How to Clean Espresso Machine [Step-by-Step Guide]

So you have an espresso machine that has gotten all dirty because of using multiple times in a day? How to clean an espresso machine is the ultimate question that arises in one’s mind.

First of all, before we get down to the real deal of cleaning an espresso machine or thing we would like to bring your attention to, an espresso machine should be cleaned daily. Not just for keeping it in good shape and workable for more time, but when acquaintances see it around the house, they ask you how you maintain it, not why you don’t.

According to goodhousekeeping, cleaning an espresso machine can save your machine’s life for longer times.

With time and multiple uses throughout the day, the small corners and places develop buildup that is difficult to get rid of. This makes your machine less functioning, thus blocking the passage of coffee sometimes and demanding more expensive ways to make it workable again. To avoid this, we suggest you clean your machine usually every day.

In this article, we will talk about the daily cleaning process and how to do so monthly and descaling.

Make sure to stick around for some fantastic tips and tricks and some FAQs at the end.

Maintaining Espresso Machine Regularly

1. Switch it off: pull the plug off from the switch and avoid leaving it there.

We don’t want you to end up in accidents and touch the machine with even slightly wet hands. Make sure to dry them off completely. Many people go for it with wet hands and end up shocking themselves.

2. Begin by wiping the external parts. You can make use of a washcloth or a wet wipe if you want. Clean the housing of your espresso machine and get all the dirt sitting on top wiped off. You can make use of any cleaning solution as well do so. We suggest you use a spray method to distribute the solution on a larger area and effectively. Please do not use soap or detergent solution because it is hard to get rid of the soap, and you do not want to leave the machine wet as it is risky. The best way to get all the dirt off, if there is no hard buildup of spilled coffee, is to use a washcloth.

3. Always empty the used coffee grounds afterward. Since you are not using the previously used coffee grounds( which you should not, in our opinion), throw them away from the basket and rinse it out. The next step is to wipe the basket thoroughly to get out all the left behind coffee grounds.

4. Clean the drip tray. It is easy to leave it like that after every shot is pulled, but it will not be a good idea in the long run. All you need to do is take the drip tray out and either rinse it underwater and then dry it off or wipe it. To remove any coffee grounds being stuck or buildup present, we suggest you keep it in a solution of vinegar and water or baking soda and water. Keep it there for a while for better results.

5. Change your filters regularly. Using an old filter might not give you good results. To have a smooth and less textured coffee every time, try replacing your coffee filters. Also, using old filters might give your drink a not-so-pleasant taste, thus leaving a weird after-taste in your mouth.

6. Wash the portafilter. Rinse it under tap water to wash off any dirt and coffee grounds. Also, wipe the outsides with care using a wet cloth. We, however, suggest you wash the entire thing underwater, including the handle. This will save you time.

7. Pull a blank shot. Let the hot water run through the places where coffee has been. This will help you to remove any buildup that forms due to regular usage. You will not have to call someone to help you get in there.

8. Also, this will further clean the filter and filter holder of any left-out buildup. Make sure to place a cup to catch the hot water to avoid any spilling.

Now that we have known about the regular cleaning of your espresso machine, let us understand how to clean it after a couple of weeks, perhaps like 2 to 3 months.

Deep cleaning of Espresso Machine

Provided that you are an avid espresso machine user and make use of it daily, a deep cleaning session becomes necessary. An excellent deep cleaning session will increase the lifetime of your espresso machine. Generally speaking, they last for about 2 to 3 years, considering that you use them generally with a deep clean every 3 to 4 months. Let us take you through the steps for doing so.

1. Descaling the machine using the vinegar shot. Just as you pulled a blank shot to clean the insides of the machine, mix some vinegar in water and pull a shot. Vinegar will dissolve the coffee buildup in the places you cannot reach and also kill microbes. You can also buy an espresso machine cleaner and use it with water.

2. Detach the removable part. The drip tray, portafilter, water reservoir, and others. All these parts should be washed or cleaned separately for a better result. Once they have been washed, set them aside to dry off for a while. Please do not use them while soaking in water or wet in any sense.

Frequently asked questions:

How to Clean Espresso Machine with vinegar?

Cleaning the espresso machine with vinegar is quite easy. Make a solution of vinegar with water in a 1:1 ratio. Run the solution through the machine and let the cycle complete. After completing the process run the water for a complete rinse of the machine.

How to make a descaling solution?

Being a fundamental solution, it has to be in controlled proportions. Especially the vinegar needs to be either equal to or less than the amount of water. The right amount that we suggest is one universally accepted, which is 50:50. Mix 50 % water with 50% vinegar and make a concoction. Pour it into the water reservoir and pull a shot.

What cleaning agent is suitable for the best results?

Any cleaning agent will do. You can also use regular water with a washcloth to clean it. It is better to transfer the water in a spray bottle to use less water firstly and in a controlled manner. Secondly, to avoid the water from entering into the intricacies of the machine, which is the electrical parts. Avoid making the plug wet, and instead, we would ask you to unplug the unit first for your safety.

Can I use my espresso machine after deep cleaning?

Yes, you can use your Breville espresso machine after a deep cleaning session. 

Once you have dried it completely, you can begin using it usually. If you begin using it without drying, the vinegar might alter the taste of your coffee, which is not something one would prefer.

How often should a descaler solution be used?

Make sure that your espresso machine is cleaned as we stated after the end of each day. This is important for the sake of maintaining hygiene and increasing the life of your machine as well. Leftover milk and coffee grounds/beans might restrict the flow of coffee shot into your mug and give it a bad after-taste. Perhaps this is due to the dirt and bacterial growth.

We want to share a pro tip to not descale your machine regularly instead of cleaning it as we started to save time. This will do the opposite of increasing your machines’ lifetime, and you surely would not want that.

We are sure that you can make your machine last longer and perform better if you do the steps and tricks religiously.

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