Cleaning and descaling the automatic coffee machine

How to clean an automatic coffee machine

Virtually every automatic coffee machine consists of similar components. We can simply divide them into those that are visible and those that are inside the coffee machine. Let's assume that from the outside, the coffee maker is wiped with a clean damp cloth from time to time, as it doesn't need much more. The inside is more complicated, but I know you can do it.

Of course, it is best to follow the manual for the particular model of coffee maker. Nevertheless, I will show you a procedure that applies in general to practically all machines, describing in turn the different parts of the coffee machine, how to care for them and how often.

The cleaning procedure for an automatic coffee machine

If we are going to talk about the basic regular cleaning of an automatic coffee machine, it will mainly concern the following components:

  1. The drip tray
  2. The sediment tray
  3. Water tank
  4. Filter
  5. Brewing unit
  6. Milky way

Thedrip tray should be emptied every day. It is also a good idea to wash it with warm water every few days and let it drain. Each time the machine is switched on and off, the machine cleans itself ("rinsing") with hot water, but this also contains coffee residues and oils from previous preparations. Over time, the drip tray can become unpleasantly smelly.

It is a good idea to empty and wash thesediment tray, where the machine automatically removes the coffee grounds after each brew, daily, as well as the drip tray. There is no need to wait until you are prompted to empty it. If you do so after using the machine for a few days, you may be very unpleasantly surprised by mould inside.

Thewater reservoir should be washed with a sponge under warm water about once a week. If you use a machine with a water filter, we recommend that you remove or unscrew the filter to avoid damage.

The waterfilter does not need to be cleaned. If your old one runs out, which the coffee maker should tell you on its display, it will log itself in for a new one.

Replacement is generally not recommended to be postponed, as an outdated filter not only fails to perform its function, but also can breed bacteria. Operating without a filter can in turn cause an earlier need for descaling.

For example, Nivona coffee machines call for a new filter after filtering about 50l of water. You then need to remove the water reservoir, pour out the remaining contents and unscrew the filter using the other end of the dosing spoon that came with the machine. You insert the new filter in the same way, tighten it clockwise very slightly(!) and fill the water reservoir and the machine will flush the filter after your confirmation.

Thebrewing/steaming unit is one of the most important parts of your coffee maker, this is where itall happens. If you brew your coffee daily, it is a good idea to remove the steaming unit once a week and wash the whole thing with warm water and dry it. In the meantime, you can use a damp cloth to clean the area to put it back in once it's dry.

Rinse themilk passages of your machine at least once a day with warm water, but preferably immediately after preparing the beverage. This also applies to the frother (nozzle, cappuccinator). Once a week, use a suitable programme ("milk system cleaning") and a milk duct cleaner. Of course, all this only applies if you use the milk system and prepare, for example, a cappuccino.

If the coffee machine asks you to clean or descale it, we recommend that you do so as soon as possible. If you postpone maintenance for a longer period of time, your machine may break down and you may not be covered under warranty.

If you do not know how to choose the right cleaning products, we recommend purchasing a kit that contains everything you need to perfectly maintain your coffee machine.

Descaling the coffee machine

The following instructions apply to Nivona NICR 759, 769, 779 and 789 coffee machines. The procedure for the other models will be very similar. However, if you are unsure of the procedure, we recommend using the relevant manual.

If the display prompts "Please decalcify system", there is nothing to wait for and you need to get to work:

Nivona NICR 759 automatic coffee machine
  1. Use theright rotary pushbutton to select Maintenance and then Unclog System.
  2. Empty the drip tray and sediment tray and put them back in place.
  3. Remove the filter from the water tank, fill it with water to the 0.5L mark and then add the descaler.
  4. Connect one end of the hose to the height-adjustable outlet, the other to the right-hand part of the drip tray, place a sufficiently large container under the outlet and press the right-hand control.
  5. The appliance will start the descaling process and when it is complete the display will show Empty bowls.
  6. Empty the container or drip tray and the sediment tray.
  7. Rinse the water tank with clean water, insert the filter and fill it with water.
  8. Reconnect one end of the hose to the height-adjustable outlet, the other to the right-hand part of the drip tray, place a sufficiently large container under the outlet and press the right-hand control.
  9. Thedisplay will show Please flush and then press the right hand control.
  10. After approximately three minutes, the display will showEmpty bowls. Empty the bowl or drip tray and sediment tray, put them back in place and your machine will be ready to use again once it has warmed up.

Descaling your DeLonghi coffee machine

Manuals for descaling and maintenance of DeLonghi coffee machines can be found here:

Nespresso machines and descaling

If you have a Nespresso machine at home, take a look here:

Cleaning a Philips coffee machine

Find out how to clean your Philips coffee machine on this page (click on a specific type and search for "Get support for this product":

TIP: If your coffee maker does not have its own descaling program, mix the appropriate amount of the manufacturer's recommended or universal descaler, pour it into the water reservoir and switch on the coffee maker. Allow some of the water to run out and turn off the coffee maker. Leave the solution inside the machine for at least 30 minutes and then allow the rest of the water to flow through. It is recommended to collect the water in a larger container. A drip tray may not be sufficient. Next, pour a litre of clean water into the water reservoir and let it all flow through the coffee machine.

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