a water-soluble cleansing agent is necessary to break down oils, remove bacteria, and kill germs. Your coffee machine requires the same approach - an acidic solution to break down that stubborn limescale residue.
So what should I use to clean and descale my machine?
We strongly suggest using a descaler that is eco-friendly and doesn't contain any potentially nasty chemicals. If you want a solution that is both thorough and kind to the environment, our product of choice is the CaffeNu Eco Descaler. Not only does CaffeNu safely and effectively descale your machine, it's also phosphate-free. And for a convenient way to remove residue and mould from the brewing chamber itself, we suggest a cleaner with a foaming agent such as CaffeNu Eco Cleaning Capsules, which are great value for money, and work in just 2 minutes.
If you use your machine often and want to ensure that it is always producing the best flavour, we recommend the following cleaning schedule:
|Areas of machine||Cleaning product||Cleaning frequency|
|Milk lines / dairy systems||Detergent and water||Daily!|
|Brewing chamber, washer plate & spout||CaffeNu Cleaning Pods||Monthly|
|Pump, pipes & boiler / thermoblock||CaffeNu Eco Descaler||Every 3 months|
So there you have it! For consistently better machine performance, it's as easy as that! Now you can get back to enjoying great tasting coffee!