How To Clean An Espresso Machine: All The Ways

By Evelina •  Updated: 07/10/21 •  7 min read

The Best Answer:

There are two main ways to clean an espresso machine. The first is by using a coffee-specific cleaner that doesn’t require water or too much rinsing, such as Urnex Cleaning Powder for Espresso Machines. This should be done fairly often, especially when you notice changes in the flavor of your brew.

You can pour the powder over the surface of the portafilter and let it soak for 3 minutes before running a cycle (you can do this with most of the removable parts). The second way is by taking apart every single part, brushing out each individual component with a brush, and replacing any parts that seem neglected at all.

Espresso machines are an essential part of any coffee lover’s life. That said, they can be expensive, so it’s important to clean them properly.

If you don’t clean your espresso machine on a regular basis, residue and other contaminants will accumulate and prevent the machine from producing its best-tasting espresso.

From the moment you clean your espresso machine, you will be able to produce a great coffee with a clean taste. The process takes about 10 minutes and requires very few steps to follow.

In this article, we’ll show you how to clean your espresso machine so that you can enjoy it for years to come.

Cleaning The Parts of The Espresso Machine

how to clean espresso machine

To clean all the parts of the espresso machine you need a special espresso machine cleaner (for example an Urnex cleaner), vinegar, and a soft brush. Make sure you start by turning the machine off and unplugging it from the wall outlet.

1. Cleaning The Portafilter

To clean the portafilter of the espresso machine, you need to follow a few steps. You should first rinse out the portafilter by running water through it.

Then, pour the espresso machine cleaner on the espresso portafilter and allow it to sit for about 3 minutes before running it for a brewing cycle. Then, use a brush to remove any residue or grinds that may still be stuck in the portafilter.

After you’re done with that, put the portafilter in a glass with vinegar and let it sit for another 5 minutes before running hot water through it to rinse it off.

Finally, be sure to dry the espresso portafilter with some paper towels before you use it for making coffee again.

2. Cleaning The Espresso Machine’s Shower Screens

Cleaning the espresso machine’s shower screens is really important because they get dirty very often.

The best way to clean the espresso machine’s shower screens is by pouring hot water and espresso machine cleaning powder. This mixture will soften and lift away grime and leftover coffee effectively. Rinse with warm, but not hot water afterward.

It is also recommended to use a few drops of dish soap or white vinegar in a mix with water afterward and place the shower screens inside for a few minutes as well to prevent scale build-up and espresso machine clogs.

3. Cleaning The Steam Wand

The steam wand is the part of the espresso machine that lets you make frothed milk for lattes and cappuccinos. It’s really important to clean the espresso steam wand once in a while because it can get easily clogged and dirty.

To clean the espresso machine’s steam wand, simply add hot water and cleaning solution in a big metal cup and insert the espresso machine’s steam wand in it.

Turn the steam wand on to allow the espresso machine cleaner to flow through it. You can also use a soft brush to clean it off and then wipe it with a damp cloth.

TIP: Make sure to clean the steam wand after every use because it can collect bacteria and cause mold.

4. Cleaning The Group head

The group head is the part of the espresso machine that has the espresso filter and it gets dirty very fast if you don’t clean it on a regular basis. This is one of the most difficult parts to clean because of its intricate design.

To properly clean your espresso machine’s group head, turn off the espresso coffee machine and remove the portafilter.

After that, use an espresso machine cleaner and a brush to scrub the group head. Do this carefully and rinse it off with warm water afterward.

Finally, wipe down the espresso machine’s group head with a damp towel and then let it dry before placing it again in your machine.

5. Cleaning The Hot Water Spigot

The hot water spigot is the part that can be used to make teas, americanos, and other hot beverages. It needs to be cleaned regularly so that it can perform effectively and you get the beverage you deserve.

To clean your espresso machine’s hot water spigot simply take a dry, clean cloth and wipe it off. You can also use a cleaning solution, warm water, and a brush to get rid of any bacteria and leftover grounds.

For deeper cleaning, you can take apart the spigot and clean it separately. Be sure to dry the spigot completely before putting it back.

Cleaning The Exterior Of Your Machine

cleaning the espresso machine

The exterior of your espresso machine collects water, and coffee grinds, and it’s important to keep it clean at all times.

If you don’t clean the espresso machine every week, it can get really dirty in just a few months or weeks. It’s better to take care of your espresso machine as soon as it needs cleaning. It will save you money in the long run.

The exterior of the espresso machine should be cleaned with plain water and a cloth or sponge as needed. Avoid any substances that might corrode metal.

This includes dishwasher detergent, bleach, window cleaner, and similar products. And make sure to turn off the power before you start cleaning!



Can I use vinegar to clean my espresso machine?

Yes! To clean an espresso machine, you can use either dish soap or white vinegar. Just mix one or the other in a big metal cup with water and then insert the espresso machine’s removable parts in the mix.

How often should an espresso machine be cleaned?

An espresso machine needs to be cleaned regularly. Ideally, it should be cleaned once per week. This will keep it working well and free of bacteria that can cause mold and other issues.

For deeper cleaning, you might want to take apart the espresso machine’s parts and then clean them separately. Before placing the parts back in the machine, make sure they are dry so that they don’t rust.

Read Also: How to Clean A Nespresso Machine

Can I use baking soda to clean my espresso machine?

To clean an espresso machine with baking soda, mix one tablespoon of baking soda and warm water. Then, use this mixture to soak the removable parts of your espresso machine. Rinse thoroughly and allow it all to dry before putting the parts back together.

What can I use besides vinegar to clean my coffee maker?

If you’re not a fan of using vinegar, then we have good news for you! Baking soda has the same effects of removing coffee stains and buildup as vinegar.

You can mix one tablespoon of baking soda with warm water in order to make an effective cleaning solution.

Use this mixture to soak the espresso machine’s removable parts and then rinse thoroughly before putting them back together. Another thing you can use is simple dish soap.

Last Thoughts

Now that you know how to clean your espresso machine, don’t forget to keep it in tip-top shape by running a water and vinegar solution through the system every once in a while.

Don’t forget about the exterior either! Regularly dusting or wiping down surfaces not only keeps them looking shiny but also prevents dirt from accumulating on top of all those hard-to-reach spots.

With these simple steps, you can be sure that when the coffee time rolls around, your morning is going to have just as much flavor as if you were using a freshly cleaned machine!


Evelina’s passion for coffee could never been hidden. Having worked as a barista, she learned the true value of the coffee bean and its secrets. As she continued to evolve as a barista, so did her knowledge, techniques on making different coffee blends and most importantly how to operate every kind of gear when it comes to coffee. Having a degree in biomedicine and being a barista, allows her to provide our community with in-depth knowledge surrounding the topics of coffee.