How To Clean a Breville Espresso Machine

The Coffee Folk is reader-supported. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Failing to clean your espresso machine is one of the most surefire ways to hijack the flavor of your coffee and shorten the lifespan of your machine. That is why we have put together this guide to help walk you through how to clean a Breville Espresso Machine. 

Espresso machines have three levels of cleaning required; a clean after each use, a deep clean, and descaling. How often you perform a deep clean and descaling depends on the volume of shots being pulled.

Why Should I Clean My Breville Espresso Machine?

A Breville coffee machine requires regular cleaning and maintenance to keep it looking and running at its best. Cleaning removes any oils and residues that have built up, enabling it to produce excellent tasting coffee. 

What Cleaning Equipment Do I Need?

Thankfully, if you own a Breville Espresso Machine, you will find that most of the cleaning equipment required comes with the machine. Most machines also have a storage tray behind the drip tray to store all your cleaning gear in- ingenious! Below is a list of the cleaning equipment required:

How to clean breville espresso machine

How to Clean: Breville Espresso Machine


Daily Cleaning

A few essential cleaning duties need to be performed after each use of your Breville coffee machine for optimal longevity and performance.

Flush the Group Head

The first task is straightforward; having pulled the shot, you need to take out the portafilter and flush the group head. This entails pushing either the manual or a preset shot button to run some water through the shower screen and group head, thus cleaning it and removing coffee particles. You then wipe the group head and the casing down with a damp cloth before drying it. 

Clean the Steam Wand

The next task is to clean the steam wand, and once again, this is very straightforward. After using your Breville machine, you should purge the steam wand and wipe it down with a damp cloth. This prevents milk from drying and hardening on the wand, which affects performance. 

If you notice your Breville Espresso Machine has a reduced steam pressure, it could be due to your steam tip being blocked. To unblock it, first, try purging the steam wand. Failing that, use the pin in the steam wand cleaning tool to clear the holes. If it is still blocked, you can unscrew the steam wand tip and soak it in hot water with some cleaning powder before using the cleaning tool to unblock it again. Reassemble the steam wand and purge some steam through it to check all is in order.

how to clean a breville espresso machine

Clean the Portafilter and Basket

The final task that needs to be performed after each use is to clean the portafilter and basket. To do this, knock out the used puck, then rinse the portafilter and basket under hot water to remove any residual coffee grounds. Do NOT put the portafilter through the dishwasher (we learned the hard way!), or it removes the shiny coating on the handle. If you notice any of the holes in the filter basket have become blocked, you can use the pin on the steam wand cleaning tool to unblock these. 

Clean The Drip Tray

Cleaning the drip tray is one of the easiest jobs that needs to be done every few days. The Breville Espresso Machines have an ’empty me’ sign that pops up when the tray is full. You then take the drip tray out and empty the water into the sink. Wash the drip tray and grid with hot soapy water and dry before replacing.

Cleaning the drip tray of a Breville espresso machine

Clean The Knock Box

If you use a knock box or coffee grind bin, you need to empty this and rinse it out regularly to prevent mold build-up. 

These basic cleaning tasks should be performed on your Breville coffee machine regularly. While it may seem like a lot, it is very quick to do this once you get into a routine. 

Deep Clean

These deep cleaning tasks are more involved and need to be performed every few months.

Cleaning Cycle (Backflush)

Breville recommends running a cleaning cycle every 2-3 months or per 200 cups of coffee brewed. The Breville Espresso Machines all have a clean me light or notification that will pop up when this is due. The deep clean is done by means of backflushing with a blind basket. Backflushing is when water is flushed back into the machine to clean the shower screen, brew group, and three-way valve to remove residual grinds and oil build-up. As a side note, this cleaning method can only be done on machines with a three-way valve (which all the Breville machines have). 

How to run a cleaning cycle

Use the following steps to backflush your Breville Espresso machine:

  • Insert the cleaning disk into the 1 cup filter basket in your portafilter.
  • Add your espresso cleaning tablet or cleaning powder (Urnex Cafiza is the preferred option). 
  • Lock the portafilter into the group head.
  • Ensure the water tank is filled with cold water and the drip tray is empty. Note that if you have a Breville Bambino Plus, you have to place a 2L container under the portafilter and steam wand at this point).
  • Run the cleaning cycle. All the Breville machines (except the Breville Duo Temp Pro) have one. 
  • Once complete, remove and rinse the portafilter, cleaning disk, and drip tray.
How to clean breville espresso machine
Accessing the cleaning cycle

