Cleaning your coffee machine regularly is necessary to always get a great-tasting cup of coffee every time. You use it every day and unlike the coffee drip machines, it doesn’t have a carafe that regularly sees a good wash.
The thing with coffee pod machines is that it isn’t clear what can be cleaned apart from the exterior. You also have to clean out the water tank as well as the area where the pod is inserted. There are three main areas that you need to clean on the regular:
1 Clean the machine itself.
The machine can get a layer of dust if you don’t wipe it down every week. The machine doesn’t need to move to get the job done, so it is in danger of being neglected. It’s simple too: Just grab a clean dry rag and wipe down the exterior. If there are any coffee stains or water spots, a damp wipe should be enough to remove these.
2 Clean out the pod slot and drip tray.
The drip tray is easy to clean. This should be removable and no problem to clean daily. The pod slot or capsule holder however is much trickier to clean, especially if it’s not removable. The pod slot will need a brush to clean it properly. A brush will make the tiny, hard-to-reach spots easier to clean and clear out any grounds that might have fallen out of the capsule and into the machine. If necessary, unplug the machine and turn the machine over to tap out grounds out.
3 Descale the water tank.
Descaling is common in many appliances that use water regularly. You may see a whitish residue coating the inside of your water kettle, a pot, or even the faucet and showerheads! This is limescale and it’s perfectly normal for this to build up in anything that regularly comes into contact with water.
What is “descaling”?
For the coffee machine, the limescale is usually found in the water tank and the pipes or tubes that run water from it through the machine. You need to regularly descale so that the deposits can be removed easily.
There are a few reasons and symptoms of a coffee machine that need to be descaled:
- 1 The coffee drips from the machine more slowly.
- 2 The coffee tastes a little burnt or has a metallic taste.
- 3 The machine produces coffee that’s not as hot as it usually is.
- 4 The machine makes weird noises when running.
If any of these is a symptom that your coffee pod machine is experiencing, you need to descale your machine. There are descalers that you can purchase online or from your machine’s manufacturer but there’s an easy DIY version using vinegar, too, that can do the job easily. Remember to check with your coffee pod machine manufacturer if descaling with vinegar will void your warranty so you can reserve the descaler for the heavy-duty cleaning.
Here’s how to do it using vinegar:
- 1 Add half water and half vinegar to the water tank or reservoir. (Leave the pod slot empty.)
- 2 Turn on the machine and let it run several cycles until the water tank is almost empty. (Keep an eye on it when the water tank runs low to avoid running the machine on empty.)
- 3 Refill the water tank with water and run the cycles again to wash out the vinegar. (You may need to do this a second time to completely drain out the vinegar from your machine.)
Make yourself a cup of coffee and taste the difference! You may be more encouraged to remember to do these cleaning steps the next time you find your coffee is not quite right.