This is a question that has made it to our inbox several times. At Barista Supplies, we understand that there are a number of factors that contribute to creating consistently great coffee, both in store and at home, it’s important to understand the role of cleaning your machine and how it contributes to producing exceptional quality coffee each and every time 

Cleaning a coffee machine is equally important as buying good quality beans. If your coffee machine is not cleaned regularly you will not only produce poor tasting coffee but also it will shorten the life of the seals and filters. 

You will only need a few items for cleaning:

  • Espresso machine cleaner (back flush detergent)
  • Blind Filter for Group Handle
  • Cloth
  • Group Head brush

Below is an example of a dirty VS a clean group head.  

Dirty Group Head

Dirty Group Head

Clean Group Head

Clean Group Head


To Get Started:  

1) Place a spoonful of back flush detergent into a “blind filter” in your group handle.

2) Lock the group handle on the coffee machine and start flushing. Most espresso machine detergents recommend four 15-second start/stop intervals; however check the instructions of the detergent you are using, as it might vary.

3) After you have flushed the detergent through the group head remove the group handle and allow the water to fun for 5 seconds. Rinse out the blind filter to remove any un-dissolved detergent.

4) Lock the group handle back on the machine and repeat the process without any detergent. It is recommended to flush the same amount of times as the detergent phase. 

After you have removed all the excess detergent from the blind filter, the next step is to brush the group head and seal.

We recommend the Pallo Coffeetool as it has water deflector fins to make sure the water doesn’t splash on your hands, a steam wand poker and long lasting heat resistant bristles, these are also replaceable.

5) Now it is time to let the water run from the group and start scrubbing the shower screen and all around the seal with the Coffeetool. This is the best time to use Coffeetool as the hot running water helps wash away spent grounds, rancid coffee resins, flavours and odours. The benefit of using coffeetool is apparent at this stage, as your hands stay cool and dry 

Pallo Coffeetool

Pallo Coffeetool

Pallo Coffeetool Brush



6) Use the microfiber cloth to wipe around the group head and to polish 


Clean Group Head

7) Use the steam wand vent poker on the back of the coffeetool to unclog steam wand vent holes that have become clogged with dried milk residue (or other debris such as; rust, hard water deposits etc.) from inside your steam wand


Wipe down the exterior of the espresso machine to remove any surface dirt and reassemble. Please note that it is always a good idea to run three shots of coffee in every head the following morning to season heads.


You can also follow the procedures listed below throughout the day:

  • Flush out water from the group head after every use to get rid of the dirty grind that remains in the filter from the previous coffee (only run water for 3 seconds)
  • Wipe out group handles with a dry towel before every use
  • Use the blind filter to back flush the group head every hour
  • Use the Coffeetool anytime throughout the day to keep your group head clean and your coffee tasting great
  • Purge your steam wands before and after milk texturing
  • Use microfiber cloth to wipe down steam wand after every use