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How to Clean a Super Automatic Espresso Machine

by Luciano Iarusso January 30, 2018

How to Clean a Super Automatic Espresso Machine

Did you recently decide to treat yourself to a fancy, super automatic espresso machine for your house? Now you can make your fancy cappuccinos at home! You definitely made a good decision. Now you are  saving time and   money !

Buying a machine is a big investment not to mention the most important part of your  morning ritual. That mean it is important you maintain the longevity of the machine as well as ensuring it is working at its best at all times.  In all of its new glory, make sure you don't forget to clean your new super automatic espresso machine.

After each time you use your espresso machine, coffee grinds and coffee oils get trapped all throughout various components.  Left uncleaned, your espresso machine will compromise the taste of your chosen espresso bean.

You don't want to compromise the quality or taste of your coffee. It's time to learn how to clean an espresso machine!

Don't let this intimidate you. This cleaning process can be broken down into a few easy steps.

Let's get into it.

Why Do You Clean an Espresso Machine?

An obvious advantage of having a super automatic espresso machine is the convenience. This convenience can also be applied to the cleaning process!

Super automatic espresso machines grind, brew, tamp and dispose of coffee bean grinds all internally. This regular circulation of coffee beans, coffee bean oils and debris can quickly collect and cause blockages.

In addition to the espresso portion of the machine, cleaning the steam wand is also incredibly important. If left uncleaned, the remaining milk will clog the wand and cause harmful bacteria to grow.  Even more importantly, machines with an autofoamer or carafe require regular maintenance. 

Superautomatic espresso machines will prompt you when descaling is required.  There are however some regular daily and weekly tasks that are needed.

Daily Cleaning

When you think about cleaning an espresso machine, you probably immediately think about the drip tray. This is the tray your   espresso cup  sits on top of, that allows excess espresso or water from the rinse cycle to flow into.  This is also where excess water from the brew cycle falls into.

Depending on how many coffees you are brewing each day, you may need to empty this drip tray each day.

Another part of the daily maintenance your machine needs is the emptying out of the dreg drawer.  But what is the dreg drawer? The dreg drawer is the internal part of the espresso machine that catches the spent coffee grinds.  These grinds will look like little hockey pucks.

Leaving old espresso grounds in the dreg tray for multiple days on end can lead to mold growth. Wait, don't throw away the spent coffee pucks, you can add them to your garden or houseplants. These make excellent fertilizer. 

Let's move on to the steam wand. It is important to keep the steam wand on your machine in pristine condition. As you probably know, milk is a dairy product that if left unattended will produce foul odor and encrusted milk can clog the steam tip. This is even more crucial for autofoamers and carafes.

If your machine has a pannarello, you can pull off the pannarello and wash it after each use.  Machines with a traditional metal steam wand, on the other hand,  can be cleaned with a clean, wet dish cloth to wipe it down.  Machines with an autofoamer, will require the autofoamer to be removed from the machine, dismantled into its varioius components, in order to wash using a milk dairy cleaner.  Puro Powder  or Puro Milk SystemLiquid is a food safe degreaser especially made to clean these components. 

Like the autofamer,  milk carafe should also be cleaned using a milk dairy cleaner.

Weekly Cleaning

When cleaning any type of appliance make sure to consult your user manual. This should also be your first step when attempting to clean your new appliance on a deeper and more thorough level.

After a week of usage, it is crucial that you dive a bit deeper into your machine and clean the brew group.

Think of the brew group as the HQ of your espresso machine. It's a big deal. This is the component that produces your coffee. 

Super automatic espresso machines typically come with two different types of brew groups, non-removable (brands like Jura and Krups) and removable (brands like Saeco, DeLonghi and Gaggia). 

Your espresso machine manual should indicate which one you've purchased and further instruct you on how to go about cleaning it.

If you find yourself in the possession of a non-removable brew group machine, then you can only clean this brew group internally. You will need tablets to clean this component.  Cafiza tablets is this type of product. 

This requires a cleaning tablet that is specified for espresso machines and usually is run through the bypass doser. 

Select the automatic cleaning cycle and then input the cleaning tablet. This will do all the work for you! All you need to remember is to place a large bowl or container under the espresso spout to catch the dirty water.

Removable brew groups are a bit easier to clean. Cleaning these types of brew group generally requires you removing the group and rinsing under water.

Rinse the coffee that has been stored in this group and if needed, use a brush or towel to remove tougher espresso remnants.  Brew groups will require lubrication from time to time as well. 

What's the Deal with Descaling?

What's descaling and do you need to do it with a super automatic espresso machine? 

Super automatic espresso machines require descaling every one to three months depending on usage and more specifically water hardness. 

Descaling is the process of running   a cleaner  through the internal boiler, pump and various valves of the espresso machine. To descale a super automatic machine, use a descaling solution specifically made to clean an espresso machines.  A great advantage of superautomatic espresso machines is that they will have prompts to direct you in this process. 

There are two types of descalers on the market: powder and liquid.  Both are equally effective.  If you are using the powder, be sure to dissolve the packet of powder fully in a 32 oz. bottle of warm water.  Once dissolved, you can pour the solution into your water tank.

If you use a liquid descaler, you can pour the amount as directed into 32 oz of warm water and pour directly into the water tank. For example, Dezcal liquid  requires you use 3 oz of product to 32 oz. of water.

Once the solution is  in the machine, activate the descaling prompt on your model. Put a container under the steam wand and in some units, put a container also under the coffee spouts to catch the solution.

Reviewing your user manual is recommended to ensure proper procedure is followed. 

At the end of the descaling process, be sure to rinse your water tank and allow your machine to dispense one to two tanks of fresh water to ensure all traces of the descaler have been removed.  It is also advisable to make a couple of coffee and throw then out. 

Rinse your brew unit and you are back in business. 

Let There Be Espresso!

There you go! Now you know how to clean your superautomatic espresso machine. Regularly cleaning your machine will increase the longevity of your machine as well as ensure a great tasting espresso. Enjoy!


Luciano Iarusso
Luciano Iarusso

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