The number of times your espresso machine gives you the perfect shot of coffee or froth foamy milk, every time the machine forms a layer of espresso debris, oils and mineral deposits. Thus, it becomes really important to clean the machine regularly and clean it chemically at least once a week.
Maintaining Your Machine After Daily Use
Scrub the portafilter and basket: Firstly, what you need to do is remove the basket from the portafilter. Take a nylon brush or scrubby pad and take out the grounds from the portafilter and basket. Wash both the parts with hot water and dry them with a clean towel. The basket is a metal filter screen that is placed within the portafilter.
Clean the gasket: Take the nylon brush again and insert it into the group to clean the gasket. Put some water in the group to wash away any remaining material.
Wash the screen and underside of the group: Look at the underside of the group and locate a screw. Now just loosen the screw with the help of a short screwdriver to remove the screen from the group. You can take a nylon brush or scrubby pad to clear away debris from each side of the screen. Also, scrub the interior of the group. Keep the screen back in place.
Backwash the machine: Insert a blind disk, a basket having no holes, into the portafilter. They lock the portafilter into the group. Now turn on the group and let it run for about 12 seconds. Empty the water by removing the portafilter and repeat the process again. Before you do so, go through the manual once to see if this kind of cleaning is recommended or not.
Sanitize the steam arm: If you don’t clean it, milk-proteins will start forming on the steam arm. After a time, the residue starts ruining the taste and clog the machine. If you don’t want this to happen, clean up your steam wand before and after use.
Deep-Cleaning Your Machine Once a Week
Make the cleaning solution: You should chemically clean your best automatic espresso machine with a specially formulated cleaner at least once a week. Prepare a solution by mixing the espresso machine cleaner with fresh water.
Disassemble the machine for cleaning: Remove the portafilter from the machine. Also, take out the basket off the portafilter. Now detach the steam wand from the machine and remove the screen from the group using a small screwdriver. You can now easily clean all the parts using the solution to sanitize it chemically.
Soak the items in the solution: Allow the items to soak overnight by inserting them into the cleaning solution.
Scrub and rinse the items: Take out the items from the solution. If not all the espresso residue dissolves in the solution, you can scrub the items with the scrubbing pad. Clean the espresso machine parts with warm water.
Descaling Your Machine
Prepare the descaling machine: After a time, mineral deposits from the water starts building up in the machine. To remove these deposits, you need to clean your espresso machine with commercial descaling solution after every three months. What you need to do is, fill the machine’s reservoir with fresh water. Mix the descaling solution to it.
Run the solution through the steam wand: Keep the container under the steam wand to collect the solution. Turn on the steam wand. Run approx. one cup of solution through the steam wand. Not turn off the steam wand. Let the espresso machine rest for about 20 minutes and by the time descaling solution will do its work.
Run the solution through the steam wand and group: Again keep the container under the steam wand. Turn the machine on and flush around ¼ cup solution through the steam wand. Now keep the container under the portafilter by turning off the steam wand. Turn on the group and flush around ¼ cup solution through the portafilter.
Turn off the machine and let it rest for another 20 minutes. By the time, the solution will continue to break down the mineral deposits.
Run rest of the solution through the machine: Turn on the machine after 20 minutes. Keep the container under the steam wand. Flush half of the remaining solution through the steam wand. Now move the container under the portafilter and turn on the group to drain the rest of the solution.
Flush the machine with fresh water: Lastly, fill the reservoir with fresh and clean water. Run clean water through steam wand and portafilter.