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How To Clean A Breville Espresso Machine

Your Breville espresso machine cost you a pretty penny. To keep it working at its best for a long time, you need to know how to properly clean it. Running your Breville through a flush clean cycle when prompted by your espresso machine is a good first step. However, there are other some other maintenance steps you should take on a regular basis to keep your brewer working at its best. Keep reading to learn more about Breville espresso machine cleaning for the Bambino or Barista Express, Pro and Touch models.

When To Clean Your Breville Espresso Machine?

Breville Barista Express Flashing Light  Means It Is Time To Clean
Breville Barista Express Flashing Light Means It Is Time To Clean

In addition to descaling your Breville coffee maker and regularly replacing the water filter, you need to complete a basic cleaning cycle from time to time. This will help keep your machine working at its best and prevent leaks. A really nice feature of these premium Breville models is that they will alert you when the brewer detects that maintenance is needed. It will usually come on after 200 brew cycles, but that number can vary based on the model. The way the alert is displayed will vary depending on which unit you have, sometimes with flashing lights.

It’s important to understand the difference between the Breville cleaning alert and descaling alert, especially if you have a Barista Express. If you see a descale alert, see my related post with steps to descale Breville espresso machine models. This is an important deep cleaning step that you don’t want to skip. While you may find other sites recommending descaling with water and vinegar, I think a commercial descaling solution will work better without damaging your machine.

ModelCleaning AlertDescale Alert
Barista ExpressFlashing light next to CLEAN/DESCALESolid light instead of blinking
Barista ProFLUSH alert on LCD displayDESCALE alert instead of FLUSH
Barista TouchMessage prompt will appear on the touch screenDescale message
Bambino Plus1 cup and 2 cup button continuously alternate flashing1 and 2 cup buttons blink for only 15 seconds

What Supplies Do You Need For A Breville Coffee Machine Cleaning Cycle?

There are two basic supplies you need to run a flush cycle on your Breville Barista Express, Pro, Touch or Bambino espresso machine: cleaning tablets and a disc. These are the most important pieces, though you may also eventually need the cleaning tool and brush. Hopefully you haven’t misplaced those. If you lost them, consider this kit.

Cleaning Tablets

A Breville espresso machine use cleaning tablets during the clean cycle to remove coffee oils and residue. It is recommended that you use the official tablets from Breville. These are made with food grade ingredients (sodium carbonate and sodium percarbonate). This makes them safe for your machine too, as the ingredients won’t be corrosive to the internal parts in your brewer. Be sure to read the safety instructions before beginning the process. If you choose to buy off-brand tablets, be sure to read the description carefully to see if they are compatible with your Breville model.

Cleaning Disc

A silicone rubber cleaning disc was included with your Breville espresso machine when you purchased it. It is required to run a flush cycle. Using it is easy. It fits into the portafilter and the tablet sits on it. This allows you to backflush the machine. If you have lost or misplaced it, you’ll need to order a new one. Be sure to check the details to make sure the disc is compatible with the Breville machine you have.

Breville Barista Express Cleaning Cycle Steps

  1. Insert the disc into either the one cup or two cup filter basket
  2. Put the filter basket into the portafilter
  3. Place 1 tablet into the indent on the disc
  4. Lock the portafilter into the group head and then turn the machine off
  5. Press and hold 3 buttons at the same time for 3 seconds: 1 Cup, 2 Cup, and Power
  6. This will start the cleaning cycle. It will last for 5 minutes. When its over, the Barista Express will beep 3 times
  7. Remove the portafilter and check to make sure that the tablet has been completely dissolved. If it did not, repeat steps 5 and 6 until it has
  8. Rinse the filter basket and portafilter with fresh water. That’s it! You’ve cleaned your machine and it is ready to make a cup of coffee.
How To Clean Breville Barista Express

How To Flush Breville Barista Pro Espresso Machine

  1. Insert the disc into the filter basket in the portafilter
  2. Place 1 tablet into the indent on the disc
  3. Lock the portafilter into the group head
  4. Empty the drip tray and place it back on the machine
  5. Remove the water tank and fill it to the MAX line, then place the water reservoir back on the machine
  6. Press the MENU button. Using the Grind Amount dial, navigate to FLUSH. Press select. This should turn on the 1 Cup button light. Press it to start the flush cycle. The display will show the cleaning time remaining
  7. When the Breville Barista Pro flush cycle is over, the machine will beep and switch to READY mode
  8. Remove the portafilter and inspect the disc. If any portion of the tablet remains, repeat steps 3 to 7 until it is gone
  9. Empty and rinse the portafilter, drip tray and disc
How To Flush Breville Barista Pro

How To Clean Breville Barista Touch Espresso Machine

The touch screen display makes cleaning the Breville Barista Touch easy. Touch the settings icon in the top right. Select the clean cycle. Empty the drip tray. Insert the 1 cup basket into the portafilter. Place the disc inside and put the tablet in it. Place the portafilter into the group head. Press the right arrow in the top right of the screen to continue. Then hit start on the screen to begin the cycle. The screen will tell you when the cycle is done. At that point, remove the portafilter. If that tablet has dissolved compeltely, just run a hot water rinse cycle. If it has not, repeat the cycle until it has dissolved.

