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How do you use cleaning tablets?

How do you use cleaning tablets?
Category: Maintenance and Care
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A quick guide to cleaning your super automatic espresso machine coffee maker.

Nothing could be easier than to clean a machine that takes cleaning tablets. Every manufacturer has something a little different so make sure to read your user manual and follow the steps listed. (If you have lost your manual, you might be able to find it on our site, under the product category "User Manuals". )

It is important to use the manufacturer-recommended tablets.  This is because the cleaning and rinsing cycles on your machine are manufacturer programmed for specific lengths of time according to how long it will take the tablet to dissolve. If you put in a tablet that is larger than the manufacturer-recommended tablet, it will take longer to dissolve. But the machine won't know that it hasn't dissolved yet and so will stop the cleaning cycle too early. And you will be left with bits of tablet in your coffee.  Not very appetizing, I would say. A too-large tablet may also get jammed inside a compartment that might be too small for it.  Stay on the safe side.

Note also that cleaning is not the same thing as descaling. Descaling refers to removing mineral deposits that are left inside your heating system from the water and cleaning refers to the removal of coffee deposits from the brewing lines. You must do both things to maintain your machine.

Now that the cautions have been stated, here is a breakdown of the general steps for using the cleaning tablets:

1. Using the digital menu (or your machine's specific combination of buttons, if there isn't one), start the cleaning cycle.
2. When prompted, drop a cleaning tablet into the bypass compartment (where you would put pre-ground coffee when you want to bypass your grinder).
3. Put a large container under the spout to catch the liquid and keep an eye on it so you can empty it before it overflows.
4. If prompted, refill the water tank and initiate the rinsing cycle.
5. Make an espresso or two to re-season the machine and then you're done.

Most cleaning cycles only take 10 - 15 minutes to complete.

Note that the steps may be slightly different on your machine.

Note also that if your machine does not have a bypass compartment, it might not be able to take the tablets.  In some cases, you must remove the brew unit and rinse it manually in the sink instead.

Check out our chart to determine what cleaning supplies your machine needs: http://www.espressoplanet.com/espresso-coffee-machine/cleaning_supplies.html

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