How To Clean Breville Espresso Machine – Barista HQ

Having a Breville coffee machine around can make getting up in the morning significantly less dreadful. It's not effortless, though. It needs regular cleaning and maintenance to keep those delicious espresso shots going.

Wondering how to clean Breville Espresso machine? Read all of our tips and tricks down below.

  • Soft-bristled brush
  • Pin cleaning tool
  • Cleaning tablets
  • A cleaning disk
  • Allen wrench
  • A stiff, bristled nylon brush
  • A microfibre cloth or towel
  • A bowl or pot
  • Descaling solution

Your Breville machine should come with a small cleaning kit complete with specialized tools, in which case just get the remaining items on this list.[1]

Breville Espresso Machine Cleaning – A Step-By-Step Guide

There are two kinds of cleaning when it comes to your coffee maker: the daily clean and the deep clean.

Daily cleans help your machine stay clean and function well generally, while deep clean sessions ensure that your machine works efficiently for a long time.

By following our cleaning guide below, it is possible to ensure that you get excellent coffee for years to come.

Let's begin with the daily cleaning steps you need to stay fresh and caffeinated. These basic cleaning tasks are quick to do and save a lot of headaches down the line.

1. Flush The Group Head

To start, we recommend finishing pulling your shot, removing the portafilter, and flushing the group head.

You can do this by pushing a preset or manual shot button to run water through the group head and the shower screen. This flushes out any coffee particles or coffee residues.

Once done, wipe down the group head and shower screen with a damp cloth before drying it with a microfibre cloth.

2. Clean The Steam Wand

The next step in our cleaning advice is to take care of the steam wand.

Often used to steam milk, this wand tends to get covered in dried or hardened milk if not cleaned regularly, affecting its performance.

Cleaning this wand is very simple:

  • 1
    Purge the steam wand for a few moments after use
  • 2
    Wipe it down with a damp cloth

If your wand is giving reduced pressure, the steam wand tip may be blocked with hardened milk.

Luckily, your Breville coffee machine comes with a steam wand cleaning tool to help you.[2] To clear it up, we recommend the following:

  • 1
    Start by purging your steam wand
  • 2
    Use the pin on your steam wand cleaning tool to clear any blockages or particles
  • 3
    Try removing and soaking the tip in hot water and wiping it down before replacing it
  • 4
    Reassemble the wand
  • 5
    Purge the wand again to see if the blockages are clear

If you are really struggling, we recommend trying this cleaning solution which can aid you with stubborn dried milk spots.[3]

3. Clean The Portafilter and Basket

To clean a Breville portafilter and basket, we recommend the following:

  • 1
    Remove the portafilter and basket from your Breville espresso machine
  • 2
    Knock out the puck and tap the filter basket over your bin to remove any old grounds
  • 3
    Rinse both items under hot water, adding a small amount of dish soap if necessary
  • 4
    Use the pin on the steam wand cleaning tool to remove any blocked holes in the filter basket

Do not put these essential items into a dishwasher - it will remove the shiny coating on the handle.

4. Clean The Drip Tray

The drip tray is one of the easiest Breville Espresso parts to clean. Most Breville coffee machines have an ‘empty me’ sign that appears when you need to empty your drip tray. To do this, simply:

  • 1
    Take the tray and grid out and empty the excess water into the sink
  • 2
    Wash with hot soapy water
  • 3
    Dry before replacing

5. Clean The Knock Box

For those coffee makers with a knock box or coffee bin, we recommend emptying it and rinsing it daily to avoid any bacteria and mold build-up over time.

If you store your coffee in a bean hopper, it should be rinsed at least weekly.

Unboxed Breville Espresso Machine

Deeper Cleaning Of Breville Espresso Machines Parts

The second cleaning method, the deep clean, typically needs to be performed every month or two to keep everything ship shape.

You can keep details of your clean cycle in your calendar - make sure to set reminders so you do not forget.

By following our cleaning process below, you can ensure that every part, from the water tank to the brew group head, is operating properly.

Cleaning Cycle (Backflush)

A backflush is a cleaning cycle designed to remove excess coffee grounds and residue inside the machine, particularly any caught in the seals, shower screen, valves, and brew head.

It is typically recommended that you run a backflush every 2-3 months, depending on how much you use your machine.

You can do this one of two ways, with the cleaning tablets provided by your Breville cleaning kit or without.[4]

Using a cleaning tablet is typically more effective than going without, but this is not as urgent for those who only use their machine a few times a month.

The steps for how to perform a backflush with tablets and without tablets are as follows.

  • 1
    Place a cleaning disk in the filter basket if you are using a cleaning tablet, or replace the filter basket with a blind basket.
  • 2
    Place the tablet or powder into the basket
  • 3
    Attach the portafilter to the brew group
  • 4
    Fill the water tank with bottled cold water
  • 5
    Empty the drip tray
  • 6
    Select the backflush option from the menu
  • 7
    Activate according to manual instruction.
  • 8
    Once the cleaning cycle is done, remove the portafilter, cleaning disk, and drip tray and rinse them thoroughly with hot water

If you choose to use a cleaning powder or tablet, we recommend running another flush cycle to remove any residual cleaning solution from the coffee maker’s system.

