Coffee Affection is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

How to Clean a Breville Espresso Machine (Simple Steps)

Breville

Nobody likes cleaning. There’s nothing worse than spending a beautiful day inside cleaning your house, except maybe spending an hour or two trying to clean dried coffee and old grounds out of your espresso machine. Unfortunately, espresso machines need regular maintenance to perform their best and continue to churn out delicious shots consistently. Breville machines have a handy indicator light that lets you know when it’s time to give your machine some attention, but most people ignore this light because they dread the time and effort they’ll have to spend cleaning their machine.

The good news is that keeping your Breville espresso machine clean according to the cleaning indicator will make it easier to stay on top of things instead of waiting until the situation gets out of control. In this article, we’re going to give you step-by-step instructions for cleaning your Breville espresso machine and give you a schedule to follow so your machine never gets so dirty that cleaning it becomes a hassle. It won’t be that bad—we promise.

divider 4

What You’ll Need

Luckily, there aren’t too many things you’ll need before you can effectively clean your Breville espresso machine.

The following is a complete list of everything you'll need to whip your espresso maker back into shape:
  • A soft-bristle brush
  • Pin cleaning tool
  • Cleaning tablets
  • A cleaning disk
  • Allen wrench
  • A stiff-bristle nylon brush
  • A soft cloth or towel
  • A bowl or pot

Most Breville espresso machines come with some cleaning tablets, a cleaning disk, and a brush, so you’ll only need to gather the nylon brush, bowl, and towel from your own supplies.

Everyday Maintenance

Before we get to the deeper cleaning process, there are a few easy things you can do every time you use your machine that will go a long way to keeping it in good working order.

After each use, check the drip tray and empty it into the garbage. This only takes a few seconds and prevents build-up over time.

The steam wand is often a problem area on espresso machines, but it doesn’t have to be. Every time you use the steam wand, make sure to empty the line of any residual milk by running it on the steam setting until no more liquid comes out. After the wand cools off, wipe the outside thoroughly with a soft cloth to remove any backsplash. You should also use the steam wand cleaning tool that came with your machine to clean the tip and ensure there are no blockages.

The last piece of everyday maintenance you need to do is clearing the filter basket. Gently tap the basket over your garbage can to dislodge leftover grounds and then wash with soap and water.

All told, the everyday maintenance shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes, but it will save you headaches in the long run and keep your machine healthy and running smoothly.

Deeper Cleaning

Even with regular cleaning after each use, your machine will still need more in-depth cleaning every 1-2 months. We like to clean our Breville once per month on the first Saturday, but you can stretch it to every month and a half if you don’t use your machine every day.

Group Head

The group head is the business end of your espresso machine and where you need to pay the most attention. Build-ups and blockages in the group head can greatly affect how your espresso tastes, so take your time here.

A good first step is to run a brewing cycle with the portafilter attached using only water. Check the water as it exits the machine. The clearer the water, the better, as coffee-colored water indicates residual coffee in the group head.

After running a water brew cycle, it’s a good idea to use the pin tool that came with your machine to clean out the holes in the filter. This can take a while, but try to be patient. Cleaning the filter holes and removing old coffee will make a drastic difference to how your espresso tastes.

Water Filter

Breville espresso machines have a water filter, and, just like the water filter in your refrigerator, it needs to be changed every 1.5-2 months. If you’ve never changed the water filter, you need to. Old filters are less effective than new ones and can grow mold and bacteria, making your espresso taste strange and be unsafe to drink in extreme cases.

cleaning coffee grinder
Image Credit: Rafael Koga Fotografia, Shutterstock

Grinder

If your machine has an attached grinder, make sure you clean that during your deep cleaning sessions. Grinders are generally low-maintenance, but you should brush off the burrs and remove as much coffee dust and old grounds as possible. Never use soap or water to clean your burrs, as that will cause them to rust and render them useless.

Using the Cleaning Disk/Tablet

The final step is to run your machine’s built-in cleaning cycle using the cleaning disk and cleaning tablets it came with. The process is straightforward and only takes a few minutes.

Put the cleaning disk in the one-cup filter and place a cleaning tablet in the center of the disk. Attach the portafilter to the machine as you would to make a shot of espresso. Press and hold the power button, one-cup button, and two-cup buttons simultaneously until the cleaning light flashes to initiate the cleaning cycle.

