How Often Should You Backflush An Espresso Machine?

Do you need to know how often you should backflush an espresso machine? We have researched this topic and have answers for you. It is essential to know how often you should backflush your espresso machine to ensure it doesn't break.

You should backflush your espresso machine every other day if you only use water. If you are also using a cleaning detergent, you should backflush the machine once a week.

In this article, we will learn how often you should backflush an espresso machine. We will also learn the answers to other interesting related questions like how often you should change the water in an espresso machine and how long a good espresso machine lasts. Keep reading to learn more.

Close-up barista hand inserts the metal filter in the coffee machine, waiting for pouring hot black coffee inside a cup, How Often Should You Backflush An Espresso Machine?

How Often Should You Backflush An Espresso Machine?

When you make a cup of espresso, coffee oils build up inside the tiny tubes in your espresso machine. Over time, these oils can build up until they block water flow. Once water can't flow through your machine, it will not make espresso until it is serviced.

There is a solution to prevent the oils from building to damaging levels, and the answer is backflushing.

Backflushing is when you force water back up the grouphead by blocking it, allowing the water to flush the machine. Doing this will clean out the oils built up in the machine.

How often you should do this depends on whether you use a cleaning detergent or not. With a detergent, you should only need to backflush your espresso machine every other week. If you opt to use pure water, you should backflush your machine every other day.

It is a photograph of espresso extraction

Here are a few popular backflush detergents designed for your espresso machine.

Puro Espresso Machine Cleaner

You can find this product here on Amazon.

Puro Espresso Machine Cleaner is highly effective at removing oils from espresso machines. Simply add a 1/2 teaspoon of this to your portafilter when backflushing your espresso machine. Using this product will make backflushing your espresso machine more effective.

Espresso Machine Cleaning Tablets

You can find this product here on Amazon.

These espresso machine cleaning tablets work to remove oil buildup inside your espresso machine. When backflushing your espresso machine, place one tablet in the portafilter. Your espresso machine will function smoothly if you use this product regularly.

Urnex Espresso Machine Cleaning Powder

You can find this product here on Amazon.

Urnex Espresso Machine Cleaning Powder will help to break down oils inside your espresso machine. Add one teaspoon of cleaning powder to your espresso machine's portafilter when backflushing to deep clean your espresso machine.

How do you backflush an espresso machine?

Close-up of espresso pouring from coffee machine

To backflush your machine, first, remove the portafilter. The portafilter is the cup with a handle attached to the grouphead. The grouphead is the broad round metal head that dispenses water into the portafilter where the coffee is.

Replace the metal cap with holes with the backflush cap. You should have received one with your espresso machine when you purchased it.

If you are using a detergent for backflushing, insert it into the backflush cap. Now, reattach the portafilter to the grouphead.

Next, run hot water through your machine for 10 seconds, then stop. Do this five times to ensure that all the oils and detergent, if you are using any, are thoroughly flushed from the machine.

Now, remove the portafilter and replace the backflush cap with the metal cap with holes. Reattach the portafilter, and you are finished. You have now backflushed your espresso machine.

How often should you change the water in an espresso machine?

There is a task that all espresso machine owners dread. This is the task of changing the water in their espresso machine. Many choose to procrastinate doing the job as long as possible to avoid the inconvenience.

This may have you wondering how often you should change the water in your espresso machine. You should change the water in your espresso machine every day for the best-tasting espresso. If you don't want to change it daily, at least change it at least every 48 hours for health/safety reasons.

Microorganisms are why it is unsafe to leave water sitting in your espresso machine longer than 48 hours. Microorganisms are microscopic creatures that are all around us. They are in the air we breathe and in the water we drink.

coffee machine,Coffee machine in steam, barista preparing coffee at cafe

If you don't change the water sitting in your espresso machine, these microorganisms reproduce to dangerous levels and may make you sick when you drink them. They also make your espresso taste stale. If you have ever had a drink of water that had been sitting out and it tasted stale, then you understand what microorganisms do to the taste of water.