Some cleaning powders may follow a slightly different method depending on the brand and machine; always follow the packaging and manual instructions to avoid damaging your Breville coffee machine.

Changing Out the Water Filter

The water filter of your espresso machine is a regular maintenance component, particularly for those living in hard water areas.

By changing out your filter every 1.5 to 3 months, you can ensure that mineral build-up is kept to a minimum throughout your machine and need to descale your machine less over time.

To replace your old filter with a new filter:[5]

  • 1
    Unwrap your new water filter and let it soak in a cup of filtered water for the recommended amount of time (typically 5-15 minutes).
  • 2
    If your system has it, set your "Calendar" dial to update when the filter was changed and set a reminder for the next change.
  • 3
    Empty the water reservoir and remove the old filter according to the user manual instructions.
  • 4
    Install your new filter and replace it in the reverse of the previous step so that it fits snugly in the filter holder.
  • 5
    Refill the water reservoir with filtered fresh water and replace it.

Cleaning Out The Grinder

Grinders are one of the easiest ways to level up your daily coffee experience, and many Breville models tend to have one built-in.

By cleaning your grinder regularly, you can ensure that you clear out any old stale grounds or residue, keeping your grinder fresh and consistent. The cleaning process is fairly straightforward.

  • 1
    Unlock the hopper and remove any coffee beans.
  • 2
    Replace the hopper and grind until empty.
  • 3
    Unlock the hopper and remove the upper burr as per user manual instruction.
  • 4
    Using a soft-bristled brush, brush away any leftover grounds or residue.
  • 5
    Brush out the grind outlet, being careful to remove the tamping fan if necessary.
  • 6
    Replace the burr and hopper.
  • 7
    Add a small number of new beans to the grinder and grind to remove any old coffee grounds you missed.
  • 8
    Empty the coffee grind bin and refill it with new beans.


It is generally recommended that you run a descale cycle on your Breville espresso machine every 60-90 days, depending on how hard the water is in your area.

Water hardness typically refers to the amount of limescale and other mineral deposits in your tap water supply.

Most Breville models come with a water testing strip that can help you check the hardness level.[6]

If your level is 4 or more, it is recommended that you clean and use bottled cold water with your machine to prevent excess mineral build-up.

You can either use a commercial solution or equal parts white vinegar and bottled water. The descaling process looks like this:

  • 1
    Empty the drip tray.
  • 2
    Select the descaling program on your Breville machine.
  • 3
    If you have a dual boiler model, you may need to access areas at the front to empty them and then empty the drip tray again.
  • 4
    Empty the water reservoir.
  • 5
    Remove the water filter to prevent it from blocking the descaling solution
  • 6
    Fill the water reservoir with cleaning solution as per instructions or to the fill line with equal parts white vinegar and water.
  • 7
    Select and begin the descaling cycle.
  • 8
    Once done, empty the tray, reservoir, and boilers again.
  • 9
    Run a wash cycle again, this time with just water to remove any cleaning residue.
  • 10
    Finally, run a brewing cycle through your Breville espresso machine, but without any coffee grinds (water only). The brewing temperature will remove any final impurities.

Why Cleaning Your Breville Coffee Machine Is Important

Not many people love taking time out of their day to keep their Breville espresso machine clean, but it needs to be done. Cleaning your Breville machine regularly has plenty of benefits.

Breville Espresso Machine in a Kitchen


Cleaning your Breville Barista each day keeps it looking slick and running smoothly for your daily brews.


By keeping up the consistent cleaning schedule above, most Breville espresso machines run better and last longer than their uncleaned counterparts.

This is because unclean, clogged, and damaged parts do not work efficiently or properly and are more likely to break down early.


Unclean parts in your Breville Barista Touch will have a negative effect on your morning brew.

Old grounds, oils, and residue can slowly travel through your machine and into your cup, giving your regular coffee a stale, unpleasant taste.

Common Questions About Cleaning Breville Espresso Machines

How do I know if my espresso machine needs descaling?

Often, limescale build-up shows itself in your coffee cup through a thin film on top and a funny taste. As a rule, if it has been more than 1.5-3 months, you should descale your espresso machine.

Are Breville espresso machines hard to clean?

Breville Bambino machines are easy to clean, particularly if you keep up with the cleaning schedule described above.

Specialized descaling programs and timers built into your Breville Barista Express also help smooth the process when compared with other models that do not have assistant cleaning tech.

How do I know when the rinsing of the machine is complete?

You should hear a specialized beeping sound and confirmation that the cycle is over on your Breville machine's screen.

Alternatively, you may see a light blinking depending on the model you have. If you are unsure, try waiting for 20 minutes and seeing if your machine remains quiet or makes those sounds.

Summary – Drink Better Coffee!

Knowing how to clean a Breville coffee machine is part and parcel of any coffee aficionado's routine.

Cleaning your espresso machine regularly ensures that it continues to look great and brings you the perfect coffee every day for years to come.



Chloe Page

Chloe Page

A lifelong mocha fan, Chloe is an award-winning writer with over eight years’ experience weaving words. You can typically find Chloe sipping on Bird and Blend tea while scribbling in a notebook.

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