Cleaning the espresso machine might be the most annoying part of being a barista but it’s good for your machine and really important as well. There is a saying in Finnish that cleanliness is half of the meal. It carries a very important message though it does not make any sense in English.
Believe me, you are going to experience great tasting espresso if you clean your daily espresso-making friend properly and daily.
Again, espresso machines have a lifespan of 8 to 10 years depending on the model and it serves well when you take good care of them. And now you can follow these simple yet effective steps to clean it and increase the lifetime of your espresso machine.
Clean Your Espresso Machine (Step-by-Step)
So, let’s see how can you clean your espresso machine on a regular basis to experience a great taste of espresso for both the use of home and coffee shop.
1. Scrub The Portafilter & Basket
First of all, remove the basket from the portafilter. Now you can use a scrubby pad or nylon brush to dislodge grounds from them. Use hot water to rinse the portafilter and basket and use a clean towel to dry the items.
The portafilter is basically the portable handled filter inserted into the group that makes the espresso using hot water.
2. Clean The Gasket
Use a nylon brush to clean your gasket. Now, to dislodge the material from the gasket – move your brush around the edges. Now rinse away any remaining material by running water through the group.
The group gasket used to seal the group and the portafilter. Basically, the group gasket is a rubber-O right that comes with grooves.
Let’s watch a quick video on “How to clean an espresso machine at home”
3. Wash The Screen & Underside of The Group
First of all, remove the screen from the group. To do that look at the underside of the group, use a screwdriver to loosen the screw inside of it. Now, to deep clean, each side of the group – use a nylon brush to remove that debris. Basically, you will find the debris behind the screen area.
Also, it is necessary to scrub the interior of the group while the screen is out. Set the screen to its place.
4. Back Wash Your Espresso Machine
You should backwash your espresso machine regularly. Well, once a month is sufficient if you are using it daily. Now, insert the blind filter into the portafilter and run the hot water through it as you used to do while making your espresso. The blind filter is basically a solid filter plate that prevents water from running through the portafilter.
Now, run the water for 5 seconds and this will release the water into the drip tray. Take a cleaning agent and place them into the portafilter and repeat it several times. And also, repeat the process using fresh water to make sure that all the detergent has been washed out.
5. Sanitize The Steam Arm
You will find milk proteins on your steam arm if you left it uncleaned. After a certain period of time, this will clog your espresso machine and affect the taste of your drinks. To play safely at this point, you need to purge the steam wand every time you use it – before and after.
Now, over the steam wand’s nozzle – place a clean, damp rag. For two seconds, turn the steam wand on to flush out milk proteins and water.
Use a clean damp rag to wipe down the steam arm after you have steamed the milk. Again, turn on the wand for 2 seconds after you place it over the nozzle.
6. Wipe Down The Espresso Machine
Making espresso is one of the annoying tasks, right? You should run a clean, damp rag over the entire machine every time you are done pulling shots and frothing milk.
And make sure that the cleaner is safe for your machine if you have one.
Well, these are the techniques you can use to clean your espresso machine regularly. That’s how your machine will get more lifespan and you will get a great taste of espresso experience.
But you should remember that chemical cleaning is necessary once a week. This will also increase the lifespan of your machine and keep the quality of your espresso.
Hope now you know the basic processes of cleaning an espresso machine at home. And the necessity of cleaning it once in a week and 6 months.