Is your coffee not tasting like it should? Perhaps it is brewing at a snail's pace. Well, it (probably) doesn't mean you need to toss it out. It’s just crying out for a good stiff cleaning.But how? Why? Over time, the oils from the coffee build up in the machine's parts. This can affect the machine’s performance as well as affect the flavor of your brews. Limescale can also build up and slow the brewing process up or make the coffee tepid. The other big incentive to get cleaning? Coffee machines can be a breeding ground for bacteria thanks to the warm damp environment inside. There’s no getting away from it. Cleaning all the removable parts each time you make coffee is a must-do to keep your brews tasty – and to avoid that build up of bacteria we mentioned. If the instructions say so, you can put the parts in the dishwasher, otherwise wash up by hand. Wipe the outside of the machine, too, and the warming plate. Let all the parts dry before you put the coffee machine back together – the damp is a great breeding ground for germs.HOW TO CLEAN A COFFEE MACHINE WITH A DESCALER – OR VINEGARYou’ll either need a specialist coffee machine descaler – we really rate HG's Descaler for Espresso and Pod Coffee Pod Machines. Or, if the manufacturer doesn’t say it’ll invalidate the warranty, vinegar is your go-to. Use a 50:50 vinegar and water solution in the reservoir and run a brewing cycle. If you’ve neglected this task for a while and your machine is particularly clogged up with limescale, you can pause the cycle half way through and leave it for half an hour before setting it going again.Run two cycles with plain water afterwards to give the machine a thorough rinse. (Important) Unless you're into vinegar-tasting coffee? Yuck.