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How to Clean an Espresso or Cappuccino Machine

Disclosure: I received samples from PruTru in order to facilitate this post. This did not influence my writing or decisions. All opinions are my own.


For the longest time I was a tea drinker, not a coffee drinker.

Until I discovered espresso.

That’s when I realized it wasn’t that I didn’t like coffee, I didn’t like bland, brown water pretending to be coffee. I like my coffee like I like my bread. Dark, rich, and roasty.

So much so that my first coffee machine was actually an espresso machine.  I brought that espresso machine into my marriage and it was a beloved member of our family. When it broke beyond repair, I wrote a eulogy for it.

What can I say? I was caffeine deprived. 

While I’m fastidious about my coffee beans and machines, cleaning and descaling them? Not so much.

how to clean a coffee maker machine
Save this quick, easy, and natural cleaning idea to your Pinterest boards for later! Share it with your friends!

I’m embarrassed to admit it. But I haven’t cleaned my espresso machine regularly because cleaning an espresso or coffee maker with vinegar is an exercise in running eight thousand pots of water through it and just when you think it is clean, the next cup of espresso or coffee takes like vinegar – bleach! 

Which is the reason why I accepted PruTru’s offer to send samples of PruTru Coffee & Espresso Machine Descaling & Cleaning Solution.*Spoiler alert* PruTru is a much easier and non toxic way to clean a coffee, espresso, or cappuccino machine than using vinegar. 

How to Clean an Espresso Machine the Easy Way!

I was drawn to trying PurTru’s products because they are made with all natural and nontoxic ingredients in the US and without testing on animals. They also supplied me with samples of PurTru Dishwasher Machine Descaling and Cleaning Solution, Garage Disposal Cleaning Solution, Ice Maker & Machine Descaling & Cleaning Solution, Washing Machine Cleaning Solution, Jetted Tub System Cleaning Solution, and Multi Surface Cleaner & Disinfectant. All of these cleaners with the exception of the Multisurface Spray (obviously) work by pouring it into the machine and running it through a cycle  once and everything gets clean on first try. Love that!


Pur Tru all natural green cleaning
Photo courtesy of PurTru

PurTru works with way with coffee makers but with espresso and cappuccino machines you have to clean them backwards (called back flushing) because that’s how they roll. Don’t worry it isn’t hard. Here’s how.

1. Remove any water and coffee filters from your machine if needed.

2.  Your espresso or cappuccino maker should have come with a solid disk that fit onto the top of the grounds basket called a back flushing disk. Put the back flushing disk onto the empty grounds basket and lock it onto the espresso machine.

how to clean an espresso machine

If you do not have a back flushing disc you can buy a universal replacement back flush disc here (affiliate link for your convenience)

3. Pour one quarter of a bottle of PurTru Coffee & Espresso Machine Descaling & Cleaning Solution into the water reservoir of your machine.

how to clean epresso maker machine with PurTru
 PurTru makes it easy for you to measure, because the bottles of all of their cleaners come with measurement hash marks on the side. Nice!

4. Full the rest of the reservoir with water and screw the top closed.

5. Turn the espresso or cappuccino machine and allow the pressure to build for approximately 10 minutes. This will send the water and cleaning solution up through the machine to clean and descale it.

how to clean a coffee maker naturally
While I waited for the pressure to build and clean the espresso side, I cleaned the coffee maker side of my machine. I removed the grounds filter, filled the coffee maker water reservoir with the same amount of PurTru and water, and turned on the machine to clean it the lazy way!

6. After approximately 10 minutes, carefully remove the back flushing disk from espresso/cappuccino machine grounds basket. Be careful it will be hot!

7. Reattach the grounds basket to the machine.

8. Put an empty pitcher/mug/vessel under the spout of the espresso or cappuccino machine and allow the water and PruTru mixture to run through and out of the machine and you’re done!  


easy espresso machine cleaner
I ran a second full pot of water through the coffee maker and a second full water reservoir without back flush cleaning the espresso machine side just to be sure there wasn’t any weird tasting cleaner left in the machines given my bad experiences with vinegar. Turns out I didn’t really need to run that second pot of water through the machines because first cup of coffee and espresso tasted more than fine!

The active ingredient in the PruTru’s cleaners is citric acid which didn’t leave behind a nasty taste  behind when I used them to clean my kitchen appliances like cleaning with vinegar can which I like a lot. Also like when I tried the rest of the samples PurTru sent that they didn’t leave any strong odors behind either. Using the dishwasher cleaner was so much easier and did a much better job at cleaning it than when I take the sprayer arms off the dishwasher and clean them by hand. My dishwasher cleans better too. I didn’t realize how well citric acid based cleaners clean until I used the Jetted Tub System Cleaning Solution to clean my bathtub. It cut through soap scum like nobody’s business and with minimal scrubbing which is a huge plus since we use real soap throughout the house. I definitely recommend PurTru and not because they gave me free samples. It works.

Don’t believe me? Test PurTru’s natural and nontoxic cleaners for yourself! Use the coupon code CB30 for a 30% discount here of your order on any PurTru cleaning products. You’ll be glad you did!

Looking for more coffee, espresso, or cappuccino machine cleaning tools? Check out the following options - and more! - below!

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Karen Dennis said…
Some great tips given here#alittlebitofeverything@_karendennis
Joanne said…
Thanks so much for sharing with us at Encouraging Hearts and Home. Pinned.