How To Flush Breville Barista Touch Espresso Machine

How To Run The Breville Bambino Plus Cleaning Cycle

  1. Insert the disc into the filter basket in the portafilter
  2. Place 1 tablet into the indent on the disc
  3. Lock the portafilter into the group head
  4. Empty the drip tray and place it back on the machine. Put a 2 liter or 68 fl oz container on the drip tray under the portafilter and steam wand
  5. Remove the water tank and fill it to the MAX line. Place it back on the machine
  6. To enter cleaning cycle mode, press both the 1 CUP and 2 CUP buttons for 5 seconds. These two buttons will stay lit. Press either one to begin. The lights will alternate flashing while it is in progress
  7. When the cycle is over, the Breville Bambino will return to ready mode
  8. Remove the filter and rinse it along with the disc, drip tray and container
How To Clean Breville Bambino Plus Espresso Machine

Regular Cleaning Needed For Other Parts Of Your Breville Coffee Machine (All Models)

After completing all the steps on how to run the clean cycle for your Breville coffee machine, you should take the opportunity to clean out the other parts of the machine to keep it working at its best. You may need or want need to repeat the cleaning process for some parts of the machine (especially the portafilter and steam wand!) in between running a full automated flush cycle.

Conical Burr Grinder Cleaning

Run this cycle if you ever notice that no coffee grinds are coming from the grinder. The chute may be blocked or there could be water or moisture in the grinder chamber or chute. Grinder burrs are sharp so be careful when following these steps!

  1. Unlock the hopper, which is the part of the machine that holds the coffee beans, by turning it counter clockwise. Empty it of any beans, return it to the brewer, and then twist it clockwise to lock it
  2. Now the hopper is empty, run the grinder. This will remove any grounds that were caught in there
  3. Unlock the hopper again and remove it
  4. Remove the upper burr by turning it counter clockwise to unlock it and then pulling it up to remove it. This will also reveal the lower burr
  5. Take your brush and clean the top burr, lower burr and chute
  6. Put the top burr back in place and rotate clockwise to lock it. Then re-install the hopper.

Clean Steam Wand

You should clean the steam wand anytime after texturizing milk. Wipe the steam wand with a damp cloth. Then put the steam wand over the drip tray and turn the steam dial to the STEAM position. This will expel any milk that may be left inside the wand.

From time to time, the steam wand may become blocked by left behind milk residue. If you notice the quality of the frothing start to degrade, the steam wand needs a clean. To fix this, first just try taking the tool with pin and inserting the pin into the holes of the steam wand. Move them around gently. After this, try another STEAM cycle. If there still appears to be a block, use the spanner in the middle of the cleaning tool to unscrew the steam wand tip. Let the tip soak in some hot water and reuse the pin in the holes. Reattach the tip to the wand and try again. Repeat until successful.

Filters & Portafilter Cleaning

After each brew, you should rinse the portafilter and filter basket under hot water. This will rinse out any coffee particles and oils that may have been left behind from your last brew. If the holes in the filter or portafilter become blocked, put the filter into the portafilter without any coffee grounds in it. Lock it into the group head. Run water through the machine. Take your cleaning tool and clear the filter basket holes. If they remain blocked, dissolve a cleaning tablet in hot water and soak the filter basket and portafilter. Let them sit for 20 minutes and then rinse them well.

Clean The Group Head & Shower Screen

After each use, wipe the inside of the group head and shower screen with a damp cloth. At least once a week, you should also run a hot water only cycle to remove any leftover grinds and oil residue inside the machine. To do this, put an empty filter basket (no grinds) into the portafilter and then insert that into the group head. Press the 1 CUP button to start a hot water flow through the machine and then after a few seconds press it again to stop (if you have a Barista Touch, just press the ‘BREW’ button). Remove the portafilter and rinse it well.

Clean Outer Housing & Cup Warming Tray

Use a soft damp cloth to wipe down the outer housing of the Barista Express as well as the warming tray. Then wipe a soft dry cloth over it. Never use an abrasive cloth or pad as you may scratch your brewer.

Drip Tray Cleaning

Remove and empty the drip tray daily. If you don’t do it daily, you will definitely want to empty it when the drip tray full indicator is showing “EMPTY ME!”. Remove the grid and compartments from the drip tray. Dump grounds from the dry compartment into the bin. Remove the EMPTY ME! indicator by pulling it up until the side latches release. Use warm soap water and a non-abrasive sponge to hand wash the drip tray.

Storage Tray Cleaning

The storage tray is located behind the drip tray. When you slide the drip tray out, the storage tray will pull forward. Use a soft damp cloth to wipe it.

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