When the machine finishes the cleaning cycle, run another brew cycle using only water to remove any cleaning solution left in the machine. If you don’t, your next few shots might have a funny taste to them.


best Breville espresso machines
Print
5 star average

How to Clean a Breville Espresso Machine

Consistent cleaning and maintenance are crucial to keeping your Breville machine happy. Luckily, there aren't too many things you'll need before you can effectively clean your Breville espresso machine.
Prep Time5 mins
Active Time5 mins
Cleaning Cycles20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Keyword: cleaning, how to clean breville espresso machine

Equipment

  • A soft-bristle brush
  • Pin cleaning tool
  • A cleaning disk
  • Allen wrench
  • A stiff-bristle nylon brush
  • A soft cloth or towel
  • A bowl or pot

Materials

  • Cleaning tablets

Instructions

Everyday Maintenance

  • After each use, check the drip tray and empty it into the garbage. This only takes a few seconds and prevents build-up over time.
  • The steam wand is often a problem area on espresso machines, but it doesn't have to be. Every time you use the steam wand, make sure to empty the line of any residual milk by running it on the steam setting until no more liquid comes out. After the wand cools off, wipe the outside thoroughly with a soft cloth to remove any backsplash. You should also use the steam wand cleaning tool that came with your machine to clean the tip and ensure there are no blockages.
  • The last piece of everyday maintenance you need to do is clearing the filter basket. Gently tap the basket over your garbage can to dislodge leftover grounds and then wash with soap and water.

Deeper Cleaning

  • Clean the group head. A good first step is to run a brewing cycle with the portafilter attached using only water. Check the water as it exits the machine. The clearer the water, the better, as coffee-colored water indicates residual coffee in the group head.
  • After running a water brew cycle, it's a good idea to use the pin tool that came with your machine to clean out the holes in the filter. This can take a while, but try to be patient. Cleaning the filter holes and removing old coffee will make a drastic difference to how your espresso tastes.
  • Replace the water filter. Breville espresso machines have a water filter, and, just like the water filter in your refrigerator, it needs to be changed every 1.5-2 months. If you've never changed the water filter, you need to. Old filters are less effective than new ones and can grow mold and bacteria, making your espresso taste strange and be unsafe to drink in extreme cases.
  • If your machine has an attached grinder, make sure you clean that during your deep cleaning sessions. Grinders are generally low-maintenance, but you should brush off the burrs and remove as much coffee dust and old grounds as possible. Never use soap or water to clean your burrs, as that will cause them to rust and render them useless.
  • Use the cleaning disk & tablets. The final step is to run your machine's built-in cleaning cycle using the cleaning disk and cleaning tablets it came with. The process is straightforward and only takes a few minutes.
  • Put the cleaning disk in the one-cup filter and place a cleaning tablet in the center of the disk. Attach the portafilter to the machine as you would to make a shot of espresso. Press and hold the power button, one-cup button, and two-cup buttons simultaneously until the cleaning light flashes to initiate the cleaning cycle.
  • When the machine finishes the cleaning cycle, run another brew cycle using only water to remove any cleaning solution left in the machine. If you don't, your next few shots might have a funny taste to them.

Notes

Most Breville espresso machines come with some cleaning tablets, a cleaning disk, and a brush, so you'll only need to gather the nylon brush, bowl, and towel from your own supplies.
Even with regular cleaning after each use, your machine will still need more in-depth cleaning every 1-2 months. We like to clean our Breville once per month on the first Saturday, but you can stretch it to every month and a half if you don't use your machine every day.

divider 2

Conclusion

Most people avoid cleaning their espresso machine because they think it takes too long, but the truth is that they’re making more work for themselves in the long run. It only takes 5 minutes per day and about 30 minutes once a month to keep your Breville machine running as good as new.

If you follow the steps outlined here, your coffee will continue to taste great, your machine will last longer, and you won’t dread cleaning day since you’ll always be on top of things. Trust us, it’s better this way.


Featured Image Credit: Angela CoffeeRank, Flickr CC 2.0 Generic (Breville)

divider

Sean Brennan

Sean’s obsession with coffee started when he received his first French press as a gift almost ten years ago. Since then, his love of coffee – and the number of coffee gadgets he owns – has grown considerably. A scientist by training, there is no stone he has left unturned in the never-ending quest for the perfect cup of coffee. He has spent many hours tuning his pour-over technique, thinking about how to best compare grind quality, and worrying about whether the Nicaraguan or Kenyan beans will make the best cold brew. These days he favors the Hario V60, and starts each day by hand grinding his coffee before enjoying a cup prepared with care and attention to detail.

Read more

Popular Posts

Related posts

Other Categories