It is very important to clean your espresso machine, especially when you want to try a different blend of coffee beans. Getting rid of the accumulated debris of milk, proteins, mineral deposits, and oils inside the machine is essential. The presence of debris in your machine will definitely influence the flavor of the end product giving it an unwanted taste. There are different ways to clean your espresso machine, depending on the type of machine you have and how regularly you use your machine.
Daily Maintenance of the machine
- Scrubbing the basket and portafilter – The portafilter is the portable filter which is placed into the group. This is where the hot water is released into the machine to make the espresso. The basket is found inside the portafilter. It is a metal screen whose use is to filter. To clean these, you have to dislodge the two, scrub with a scouring pad or nylon brush before cleansing with hot water, after which wipe it dry with a clean towel.
- Cleaning the Gasket – The gasket is an O-ring shape that provides filters between the group and portafilter. To clean it, insert a nylon brush in the group and scrub. Ensure to run the brush through the sides and edges to dislodge any extra material from it. Thereafter rinse with water.
- Clean the screen and group – The screen covers the filter chamber, which prevents dirt and other clogs from getting into the clogging head. Under the screen, there is a tiny screw that will help to dislodge the screen out of place, giving you a more clean up room underneath. Scrub it using a nylon brush or a scouring pad and ensure all the dirt is removed from it.
- Backwash – This is only applicable for certain makes of the espresso machine. To find out whether this is applicable for your machine, read through the manual first. To make this happen, insert a basket without holes, which is also known as a blind disk into the portafilter. Lock the portafilter thereafter and allow it to run for about twelve seconds. After this, remove the portafilter, empty the water, and repeat the process a second time.
- Sanitize – This is mostly applied on the steam arm; milk proteins and other oils may clog your machine and also give your drink a funny taste. To ensure that this does not happen, it is advisable to sanitize the steam arm. To clean the steam arm, place a dry, clean rag over the nozzle before switching on the steam arm for about two seconds and allow it to flush out the water and any milk proteins or oil. After steaming it, wipe it down with a clean rag before repeating the process again for about two seconds.
- Wipe the Espresso Machine – After cleaning it, wipe down the espresso machine with a clean rag and a cleaner. It is important to use a universal cleaner that will not leave any strong smells on the machine that may affect the taste of the espresso.
Cleaning your Machine Once a Week
- Cleaning Solution – The cleaning solution used for the espresso machine is used to deep clean the machine once a week. This solution is dissolved in water by using the instructions on the espresso cleaning liquid.
- Disassemble the machine – To ensure that all parts in the espresso machine are thoroughly cleaned; you will have to disassemble the machine. Remove the portafilter, take out the basket from the portafilter, unscrew the screen from the group, and detach the steam wand from the espresso machine.
- Soak the different parts – Soak the different detached espresso parts in the solution. It is advisable to soak these parts overnight; the solution may change color indicating the residue leftover in the parts.
- Scrub the parts- After removing the parts from the solution; it is important to scrub them clean using a nylon brush or a scouring pad. After which rinse them preferably with warm water and wipe them with clean dry cloth. It is important to double-check the steam wand to ensure there is no residue left in it. After this, check the manual to know how to dispose of the cleaning solution you soaked the parts in.