Espresso Machine Care Guide - Cleaning & Preventative Maintenance
Posted by Oliver Tombs on
In order to prolong your machine's life, produce better drinks and keep your warranty valid, you must keep in mind two things: the water you are using and regular cleaning.
In order to prevent build up of limescale, you should use fresh, filtered water in your machine (Do not use distilled water).
Particularly in hard water areas, scale can accumulate on the heating element (which cannot be seen) insulating the water from the heat source. If water is unable to reach the temperature required for brewing, then you will not be able to extract the full flavour of your coffee beans.
The machine will need to work harder to heat the water and the limescale can disrupt the water flow, prolonging the brewing time.
All of these can contribute to a breakdown of your coffee machine and invalidating your warranty.
You should clean the steam nozzle after every use by wiping with a damp cloth. Turn the steam wand on to release condensation and milk residue.
Failure to do this can lead to clumps of milk building up inside the boiler which will invalidate your warranty and can be difficult to remove.
You should backflush the group head every day. To do this, remove the filter basket from portafilter and fit the back flush cap/blind filter/blanking disc. Whilst the brew water is flowing, loosely insert the portafilter into the group head, rotating back and forth. Keep emptying the blind basket of hot water and old grounds until the water runs clear.
Group Brew Head:
Depending on use, you should at least once a week be cleaning the group head with cleaning detergent. After backflushing, add a small amount of espresso cleaning detergent to the blind basket and insert the portafilter in the the group head. Turn the brew lever on and off again after about 10 seconds. Repeat several times. Empty the basket of detergent and backflush with water until all detergent residue is gone.
Regularly wipe the inside of basket and portafilter with a clean damp cloth. If coffee oils have built up, soak the metal end of the portafilter along with basket in a solution of hot water and two teaspoons of cleaning detergent. Rinse thoroughly afterwards.
Remove and wash with hot soapy water. Rinse, dry and return.
Wipe stainless steel surfaces with a soft, non-abrasive cloth.
(Please consult the user manuals for full cleaning guidelines for each manufacturer.)