How to Clean An Espresso Machine (After Daily Use and Descaling)

How To Clean An Espresso Machine

An espresso machine is one of those life luxuries that most of us have become accustomed to and are now a basic necessity as life would not be the same without them around.

However, like any other appliance, owning an espresso machine comes with some responsibility, and one of the most important of these responsibilities is to keep the machine clean. And this is because keeping it clean keeps it performing well and producing some flavorful brews.

Every time you pull that creamy and flavorful shot of espresso or two and froth some milk for cappuccinos if your model has this capability, layers of everything from dirt and oils to minerals will accrue on your espresso maker. 

And if you use the machine every day, the buildup becomes too much that it affects the machine's performance and even worse how your espressos taste. But the good news is that espresso machines are easy to clean up using things you already have at home.

Cleaning up After Daily Use

As an espresso lover that uses an espresso machine every other day, you should make a habit of always cleaning it after use. Doing this not only helps to minimize the buildup but also ensures the machine will be clean and ready to use the next time you want to pull a shot.

The daily maintenance should not take a lot of time and once you get used to the routine, you should be able to finish it up in just a few minutes.

What You Will Need

  • Scrubby pad or nylon brush
  • Kitchen towel
  • A clean and damp rag

Step by Step Directions

Step 1: Start by removing the basket from the portafilter and scrub both using your nylon brush and rinse them with some warm water before drying them with a clean kitchen towel

Step 2: Clean the gasket that provides the seal between the portafilter and group head with the nylon brush and then run warm water through to rinse it 

Step 3: Insert the blind disc if your espresso machine came with one and backwash the machine

Step 4: Sanitize the steam wand by purging or flushing it out to get rid of any milk buildup

Step 5: Add some clean water to the water reservoir and run a few brew cycles to flush out the espresso machine

Step 6: Finish by giving the espresso machine a thorough wipe down with a clean and damp rag

Descaling your Espresso Machine

Descaling your Espresso Machine

Besides cleaning and maintaining your espresso machine after every use, you will also need to give it a thorough clean up and descale it at least once a week or after every couple of weeks depending on the frequency of use.

This deep cleaning is essential to get rid of the mineral buildup that often results in unusual espresso flavors and will also help to sanitize the coffee machine to ensure that there is no conducive environment for bacteria and mold to grow.

And like the regular daily cleanup, the deeper one is equally easy and also cost-effective as you will not need anything expensive.

What You Will Need

  • White vinegar, citric acid or a store-bought descaling agent
  • Clean kitchen towel

Step By Step Directions

Before we get to the step by step directions, it is important to know that espresso machines are different, and so it is always a wise idea to first check what the manufacturer of your specific model recommends on the manual.

Some machines will also have an automatic descaling feature. But, generally, here are the steps you will need to follow to give most espresso machines a deep clean.

Step 1: Pick your Descaling Agent

The first step is to decide which between the 3 descaling agents to use, and in some instances, you might need to try out all of them and settle for what works best for you.

Step 2: Mix It Up

Using vinegar for example purposes, the next step is to mix it with water in equal parts and shake or stir thoroughly to ensure the two mix well.

Step 3: Fill Up Water Reservoir

Now fill up the espresso machine’s water reservoir with your vinegar mixture just as you would when making your espressos.

Step 4: Run a Brew Cycle

Power the espresso machine and run the mixture through the machine by pushing the brew button, and if you reside in an area with very hard water, you should run the descaling solution through the machine at least twice.

Step 5: Clean Steam Wand

Next run the descaling solution through the steam wand to get rid of any build up in there as the more you use it, oily layers of milk and dirt tend to accumulate inside and a regular rinse with warm water cannot remove it all.

