How to Clean a Commercial Coffee Machine

Cleaning a Conti Commercial Coffee Machine from Caffeine Limited

Posted on 9th May 2019 in Conti

How to clean a coffee machine:

Keeping your Caffeine Limited commercial coffee machine clean is absolutely vital. Not only will it keep the coffee you produce tasting fresh, it will keep your machine in good working order. Many of the most common and costly coffee machine issues come down to poor cleaning day-to-day maintenance.

This article will take you step by step through some simple procedures to follow in order to keep your commercial coffee machine clean and in good working order.

Some terms to learn:

  • Portafilter – the removable handle that holds ground coffee and fits into a ‘group’ on the coffee machine
  • Basket – part of the portafilter, the basket is the detachable metal basket into which freshly ground coffee is loaded
  • Group Head – the part of a coffee machine that delivers the hot water used to brew the espresso
  • Shower Plate – part of each group head it is a metal plate with small holes which allows the water to be distributed evenly across the coffee bed
  • Group Seal – part of the group head, it is a rubber seal that surrounds the shower plate and provides a watertight connection between the group head and the portafilter
  • Group Head Brush – a brush used for cleaning coffee grounds from the group head and group seal
  • Steam Wand – a metal arm that delivers a jet of steam for foaming milk


During Service

During service, there are a few basic things to follow in order to keep your coffee machine clean:

Make sure that your steam-wand is wiped clean after every use with a damp cloth that is only used for your steam-wand and is replaced frequently.

Group heads should also be cleaned during quiet periods with a group head cleaning brush to remove any coffee residue, including around the seal.

Use the brush to get rid of any visible coffee grounds around the seal and use it to get right up around the shower plate. This will help to prevent a build up of coffee around the seal which will lead to leaks and to the deterioration of the rubber.

A portafilter and a basket after cleaning

A Portafilter (top) and a Basket (bottom) after cleaning


Every Day

At the end of service, take your group head brush and clean the shower screen of the group head again.

Fit a blank basket in your portafilter (a basket without any holes) and place the portafilter into your group head as if you were about to extract an espresso.

Run water through the group head for 5 seconds using the free flow button.

Stop the water before removing the portafilter and pour away this dirty water. Now place a small amount of Puly Café cleaning powder into the blank basket. Refit your portafilter into the group head.

Caffeine Limited’s Conti espresso machines are programmed with an automatic cleaning cycle so press the ‘clean’ button or hold the first and last button on the group head.

A portafilter loaded with a blank cleaning basket and Puly Cafe powder

A portafilter loaded with a blank cleaning basket and Puly Cafe powder

Wipe down your machine, including the drip tray, removing any stray coffee grinds.


Every Week

At least once a week a deeper clean of your coffee machine should be carried out.

Portafilters and baskets should be removed and soaked in Puly Café and hot water. This will remove and coffee oils and dirt that may clog up the holes and lead to an uneven espresso extraction.

The shower plates should also be carefully removed and cleaned with hot water and a cloth.

Use a pin to ensure that the holes in the end of the steam wand are clear.

To find out more about Caffeine Limited’s Commercial Espresso Machines and our other coffee machines and equipment contact us at or call us on 01707 278 400.

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