March 25, 2021 4 min read

If you have invested in a quality espresso machine, you probably expect good quality coffee, every time. 

Well, exceptional espresso doesn’t only require a quality machine and high-quality coffee beans. It also requires the dreaded task of cleaning and maintaining your espresso machine. 

Yes, we said it. And believe us when we say that even the richest blends of coffee will come out tasting rancid if your machine is unclean or not working properly. 

Coffee connoisseurs know this and will commit to a daily, weekly and monthly regimen schedule for maintaining their espresso machine.   

Sounds complex? It doesn’t have to be. 

Here are a few simple steps you can blend into your routine to keep your machine clean and working at its full potential. 

Step One - Leave Your Machine Ready for the Next Cup

It’s so tempting to put off cleaning until your next cup, especially if you are working from home these days. However, that is a classic mistake.  Coffee oils and particles will stick to the filter screen and portafilter basket, jeopardizing the taste and quality of your next coffee.  

Also, leaving milk residues on your steam wand is a dangerous habit! Hot milk hardens very quickly. This will not only clog the holes at the end of the wand, but it will also harbor dangerous bacteria that will get pushed into your next batch of fresh milk. 

To avoid all sorts of machine malfunctions and health hazards, follow our 15-second routine that will keep your machine clean and ready for your next delicious cup of coffee. 

A 15-second routine that will keep your espresso machine working perfectly: 

  • Wipe-off your steam wand with a damp cloth immediately after use (if needed, wrap the cloth around the wand and turn the machine wand on to release condensation and milk residue)
  • Dispose of used coffee and rinse the portafilter with warm water 
  • Wipe your portafilter and basket with a clean rag 

Now you are ready to enjoy your perfect cup of coffee without compromising your next one!

Step Two - Adopt a Monthly Cleaning Schedule for Your Espresso Machine 

Although caring for your espresso machine after every use is important, it is also equally important to give it a good cleaning on a monthly basis. 

Just like other appliances around your home need a deeper cleaning on a regular basis, so does your espresso machine. Your monthly cleaning routine will make sure you get at those stubborn oil and coffee ground residues that could eventually clog your machine. 

Busy coffee shops do this daily, but home baristas can get away with deep cleaning their machine once a month. 

It sounds complicated and fastidious, but it will actually only take a few minutes of your time. Trust us, the investment is well worth it. Not only will your coffee taste better, but you will prolong the life of your machine exponentially. 

The 2-step Espresso Machine Cleaning Routine 

The following routine should be completed on a monthly basis. 

First Step

If your machine has a valve system, backflush your machine using an espresso cleaning detergent (to do this, it is important to follow the instructions included in your espresso machine manual) 

If your machine does not have a valve system, remove the screen from the group head using a screwdriver, and scrub around the group head using a cloth or a group brush and a small amount of espresso cleaning detergent. Rinse thoroughly with warm water. 

Second Step

Now that your machine is all cleaned up, mix some espresso cleaning detergent into a container of warm water (refer to the detergent instructions). Submerge the portafilter (except the handle), the steam wand tip and the basket for 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse all the parts thoroughly and dry them with a dish rag. 

As part of the second step, we also recommend descaling your espresso machine with a descaling solution, but only every three months. Please refer to your descaling solution for instructions. Remember to also refer to your machine user manual, as some espresso machines do not require descaling. 

Espresso Machine Cleaning Don’ts 

If you don't want to damage your machine or jeopardize the quality of your coffee: 

Don’t scrub your steam wand with abrasive material, like a steel pad. This can damage the steel coating on your wand, potentially exposing the copper underneath, which is a health hazard. If milk residue is blocking the holes at the bottom of your wand, you can clear them using the end of a paper clip. 

Don’t use dish soap to clean your espresso machine. No matter how much you will rinse it, dish soap is designed to coat surfaces with a grease and oil fighting substance that will also fight the natural oils that flavour your coffee grounds.  

Step Three - Service Your Espresso Machine Regularly 

Many compare their espresso machines to a classic automobile. As a matter of fact, our very own Faema commercial machines are renowned for their eye-catching designs that play on car-inspired lines. 

Well, even the most luxurious automobiles need a tune-up once in a while. 

Investing in a preventative maintenance service for your home espresso machine is a worthwhile investment. 

Espresso machines are expensive appliances that should be cared for. 

A professional maintenance service will extend your machine’s lifespan considerably and reduce the potential for expensive repairs. 

Preventative maintenance should be completed at least once a year. 

Faema Montreal offers a preventative maintenance service for home espresso machines. Our trained technicians will take care of the technical performance of your machine by completing all the necessary maintenance operations and repairs.

Our preventative maintenance service will ensure that your espresso machine will produce the best quality coffee it can. 


Contact us for more information about this service or if you have any questions about your machine’s maintenance and care. 

Talk soon.

The Faema Montreal Team