How to Clean an Espresso Machine Parts Like a Pro?

Cleaning and maintaining your automatic espresso machine is always tricky for every coffee lover. Like most people, you should clean your espresso machine more often. 

There are various ways to clean the different parts of your machine. Here’s a quick and easy guide on how to clean an espresso machine by parts  so that you can enjoy delicious, freshly-brewed espresso every time.

How to Clean an Espresso Machine

Cleaning the Parts of Automatic Espresso Machine 

Machines need to be cleaned and maintained. It applies to all metals, plastics, and rubbers. The purpose of this article is to provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to clean the different parts of an automatic espresso machine.Here we start from Drip tray cleaning :

Drip Tray Cleaning

A small, shallow drip tray is placed under a coffee machine to catch drips and spills. It is a tray where espresso cups are kept. Now, its cleaning frequency depends on how carefully and how much you use your espresso machine.

 If you make a lot of espresso cups a day, or you are a sloppy person, you may need to wash them daily. It is super easy to clean the drip tray. 

A drip tray is a removable part; here are steps to clean it:

  • please remove it from the espresso machine
  • rinse with water and soap
  • Let it dry, and adjust it with the espresso machine

Modern machines also come with drip trays that you can wash in the dishwasher. 

Cleaning of Portafilter 

First, make sure that the portafilter is empty of any coffee grounds. Next, insert the blind into the portafilter and lock it in place. Run water through the machine until it comes out hot, and then run it through the portafilter for about 30 seconds.

If you do this every time you use your espresso machine, you should never have to give your portafilter a deep cleaning. However, if you notice a build-up on your portafilter, you can soak it in a mixture of water and vinegar overnight to loosen any stubborn stains.

Dreg Drawer Cleaning

A dreg drawer is a small drawer under the coffee spout on an automatic espresso machine. It collects the coffee grounds (dregs) left over after brewing. 

Again, if you make a lot of espresso cups daily, you need to clean the dreg drawer daily. If you do not wash it regularly, mold proliferates on coffee leftovers. Dreg drawer is so easy to clean:

  • Take the coffee dump out of the dreg drawer.
  • Rinse the drawer with water.
  • Let it dry and fit in the espresso machine.

Please do not throw away the coffee pucks, they can be used as solid fertilizer for your 

plants if you have any.

Milk Frother/ Steam Wand Cleaning

It is necessary to clean the steam wand or milk frother after every use because milk and other liquids can build up on the rod and create a breeding ground for bacteria. 

If the wand is not cleaned, the bacteria can transfer to the milk and cause illness. Cleaning milk frother is super easy. Some steps are as follows:

  • Take off the milk frother.
  • Rinse it with warm soapy water.
  • Let it dry and fit in its place.

Some machines have a frother that you can wash in the dishwasher, but you need to check the manufacturer’s instructions. Do not take risks. It may severely affect your frother’s performance if it is not dishwasher friendly.

Cleaning of Brew Unit 

Cleaning the brewing unit of an automatic espresso machine is necessary to remove any built-up coffee oils or residue that may be present.

If these oils and residue are removed, they can lead to better-tasting coffee and a decrease in the machine’s overall performance. Some espresso machines have automatic cleaning cycles that clean the brew unit after every service, but you must clean it occasionally thoroughly. 

Brew units come in 2 categories:

  • Removable Brew Unit
  • Irremovable Brew Unit 

Removable Brew Unit

The brew unit is removable, so it is super easy to wash them. The steps to clean these brew units are as follows:

  1. Remove the Brew Unit carefully. Make sure the espresso machine is plugged off before removing it. 
  2. Rinse with warm water under all coffee residue. Use any old toothbrush if needed to rub the brew unit to remove any leftovers.
  3. Please wait for the Brew unit to dry and then fit it in the espresso machine.

Irremovable Brew Unit

 Cleaning irremovable brew units are challenging to wash compared to removable ones, as you can not remove them with normal water and soap. It would be best if you had a specialized solution to clean them.

 Different manufacturers have different types of solutions to clean the brew unit. It can be a tablet or liquid solution. In the case of a tablet, it is placed in the grinder. In the case of a liquid solution, it is added to the water reservoir. The steps to clean the irremovable brew unit are as follows:

  1. Select the cleaning cycle.
  2. Add a tablet or liquid solution to the espresso machine.
  3. Place a big container under the sprout to collect used water.
  4. Remember to brew 2 to 3 cups after cleaning and throw them away so you do not have to drink any contaminated coffee.


Descaling is the process of removing built-up calcium deposits from the internal components of an espresso machine. This is typically done using a commercial descaling solution and following the manufacturer’s instructions. 

Automatic espresso machines have a built-in descaling function that removes calcium deposits from the machine’s internal components. Descaling is integral to machine maintenance and should be done every few months or as needed.

 The frequency of your automatic espresso machine descaling primarily depends on the following:

  • Frequency of espresso machine use
  • The hardness of the water in your area.

Nonetheless, we suggest you descale your espresso machine periodically to maintain its health.

Benefits To Keep Your Espresso Clean 

Three top most benefits to keep your espresso machine clean

Prevent Bacteria Growth

One of the most important reasons to keep your espresso machine clean is to prevent the growth of bacteria. Bacteria can increase in an espresso machine’s warm, wet environment. If left unchecked, these bacteria can lead to several health problems for you and your customers.

Increase Espresso Machine Lifespan

In addition to preventing the growth of bacteria, cleaning your espresso machine regularly will also help keep it in good working condition.

Over time, coffee residue and oils can build up on the internal components of your machine, causing it to work less efficiently. By cleaning your machine regularly, you can prolong its lifespan and keep it running like new.

Produce Fresh, Tasteful Coffee

Finally, keeping your espresso machine clean is also significant for the taste of your coffee. Coffee that is brewed in a dirty machine can taste stale and bitter. 

By cleaning your machine, you can ensure that your coffee tastes fresh and delicious every time.

Tips and Tricks on how to clean an espresso machine?

There are a few tips and tricks to clean the espresso machine, so it works for a long time.

  • Make sure always to use fresh filtered water in your machine.
  • Ensure the coffee grounds are out of the brew basket after each use.
  • Descale your machine according to the given instructions given by the manufacturer.
  •  This will help to remove any built-up coffee oils and residue that can impact the flavor of your espresso.


How often should you clean your espresso machine?

It is important to clean your espresso machine regularly for optimal performance.Cleaning depends on  how often you use thye machine and What type of water you use .

Can I delay descaling the espresso machine?

You can delay descaling, but it is not recommended. Preferably, descale your espresso machine every 3 to 6 months. 

How to improve brew unit performance?

Carefully clean the brew unit, preferably every week. Lubricate it every 3 to 6 months for better performance.

Can I use vinegar for descaling espresso machines?

You can, but there are better options. Vinegar is acidic and can damage the machine if not used correctly.


It is essential to clean your automatic espresso machine to keep it functioning correctly. Over time, coffee oils and residue can build up on the machine and affect its performance. Cleaning the machine regularly will help to extend its lifespan and keep it making great coffee. 

 Each espresso machine has its cleaning specification. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions before cleaning your espresso machine. If you need any further information about espresso machine cleaning, we would be more than happy to help. Good Luck!

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