Step 6: Wipe Down the Exterior Surface

Use some of the vinegar solution to clean the outside section of the espresso machine by spraying and wiping it off with a soft kitchen towel

Step 7: Rinse with Water

Once both the interior and exterior sections have been properly descaled and cleaned with the vinegar solution, the final step is to rinse out the machine to remove the smell and taste of the descaling agent. This will require you to run several cycles of clean water through the machine and wipe the exterior surfaces with a clean and damp cloth until there is no vinegar smell.

Notes

1. Vinegar, citric acid and commercial descaling agents will all do a good job, and so what you choose among them is mostly up to personal preferences and what you can easily access. However, many people seem to prefer vinegar as it is cheap and widely available in most homes.

2. To clean up your portafilter and other detachable parts of the espresso machine, you should detach and soak them overnight on your descaling solution.

3. When using citric acid to descale your espresso machine, make sure that you dilute it adequately before cleaning your machine because it can be a little too acidic and end up tarnishing the machine’s exterior metal surface.

Conclusion

Your espresso machine is probably one of your favorite appliances at home as it is what gives you those refreshing brews that provide the energy boost you need to tackle the day. But, if you do not keep this machine clean, you will not enjoy those tasty espressos for long.

The good news is that cleaning your espresso machine does not take a lot of effort, and it is also not costly as the chances are that you already have everything you will need at home.

By making it a habit to clean up your machine after every use and giving it some deep cleaning at least once a week, you can keep it running smoothly and making some delightful beverages. And in most instances, all you will need is some white vinegar for descaling and a soft kitchen cloth for wiping the machine.

Sources


Posts In Same Category

Ristretto vs. Espresso: Know About Espresso Shot

Ristretto vs. Espresso: Know About Espresso Shot

When it comes to the sweet, highly flavorful and concentrated coffee, nothing beats an espresso, and this should explain its ever-increasing popularity. But, espresso is not the only option here […]

Flat White vs. Cappuccino: What is The Difference?

Flat White vs. Cappuccino: What is The Difference?

Flat white and cappuccino are two espresso-based beverages that are often confused because besides looking pretty much the same, they are also made from similar ingredients. However, the truth is that […]

Macchiato vs. Cappuccino: What is the Difference?

Macchiato vs. Cappuccino: What is the Difference?

Coffee drinking is a daily ritual that many of us are unable to shrug off and probably don’t want to because that caffeine dose is what gives us the energy […]

Cold Brew vs. Iced Coffee: Brew Time, Flavor, How to Make

Cold Brew vs. Iced Coffee: Brew Time, Flavor, How to Make

Nothing beats a cup or mug of some cold coffee on a hot summer day because besides cooling you down, it is very refreshing and will also give you that […]

What Is Lungo Coffee? Lungo vs. Americano vs. Long Black

What Is Lungo Coffee? Lungo vs. Americano vs. Long Black

The coffee menu in most coffee shops, cafes, restaurants and coffee bars is always growing. But, some coffee beverages like the Lungo have always been there, though many coffee lovers […]

What is a Bone Dry Cappuccino? ( And How to Make One)

What is a Bone Dry Cappuccino? ( And How to Make One)

If you are a regular coffee drinker, you should be familiar with cappuccinos by now as they are among the most popular coffee beverages. But, what you might not know […]

How Long to Steep Coffee (What is Steeping Coffee, Steeping Time)

How Long to Steep Coffee (What is Steeping Coffee, Steeping Time)

One of the most important steps in making coffee with immersion methods like cold brew and the French press is steeping the coffee grounds in water as this is where […]

How to Make Vietnamese Iced Coffee (Step-by-step Guide)

How to Make Vietnamese Iced Coffee (Step-by-step Guide)

Coffee is the drink that fuels most of us and without it, our mornings would always be boring and we would probably not be as productive at work as we […]

How To Clean Coffee Maker With Apple Cider Vinegar

How To Clean Coffee Maker With Apple Cider Vinegar

The coffee maker is one of the busiest appliances not only in the kitchen but in the entire home. And so it will also require more regular maintenance and cleaning […]