Descaling Fully Automatic Coffee Machines – the Right Way

Descaling Fully Automatic Coffee Machines – the Right Way

Tips for descaling the coffee machine

Fully automatic coffee machines are used several times a day and are therefore heavily used. Whenever coffee is prepared, residues of ground coffee powder, the fats it contains and limescale build up inside the fully automatic coffee machine. Since coffee preparation involves the production of a foodstuff, the device should be cleaned regularly for reasons of hygiene. In particular, the lime contained in the water can also clog the device. You can find out how to properly descale the coffee machine here.

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Why descaling should be taken seriously

Anyone who has ever examined the inner workings of a fully automatic coffee machine will have noticed that insufficient cleaning can lead to heavy calcification in the many hoses, lines and other components of the device. Part of this limescale residue is dissolved each time coffee is prepared and ends up in the coffee with the rest of the ingredients. Many experts advise not to drink water that is too hard. If you drink a lot of coffee, you may ingest a lot of lime.

If the calcification in the device becomes stronger and stronger, it also affects the taste of the favorite drink. Anyone who has ever drunk a chalky coffee will probably still remember the undesirable taste experience with horror. It is all the more important to clean the fully automatic coffee machine at fixed time intervals.

Descaling the coffee machine: Tips for automatic cleaning programs

The choice of the ideal cleaning time depends heavily on the intensity of use of the device and the lime content (or the degree of hardness) of the water. This varies a lot from region to region, so it is worth asking your local water supplier. With modern fully automatic coffee machines, the degree of hardness can be stored in the system. From this value and the intensity of use of the device, the system automatically calculates when it is time for the next cleaning. Some fully automatic machines are able to call up these self-cleaning programs automatically and carry out the cleaning independently.

Further information on the setting options for the degree of hardness can be found in the manual for the coffee machine. There you will also find information on whether there are different cleaning programs and how much time the individual programs take.

Procedure for manually starting the cleaning programs

If the fully automatic machine is a slightly older model, it may not be able to start the cleaning program independently. With most devices, however, the degree of hardness can be stored in the system. Basically, the intervals between two cleanings should be shorter if the water is harder. In addition to the degree of hardness, the intensity of use also plays an important role in determining when to clean.

In the case of very hard water and moderate use, cleaning should be carried out at least once a month (preferably every three weeks). With softer water, cleaning every six to eight weeks is sufficient. The cleaning time should not be pushed too far into the future. Basically, it is better if the machine is cleaned too early rather than too late. This enables the device to be used more gently, which means that the coffee machine can be used for a long time. If the hardness of the water cannot be set on the device, the cleaning times should be noted manually. A separate list is available.

What do you need for descaling?

The manual for the coffee machine contains information on which cleaning agents should be used. When purchasing a new fully automatic coffee machine, a few sample packs are usually included in the scope of delivery as basic equipment.

No other cleaning additives should be used, as these may damage the hoses or other components of the coffee machine. The chemicals for descaling must be topped up in the appropriate tanks in good time so that the device can be cleaned completely and successfully. 

As a rule, the machine has a display that can be used to track the inventory of cleaning agents required. Manufacturers of larger fully automatic coffee machines also occasionally offer a maintenance service, as this service sets them apart from their competitors and they can use this unique selling point when promoting their products as a sales argument.

Fully automatic descaling in the office

Of course, the cleaning program should not be started during the breakfast break, as most employees look forward to a freshly brewed coffee. This is easy to do with a manual start, with an automatic function there are often timers that can be used to set the desired time to start the cleaning program. In companies, machine cleaning should ideally be scheduled for the late afternoon. Usually all employees have already had their coffee break by then. 

To ensure that everything runs smoothly, it is also important that an employee is appointed who is responsible for using the fully automatic coffee machine. He is also the point of contact when it comes to the procurement of coffee beans, milk, sugar and other ingredients. If such an employee is not appointed, the typical free rider behavior occurs, with the result that the machine is cleaned too seldom and only in the event of a malfunction.

Suggested Reading: Descaling Coffee Machines: Consistently Good Coffee Enjoyment

Conclusion: Descale the coffee machine

Fully automatic coffee machines are practical machines that can be used to prepare many coffee creations at the push of a button. To ensure that enjoyment does not fall by the wayside, the fully automatic coffee machines should be cleaned conscientiously and promptly.

  • Lime deposits from the pipes end up with inadequate cleaning in the drink and have a negative effect on the taste.
  • With modern fully automatic coffee machines, cleaning is fully automatic, only the refilling of cleaning substances has to be ensured in each individual case.
  • For many devices, the degree of hardness can be stored in the system.
  • The optimal cleaning time can also be determined manually from the hardness of the water and the intensity of use.
  • regular cleaning is essential for sustainable operation of the machine.