cleaning, maintaining & storing your espresso machine through covid-19

March 24, 2020 in Australia

Studies from the World Health Organisation suggest that the novel coronavirus COVID-19 may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. This varies from surface to surface, however for stainless steel it is 2-3 days. This means careful, frequent cleaning of all surfaces in your cafe is more important than ever to keep your employees and customers safe – that includes your espresso machine and grinders.


Keep reading to learn specific procedures for cleaning and disinfecting your equipment while you’re open, and properly storing your machine if you need to temporarily close.


machine cleaning & disinfection

While you remain open, we want to take a moment to focus on the cleaning and disinfecting of your machine to help prevent COVID-19 spread.


Normal daily and weekly cleaning of your machine should continue. While part of this daily cleaning includes sanitising food services, some bacteria and viruses are more resistant to normal procedures.


Through the guidance of the statutory authority of Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), cleaning surfaces with soap and water is not the same as disinfecting them. You will need to clean surfaces (remove germs, dirt, and impurities) before you disinfect (use chemicals to kill germs).


For sanitising, current advice is that coronavirus is destroyed by hot water (e.g. 30 minutes in 75°C or by dishwashers operating above 60oC), or by commercial sanitisers normally used (e.g. hypochlorite, hydrogen peroxide, peracetic acid and 70% ethanol). No change in concentration or exposure times is needed. Follow manufacturers’ instructions.


Registered ammonia-based disinfectants are safe to use on stainless steel. Alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol, and most common household disinfectants should be effective.

Use glass cleaner to keep your machine looking clean, but it is not a disinfectant – use commercial sanitisers to disinfect.


NOTE: Bleach can corrode stainless steel. We do not recommend the use of bleach on your espresso machine. Always check to ensure the disinfecting product is not past its expiration date.

Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser.  Mixing will create a deadly gas. 

Understanding the difference between cleaning & sanitising is essential to prevent the spread of COVID-19. For more information please read carefully the FSANZ Cleaning & Sanitising Fact Sheet.

preparing a machine for temporary closure

Unfortunately, it is clear that in the coming weeks (if not already), many cafes will need to shut down for a period of time to prevent the spread of COVID-19. With that in mind, we want to provide you with the following action items to consider when preparing your café or your wholesale customers for temporary closure.


  • Complete all regular cleaning and backflushing before shutdown
  • Performing preventative maintenance – this is best done before shutdown if possible so you can get back up and running quickly. PM documents available on our website
  • Turn off equipment
  • Unplug espresso machine and grinders.
  • With water mains still open, let the machine cool down. When close to room temperature, shut off water to equipment.
  • Drain boilers (requires a trained technician) for predicted closures of 3 months or more.
  • Continue to store your machine in a heated environment if possible
  • Order new water filters and change prior to reopening – water calculator specifications available here.
  • Make a plan to restart equipment prior to reopening café
  • When you’re ready to re-open, follow the start-up procedures in your machine manual.


And don’t worry, we are here for you. Please don’t hesitate to contact us.Our offices will be staffed remotely to answer your questions and concerns.


From all of us at La Marzocco Australia, we wish you well at this time of uncertainty & best of wishes. We will do everything in our power to strengthen our coffee community. Through resilience we will prevail.

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