The key to long service life of the coffee machine is its regular cleaning. This fact is not even subject to discussion. If you do not take care of the device, it is unlikely that it will be possible to prevent the possibility of extremely expensive repairs. It will not be an exaggeration to say that this moment enjoys the greatest dislike of users who constantly confuse where to place these or those tablets for cleaning the coffee machine. The duration of cleaning, which takes from thirty minutes to an hour, also causes dissatisfaction, however, this condition is the central point of competent operation of the coffee machine.
Timely cleaning using descaler for the coffee machine significantly extends its service life. Repair of a coffee machine most often consists either in professional cleaning or in the replacement of failed parts, since there is usually nothing to repair in this device. Very expensive parts may be replaced: control board, boiler or infuser. Is it worth bringing the coffee machine to a condition requiring repair, which boils down to just cleaning under service conditions? It is much cheaper and easier to rid it of scale on your own with the help of descaling for a coffee machine.
Instructions for cleaning the coffee machine from coffee oils
It is extremely important to remember that you can not put the tablet in a water tank. Having a small size, it should be thrown only into the compartment for ground coffee, as it leads to the same plate described above. Some coffee machines do not have such a compartment, so the tablet will have to be put inside the brewing unit, directly on the strainer.
2. Decalcification of the coffee machine
The second type of coffee machine cleaning is the descaling process or its decalcification. The decalcification of a coffee machine consists in the elimination of calcium deposits (scale) from heating elements (in different models of devices they can be represented by thermoblocks, heating elements and boilers) of coffee machines using special chemical compositions. The essence of this process is to run a chemical reagent through a water supply system, which provides for short time delays.
Video: Integrated cleaning of the coffee machine, Part 1
During the operation of the coffee machine, the deposition of calcium salts covers its entire hydraulic system (both before and after the heating elements). The highest rate of plaque formation is in compartments exposed to high temperatures. In other parts of the apparatus (even in the water tank) it is much lower, however, scale deposits also occur in them. Such plaque must be removed from time to time with a brush.
How does the decalcification of coffee machines
Almost all coffee machines are equipped with a descaling program (denoted by the terms "descale" or "calc"). When you see a signal on the display (a particular indicator lights up or an inscription on the display) that the hydraulic system needs to be cleaned, you need to prepare a descaler for the coffee machine and allocate about an hour of personal time. To start the decalcification program, either go to the menu or press a certain combination of buttons. Descaling is carried out through a drain or through a tap to supply steam and boiling water.
How does the coffee machine determine that it is time for its maintenance, because in none of the existing models there are sensors that detect the presence of scale? All devices simply count the number of servings of the prepared drink. In other words: if the coffee machine is programmed to descale after 200 cups, then it will give a signal after preparing exactly this amount of coffee. In some devices, at this point, the boiler may remain fairly clean, while in others it may be in critical condition. This point is explained by the fact that the intensity of the appearance of scale depends on the chemical composition and quality of the water used.
Video: Comprehensive cleaning of the coffee machine. Part 2
With respect to scale, it is customary to distinguish between clean, conditionally dirty, hard water. The rate of overgrowth of the heating element with scale is higher, the harder the water poured into the apparatus. How can a user correlate the number of prepared portions with the characteristics of water and the rate of plaque formation? This goal, clearly spelled out in the instructions, is pursued by the function of determining the water hardness, provided in almost every model of coffee machines.
99% of modern coffee machines are equipped with a special test strip designed to determine water hardness. Such a test strip is lowered into the water for a few seconds, then pulled out and after about a minute the number of divisions on the strip that have changed color will show the hardness of the water. The more ticks change color, the greater the hardness of the water. Testimony readings are used to program the coffee machine. That is, the coffee machine is adjusted in such a way that the greater the hardness of the water, the fewer cups of coffee can be prepared, the faster the coffee machine will signal that decalcification is necessary. How the coffee machine is programmed is described in detail in the instructions for each specific model.
In the absence of such a strip, the hardness of the water poured into the coffee machine is determined by visual inspection of the electric kettle. A thick layer of calcium plaque on its heating element indicates a high water hardness. The presence of white or cream flakes inside the kettle is also evidence of a rather significant calcium content. In the absence of a kettle, you can use a pan with dark walls. After boiling water in it and letting it cool, they look at the walls. The formation of white plaque indicates the hardness of the water.
Video: Cleaning, descaling, decalcifying the Saeco Odea Go (Giro) coffee machine
Every day, the coffee machine counts the number of cups of coffee remaining before cleaning, taking into account the water hardness set on it. The plant, as a rule, performs the most common - “hard” - installation. But what if soft water flows from the tap? In this case, it is necessary to establish a real indicator of stiffness so that the decalcifying agent is not wasted. If the manufacturer has set the average hardness indicator, and you have to use very hard water, the heating element may suffer.
Having noticed a signal about the need for decalcification, do not delay cleaning. Some (rather rare) models of coffee machines are simply blocked. All owners of coffee machines should have a small (for a couple of procedures) stock of descaling products for coffee machines. If the coffee machine is not used very intensively, in some cases it can “stretch” up to three months after the alarm appears. And yet, do not overly delay this period so as not to bring the device to an extremely expensive repair.
Descaling instructions for descaling for a coffee machine
When cleaning the coffee machine from scale, the instructions must be strictly observed. It is impossible to interrupt the decalcification program. If the user nevertheless had to do this, the next session will have to start all over again. Since there is no universal decalcification program suitable for all brands of coffee machines, the user must follow each step described in the instructions for a particular machine. In this case, possible errors and problems can be avoided.
Descaler for a coffee machine
Each manufacturer of coffee machines seeks to produce their own descaling products, strongly recommending that consumers use them. It is easy to guess for what purpose this is done. The main disadvantages associated with the use of branded decalcifying agents:
- they are too expensive
- they are hard to find for sale.
On the use of folk remedies
Use folk remedies to clean the coffee machine with great care. Occasionally, you can use a solution of citric acid (10 g per liter of water) by pouring it into a container for clean water and then proceeding according to the instructions for the device. It should be borne in mind that the effectiveness of citric acid is inferior to the action of special agents, but its chemical aggressiveness leaves them far behind. Equally destructive for delicate technology is the effect of extremely popular folk remedies: cola and vinegar.
Is it worth the risk of corroding and corroding aluminum pipes and rubber gaskets (which there are so many in the design of the coffee machine), because their damage is fraught with expensive repairs? All that remains for us is to answer the question of what is best to use: tablets for cleaning the coffee machine or a liquid product? There is no fundamental difference between them. The active ingredients in them are the same, just in tablets they are in compressed form. In terms of each procedure, the cost of tablets allows you to do one more cleaning. It is very important that the tablet is dissolved without residue in the prepared solution, and the water tank is filled to the max mark.