This is how you access the cleaning program for each of the different Breville machines:

  • Breville Oracle Touch: Select cleaning cycle on the screen
  • Breville Oracle: From the menu button, rotate the select dial until you get to Clean Cycle and select
  • Breville Dual Boiler: Press the Menu button until clean cycle flashes and select
  • Breville Barista Touch: Select cleaning cycle on the screen
  • Breville Barista Pro: Use grind amount dial to navigate the menu to FLUSH, then press to select
  • Breville Barista Express: Press and hold 1 Cup, 2 Cup and Power Button for 3 seconds
  • Breville Infuser: Press and hold the 1 and 2 Cup buttons, then simultaneously press the power button and hold all 3 for 10 seconds
  • Breville Bambino Plus: Press and hold the 1 Cup and 2 Cup button for 5 seconds
  • Breville Duo Temp Pro: Turn the dial to espresso setting for 20 seconds, then back and repeat 5-6 times.

Changing the Water Filter

The Breville Espresso Machines all come with a water filter that needs to be changed every three months. The water filter helps prevent the build-up of minerals inside the machine and is particularly helpful if you live in an area with hard water. Using a water filter or filtered water means you won’t have to descale a Breville espresso machine as often.

How to change the water filter

Use the following steps to change the water filter.

  • Unwrap your new water filter and soak it in a cup of water for 5 minutes
  • Set the calendar dial on the water filter to help you remember when it was inserted. If you wish to use this, you set it for the month you are inserting the filter.
  • Empty the water reservoir and remove the old filter.
  • Install the new filter, then refill the water tank.
How to clean breville espresso machine

Descaling

The final cleaning duty is descaling, and how often this needs to be completed depends on the hardness of the water being used. Breville machines come with a water testing strip when you purchase them so you can see your water level. If it is at a level 4 or 5, you should use filtered or bottled water. Even if you are using filtered water, there can be a build-up of minerals inside the machine after regular use, which can affect the brewing temperature and taste of espresso, among other things. Descaling strips away all the mineral build-up and cleans the inside of your machine. Descaling should only be attempted if you know what you are doing; if you are unsure how to descale an espresso machine, it is always best to get your machine serviced by professionals. 

To descale your Breville Espresso Machine, you can either use a commercial descaling solution or make your own using 1 part vinegar and 1 part water.

How To Descale a Breville Espresso Machine

The general procedure to descale Breville espresso Machine involves the following steps:

  • Empty any the water out of the drip tray
  • Select the descaling program.
  • If you have a dual boiler, there will be a descale access area on the front to empty the boilers. After they are empty, you need to empty the drip tray again.
  • Empty the water reservoir and remove the filter.
  • Fill the water reservoir with your chosen descaling solution (following manufacturers’ instructions).
  • Begin the descale cycle- the machine fills the boilers with the descaling solution and heats it. It then lets it stand for around 20 minutes.
  • Once the time is complete, you empty the solution out of the boilers, drip tray, and water tank.
  • Refill the water tank with fresh water and flush the machine out. We recommend running through the flushing cycle multiple times to ensure any remaining solution is removed.

If you are going to attempt to descale your machine yourself, refer to your manual for specific instructions to suit your machine.

Cleaning The Grinder

Finally, if you have a coffee machine with a built-in grinder, you will need to clean this out regularly to help ensure consistent grinding. To do this, you unlock the hopper and remove any beans. Replace it and run the grinder until it is empty. Then unlock the hopper again and remove the upper burr by twisting it to the right. Once this is out, you can brush any coffee grinds out of the burrs. You also need to brush out the grind outlet (if you have a tamping machine, this will require removing the tamping fan). Once all is clean, replace the upper burr by pushing it into position and then locking it in place. Insert the hopper and lock it into place. Voila! You are done.

Breville Smart Grinder

Cleaning Summary

We hope this guide has helped you navigate the ins and outs of how to clean a Breville coffee Machine. Some essential products to invest in are cleaning tablets, descaling or cleaning solution and a water filter. We would recommend referring to your manual for specific instructions on how to perform the deep cleaning tasks. The daily tasks are relatively straightforward and don’t take long to complete if you incorporate them into your brewing routine. Cleaning your coffee machine is vitally important to ensure your machine is running at its best and producing delicious coffee. 

Save 10% on coffee and espresso accessories!

Save 10% on Coffee and Espresso Accessories at Seattle Coffee Gear with the code TAKE10. 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *