How to clean a coffee machine

Cleaning your espresso machine is a fundamental part of machine maintenance. In other coffee machines, cleaning is usually done externally, but you have to pay attention to a higher number of details in espresso machines. Knowing how to clean your coffee machine is essential to avoid breakdowns or extend the machine’s life and always obtain the best taste in your coffee, without impurities or strange tastes.

In this section of our website, you will find various articles that address the most critical issues related to cleaning a coffee machine.

How to clean an espresso machine?

It is the question that many users ask themselves and that due to the lack of knowledge, they leave in the air. Fortunately, cleaning an espresso machine is not as difficult as it seems. You have to know what the necessary components of an espresso machine are and how to clean each one. Let’s go through it in parts and explain everything slowly:

How to clean an espresso machine: the coffee group

The coffee group is one of the parts of the coffee machine that suffers the most wear and tear because it comprises all the internal pipes and circuits through which both water and coffee or milk circulate. For this reason, to clean the coffee group, it is recommended to follow a series of necessary cares in daily use. Apart from that, to follow some cleaning guidelines from time to time that we will also detail later on.

Firstly, we will explain what you should clean the coffee group every time you use your espresso machine.

After preparing your coffee, it is convenient to remove the coffee group (if you can separate it by pieces, so much the better) and rinse it separately with hot water. You must always use hot water, detergent, or other abrasive products to clean your coffee machine. You can also use a brush or a cloth to remove any residue or dirt that has been left behind and that you cannot see without first removing the group.

Suppose you have a coffee machine cleaning liquid in your home before removing the coffee group to rinse it. We recommend that you do the following: pour some liquid into the filter holder, adjust it as if you were going to make a second cup of coffee, and turn the machine on for a few seconds. Do this several times. It will make the cleaning liquid circulate the whole group and clean the inside.

If the dirt is very profoundly embedded (for example, if the coffee machine has not been cleaned for a long time), it may not be enough to rinse the coffee group. Still, it would help if you left it to soak for several hours in a water mixture and coffee machine cleaning liquid.

How to clean an espresso machine: the heater

The heater or boiler is used to heat the water or milk used in coffee preparations. Follow your brewer’s instructions on removing the brewer or accessing it.

Once you’ve done this, clean it with a damp cloth or soak it in hot water for a while to make it sparkle.

The pipes inside (where all the liquids in the coffee machine circulate) are very thin, so sometimes just rinsing them is not enough and instruments such as pins, needles, or similar has to be used.

How to clean an espresso machine: the portafilter

The portafilter, as you know, is the instrument where the filter basket is placed where we deposit the ground coffee. To clean an espresso machine and keep it in good condition, we must never neglect to clean the portafilter because it is an element in permanent contact with the raw material of our preparations: ground coffee.

To clean the filter holder of your espresso machine, we recommend that you do not leave the filter holder in the machine. Yes, we know we all do it, but it’s not the most hygienic thing to do. Instead, rinse the filter holder well after use, dry it thoroughly with a cloth, and put it away. Next time you make coffee with it, it will be scorched, clean and like new.

Related: Coffee for plants

How to clean an espresso machine: decalcification

To decalcify an espresso machine, we must use a liquid that can be an official decalcifying liquid, such as the Saeco decalcifying liquid shown in the image. It should be checked with your coffee machine brand or homemade compounds usually made of water and vinegar mixtures. If you have the opportunity, we always recommend the first option.

Well, once you have the descaler at hand, you must pass it through all the internal pipes of the coffee maker, usually pouring it into the filter holder or the water tank and starting the coffee maker as if you were going to make coffee. Do the same, but with clean water when you’ve done this.

Repeat this process several times to ensure that no descaler remains in the pipes. If you have any doubts, you can always check our guide for the decalcification of pod coffee machines.

And that’s all; we hope we have helped you know how to clean an espresso machine (many of the recommendations you have read here are also useful for cleaning pod coffee machines).