How to Clean Starbucks Espresso Machines

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Things You'll Need

  • Starbucks Barista Cleaner (or 4 ounces of pulp-free lemon juice)

  • 1 Cup of warm water

  • Filtered water

  • Screwdriver

  • Coffee cups

Keep the espresso flowing by cleaning your espresso maker.

If you love espresso or cappuccino, a home espresso maker makes getting your caffeine fix convenient. The coffee company Starbucks has developed its own line of espresso makers for your kitchen. Although the basket that holds the coffee grounds should be cleaned after each use and the brew head screen needs to be cleaned often, the machine itself does not need to be cleaned more than every three to six months. This cleaning removes mineral deposits from the inside of the machine.

Step 1

Dissolve the cleaner in 1 cup of warm water. Pour the solution into the water tank of your espresso maker. Alternatively, pour the lemon juice into the tank. Add additional filtered water until the tank is full.

Step 2

Use a screwdriver to loosen the screw on the brew head (where the espresso comes out). Remove the screen from the brew head.

Step 3

Place a coffee cup under the brew head. Place a coffee cup under the steamer wand of your machine.

Step 4

Turn on the machine. Following your particular machine's directions, brew one cup of cleaner through the brew head and brew (not steam) another cup through the steam wand. Dump the brewed cleaner solution down the sink. Turn off the power and wait 30 minutes.

Step 5

Run any remaining cleaner solution in the tank through the brew head and steamer wand (alternate between the two equally). Dump this brewed solution down the sink. Remove the machine's water tank and rinse it thoroughly. Put the tank back into the machine.

Step 6

Fill the tank with filtered water. Brew the water through the brew head and steam wand (alternate between the two equally). Dump the brewed water down the sink. Repeat this with clean filtered water three or four times. Allow the machine to cool.

Step 7

Replace the brew head screen. The smooth side faces downward.


When you run the cleaner through the brew head and steamer wand, start the machine immediately. Do not wait for the ready light.


Allow the machine to cool thoroughly before replacing the screen. Use caution — the water coming out of the machine is very hot.


Tammie Painter

Based in Portland, Ore., Tammie Painter has been writing garden, fitness, science and travel articles since 2008. Her articles have appeared in magazines such as "Herb Companion" and "Northwest Travel" and she is the author of six books. Painter earned her Bachelor of Science in biology from Portland State University.