When you change the water in your espresso machine's water reservoir, be sure also to scrub the sides. Microorganisms can stick to the sides, contaminating the new water you add if they aren't washed away.

Some espresso machines have a feature that boils the water reservoir to ensure all microorganisms are killed. While this does make the water safe to drink, it doesn't remove the stale taste. For that, be sure to clean your water reservoir and replace the water daily.

Do espresso machines need to be serviced?

Concentrated man is inclining to apparatus and trying to renovate it. He using turn-screw

Espresso machines do need to be serviced. There are components in an espresso machine that wear out, and having them replaced regularly can ensure your espresso machine is always ready to make your espresso.

How often an espresso machine needs to be serviced varies depending on the make and model of your espresso machine, but most experts agree that at least once a year is often enough.

The components in an espresso machine that need to be replaced are gaskets. These gaskets warp over time, reducing their effectiveness. If the gaskets distort too much and fail, then you will have to wait on a repair before you can make espresso at home again.

When your espresso machine is serviced, the serviceman will also check internal electrical components and see if any of them need to be replaced. Keeping your espresso machine serviced regularly will ensure it functions smoothly and has a long lifespan.

How much does it cost to service an espresso machine?

The exact price of having your espresso machine serviced will vary but, you can expect it cost between 150 and 300 dollars. If you own an expensive espresso machine with many complex parts, it may cost as much as 500 dollars to service. With a cheaper espresso machine that is simple, you may only pay 50 dollars for serving.

The reason for such a wide variety of prices is the wide variety of espresso machines. There are many different types and brands of espresso machines. While they all function similarly, the exact construction of each of these machines can vary greatly.

The more complex your espresso machine, the harder it will be for a service member to clean all of its intricate pipes. This increased complexity will increase the time it takes to service it and the price. While servicing a complex espresso machine can be expensive, it is wise to have it done since repairing it can be even more costly.

Are espresso machines hard to maintain?

Espresso machines are not difficult to maintain, despite being complex. It would be best to do a few things regularly to ensure your espresso machine stays in working condition.

Backflushing your espresso machine is the first thing you should do to ensure your espresso machine is properly maintained. You will keep coffee oils from building up and clogging your machine by backflushing your espresso machine.

The next thing you should do to maintain your espresso machine is descaling it. Run a descaling agent through your espresso machine to remove calcium buildup in your machine. This descaling process will keep water flowing smoothly.

Another thing you should do as part of regular maintenance for your espresso machine is scrub the grouphead. Deposits of oil and calcium can build up on the grouphead, reducing water flow. Cleaning this occasionally will ensure it never becomes clogged.

How long does a good espresso machine last?

How long a good espresso machine lasts will depend on several factors. You should expect a good espresso machine to last between five and fifteen years.

High-end espresso machines should last longer than medium-priced ones; however, since high-end espresso machines are more complex, without maintenance, they may break quicker than a medium-priced espresso machine.

How often you provide maintenance to your espresso machine will significantly affect the lifespan of your espresso machine. Replacing gaskets and broken electrical components is vital for a long lifespan.

Frequency of use also plays a significant role in lifespan. If you only use your espresso machine once or twice a week, it will last much longer than an espresso machine used multiple times a day.

Suppose you practice proper maintenance of a high-end espresso machine and clean it often. You can expect it to reach over ten years old, and if you don't use your espresso machine too often, it may even last 15 years.

Final Thoughts

Coffee machine with steam in the process.

In this article, we learned that you should backflush your espresso machine every other day if you are only using water and every other week if you are using a cleaning detergent. We also learned that you should change the water in your espresso machine every two days to ensure the water is safe to drink or every day for the freshest tasting espresso.

Remember, practicing good maintenance on your espresso machine can ensure it has a long lifespan.

We hope you enjoyed this article. If you want to learn more, check out some of these other posts:

Can An Espresso Machine Explode?

How Often Should You Descale An Espresso Machine?

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