Cleaning routine and frequency?

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MightyBandit
Posts: 12
Joined: 3 years ago

#1: Post by MightyBandit »

How often does everyone here do each "type" of cleaning? I've been following what's recommended in my machine's manual, but I'm curious to see what everyone does.

I backflush after each shot, but how often does everyone backflush with cleaner (using Cafiza here), take the gasket and screen off to clean, soak the handle and baskets, etc.

Is it possible to over clean? Interesting concept since everyone here does different volumes which I imagine would result in different needs to clean the machine.

Bluenoser
Posts: 1431
Joined: 6 years ago

#2: Post by Bluenoser »

I don't think you need to backflush on each shot.. I backflush at the end of each day's use..

I use a chemical clean (cafiza) about once every 2-3 months.. (I do about 2 shots a day.. about 10 shots a week).. I think many people have a different view on how often to do this.

You didn't mention what machine you have.. If you have an E61 with lever, most find that the chemical clean will dry out the lube from the lever. It gets stiff and squeaky).. and many take the lever apart and apply some food grade lube on the 2 brass 'pins' on which it rests, which will make it nice and smooth. I use Dow MolyKote 111..

Now it is a bit controversial.. but I now actually backflush with a few drops of olive oil (after cleaning) to avoid disassembling the lever.. but most people think that will lead to some bad taste after a while.. I haven't noticed any.. Eventually the coffee oils will get in there and help lube the lever.

You'll also want to empty and refill the steam boiler every 1-3 months.. As the minerals in the steam boiler water get more concentrated and can produce scale more readily.

Use really good "scale-free' water and you won't have to descale your machine.. hopefully forever..

icantroast
Posts: 187
Joined: 10 years ago

#3: Post by icantroast »

Is a ten second backflush with water at the end of each day enough or do I have to do multiple water backflushes a day?

Daymat
Posts: 11
Joined: 3 years ago

#4: Post by Daymat »

I back flush each day , and add cleaner after every bag of beans . I always decant the back flush liquid (initially always a rancid dirty water look !) into a clear glass and continue the back flush routine until the water is clear .

Bluenoser
Posts: 1431
Joined: 6 years ago

#5: Post by Bluenoser »

icantroast wrote:Is a ten second backflush with water at the end of each day enough or do I have to do multiple water backflushes a day?
Yes.. 10-15 seconds.. I wait until my gauge shows 9 bar and wait about 5-7 seconds, then stop. After the first shot, I do about a 1-2 second "screen clean" just before next shot (if doing successive shots). This removes old coffee from the screen from previous shot.

Nunas
Supporter ♡
Posts: 3628
Joined: 9 years ago

#6: Post by Nunas »

I water backflush every time I shut down the machine (I don't leave iton switched all day). I quickly rinse out the PF & basket after every shot and double rinse before shutting down the machine. I pull a short screen cleaning/preheat shot before every espresso shot. I pull out the reservoir about every two to three weeks and treat it with a mild bleach solution followed by a rinse. Monthly, I clean up the drip tray, drop the shower screen, clean the PF and any baskets I've used. I use Cafiza for the cleaning and grease the gasket when reassembling. Monthly, I let the hot water out of the service boiler via the hot water wand (switch off the machine, dump water, shut down the machine); it refills on the next switching cold-on cycle. About every six months or so, I pull the case off and have a quick look for any evidence of bad joints, leaks and so on (never found any). I rarely do a chem backflush anymore (I used to do it monthly, and that was way too often). I only grease the e61 if things sound a bit rough (which is hardly ever because of not using Cafiza backflushes).

ZX2BY2U
Posts: 19
Joined: 3 years ago

#7: Post by ZX2BY2U »

Hopefully no one will mind if I toss another cleaning question in with this thread. What do you guys use to clean or polish the stainless steel exterior of your machine?

Snoroqc
Posts: 75
Joined: 5 years ago

#8: Post by Snoroqc »

I don't have a water filtration system, I often empty the steam boiler to prevent scale (plumb in/out). Is it a good practice ?

Nunas
Supporter ♡
Posts: 3628
Joined: 9 years ago

#9: Post by Nunas replying to Snoroqc »

Yes!

icantroast
Posts: 187
Joined: 10 years ago

#10: Post by icantroast replying to Nunas »

If I'm using non scaling water should I still do this? I use ro water with potassium bicarbonate.