How to Descale Breville Espresso Machines (6 Easy Steps)

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If you’re lucky enough to own a Breville Espresso machine, then you’re aware of what a wonderful shot of espresso this machine can brew. If you want to ensure that those delicious brews keep coming, you need to properly maintain it to keep your Breville working optimally.

Regularly cleaning and descaling your Breville are important parts of the maintenance process. And if you descale regularly, the process is quick and easy.

In this article, I’ll show you how to descale Breville espresso machines and a few other cleaning and maintenance tips for your favorite piece of kitchen equipment.

What Exactly Is Descaling?

Each time you use your Breville Espresso machine to brew that superb cup of coffee, minerals from the pods and the water that you use leave residual mineral buildup inside your machine, which could cause it to become clogged. A clogged espresso machine will fail to function properly, and it will cause problems like

  • lukewarm coffee
  • failure to brew a full cup of coffee
  • bad-tasting coffee

Descaling is the process of removing all the buildup from the interior of your coffee maker, which usually enables it to resume working as expected. Descaling requires the use of some solution, whether homemade or commercial, to be used inside your machine to thoroughly remove all the problem-causing gunk from your Breville.

How Often Do Breville Machines Need to Be Descaled?

There really is no specific descaling schedule that you must adhere to, as frequency will depend on how often you use your machine. The more often you use it, the more frequently you’ll need to descale it. Luckily, your Breville Espresso machine will alert you when it needs to be descaled, so there is no guessing necessary.

If you like to stay ahead of the game and you use your espresso machine pretty regularly, you can opt for descaling it once every two-three months, which for most people, is adequate. However, if your machine gets a great deal of use, then you may need to descale it much more often.

The harder your water is, the more often you will have to descale your coffee maker. If you opt to use filtered water when brewing coffee, then this is much easier on your machine and you won’t have to descale it as often.

Choosing a Breville Descaling Solution

Some coffee machine owners are picky about the descaling solution that they use for their machines. Some people prefer using natural recipes of ingredients like white vinegar or baking soda in order to descale their machines instead of resorting to expensive professional descaling solutions.

However, the choice is completely yours, and if you feel more comfortable using a heavy-duty professional descaling solution because you feel it will do a more thorough job, then that is certainly your right.

If you prefer going natural and making your own recipe like many others do, then you have many choices. You can use citric acid and water, undiluted white vinegar, baking soda and water, and other all-natural ingredients to clean your coffee maker or espresso machine.

How to Descale Your Breville Espresso Machine

To descale your Breville espresso machine, just follow these 6 simple steps.

Step 1: After ensuring that your machine is turned off and cooled down, remove any remaining pods as well as the water filter from the reservoir. Depending on the descaling solution, you will need to add different amounts of water along with the solution. If you’re going to be using the Breville descaling solution, then you need to add a packet of the solution to the tank and fill the rest with water.

Step 2: Press and hold down the 2-cup and power buttons simultaneously, which will take you to descale mode. The power button should flash nonstop to indicate that it is preparing for the descaling process.

Step 3: Place a large container that can hold about 68 ounces of fluid underneath the portafilter/steam wand area to collect fluid during the process. Four buttons will light up when the machine is done warming up for the descaling process: Power, 1 Cup, Clean/Descale, and Hot water/Steam. When you see all these lights come on, you need to press the 1 Cup button to begin the process. This should take about 25 seconds.

Step 4: You are now ready to descale the steam and hot water parts of the machine. To do so, you need to manually turn the dial to steam or hot water, and you will be able to see which you’re turning it to on the LCD screen.

Step 5: Half of the descaling solution should remain in your reservoir, so you can repeat steps 3 and 4.

Step 6: Next, you will need to rinse the machine so you won’t end up making chemical-laden or vinegar-filled cups of coffee in the future. To rinse, you need to remove the water reservoir and empty it. Remove the large container that is filled with dirty water, as well. Wash and rinse both containers thoroughly with warm, soapy water. Fill the water tanks with cold water, which you will use to run a couple of rinse cycles.

Don’t forget to remove your empty drip tray and wash and rinse it thoroughly, so it will be ready to be replaced once you’re done rinsing.

If you are using vinegar as a descaling agent, you might want to rinse out the machine a few more times, but it’s not required.

Once you’re done rinsing the Breville espresso machine, press the Power button in order to exit the descaling mode, and all the lights should go off.

Cleaning Your Breville Espresso Machine

Once you’ve completed the descaling process, you will need to remove all removable parts of your machine so you can wash and rinse them. After these parts are clean and dry, you can replace them and your Breville should be ready to brew a delicious cup of coffee after a few minutes.

If you’re using white vinegar to clean your Breville, then you need to add one cup of water for every cup of vinegar that you add. If you decide to use baking soda, proceed with caution because baking soda can sometimes cause more clogging than the minerals and buildup itself. You should use 1/4 cup of baking soda for every 1 cup of hard water to descale your machine.

What’s Next?

Even the best-maintained machine will only last so long. When you’re ready to upgrade your espresso machine, we’ve put together lists of our favorite espresso machines, including manual, semi-automatic, and automatic options. And if you want the ultimate in simplicity, you should check whether Nespresso machines are worth adding to your coffee bar.

Until then, go get some better espresso beans (like the Italian favorites, Illy and Lavazza). And don’t forget to check out the ultimate upgrade for your espresso corner, a high-end coffee grinder. If you’re making your espresso with pre-ground beans, no amount of descaling will overcome that stale flavor.

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