Espresso Machine Cleaning & Maintenance
  1. Help Center
  2. Getting Started
  3. Espresso Machine Cleaning & Maintenance

How to Clean and Backflush (non-E61 Group Head) Espresso Machines

Learn how to backflush your espresso machine with water and detergent to keep your machine in good order and your espresso tasting wonderful!

This guide is specific to all group heads, except E61 group heads. For E61 cleaning, follow these instructions. The place we want to start is with water and detergent backflushing. We recommend a water backflush on any day the machine is used, but if you can just manage once a week that will be fine as well. Detergent backflushing we recommend about once every 1.5-2 months.


  1. Insert the blind filter and if you are performing a detergent backflush (recommended every 1-2 months depending on use) add up to 1/2 teaspoon (3 g) of Biocaf Espresso Cleaner or espresso cleaning tablets (only use Biocaf for detergent backflush). If you are just doing a daily/weekly water backflush, do not add detergent. Lock your portafilter into the group head.
  2. Activate the brew cycle for 10 seconds and allow the machine to release pressure. Repeat 5-8 times, depending on how dirty your group head is.
  3. Remove portafilter. Activate the brew cycle and rinse portafilter in a stream of water from the group head. Stop cycle.
  4. Insert the blind filter. Lock your portafilter into the group head again, this time with a clean blind filter without the cleaner. Repeat step 2 to rinse and make sure no detergent residue is left.
  5. Make and discard a shot of espresso (only for detergent backflush).
  6. Soak filters and the metal portion of portafilter (do not submerge plastic handle) for 30 minutes in 1 teaspoon (6 g) of Biocaf Cleaning powder per 32 oz. (1 L) of hot water.
  7. Rinse with water and put filters back (only for detergent backflush).

Once you incorporate backflushing into a monthly maintenance routine, the 5 extra minutes it takes to show your machine some love will save both your tastebuds and your wallet but even a backflushing routine can’t clean out everything on the other side of your dispersion screen. However, a little scrubbing or a new dispersion screen can make a world of difference in the cup produced by your machine. The process of removing your dispersion screen and cleaning your machine is a simple one that we recommend once a week as a part of maintaining your machine and creating a quality cup of espresso.

Keep reading if you are interested to learn more about removing and cleaning your dispersion screens.