How To Clean Espresso Machine – An Ultimate Tutorial

Although maintaining your espresso machine may be the most tedious aspect of owning one, it is very crucial. Without cleaning the device daily and thoroughly, you won’t be able to make a great espresso. To help you take care of your cherished device, I have put together a detailed guide on how to clean espresso machine.

Significance Of Cleaning Espresso Machine

How To Clean Espresso Machine

A thoroughly cleaned espresso machine can deliver the best coffee free of the stale coffee oil’s harsh and unpleasant flavor. Coffee oils build up inside your appliance over time, eventually forming an acidic residue.

This residue produces more than simply an unpleasant smell. When let accumulate, the remains inside the coffee maker will eventually clog the filters and tubes, creating a residue coating that will affect the coffee taste. Even worse, the buildup may result in mold, which can be hazardous to your health.

Regular cleaning also helps lengthen the life of your equipment. In the long run, it will assist you in saving energy and prevent your machine from needing expensive replacements or repairs.

So, how often to clean espresso machine? A daily cleaning for your screen and portafilter basket is a must. For deep cleaning sessions, I suggest doing so every 1-2 months.

Required Tools For Espresso Machine Cleaning

The essential tools for the daily cleaning process are the same for coffee makers of many brands. Here is what you need to prepare.

  • Cleaning brush: Used to keep your espresso maker in tip-top shape and ensure proper operation.
  • Pin cleaning tool: Used to clear the aperture when the steam is blocked.
  • Descaling/cleaning tablets: Cleaning tablets are required for the brewing equipment, while a descaling agent is required for the water system. These will eliminate all of the remaining coffee oils in your coffee maker.

Notice that you can also use vinegar as a cleaning agent. In case you want to learn how to clean espresso machine with vinegar, I have mentioned the method in this cleaning Breville espresso machine tutorial.

  • Cleaning disc: A flexible rubber insert that fits inside the portafilter and is frequently used with cleaning tablets.
  • Allen key: Use to loosen or tighten bolts.
  • Nylon scrub brush: Suited for harsh dusting, scrubbing, finishing cleaning, and surface cleaning, as well as the elimination of contaminants.
  • Container: Used to catch the liquid that has been spilled.
  • Clean cloth: To wipe the exterior of the coffee maker.

How To Clean Espresso Machine

Cleaning your espresso machine is vital to keep it in good condition. You can check out this video to learn how to clean the machine for daily maintenance. Suppose you need to clean each part thoroughly; here is my guidance.

Group Head

How To Clean Espresso Machine

The metal group head, which is inextricably joined to the machine, is where the water escapes and enters the filter basket. While preparing espressos, coffee grounds and oils can become lodged in your machine’s group head. Here are the steps to follow.

Step 1: Take off the group heads’ portafilters.

Step 2: Use your cleaning brush to eliminate all the remaining coffee.

How To Clean Espresso Machine

Step 3: Swap out the portafilter’s brewing baskets for blind filter baskets.

Step 4: Add one teaspoon of cleaning agent to your blind baskets.

Step 5: Attach the group heads with the portafilters.

How To Clean Espresso Machine

Step 6: Activate your water supply and leave it there for around ten seconds.

Step 7: Deactivate the water supply for three seconds, then activate it again. Repeat this process four times.

Step 8: Take off the portafilters from your group heads and wash the cleaning agent away thoroughly.

Step 9: Make one more pass with the head brush to remove any remaining coffee crumbs from the group heads.

Step 10: Put the cleaned portafilters back into your machine’s group heads.

Step 11: Repeat Step 7 four more times.

Step 12: Take off the portafilters from your group heads and wash them again. And you are done!


How To Clean Espresso Machine

It would be best to clean portafilters after use since they contain a lot of coffee oils. Follow these steps to accomplish this task.

Step 1: Take the baskets and portafilters off and put them into a bowl.

Step 2: Pour one spoonful of the specialized cleaning solution into your bowl.

Step 3: Add hot water until the portafilters’ metal components are completely submerged. Keep in mind to avoid submerging the plastic handles in water since they may deteriorate over time.

Step 4: Leave them there for 10-15 minutes.


Step 5: Take all your items out and start brushing them. Once you’re done scrubbing, rinse them with hot water.

Step 6: Reattach the baskets and the portafilters, then place them back on the group head.

