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How to Clean an Espresso Machine

If your morning beverage isn't tasting the same or your espresso machine is having trouble with even extraction, a dirty appliance is likely to blame. Keep reading for our tips on how to clean an espresso machine.

How Often Do I Clean My Espresso Machine?

A clean espresso machine just works better. Ideally, you should do a quick wipedown of the machine after each use and then do a deeper clean about every two to three weeks. We've broken down the process step by step to help you properly clean each part of your espresso machine, extending the longevity of your appliance and ensuring each cup you brew tastes delicious.

Step 1: Daily Cleaning

If you clean your machine daily (or after each use), you'll find that deep cleaning is much easier. Hot soapy water is really all you need to remove the residue from prior use. Rinse well and you're good to go.

Step 2: Unplug Your Machine

Before you do anything, turn off and unplug your espresso maker. You don't want to accidentally turn on your appliance while cleaning.

Step 3: Empty the Water Tank

Empty the water tank and refill it with equal parts water and white vinegar. Vinegar helps remove mineral buildup that can accumulate in your appliance.

Step 4: Run the Machine

Next, run the water and vinegar mixture through the machine as if you're making a drink. The vinegar will help clean the interior of your espresso machine.

Step 5: Rinse

Discard the water and vinegar solution and refill the tank with clean water. Run the machine several times to remove any traces of vinegar.
Person wiping down the exterior of a stainless steel espresso machine with a cloth

Step 6: Clean the Exterior

Now that you've removed residue from the interior of the machine, wipe down the exterior; coffee splatters, dust or other kitchen contaminants are likely making it lose its shine. Use a soft, damp cloth to clean the exterior of your espresso machine. Warm water should be enough to get the job done but if it isn't, add a small amount of dish detergent. Be sure you wipe the machine down with a clean, damp rag once more and dry.
Cleaning an espresso machine portafilter in soapy water

Step 7: Clean the Portafilter

Use a dish brush and hot water to clean the portafilter and coffee filter. This helps remove any residual coffee grounds that may have become stuck in the components and affect the flavor of your coffee.

Step 8: Clean the Group Head

Wipe down the group head with a damp cloth. This helps remove coffee oils that may have accumulated on it. If you're not sure what the group head is on your appliance, it is the part of the machine that holds the portafilter in place.

Step 9: Descaling Your Espresso Machine

You should also occasionally descale your espresso machine. The water you use to make coffee leaves behind lime scale, which can stop your appliance from working properly. Even filtered water leaves behind lime scale. You can find descaling agents at most stores that sell appliances. Before you begin descaling, please reference the owner's manual of your specific machine to ensure you're descaling it properly.

In Summary

Learning how to clean an espresso machine doesn't have to be a daunting task. It's incredibly important to maintain the cleanliness of your appliance in order for it to work properly and for your drink to taste the way it should. Now that you've deep cleaned your machine, be sure to continue with regular cleaning to avoid thick layers of oily residue in the future. If you're seeking more espresso knowledge, reach out to an Abt expert at 800-860-3577 or visit our Gourmet Shop at our Glenview, IL storefront.

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