Table of Contents
*This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
Image Source: statewidecoffee.com
Are you having a difficult time figuring out how to clean your espresso machine? Here is a quick and easy way to clean your espresso machine at home with little hassle and confusion. Ideally, an espresso machine should be cleaned once a week due to the ample opportunity for dirt and grime to get into the machine. Making this a habit will lead to a better and more fuller taste in your espresso and keep your top-rated machine clean and kept in pristine shape. There are many kinds of espresso machines that are compatible with this cleaning method. These include: Semi Automatic espresso machines, Superautomatic espresso machines, and Single Boiler or Thermoblock espresso machines. All kinds of espresso machines can be found at la marzocco, an American owned espresso machine making company that produces exquisite, durable espresso machines that have the best ratings by professionals. Reviews of these different types of espresso machines say that the Superautomatic is the most highly recommended machine for people who do not have a huge chunk of time in the day dedicated for coffee brewing, However, the Semi Automatic is recommended for those who are more meticulous about their espresso brewing and want more control of the details that go along with brewing. By going through the seven-step checklist below, you will be able to thoroughly clean your home espresso maker.
A good habit to get into before doing an activity or going somewhere, is preparing. Like writing an outline for a major term paper or packing a bag for a beach trip, preparation is a key part of the success of the outcome that you wish to receive. When preparing to clean your espresso maker, be sure to set out a few items that will aid in the cleansing of your machine. You will want to have filtered water, white vinegar or distilled vinegar, a deep clean regiment, and an espresso brush. Now that you have all of these things set aside, you will notice that the cleaning of your espresso machine will go by much quicker and go very smoothly.
This step is optional, but here you will start to take apart your espresso machine. Do not take apart anything in your espresso machine that you are questionable of like wires and gears, but instead take apart the main sections and start to wipe down and clean them will a wet wash cloth or wipe. Remember how all of the parts fit together or have your manual out when deconstructing your espresso machine. Otherwise, you will have no idea how to put it back together and that will lead to a long road ahead filled with endless Google searches and frustration. This step of the process is helpful and advantageous for continuing on to the next steps because it will be easier to clean your espresso machine. It will prepare your machine for further cleaning and will help the result be cleaner and brighter. After taking apart your machine and giving it a wipe down, put it back together and continue on to step 3 where you will rinse down your espresso machine.
During this step, you will use the filtered water that you have previously set aside during step 1 and run it through your espresso machine. Adding some hot soapy water will also help with removing residue that is not as attached to the inside and is pretty easy to remove without the aid of a cleaning agent. While on this step, do not feel like you have to go too in depth with the process because it is not meant to be the main cleaning step of your espresso machine. It is simply a step that helps your machine be more thoroughly and easily cleaned. In this part you can also help speed up the cleaning process by using an espresso brush to help loosen the grime and dirt by getting rid of the superficial residue that resides on the machine. This way the cleaning agent you use in step 3 will not have to work as hard to remove the residue.
4. Use a Cleaning Agent
Just like how you need to rinse your mouth with mouthwash after you brush your teeth, it is also important to rinse your espresso machine with a special cleaning agent after your brush and rinse the inside of it. Start this step by dissolving the descaling agent into your water reservoir. This agent may be found in either liquid or powder form depending on where you decide to buy it. These agents can be pretty expensive when bought at the store or even online, so if you do not want to or can not afford to shovel out the cash for a deep clean, there is a much cheaper solution. A common item that is often used to clean espresso machines and other coffee machines is white vinegar or distilled vinegar. The vinegar acts as a purifier and antibacterial agent which helps with the sanitization and future cleanliness of your espresso machine. If you decide to go the vinegar route, you have to make the solution by simply adding three ounces of the vinegar to twenty ounces of distilled water in a cup in order to get the best result. No matter what cleaning agent you decide to use, be sure to allow it to go through both the boiler and the steam knob. The steam knob is often forgotten in the cleaning process and this forgetfulness leads to a less tasty espresso and possible sanitation issues.
5. Let it Sit
Turn off your espresso machine and allow it to sit. Letting the cleaning solution sit for about twenty minutes will allow it to work and start breaking down dirt and other things you do not want in your espresso maker. While it is sitting, you can use this time to buy more coffee for your almost clean machine or wipe down the outside of your machine and the area around it. After letting it sit for twenty minutes, continue on to Step 6 below where you will continue the cleaning process.
6. Let Out Some Steam
Now it is time to let out some steam! Depending on what kind of espresso machine you own, you will have to let out a certain amount of steam in certain places. The amount how much steam you should let out and where to let it out also changes depending on the various espresso machines. If you have a Single Boiler or Thermoblock espresso machine you only let a quarter of the reservoir out of the steam wand and another quarter out of the brew head. On the other hand, if you have Superautomatic espresso machine, you let half of the reservoir out of the steam wand. This distinction of difference in espresso machines and knowing which one you have is vital in the cleaning process and allowing your machine to be thoroughly unblemished.
7. Let it Sit….Again
Give your machine a rest and allow it to sit with its power turned off for another twenty minutes. Do not skip this step! This time is important for allowing your machine to continue to clean itself and become even more sanitized and if you skip this step your machine will not be able to completely sanitize it’s parts. This can be another spot of time you can use to continue looking for new coffee to buy or do some chores around the house, but the latter sounds less exciting.
8. Flush Remaining Water
In the final step of completing the cleaning process of your espresso machine, start by flushing the last amount of water out of your espresso machine via the steam wand and brew head (only with the brew head if you have a Single Boiler or Thermoblock). After completely flushing out all of the remaining water continue to run the reservoir of clean water two or three times just to make sure that all of the cleaning solution has been flushed out and rid of. Once you have finished this step your at home espresso machine is now open for business!
Congratulations! You are now done cleaning your espresso machine! Whether you use an espresso machine as a Starbucks barista or a coffee enthusiast, you will notice a difference in the quality of your espressos once you start brewing. If you are looking to further your espresso machine collection, it is possible to find ones under 200 or even under 100 dollars but I would recommend not buying those due to the possibility of them not working as well or lasting as long. Top rated espresso machines normally begin at 300 dollars and can go up to thousands. Whether you decide to buy an expensive or inexpensive espresso machine, the cleaning of it that you find on this page will stay uniform and consistent. Enjoy your pristinely washed espresso machine and continue to work on mastering your skills of espresso making.