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Coffee Machine Maintenance: Descaling

Coffee Machine Maintenance
Descaled Boiler VS Scaled Boiler

Descaling is one of the most important coffee machine maintenance operation for espresso machines. It is VITALLY important that this be done, generally once a month. This will prevent mineral deposits from building up internally. These build-ups will clog the machine, causing water to no longer flow out of the group head as well as the hot water sprout and steam wand. These build-ups will also cause heat to no longer transfer to the water, making it colder then normal and causing espresso flavour to be off, or even for the machine to not register that it is heating correctly. These build-ups can also clog the pump, making the machine cease to function completely. Descaling is essential to the espresso machine, most especially when the espresso machine is NOT used often. The longer the water sits still internally, the more the minerals build up.

How To Descale Breville Espresso Machines – A Quick Video Tutorial

Cafetto Restore Descaler
Cafetto Descaler

You can get your descaling solution from BrewRatio here.

How To Descale – General

  1. Turn off the machine.
  2. Pour in a sachet of 25g descaling powder into the water tank and fill up with 1 litre of water.
  3. Remove the portafilter from the group head and place a large container beneath the group head, the steam wand and hot water dispenser (if any).
  4. Power up the machine.
  5. Once the boiler has reached the brewing temperature (91-94 degree), activate brew cycle to allow flow of the hot water through the brew head without any portafilter attached to it.
  6. Once half the tank water has flowed out, turn off brew cycle to stop water flow from the brew head and empty the container.
  7. Switch to work on the steam wand. Turn it on and allow the solution to run through the steam wand for about 2 minutes. This time needs to be longer as the contents are under pressure and less solution flows through at any one time. Once complete, empty the container.
  8. Switch to work on the hot water dispenser. Turn it on and allow the solution to flow for about 30 seconds. Once complete, empty the container.
  9. If the water being used to brew normally is hard water or a water softener is used, it is recommended to repeat this process a second time.
  10. Remove the water tank and rinse thoroughly with fresh, clean water.
  11. Fill the water tank with cold fresh water, replace it in the machine, then repeat flushing out water from the brew head, steam wand and hot water dispenser to flush the descaling solution from the espresso machine.

Coffee Machine Maintenance: Backflushing

Coffee Machine Maintenance
Dirty Group Head Affect Your Shots Quality

Backflushing: Most espresso machines including Breville are equipped with a 3-way solenoid valve that allows for a dryer puck for ease of cleaning. However, in order to create a dry puck, some of the liquid left in the portafilter is pulled into an area of the group head. This liquid is filled with coffee oils and it can get clogged. As such it is recommended to perform backflushing cleaning to keep the shower screen & brew group clean from coffee oil. If you ever see small high-pressure streams of water coming from the shower screen you know it is plugged and is restricting the water flow. Generally, it is recommended to backflush your machine as coffee machine maintenance on a regular basis.

Cleaning Tablets
BrewRatio Backflushing Cleaning Tablets

You can get your backflushing cleaning tablets from BrewRatio here.

How To Backflush – General

  1. Remove your filter basket from the portafilter and put in a backflush disc. This disc can either be a filter basket with no holes in it (also called a blind filter) or a rubber disc that fits over the holes of a single shot filter basket.
  2. Put one back-flushing tablet into the basket.
  3. Power up the machine.
  4. Once the boiler has reached the brewing temperature (91-96 degree), put the portafilter back into the brew group.
  5. Activate brew cycle for 10 seconds. Stop for 10 seconds. Repeat 5 times then remove the portafilter.
  6. Activate brew cycle and rinse portafilter in a stream of water from group head.
  7. Stop brew cycle and insert back portafilter into group head. Activate brew cycle for 10 seconds. Stop for 10 seconds. Repeat 5 times to flush away the cleaning solution.
  8. Lastly, make and discard a cup of espresso to ensure no residue remains.

Cleaning & Maintaining the Shower Screen

With any machines, as a proper coffee machine maintenance, you need to always make sure that you remove the portafilter immediately after you finish brewing. Then activate brew cycle for a second or two to rinse off the shower screen. This will ensure any coffee stuck there does not have a chance to bake onto the shower screen.

It is also recommended to wipe the shower screen with a damp cloth after each brew to remove any ground coffee particles.

The Cleanse Duo
BRWC-320 Cleanse Duo

You can get your the Cleanse Duo from BrewRatio here.


To make espresso machine maintenance easy for our customer, we are bundling both essential maintenance solutions at a discounted price. This is to keep the maintenance cost low and easy to DIY at home. So head over to BrewRatio and start ordering – if you have yet to clean your espresso machine for a period of time. Cheers!