Stream Wand

How To Clean Espresso Machine

The steam wand will accumulate milk buildup if you don’t clean it. The residue will eventually alter the flavor of your beverages and block your equipment. You can avoid this by purging the steam arm both before and after usage. Here are the detailed instructions.

Step 1: Wipe the nozzle of your steam wand with a clean, damp towel.

Stream Wand

Step 2: Direct the wand back over the drip tray.

Step 3: Activate the steam wand only for one or two seconds to remove all remaining milk.

Stream Wand

Step 4: After steaming, clean your machine’s wand again with a soft, damp cloth.


The gasket is a grooved rubber O-ring. This part offers a secure seal between your machine’s portafilter and the group.

Step 1: Place a nylon brush within the assembly.

Step 2: Utilize your brush to scrub the gasket’s edges and remove all debris.


Step 3: Spray water through your gasket to remove any leftover material.

How To Descale Espresso Machine

How To Clean Espresso Machine

Mineral buildup from your water accumulates over time in your appliance. Thus, descale your machine every 3-4 months to maintain it in good condition. Below are the steps to perform this task.

Step 1: Prepare your descaling solution.

  • Add clean water to your water reservoir.
  • Let the descaling solution dissolve after adding it to the water.
  • Notice to read and abide by the descaling cleaner’s directions at all times.

Step 2: Run the prepared solution through your steam wand.

  • Put a container underneath your steam wand to capture the spill solution. If not, citric acid will corrode the espresso maker’s exterior.
  • Activate the wand. Keep in mind to give the steam wand enough time to process around one solution cup.
  • Deactivate the steam wand.

How To Descale Espresso Machine

Step 3: Shut off the espresso machine and let it sit for around 20 minutes for the solution to do its work.

Step 4: Continue to run your descaling solution through the machine’s steam group and wand.

  • Activate your coffee maker. Put a container beneath the wand.
  • Circulate 1/4 cup of the solution through your wand.
  • Switch off your steam wand. Placing the container underneath the machine’s portafilter.
  • Start the group, then pour around 1/4 cup of descaling solution through your portafilter.

How To Descale Espresso Machine

Step 5: Deactivate the coffee machine. Let it sit for 20 minutes so the descaling agent can do its work.

Step 6: Continue to use the remaining solution through your coffee maker.

  • Start the machine once 20 minutes have passed.
  • Put the container underneath the machine’s steam arm.
  • Half of the leftover solution should be passed through the steam wand.
  • Substitute the portafilter with the container. Switch on the group after draining the remaining solution from the device.

Step 7: Use fresh water to clean out the device.

How To Descale Espresso Machine

How To Backflush Your Espresso Machine

Backflushing helps clean your brew group and shower screen. Notice that this process can only be done on the espresso machine equipped with a three-way valve. Here are the backflush steps to follow.

Step 1: Take out the filter basket from your portafilter.

Step 2: Insert the backflush disc, which can be a blind basket or rubber disc covering the basket’s holes.

How To Backflush Your Espresso Machine

Step 3: Put around half a tablespoon of detergent backflushing in your basket.

Step 4: Re-insert the portafilter, then turn the pump on.

Step 5: Wait for 20 seconds, then deactivate the pump. The cleaner will be emptied into your drip tray.

How To Backflush Your Espresso Machine

Step 6: Continue doing this until the drip tray’s foam is debris-free.

Step 7: Take off the handle and rinse it thoroughly in water.

Step 8: Repeatedly switch your pump on and off to clear the residual cleaner from the brew head group. And you have completed the backflushing process.

Wrapping Up

So there you have a complete guide on how to clean espresso machine properly. Cleaning your espresso machine on a regular basis is essential to maintaining the equipment’s efficiency and cleanliness.

Consider that you are a novice coffee drinker looking for a new espresso machine; look at my list of the finest espresso machines for beginners. You can choose the best equipment for your needs with its assistance. ()

2 thoughts on “How To Clean Espresso Machine – An Ultimate Tutorial

  1. Janice says:

    Hi James, I have a model 15097 E8 Espresso machine, after cleaning the machine, the window kept saying to empty the tray, but the tray was empty. After spending half the day trying not to give up on this machine, it finally came back to the full window, I made a espresso, and it again said to empty the tray, upon removing the tray, something inside dropped down, and now the tray seriously does not fit…

    • James Baker says:

      SR because I reply you late. Yes, faulty power button can be one of the causes. Or you can check the control board, fuse, water pump (that is likely overheated), or the machine connected to the power source or not.

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