La Marzocco shares how to clean, maintain, and store an espresso machine during Covid-19

La Marzocco has shared specific procedures to clean and disinfect equipment while cafés remain open, and properly store machines if a temporarily close is required.

The espresso machine manufacturer says careful and frequent cleaning of all surfaces in a café is more important than ever to keep employees and customers safe. This includes espresso machines and grinders.

Machine cleaning and disinfection
La Marzocco says normal daily and weekly cleaning of machines should continue. However, 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, cleaning surfaces with soap and water is not the same as disinfecting them.

Surfaces should be cleaned to remove germs, dirt, and impurities before using chemicals to kill germs.

For sanitising, La Marzocco says current advice is that hot water – 30 minutes at 75°C or by dishwashers operating above 60oC – or commercial sanitisers will destroy coronavirus. Follow manufacturers’ instructions and no change in concentration or exposure times is needed.

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

Glass cleaner can keep a machine looking clean, but it is not a disinfectant. Commercial sanitisers should be used to disinfect it instead. Always check to ensure the disinfecting product is not past its expiration date.

Bleach can corrode stainless steel. La Marzocco does not recommend the use of bleach on an espresso machine. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleaner as  this can create a deadly gas.

More information on the difference between cleaning and sanitising can be viewed HERE.

Preparing a machine for temporary closure
Unfortunately, La Marzocco says in the coming weeks – if not already – many cafés will need to shut down for a period of time to prevent the spread of Covid-19. With that in mind, La Marzocco suggests the following action items to consider when preparing a café or wholesale customers for temporary closure.

  • Complete all regular cleaning and backflushing before shutdown.
  • Performing preventative maintenance – this is best done before shutdown if possible to get back up and running quickly. More information is available HERE.
  • 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 three months or more.
  • Continue to store the machine in a heated environment if possible
  • Order new water filters and change prior to reopening. Water calculator specifications are available HERE.
  • Make a plan to restart equipment prior to reopening a café.
  • When ready to re-open, follow the start-up procedures in the machine manual.

For more information, visit

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