Like any piece of electronic machinery, vending machines need to be regularly cleaned and serviced if they are to continue functioning well. 

Whether the purpose of your machine is to keep fresh food cold or to provide hot meals or drinks, the potential for vital parts getting clogged with dust, dirt and general grime is greater than you probably want to think about. Not to mention the hygiene implications of loose bits of food that may have found their way into a dim and dark recess and started to go off.  

When it comes to coffee machines, regular cleaning is doubly important, because otherwise the quality of the final drink could be seriously impaired.

Given all this, you may be wondering how to clean a vending machine and whether this is something you could be doing yourself.

Let’s find out by following the basic process through from start to finish.

Turn the machine off

Before delving into the inner workings of any piece of electrical equipment, the first thing to do is unplug it. You’re going to be using water to clean things down and water and electricity are always a bad mix.

Empty the contents

You’ll be able to clean the insides much better if you take out all the crisps, drinks, chocolate, or whatever else you’re stocking before you get started. That will make getting to those dim and dark recesses we mentioned earlier much more straightforward.

Clean inside

This is when it starts to get more complicated, because what will need most attention will depend on the type of machine it is. Regardless, you’ll definitely want to wipe down any surfaces using a soft and damp cloth together with some antibacterial cleaning agent. All the shelves, arms and moving parts will also need attention, while the glass front needs to be thoroughly cleaned with a non-abrasive cleaner. 

If you’re cleaning a chilled food vending machine, then you’ll also need to make sure that the cooling mechanism is free from dust and grime. If there’s just a thin coating of dust, you may be able to get away with using a vacuum cleaner; if it’s been a while since the last clean and everything’s a bit grubbier and stickier, you’ll need to use a good strong detergent.

If you’re cleaning a hot drinks machine, you may well need to descale the inside, depending on the quality of the water in your area. You’ll also have to clean out the filters and remove all remaining coffee grounds to ensure a good brew once you’re done.

Drinks machines will also usually have a tray at the bottom to catch any overflowing liquid or general spills, so emptying that and giving it a good clean are also regular tasks that need to be carried out. 

If you’ve been using liquid of any kind to clean the inside of your vending machine, then make sure everything is completely dry before restocking it, closing it and turning it back on.

Clean outside

After the complications of doing the inside, cleaning the outside should be a breeze. Everything should just need to be thoroughly wiped down to ensure it’s all hygienic for those who are going to be using it.

The easiest way to make sure that your vending machine cleaning has been done properly, however, is to get in the experts. Someone used to doing the job day-in, day-out, will not only get the job done quicker, but also more effectively. That in turn will lead to cheaper running costs, better drinks, improved hygiene and a longer working life for your machine.

Here at Nu Vending, we offer vending machine servicing and maintenance and regular vending machine cleaning. Our modern range of state-of-the-art vending machines provide top quality snacks and drinks, and our engineers have the knowledge and experience to keep them running efficiently so that you can get on with running your business. Get in contact with us today to find out more.