cleaning equipment - keeping stainless espresso machines looking good

It is important to keep espresso machines and grinders clean because it has a large impact on taste.  If you have rancid coffee oils in your group, for example, you have to assume that the coffee will taste bad.  A good test is to pull water directly out of the group and see if you would want to drink it without any coffee added in it.  If the water does not taste good then it is foolish to expect to create great espresso because it is hard enough to make great espresso when you are not trying to mask bad flavors already there.

One form of cleaning that people are better at, but that is in fact less important is just keeping the machine looking pretty superficially on the outside.  Not keeping it clean can indeed cause problems such as rust if you let water sit on the machine or slip into hidden nooks and crannies so keeping the shell clean is not totally superficial.

What are good strategies for some of these stunning stainless machines?  A damp cloth works well most of the time.  Some love cotton and others love microfiber.  Both can work well.  If you use the cloth while the machine is hot, you have to be more careful so you do not burn yourself, but the water sometimes steams giving you a form of steam cleaning.  

Speaking of steam cleaning many like to use the steam wand to spray steam onto the cloth instead of water to help clean the machine.

For super stubborn ctains that are too hard to get off with water I have found magic erasers to work really well.  They can get off stubborn grime that is too hard to get off with just water.  They are indeed well named.  As always though you should try any cleaning product in a subtle place to make sure it does not have adverse effects.  (The erasers have never had one on my machines).

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