How-To: Cleaning a Breville espresso machine

Cleaning your Breville espresso machine is important. And if you follow Breville’s manual: you’ll take much longer completing the process. Here’s the ultimate guide to cleaning a Breville.

Regular cleaning is crucial for keeping your Breville espresso machine running in top working order and delivering flavorful coffee. This routine maintenance prevents buildup and sanitizes components.

Cleaning differs from descaling in that it focuses on removing oils, coffee residues, and bacteria rather than mineral deposits.

Overview of Cleaning Breville Espresso Makers

During the coffee brewing process, oils and residues accumulate on components like the brew head screen, steam wand, water reservoir, and milk container. Bacteria and mold can also propagate.

Allowing this buildup can lead to:

  • Off tastes and odors imparting to coffee
  • Clogged or sticky components
  • Promotion of bacteria growth
  • Reduced lifespan of parts

Regular cleaning removes buildup to keep your Breville machine running cleanly and prevent premature wear. Most manufacturers recommend full cleaning every 2-4 weeks.

The cleaning process typically involves:

  1. Removing removable components
  2. Washing removable parts with detergent
  3. Using cleaning tablets to backflush and sanitize
  4. Scrubbing exterior surfaces

Below we’ll detail the recommended cleaning procedures for Breville’s various home espresso machines using their included detergents and tools.

Don’t forget to descale your Breville espresso machine every 2-3 months, according to the company.

How To clean a Breville espresso machine

To clean a Breville espresso machine you’ll need some cleaning tools:

cleaning and descaling tools Breville

Breville includes cleaning tablets designed to dissolve oils and residues when backflushed through the group head.

What you will need for this is a cleaning tablet, the plastic backflushing disc and the 1 CUP filter.

Place a tablet into the provided plastic backflushing disc.

Insert disc into portafilter basket and lock into the group head.

Portafilter with cleaning tablet in group head

Make sure the water tank is filled up to the maximum with fresh cold water.

Here it comes: Breville advises to put a big tray under the group head. Don’t do this!

Big tray under group head Breville in drip tray

It took me about 5 minutes to find a huge tray that will fit under the group head. I removed the upper-part of the drip tray to make it fit on Breville’s Barista Express.

Believe it or not, but after the cleaning cycle this tray was EMPTY. So, don’t do this. I ran the cleaning cycle again without it and there was no difference.

Just leave the drip tray, the water will flow there from inside the machine.

Starting the cycle

Now press power to shut down the machine.

Press the buttons 1 CUP, 2 CUP and Power at the same time. Hold for 10 seconds.

Starting the Breville cleaning cycle

The cleaning cycle starts and takes about 5 minutes. Water runs out the inside of the machine into the drip tray.

When finished, the Breville will make two short sounds. Remove the portafilter and check if the tablet is dissolved.

Is the tablet dissolved? Congratulations, you’re done.

Tablet still not dissolved? Repeat the process until it’s gone.

General Breville espresso machine Cleaning Tips

While specific steps differ across models, some overarching best practices apply when cleaning Breville machines:

  • Rinse detergent off all parts thoroughly to prevent residue reaching coffee.
  • Allow all components to fully air dry before reassembling to prevent mold.
  • Soak scales and sticky buildup off parts rather than abrasively scrubbing.
  • Descale before cleaning if removing heavy mineral deposits.
  • Purge plain water through the steam wand after cleaning.
  • Always use Breville’s recommended cleaning tablets and brushes to avoid damage.
  • Wipe exterior with a damp microfiber cloth and avoid spraying liquids directly on components.
  • Clean drip tray, portafilter, etc daily and do a full backflushing cleanse every 2-4 weeks.

Properly maintaining your machine ensures every shot tastes pure and avoids deterioration or malfunction. Keep your Breville running smoothly for years to come.

Common Breville Espresso Machine Cleaning Mistakes

When cleaning your Breville espresso machine, avoid these common mistakes:

  • Neglecting to regularly backflush, especially when switching coffee types.
  • Using harsh chemical or abrasive cleaners not formulated for espresso machines.
  • Not rinsing detergent off parts thoroughly leading to contamination of coffee.
  • Allowing milk residue to dry on steam wand rather than cleaning after each use.
  • Putting portafilters or accessories in dishwasher. Hand wash only.
  • Not periodically removing shower screen to clean behind it.
  • Failing to wash drip tray frequently causing mold growth.
  • Skipping exterior wipe-downs allowing coffee or calcium deposits to build up.
  • Spraying or immersing machine with water during cleaning.
  • Not cleaning steam wand tip holes leading to blocked steaming.

Proper cleaning removes residues but keeps the delicate components of your Breville unharmed so it produces the best-tasting coffee for years of enjoyment.

Cleaning FAQs for Breville Espresso Machines

Here are some commonly asked questions about cleaning Breville espresso makers:

How often should backflushing be done?

Breville recommends backflush cleaning every 1-2 weeks to prevent oil and residue buildup.

What is an alternative to cleaning tablets?

Cafiza powder can be substituted by dissolving 1 tsp into the portafilter and backflushing.

Can I put portafilters or accessories in the dishwasher?

Never put accessories in the dishwasher. The harsh detergents can degrade materials over time. Always hand wash.

How do I clean stuck-on coffee stains?

Gently soak in hot water rather than scrubbing to prevent scratching stainless steel. For tough stains, use diluted vinegar.

How often should I descale before cleaning?

Descaling before cleaning is only required if your machine alerts for descaling or if flow is obstructed by heavy mineral deposits.

Nigel Hooijmans

Nigel Hooijmans

I have tested over 20 espresso machines and tasted hundreds of kinds of specialty coffee. What is left is a lot of knowledge which I'd like to share. On you'll read honest opinions about real products.

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