Covid-19: Machine Maintenance and Sanitary Guidelines.


Information for the day-to-day management of machines.

1. How does the new Coronavirus spread?

As far as has been disclosed by the official scientific bodies to date, we know that Coronavirus is a respiratory virus that spreads mainly through exposure to the breath droplets of infected people, for example when they sneeze, cough or blow their noses. It is therefore important to adopt the hygiene measures suggested by Istituto Superiore di Sanità** (ISS), such as sneezing or coughing into a handkerchief, or into a flexed elbow. Used tissues should be disposed of in a closed basket immediately after use and it is vital to wash one’s hands frequently, with soap and water or alcoholic solutions. The hygiene rules are all the more important for operators who manage cleaning and maintenance operations on installed equipment.

2. What are the rules for hand disinfection / washing?

To date, the whole scientific community agrees that hand washing and disinfection are the keys to preventing infection. Operators working on the machines must wash their hands often and thoroughly with soap and water, for at least 60 seconds. If soap and water are not available, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (with an alcohol concentration of at least 70%), can be used. However, we recommend the use of disposable gloves and a protective mask during filling and cleaning operations. Gloves must be replaced before starting work on a new machine.

3. Cleaning of the external surfaces of the equipment.

Preliminary information suggests that the virus may survive for a few hours on surfaces even if the residence time in relation to the various surface materials is still being studied.

The use of simple disinfectants, for example disinfectants containing 70% alcohol (ethanol) or 0.1% chlorine-based (bleach), kill the virus by eradicating its ability to infect people. For machines with a Touch screen, it is recommended to use only isopropyl alcohol (with an alcohol percentage of at least 70%) and avoid other detergents that could damage the screen.

Always remember to disinfect the objects you use frequently, such as your mobile phone, earphones or microphone and PDA with a rag moistened with alcohol-based products or bleach. Adhere at all times to the instructions provided by the manufacturer. Source: I.S.S and W.H.O. (the Istituto Superiore di Sanità - public institution and leading technical-scientific body of the Italian National Health - and the World Health Organisation).

It is recommended to clean the external parts of appliances with cloths soaked in the detergents indicated above. It is vital to focus on the interface parts of a machine, such as touch screens, selection panels, delivery areas, cup translators, change-giver buttons and areas for inserting coins / accepting banknotes or credit cards.

4. Cleaning of the internal components of the equipment.

It is preferable to use the washing cycles of brewers / mixers / milk circuits machine components. If you have to work on internal parts, make sure to wear new disposable gloves to remove the parts and to rinse them thoroughly, under running water, after cleaning them using rags soaked with the detergents indicated in point 3.

5. Recommendations for owners of the equipment.

It is important that the owner of the machine clearly communicates to the user the requirements of W.H.O regarding health safety, namely:

  • distance between users waiting to use the equipment (at least 1 meter away from each user).
  • use of gloves and protective masks to protect one's own safety and that of others.
  • Leave immediately the area after the withdrawal of the drink or product and consume in another area. .

The most modern vending machines are equipped with touch screens, whose screens can be used to communicate how to use the vending machine and the safety rules. For other machines it is possible to use the appropriate spaces located in the payments area for pre-printed labels or the lower and upper photographic panels of the machine. Instead, with the agreement of the owners of the location, social distancing floor signs can be applied on the floor.

Information for restarting the machine (after temporary shutdown)

1. Disconnect the machine from the electrical and hydraulic power supply.

2. Open the water inlet tap previously disconnected from the machine and slide 2/3 liters of water to eliminate stagnant water in the pipe (if there is a water filter refer to the manufacturer's instructions)

3. If the machine is self-supplied, empty the water tanks and rinse abundantly.

4. Manually empty the not pressurized boilers.

5. Reconnect the machine to the mains water and, with the door open, insert the yellow key. Once the machine has been switched on, force the installation of the boiler(s) from the programming menu**

6. Wait until the boiler(s) temperature has been reached, then repeat the installation cycle. Please pay attention to the water temperature which may cause burns.

7. Repeat the action at point 6 twice.

8. Load the products in the machine (if the product container have not been cleaned previously, please ensure their cleanliness).

9. Wash the brewer from the programming menu, better if you use a specific cleaning tablet.

10. Dispense 2/3 espresso coffees and then throw them away.

11. Wash the mixers, pipes and noozles with a specific cleaning product in a basin. Dry them and fit them into the machine. To speed up this process, we suggest to use previously sanitised parts to replace the ones in the machine.

12. Run some cleaning cycles of the mixers, then dispense some drinks from each mixer. All the drinks dispensed in this phase should be thrown away.  

13. Empty the solid/liquid waste bin and the corresponding waste conveyors and sanitise them with a specific cleaning product.

14. Clean and sanitise the delivery area, the grid and buckets with a specific cleaning product.

15. If the machine uses fresh milk, perform a circuit cleaning cycle with specific detergent.

16. The coffee machine is now ready for use.

17. Make sure that the user interface parts are sanitized, see specific paragraph.


*This news has been prepared on the basis of the official information coming from national and international scientific authorities updated on the date of its publication

** Please refer to the specific user manual of each machine model for specific instructions concerning the programming menu.