There’s nothing easier than brewing coffee with an espresso machine.
And after enjoying that cup of pure energy, the last thing on your mind is cleaning the machine. If the brewer is new, you might not even know how to clean it in the first place. There are so many little components that it looks like you need a Ph.D. not to mess things up.
Cleaning your espresso machine is a chore you can get over with in a maximum 10 minutes.
And don’t worry if you have no idea how – I’ll provide you a step by step guide, and instructions, so the machine is pristine in the end.
There are six simple stages in the process. The first thing you want to do is throw away the detergent.
Step by Step Instructions to Clean Your Espresso Maker
1. Unscrew the basket and the filter
These are the parts where used coffee grounds get stuck. If left there, the coffee will be extremely bitter, and the machine itself will start to rust. Don’t use the dishwasher!
Turn the hot water on and rinse the basket and the filter thoroughly. You can either dry them out with a paper towel or just let them on the side of the sink until they dry by themselves.
Make sure there are no grounds or oil left on them.
2. Proceed to scrub the seal
The seal (gasket) is the connection between the basket and filter to the rest of the machine. The one you unscrewed these two components from. Powdered grounds will probably be stuck in it.
Coffee grounds, no matter in how low a quantity they are, will eventually decrease the quality of the espressos. Get a small brush and rotate it around the indentations in the gasket. You can also use a clean towel if you don’t have a silicon brush handy. After you’ve removed all the debris, press the button on the machine that runs water through the gasket. If there’s any material left, the water will dissolve it.
3. Remove the small sieve
The sieve (or screen) is held in place with a screw. Remove it and get the sieve out. Take your brush or cleaning cloth and carefully wipe the interior. You should also run some hot water through the screen, to make sure there are no grounds left in it.
4. Put everything together as it was
After all the components have dried out, screw back the sieve, the basket, and the filter. Don’t put coffee in it yet. Put everything in place as if you were about to make a cup of espresso.
Turn the machine on and let it pass water for half a minute or so, or even less. This way, there will be no grime left anywhere within the machine. You do not need to dry it out. Just turn the water off after enough water went through it. You might think that this is it. Wrong. There are two other things you must take care of before the cleaning process is complete.
5. Clean the steam wand
If you don’t, milk residue will affect the taste of the coffee. This is the simplest step in the entire process. All you have to do is turn on the wand for a couple of seconds and then wipe it with a dry towel. That’s it.
You can turn it on again for 3-4 seconds, to make sure there will be absolutely no milk aftertaste. And one more step and you're done with this annoying (or not, depending on your mood) task.
6. Wipe the entire machine with a clean towel
Maintenance is crucial for the “welfare” of an espresso machine. You should not clean only the tiny components, but the machine as a whole. The last step is wiping it with a clean towel. You can use a sanitizer, but only if does not compromise the material of the machine.
Read the manual in order to see what solution/brands are allowed. And – scene! You’ve completed all the steps in the guide.
Also read: How to Make Espresso without an Espresso Machine
Many people who own espresso machines only wipe them superficially after every use and then wonder why the espresso tastes bad. Residues will build up, and they will definitely clog the sieve and the seal. Not only will your coffee be horrific, but the machine will work two times as much as it needs. Needless to say, its life expectancy will drop.
It is true that it can be really tedious to clean the machine, but it’s a necessity if you don’t want to throw it in the trash in a couple of months. And don’t forget about sanitizers – don’t use those that can take a toll on the material of the machine, i.e. yellow it or getting it to rust.
How do you clean your espresso machine? I’d love to hear some other tips!