How to Clean Espresso Machine with Tablets

How to Clean Espresso Machine with Tablets

The solution to your problem of how to clean your espresso machine is to use cleaning tablets. These remove coffee residues and oils to help your machine stay clean and last longer.

One of the best ways to clean an espresso machine is by using cleaning tablets. It is very easy to use. You will simply put the tablet onto the group handle and insert it to the machine, just like when you are brewing an espresso. After that, discard the filter and re-season your machine.

It may be your first time hearing about cleaning an espresso machine with tablets. If you want to know more in-depth details, continue reading the rest of this article.

How to Clean an Espresso Machine with Tablets

When cleaning an espresso machine, the first thing that people might think about is using the backflushing process using powder cleaners. However, it could be quite messy and time-consuming, which is why using tablets is the better choice. Besides, tablets can clean the machine more thoroughly than simple espresso cleaning powders.

Here are the steps on how to clean an espresso machine with tablets:

Step #1: Remove the Coffee Filter

The first step is to remove the coffee filter from the group handle. The group handle is a portafilter that you fill with coffee grounds to use in the brewing process.

Once the filter is removed, replace it with a blind filter. A blind filter is what’s used when backflushing an espresso machine.

Step #2: Add the Cleaning Tablet

Place 1 piece of espresso cleaning tablet on the group handle. Basically, it is just like you are brewing espresso, but you put a tablet instead of putting coffee grounds.

Step #3: Start a Cycle

Start the machine and allow it to run for 10 seconds or until the cleaner dissolves. Leave it as is for 10 seconds. Repeat this step for 3 to 4 more times.

Step #4: Remove the Group Handle

Remove the group handles then rinse it with water from the delivery group. Turn off the machine.

Step #5: Insert a New Filter

Insert a blind filter again on the handle and repeat step 3 for 10 times.

Step #6: Brew then Discard

The final step is to brew a cup of espresso then discard it. You may think that this is wasting a good coffee cup, but the purpose of you doing this is to re-season the machine. There might be lingering particles of the cleaning solution that may affect the taste, so this is the solution.

There you have it. That is how to clean an espresso machine using a cleaning tablet. It is almost the same as what you do when using the backflushing process, except you put a cleaning tablet.

Are Espresso Cleaning Tablets Safe to Use?

Absolutely! Espresso cleaning tablets are designed to be safe for the machine. It does not cause clogs or corrosion.

Furthermore, most espresso cleaning tablets are food and pharmaceutical grade. This means that even if you ingest some of the tablet (which is not recommended), you will not have any adverse side effects.

Difference Between Espresso Cleaning Tablets and Powders

There are not many differences between the two. Both are chemical cleaning solutions designed for espresso machines. Their major difference is in their consistency.

Many consider tables to be more convenient because you will not need to measure and calculate how much you will be using during your cleaning session. All you have to do is pick up one tablet, and you are ready to go.

Some espresso cleaner manufacturers offer the same solution in both tablet and powder forms. Powders are generally more affordable, but they do not have significant price differences.

Can I Clean my Espresso Machine without Chemicals?

Yes, you can. You can do the backflushing process without using any chemical in powder or tablet form. However, it might not be as effective. Accumulated oils and residue can be quite stubborn, and relying on steam and water to wash it away is not recommended.

If you do not want to use a tablet or chemical solution, you can also clean your espresso machine using vinegar. It is a natural disinfectant and cleaner.

When Should I Clean my Espresso Machine?

Regular cleaning of your espresso machine will ensure that it continues to create delicious cups of coffee. Ideally, it should be cleaned thoroughly after brewing 200 shots.

This can be every 2 months if the espresso machine is only for personal use that brews two to 4 shots a day. However, if it is an espresso machine in a coffee shop, it is recommended to clean it at the end of every business day.

How to Choose an Espresso Cleaning Tablet?

When choosing an espresso cleaning tablet to use, make sure that its shape and size is compatible with your espresso machine.

Most of the time, it is best to buy your cleaning tablets from the same manufacture of your machine- for example, from Breville or DELONGHI. Other popular brands of espresso tablet cleaners that you might want to consider are Cino Cleano and CleanHike.

Another thing that you must consider is whether the cleaning tablet uses organic ingredients or not. Remember, this will come into contact with your espresso machine, and you will not thoroughly wash it with water, so there might be some residue left. Knowing that what you used is organic will give you peace of mind.

Are Espresso Cleaning Tablets Expensive?

Some are, and some are not. More popular brands, such as Breville, sell their espresso cleaning tablets at a higher price point. However, there are several cost friendly options out there that have more than a dozen tablets per jar. You will easily identify whether an espresso cleaning tablet is expensive or affordable by dividing the tablets’ number to its price.

Also, be wary of too affordable tablets. Check why they are inexpensive to make sure that you are getting a good deal.

Where Can I Buy Espresso Cleaning Tablets?

You can buy espresso cleaning tablets in online platforms and brick and mortar stores.

When you are looking to buy online, make sure to purchase it from accredited resellers or from the brand’s platform itself. This way, you can avoid being a victim of overpricing and ensure that you will be receiving genuine products.

If you have access to the espresso cleaning tablet brand of your choice, then much better. You will be able to check the product at first hand whether it is compatible with your machine. You can also immediately bring it home and use it as soon as possible.

What are Other Alternatives for Cleaning an Espresso Machine?

If you have no espresso cleaning tablets available, you can consider using citric acid or water as alternatives.

Several descaling solutions are made up of citric acid, which makes it an excellent choice. However, it is important to take note that citric acid has low pH levels, so make sure to wash it thoroughly. Citric acid is a better choice than vinegar because it does not leave any foul odor.

Water can also be a good alternative. It can help flush away residues. However, it might not be very effective against stubborn oil, so it is not ideal for deep cleaning.

Is Descaling Solution Better than Vinegar When Cleaning an Espresso Machine? 

Yes, descaling solutions are much better in terms of safety and effectiveness. Since it is designed specifically for espresso machines, it is non-corrosive. On the other hand, although vinegar is a natural disinfectant, it can be quite acidic, so there is a chance that it will interact negatively with your machine.

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