How do you clean a Breville espresso machine? Well, it's actually a remarkably simple process. In fact, most Breville espresso machines have cleaning instructions printed right onto the water tank.
Not only are the instructions usually printed on the unit, but they often include all the necessary cleaning agents and tools for making your machine sparkly clean!
In this article we will go over the cleaning process, timing for when to clean which parts, and the differences between vinegar and espresso cleaning tablets.
We will also go over why you need to clean your espresso machine, because no, hot water doesn't sterilize your machine.
So if you haven't bought your machine yet and want to know the dirty details, or if it's been a year since you bought your machine and are just now getting to cleaning- worry not!
Whatever category you fall under we are here to help you uncover the mystery of "how to clean Breville espresso machine".
Why should I clean my Breville espresso machine?
Daily cleaning of your machine is important to avoid mold, bacteria, and other nasty grime buildup.
Especially with your drip tray and steam wand.
People often forget that these things need cleaning, so unless you want cheese in your coffee, remember to clean daily.
The descaling/deeper cleaning cycle will remove mineral buildup and also remove all the oils from the inside of the machine to prevent clogging.
Not only will it help your machine run smoothly but machine cleaning is also super important for great tasting coffee.
Without the removal of all those great coffee oils, they can start to go rancid and affect how your macchiato tastes in the morning.
In summation, the biggest reasons you need to clean your espresso machine are :
How often to clean a Breville espresso machine
We know for sure that the Breville barista express has a cleaning guide on the water tank but it doesn't say when to clean, just how to do it. Before we get into when you should clean your machine, you should know what to do it with.
Cleaning tools are included with the barista express machine and with many of the other Breville espresso machines. This includes:
Other required tools for cleaning that are not included with the espresso machine:
Every time you use your machine, or at least daily, there are a few pieces you should clean to avoid the dreaded steam wand cheese and mold throughout the machine.
This is one of the easiest parts of the machine to clean.
There is a handy "empty me!" tab that pops up when the drip tray is full and all you need to do is slide it out and dump it.
We would also recommend giving it a good rinse and scrub to avoid any bad smells or mold growth.
The steam wand requires more attention as it deals with more "spoilable" ingredients.
- 1With the tip of the wand directed to the drip tray, switch the dial to the steam position and run it to clear the tube after each use.
- 2Ensure the machine is in stand by, allow it to cool, then wipe down the wand.
- 3If the steam wand is still blocked then clean the tip with the included cleaning tool.
- 4If it is still blocked then you can unscrew the tip (froth enhancer) of the wand with the tool and soak it overnight in a cleaning solution.
Here is a great video with instructions for cleaning your steam wand properly:
Coffee grind bin
This is the little bucket that you dump your used grounds into after you make your espresso.
Simply dump and rinse this bucket daily to avoid any growth inside of it.
After you make your drink, it's important to clear the filter baskets to avoid blockages.
- 1Tap out the basket into the coffee grind bin and rinse the basket with water.
- 2Wash the basket with soap and water daily to avoid oil buildup.
- 3If the basket is clogged, use the cleaning pin to unblock the filter holes.
Your daily machine cleaning will help to ensure that nothing unsavory happens with your morning coffee but it is also important to clean the pieces of your machine that do all the background work.
Every few weeks it's important to clean the following pieces of your coffee machine.
Brewing head/group head/portafilter
Periodically, you should run water through the machine with the portafilter in place to dislodge any trapped coffee and to rinse out the units.
Should the parts become clogged you can follow these steps:
- 1Place the filter into the portafilter and run it once with no coffee grounds.
- 2Use the pin cleaning tool to clear blockages from the filter holes.
To maintain the cleanliness of the filters you can run a cleaning cycle with everything in place.
Yes, your espresso machine has a water filter and it does need cleaning about every 2 months.
First, remove the filter from the filter holder and soak it for about five minutes, then rinse it thoroughly.
Reassemble the unit and then make sure to set the dial for two months. Once it is all back together clip it back into the filter holder.
Every few weeks you should give your bean hopper a rinse and the burr grinder a brush to remove any coffee grounds that may be able to block the blades.
This part of machine cleaning will also ensure that your beans stay fresh by removing any oil trapped in the hopper and grinder.
Your espresso machine likely has a small "clean me" light that will come on when it is time to run the cleaning cycle.
- 1Once the light comes on, or about once a month, run a cleaning cycle.
- 2First run and empty cycle to flush any product out of the machine.
- 3Put the one cup filter in the portafilter and add in the cleaning disc.
- 4Then put a cleaning tablet in the middle of the disc and attach the unit to the group head.
- 5Press and hold the power button, one and two cup buttons at the same time until the cleaning light flashes to run the clean me cycle.
- 6Wait for the backflow cycles to finish. Only a small bit of water will come out as the cleaning disk is forcing water back through the system.
- 7Run one empty cycle to flush out any cleaning products left behind.
Here is a great video showing how to run the process on the barista express machine:
What can I use to descale my Breville espresso machine?
When walking about machine cleaning products, it is important to make sure that the product you are putting into your shopping cart will not harm your machine.
The safest bet is for you to call or email the Breville service center for more espresso machine cleaning tablets or sachets.
However, there are certainly some Breville safe methods that you can try out on your coffee machine.
You can descale your Breville coffee machine by using a mixture of water and vinegar. For every cup of vinegar, use 1 cup of water and put it into the water tank.
Run a few cycles with no coffee and flush the system with the solution.
Espresso Cleaning Tablets
Cleaning tablets are seriously the easiest way to clean your Breville machine.
We like this brand. Nothing beats just popping a tablet into the cleaning disk and pushing the correct buttons.
We can guarantee that your espresso machine will last you many wonderful years with regular cleaning.
Whether you choose to use cleaning tablets or switch it up with regular store-bought vinegar for your descaling process won't matter too much.
You are likely to have a great cup of espresso to your name if you follow proper cleaning procedure and timing.