Commercial coffee machines are an incredibly important asset to any coffee-serving establishment and therefore it’s imperative they are looked after correctly. A coffee machine that constantly breaks down is a cost to your business and will have a negative effect on your profits. Preventative maintenance is key to ensuring the smooth operation of your equipment and one of the best methods of preventative maintenance is thorough cleaning.
All professional bean to cup coffee machines will have cleaning procedures to follow. Powdered milk machines usually involve a daily clean and a weekly clean however some machines even request a clean after a certain amount of drinks. The daily clean is typically a short process taking around 5 minutes. This involves mixer bowl flushes, brewer rinse, emptying and cleaning of waste buckets and drip trays to ensure best possible hygiene standards. The weekly clean is a slightly longer process taking anywhere between 10-15 minutes and will always involve a full brewer clean. This however is usually as simple as placing a cleaning tablet into the machine and pressing a button. The machine will then run the brewer clean programme, alerting you once completed. It is also advised that certain parts are removed from the machine at the end of each week, mixer bowls, drip trays, waste buckets, which should all be cleaned thoroughly before being replaced.
Fresh milk machines generally only require a daily clean however as fresh milk has more hygiene issues than powdered, the cleaning process takes a little longer. The parts of the machine that come into contact with milk must be fully sterilised to meet good hygiene practices and the cleaning cycle can take anywhere up to 30 minutes.
Traditional espresso machines typically only require a daily clean, involving cleaning and flushing of the brew group heads. Again, as with bean to cup machines, the process is usually automated and therefore simple to perform. General cleaning is also required daily such as emptying and cleaning the drip tray, unless of course the machine is connected to mains drains, and wiping machine surfaces. Cleaning of the steam wands will also be required at the end of each day; these should also be wiped and purged after each use throughout the day to prevent bacteria and blockages.
Machines are usually supplied with step by step cleaning instructions, which should be followed carefully. Many machine suppliers will also have their own range of specialist cleaning materials. Coffee machine cleaning products are widely available on the internet, however it is worth bearing in mind that the ones offered by your supplier will have been specifically designed for use with your equipment. Using cleaning products not specified by the manufacturer may invalidate your warranty.