How to properly care for your coffee pod machine

20 Jan 2022


Wake up to the most delicious cup every day. Keep your coffee pod machine in tip-top condition with these maintenance guidelines

A coffee pod machine is an excellent way to whip up an espresso at the touch of a button. Quick and easy to use, they’re a great investment for any coffee lover. Coffee pod models are one of the easiest coffee machines to clean, making them a great option for a busy lifestyle.

But while they are simple to care for, there are a few important maintenance steps that will make sure you get the best results possible. Read on for our advice on looking after your machine to make sure you get the freshest coffee with every use. 

Hotel Chocolat mug and coffee pods

How long should a coffee pod machine last?

Whether you enjoy a short, strong espresso to wake you up first thing or like to flex your barista skills and make a comforting latte to sip mid-morning, a coffee pod machine produces the perfect coffee base.

Quality varies, of course, but, depending on the make and model, most coffee pod machines should have a lifespan of 5 to 10 years. Most are designed for everyday use — and if you’re anything like us, your machine certainly will see daily action! So with good care (and top quality coffee), you should be able to enjoy irresistible, barista-grade drinks for the best part of a decade.

Why it’s important to clean your coffee pod machine regularly

Brewing coffee like an expert is all about balance. You want to get the perfect ratios of coffee and water, just the right coffee grind, and beautiful extraction. Coffee pod machines, like the Podster, make the process simple and streamlined. By using ready-prepared coffee capsules and placing them in the machine’s chamber, all you have to do is push a button and wait for that heavenly aroma.

However, because balance is so crucial, any change can tip the scales and result in a less-than-ideal coffee. All coffee makers are sensitive to coffee oil buildup, calcium deposits, and ground coffee particles. Leave these to linger and you could end up with an espresso that tastes dull, burnt or bitter. Excess limescale can also impact your machine’s performance, and potentially damage it.

If you have a coffee machine with a built-in milk frother, you need to make sure the milk reservoir and spout stay clean. The last thing you want is sour milk remnants tainting your cappuccino or flat white. Not only will it taste terrible, but spoilt milk could also cause you to feel unwell.

Regular cleaning will make sure your machine is hygienic and in full working order, ready to produce a delicious beverage.

Coffee pod machine and box of coffee capsules

Keeping your coffee pod machine clean

Prevention is better than cure. It’s a good idea to get into a cleaning routine, flushing your coffee pod machine through daily after use to get rid of any ground coffee particles, then tackling limescale once every three months.

To reduce the risk of any spillages, check the drip tray on your machine every day and tip away any liquid. You can usually take this section apart to clean with washing up liquid and warm water once a week. Make sure you wait until the water is cool to avoid scalding yourself.

You can gently wipe the exterior of your coffee pod machine with a microfibre cloth to keep it clean and shiny.

If your machine has a milk reservoir or spout, wash this after each use.

You can get specially-designed coffee cleaning capsules that contain detergent to clean the inside of your machine. They look just like your usual coffee pods and you use them in the same way: pop a capsule in, press the button, and wait for the machine to dispense the liquid. Just don’t drink this one!

What about the coffee grinds?

Most coffee pod machines store used capsules in a chamber. Any keen coffee drinker will tell you: this chamber can fill up quickly! To make sure you don’t spill any pesky coffee grounds, try to keep an eye on how full it is.

Our revolutionary Podcycler is a great accessory that makes cleaning up after making a pod coffee quick and easy. The compact Podcycler eco-presses used pods completely removing all coffee grounds from the capsules. This means you can pop them straight in your household recycling without contaminating other materials. It also separates the coffee grounds into a separate chamber for easy disposal. Did you know you can sprinkle old coffee in the garden to enrich the soil?

You can even clean the Podcycler in the dishwasher.

Three coffee pods and an espresso

Avoiding limescale build-up

Descaling is one of the most important and effective ways to care for your coffee pod machine. Just like a kettle, all coffee machines tend to build up a layer of calcium or limescale. This chalky deposit is completely normal but can diminish the quality of your drinks. 

As well as leading to coffee that tastes bitter, too much limescale can damage your machine or impair its performance. If you notice any leaks or strange noises, or if your machine doesn’t seem to heat up properly, it could need descaling.

You may notice limescale builds more quickly if you live in an area with a hard water supply. To reduce how often you need to descale your coffee pod machine, you could try filtering your water before adding it to the machine and brewing your coffee.

If you use your coffee machine a lot, then descaling regularly can prevent severe limescale buildup. Perhaps you live in a big household, for instance, or have an office coffee pod machine that your coworkers use at different points throughout the day.

Descaling your machine

To descale your coffee pod machine, you’ll need to pick up some descaling solution. Make sure you get some that’s suitable for use with your machine. Some people suggest you can use white vinegar in place of a commercial descaler, however, this may not be as effective and may damage your machine. It’s best to stick with a commercially available descaling solution that you know is safe — always follow the instructions.

Delicious coffee, every time

Coffee pod machines are a handy and effective way to get a barista-grade drink in the comfort of your own home. With these cleaning tips, you can make sure you get the finest cup of coffee every time and extend the life of your machine.

At Hotel Chocolat, we pride ourselves on top-quality ingredients and great flavour. Our Rabot Estate Coffee Pods are sealed in aluminium for freshness and pair perfectly with our innovative Podster coffee machine. Why not explore our full coffee range?