How To Clean & Maintain an Espresso Machine

How To Clean & Maintain an Espresso Machine

One of the most important yet often overlooked aspects of owning and running a coffee shop is keeping your espresso machine clean. If you don’t, you’ll risk clogs, overflows, and other problems that can leave your customers with a terrible first impression. This will quickly turn them away from your business and onto the nearest competitor.

Running a small business isn’t easy, but it can be downright hard when you own and operate an espresso machine. The fragility of the machinery, the daily grind of making dozens of espressos, and the need to keep your equipment in tip-top shape are enough to make any barista feel overwhelmed. To add even more stress on top of that, cleaning your machine can seem like a real pain.

A well-maintained espresso machine can last a decade or more. A poorly maintained one might die in less than two years. Improper cleaning, a lack of regular maintenance, and a failure to keep up with routine tune-ups can drastically reduce the lifespan of even the best espresso machines.

What do you need to clean your espresso machine?

When you’re cleaning your espresso machine, you need to consider a few things. First, what parts of your machine do you need to clean? Next, how often should you clean them? And finally, what tools do you need to get the job done?

These are the things you will need to get started:

  • Warm Water
  • White Vinegar
  • Wet Cloth
  • Soap/Liquid Detergent

6 Steps to Clean & Maintain an Espresso Machine

Follow these six steps to maintain your espresso machine and keep it producing the perfect cup of coffee every time.

1: Wipe down the outside of your espresso machine to prevent staining and buildup

Cleaning the outside of your espresso machine will keep it looking nice, and prevent any build-up of dirt and grime. Wipe down the outside of your machine with a damp cloth to remove any buildup, and wipe it down again after each use.

Clean it with a wire brush if you’re using a metal espresso machine. Clean it with a soft cloth if you’re using a plastic machine.

2: Inspect the parts of your espresso machine for damage

You should regularly inspect the parts of your espresso machine for damage. This includes the machine’s boiler, boiler tank, pump, and all other parts that might be exposed to the coffee or espresso. If you see any cracks, dents, or other damage, it’s time to replace or repair the affected parts.

3: Clean the pump regularly to prevent clogs and malfunctions

Another essential part of your espresso machine is the pump. It can cause many headaches if it’s not working correctly, so you should clean it regularly.

You can use a simple dishwashing liquid and warm water, or you can use an espresso-specific cleaner. If you choose to clean your pump with an espresso-specific cleaner, be sure to follow the instructions that come with the cleaner.

4: Keep an eye out for signs of damage

If you see any signs of damage, it’s time to repair or replace the affected parts. This includes cracks in the machine’s boiler, the pump, and any other part that might be damaged.

Moreover, if you see that your espresso machine is making a loud noise or if it has been leaking, this could be a sign that you need to repair or replace some of the internal parts of your espresso machine.

5: Keep your machine clean and free of debris

Keep the inside of your machine clean and free of debris. Coffee grounds, lint, and other debris can clog your machine, causing overflows and other problems. This is especially true for metal machines, so you should watch for any lint or debris that builds up inside the machine.

6: Inspect your machine’s filter for damage and clogs

A coffee shop’s filter is the most important part of the espresso machine. It can make or break your business, so it’s important to inspect it regularly. If you see any damage or clogs, it’s time to replace the filter.

You can do this yourself or have your barista do it for you. If you’re going to do it yourself, it’s a good idea to invest in a filter basket to keep your machine’s filter clean and dry.

Clean it with a damp cloth if you’re using a paper filter. Using a mesh filter, you can use a simple dishwashing liquid and warm water.

How often should I clean my Espresso Machine?

The frequency of your cleaning will depend on how often you use your espresso machine and how much you use it. If you use your machine only once or twice a week, you should clean it every time you use it.

If you are using it daily, it is recommended to clean it daily as the dirt that builds up in the machine over time can clog the pump and valves, causing issues with the flow of water and coffee.

Cleaning your espresso machine regularly will also prevent it from staining or staining the inside of your machine.
What are the most common signs that your espresso machine needs cleaning?

There are a few common signs that your espresso machine needs to be cleaned:

If you notice that the machine’s boiler is overheating, it’s time to clean it.

  • Your espresso has scum on the top of the crema.
  • The espresso doesn’t flow freely.
  • Your espresso is weak and watery.
  • You have to over-extract to get a good shot.
  • There are lint and debris in the coffee or espresso
  • The coffee or espresso tastes weak or has a burnt taste
  • There is a strong smell of burnt coffee or espresso
  • The machine is not producing enough espresso


Espresso machines can be a pretty substantial investment, so it is essential to take care of them properly to get your money’s worth and not have to replace them.

For a large business that uses espresso machines daily, cleaning the machine once a day may be sufficient. For a small business that uses espresso machines more infrequently, cleaning the machine once a week may be adequate.

If you follow our guide above, you should be able to clean your espresso machine easily. Are there any maintenance tips that you would add to the guide? Let us know in the comments below!

We hope that this guide has been helpful. If you need any more help, please ask us anything in the comments below.

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