How to Clean an Espresso Machine: A Step by Step Guide

If you know how to make espresso, then you probably know that cleaning your espresso machine is crucial to keeping it in tip-top condition. If you’re a barista or home brewer, you may already know this. But if you’re new to the bold-tasting world of espresso home brewing, this may be helpful news to you.

In addition to preserving your espresso machine's lifespan and functionality, regular cleaning will ensure you get the best flavor and aroma from your espresso. And though it is an easy task, there are daily and monthly routines that can be followed to keep it in shape for years to come. 

So kick back, relax, and sip on that tasty espresso you've just brewed because this guide on how to clean espresso machines will have you caffeinated and ready to clean by the last smooth drop.

The Quick Clean Method

Keeping your espresso machine clean in between daily uses will ensure you’re achieving an optimal tasting coffee every time you pour your shot. These quick cleaning methods can be done in seconds and will save you much more time later on. 

Step 1: Dispose of the Puck

After an espresso shot has been extracted, toss out the ground puck in the portafilter. The grounds will be easier and more pliable to remove when they’re warm versus waiting until they’ve cooled and set. Plus, the longer the grounds sit, the more oil seeps into the shower screen—which can build up with coffee residue and oils over time, affecting the coffee brew.

Step 2: Clean the Portafilter

After you’ve thrown away the puck, the next task is to clean the portafilter. This can be done by rinsing it under the faucet for a few seconds, then using a clean, dry towel to wipe it clean. Also, check your tamper to make sure it's clean and dry before putting it away to avoid bacterial buildup. 

Step 3: Rinse the Group Head

Now that the portafilter has been removed and cleaned, it’s time to flush the group head. You can do this by brewing a “blank shot,” or a shot without any grounds, which will help remove lingering coffee and oils.

Step 4: Clean the Steam Wand

Here’s a tip you can do both before and after brewing espresso. Cleaning the steam wand is an important last step. To purge the steam wand, release a little steam into a towel. This will remove any possible milk buildup within the steam wand. After the milk texturing process is complete, use a damp rag to wipe down the wand.

The Deep Clean Method

Every once in a while, take a little more time to clean your espresso machine more thoroughly to ensure it continues to run at optimum quality. If your coffee machine is taking longer than usual to brew, or the espresso isn’t extracting a shot the way it should, these may be signs that your espresso machine needs a deep clean.

If you’re wondering how to clean an espresso machine to sparkling perfection, look no further. To deep-clean your espresso machine, you should always use a store-bought espresso cleaning solution. 

Note: Consult your espresso machine’s manual to choose the best cleaning solution for your machine. The process will vary for each:


Make sure you remove the water filter as it will soak the descale solution if left in during the descaling process. 

Step 1: Mix the Cleaning Solution

Power on your machine and mix the cleaning agent using the instructions on the pack. If using vinegar use 1 part water to 1 part vinegar, then fill the water tank to the max line. 

Step 2: Run the Solution Through the Machine

Next, you’re going to run the espresso machine the same way you would if you were brewing an espresso. Except, you’ll run your mixed solution, through the machine. Place a large bowl or container below the portafilter, hot water outlet and steam wand (respectively) to catch the solution as it runs. Be sure to run each respectively on rotation, running the mixed solution through each function of the machine until all of the mixed solution has been used.

Step 3: Run Water Through the Machine

After the first round of cleaning solution has run through the machine, run a second round with only water. This is to flush out the cleaning agent you have used so that the machine is purified before brewing espresso.  

Step 4: Inspect and Repeat As Needed

Once this rinse is complete, a second flush is a great idea before you inspect your machine. Look for any remaining coffee residue, mineral buildup, coffee grounds, or oil stains. If stubborn spots are still present, try wiping them down with a clean cloth or run another rinse cycle through the machine. 

Breville Masters: Seize the Day, Savor its Flavor

Like all luxuries in life, brewing espresso at home requires care. After your first round of cleaning your espresso machine, you’ll realize how easy it is. Sooner or later, it will become part of the ritual you enjoy so much when using your espresso machine.  

At Breville, we have all the supplies you need to brew impeccable espresso at home and clean your Breville espresso machine like a professional. Our cleaning accessories like cleaning tablets, water filters, and descaler packets are designed to keep your machine cleaner longer—so that you can sit, relax, and sip for longer, too. 

And when you’re ready for an upgrade on your machine (or just something new), our espresso machines are sure to delight any coffee connoisseur. Shop our full collection today. 


National Storage. How To Deep Clean An Espresso Machine.

Home Grounds. How To Clean And Descale Your Espresso Machine (To Keep It Performing)

Related Articles

How to Clean an Espresso Machine: A Step by Step Guide