Espresso machines are no doubt one of the best kitchen devices to have. Not only can you have great coffee at home, but you can also master the art of making espresso.
However, these brewing devices require a lot of attention and care. When you clean and maintain them, you can extend their lifespan and ensure that you always have great coffee.
So, if you own a Delonghi coffee machine, you're probably wondering how to clean and maintain this device—and we're here to help.
This article will cover how to clean a Delonghi espresso machine and its essential parts. Let's begin.
Cleaning a Delonghi Espresso Machine In 10 Easy Steps
Step 1 - Create Your Descaling Mixture
When you clean and descale your Delonghi coffee machine, you need a descaling solution.
Often, brands like Delonghi offer an all-natural descaling solution, so you won’t have to worry about creating one. If you don't want to purchase one, it's easy to create a solution at home.
The first thing you need to do is choose which natural acid you want to use.
The most common ones are white vinegar, citric acid, and lemon—each has advantages and disadvantages. White vinegar is cheaper, non-toxic, and easy to make.
However, you may need to rinse your coffee maker more than usual, as the smell sticks to the machine and can affect the taste of your coffee.
Citric acid, on the other hand, doesn't produce a foul smell and leaves a weird taste in your coffee. However, it is more expensive than vinegar and requires more effort to find.
With lemons, you can create a cheaper, all-natural descaling solution. However, it's less effective than the two other acids we've mentioned.
If you choose vinegar and lemon, we recommend a 1:1 ratio of water and vinegar or lemon for an effective solution.
If you choose citric acid, dissolve one tablespoon of citric acid pellets in one gallon of water.
One important thing to keep in mind: you need to check if the homemade solution is compatible with your espresso machine.
After all, you don't want to ruin your appliance. Don't worry; we already did the research for you, and these three formulas work with a Delonghi coffee machine.
Step 2 - Clean & Descale Your Espresso Maker
This step is pretty tricky, but if you follow it correctly, then you'll be good to go in no time.
Before you do manual cleaning and descaling, the first thing you need to do is to check if your Delonghi espresso maker is programmed with an automatic cleaning and descaling cycle.
If you have, congratulations—you can relax and let the machine do the rest. However, if it doesn't have any, don't fret. It just means that you have to do it manually.
Next, grab your user manual and check for any specific instructions on descaling your espresso maker.
This ensures that you don't do any harm to your coffee machine. If it doesn't have any, let's get right to it.
Once you have your descaling solution ready, simply fill the reservoir or tank of your machine and make sure that it's not beyond the maximum line. Then, run a cleaning cycle on the machine.
The solution will run through the boiler and tiny little pipes of the machine. You may also want it to run on your steam wand too, so make sure you close the steam knob and turn off the machine.
We recommend letting the descaling solution sit for about 15 to 20 minutes to allow it to run through every pipe in your machine to clean away all the gunk and other bits and pieces stuck in it. You may need a container to catch all of the solution.
Then, run about half of your tank out on the steam wand for another 15 to 20 minutes to ensure that the wand is clean.
If you live in an area where your tap has harder water, you may notice more gunk and minerals coming out of the machine.
Harder water is simply tap water with more minerals like calcium and magnesium.
Step 3 - Additional Clean Cycle
Run another clean cycle on your espresso maker, but this time it's all water and no descaling solution.
This step ensures that particles from the descaling product aren't lodged in the machine's pipes, and the new cycle will remove all of these residues.
To do this, simply fill the reservoir with water and repeat step 2 (again, minus the descaling solution).
Depending on your chosen solution, you may want to rinse the machine again to ensure the solution is completely flushed out. If you use vinegar, you may need to do it at least three times.
To ensure that the cleaning is done, take a big whiff of the water that comes out of the machine. If it doesn't have any smell and only smells like water, you're good to go.
Step 4 - Enjoy!
It's time to reward your hard work with a delicious coffee made with your favorite beans and a clean coffee maker.
On top of rewarding yourself, making an espresso right after you clean it allows you to check if there's any weird taste that blends in your cup.
If your cup has a pleasant coffee taste, then you're good to go. Make sure to check the crema as well. If there's still some scaling in the machine, it will water down pretty easily.
Cleaning a Delonghi Espresso Machine By Specific Parts
Apart from regularly cleaning your whole coffee machine, you must also ensure that its surfaces and other parts are clean.
Here's how you can clean each specific part:
To clean the water tank, flush its inlets from both sides. When using detergent or soap, make sure to flush out any traces of the water reservoir.
You should also rinse the intake ports on the machine with fresh water, but be careful not to over-dry as it will crack. Then, wipe the receiver to keep the bubbles out of the intake.
Make sure it slides in easily and does not vibrate when the pump operates.
Brew Head and Gasket
Also known as the group head, this is the part where you attach the porta-filter. To clean it, simply wipe it down, paying attention to the stains and deposits accumulated on it.
Then using a brush, go around the crevices and make sure there is no gunk sticking to them. For the gasket, remove it, soak it in dish soap and wipe it with a paper towel.
The filter is the most sensitive part of the machine, so please make sure you don't use anything abrasive that may harm the metal.
Basically, you may need to brush and wipe it with paper towels after every use to avoid accumulating oils that may cause uneven flow.
Then, remove the machine filter from the filter holder.
Don't clean the filter with dish soap. Instead, soak the filter mesh in a vinegar solution (1:1) to remove the oil buildup and residue.
However, the filter basket should be soaked in dish soap, rinsed with clean hot water, and dried with a paper towel.
After every use, you must wipe the frothing wand with a clean, damp towel. Next, return the wand to the upright position over the drip tray.
Then, on your espresso machine, click the Milk option to purge hot water. The heat and pressure of the water will remove any residue on the want.
Common Delonghi Espresso Machine Questions
How often should I clean my Delonghi Espresso Machine?
You should do a basic cleaning after every use. This includes cleaning the filter and wiping the brew head, wand, and tray.
For descaling, it’s recommended to do it monthly or every 20 to 30 uses.
Should I unscrew the brew head?
If you have the tools, you can unscrew them and clean them yourself. If you don't, we suggest you hire some coffee cleaning services instead.
Can I use sodium bicarbonate instead of detergent?
Yes, you can. You can replace your detergent or dish soap with baking soda.
Is a descaling solution better than vinegar?
Yes, but not in every way. Brands like Delonghi have their own descaling solution, so if you buy a descaler rather than make your own, it's best to use their brand instead of risking a new formula.
How much vinegar mixture to descale DeLonghi machine?
A 1:1 water-to-vinegar solution is recommended.
At some point, you'll need to clean your Delonghi coffee machine. While it may seem like a tedious task, it is imperative to do this frequently.
After all, it will only take an hour of your time once a month. If some of our steps are confusing, you can watch some of Delonghi's tutorial videos!