How to Clean the Filter of My Espresso Machine

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Things You'll Need

  • Scrub-sponge (Scotch-Brite pad), cut into 1-inch squares

  • Soaking bowl, metal or glass

  • Clean rag

  • Espresso machine cleaner backflush detergent (such as Cafiza, PuroCaf, or JoeGlo)

The portafilter quickly accumulates coffee residue, and should be cleaned regularly.

The taste of your espresso can be sullied if you are using a dirty espresso machine. It is important to keep your espresso machine clean to ensure the best quality drink. Coffee beans have essential oils that leave residue in your machine, and in particular, the filter. Buildup over time causes these oils to turn rancid, leaving an off-flavor in your coffee. The portafilter requires cleaning most often, and should be rinsed out after every use.


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Step 1

Rinse the portafilter with water. The portafilter is the round metal basket piece attached to a handle, which filters the coffee beans from hot water. Wipe the basket clean.

Step 2

Break the portafilter down into parts. Remove the spouts, which are the tube-like pieces on the bottom of the metal piece. Take apart any cover the spouts may have. Remove the round metal filter on the top inside of the basket, exposing the inside of the portafilter.


Step 3

Scrub the inside surfaces of the portafilter with the scrub-sponge. When you first open the portafilter, the inside will be a light to dark brown color. This is coffee residue. Remove as much as you can with the scrub-sponge.

Step 4

Pour hot water with detergent into the soaking bowl, and stir to dissolve. The water should be deep enough to submerge the metal pieces to the portafilter, about 3 inches deep. Use detergent's directions to see how much detergent to use per volume of water.


Step 5

Place portafilter with detachable pieces into the soaking bowl. Completely submerge the basket filter. When placing the portafilter's main piece, submerge only the metal part while keeping the handle out of the detergent.

Step 6

Let portafilter pieces soak for a minimum of 30 minutes.


Step 7

Remove portafilter pieces from the soaking bowl and thoroughly rinse with clean water.

Step 8

Scrub pieces with a scrub-sponge while re-rinsing. Visually scan the portafilter for any remaining residue. If all is clean, wipe dry with a rag.

Step 9

Reassemble the pieces of the portafilter.


Before giving the portafilter a final wipe down, visually check the spouts to make sure residue did not get stuck.



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