Cleaning Semi Automatic Machines

Cleaning your semi-automatic espresso machine is an ESSENTIAL part in making coffee. No matter how good your coffee is, when your machine is crusty with rancid oils it will become bitter and disgusting.

There are four essential parts, in addition to some ongoing cleaning:

1. Backflushing
2. Soaking the grouphead
3. Descaling the machine
4. Cleaning the grinder
5. Other ongoing cleaning


We recommend to do this once per day for a professional operation and once per week at home / office. Using Urnex Cafiza Powder and a portafilter with no holes (or a rubber insert), backflush the machine as per below instructions. This needs to be done once per group head. After backflushing with the Urnex Cafiza Powder remember to backflush twice with clean water only.

Back Flush Instructions (each group head):
1. Insert blind filter in porta-filter and add up to 1/2 teaspoon (3 g) of Urnex Cafiza Powder. Insert porta-filter into group head.
2. Activate brew cycle for 10 seconds. Stop 10 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
3. Remove porta-filter. Activate brew cycle and rinse porta-filter in stream of water from group head. Stop cycle.
5. Insert porta-filter into group head. Repeat step (2) without Urnex Cafiza Powder 3 times.
6. Make and discard a cup of espresso to ensure no residue remains.

Why? Coffee contains oils (caffeol), which produces the flavor in oil. As these oils get pressed out during espresso making they cling to the inside of the machine. After a while they become rancid and impact the flavor.


The group handles should be soaked in water mixed with a little bit of Urnex Cafiza Powder overnight. In the morning they should be properly rinsed before usage. This should be done every night.

Soaking Instructions:
1. Soak filters and metal of porta-filter for 30 minutes in 1 teaspoon (6 g) of Urnex Cafiza Powder per 1 L of hot water.
2. Rinse with clean hot water.

Why? Coffee contains oils (caffeol), which produces the flavor in oil. As these oils get pressed out during espresso making they cling to the inside of the machine. After a while they become rancid and impact the flavor.


This should be done at least once every 6 months with Urnex Dezcal. Descaling is a little complicated so we recommend using a professional technician (like ours). Basically you need to dissolve the Dezcal in water, get it into your machine and let it sit for a while.

Commercial Machine Directions:

**Product is recommended for use on commercial equipment by professional technicians only
1. Create a solution using 50 mL Urnex Dezcal in 500 mL hot water (for other volumes, use 1:10 ratio).
2. Add solution to water boiler (see your machine’s manual for specific instructions)
3. Hold solution in vessel for up to 30 minutes.
4. Rinse all parts thoroughly.

Home Coffee & Espresso Machine Directions:
1. Mix a solution of 100ml Urnex Dezcal per 1 L hot water (for other volumes at a ratio of 1:10).
2. Pour into water reservoir.
3. Brew solution through system. If using a pod or capsule machine, brew cup after cup until water reservoir is empty.
4. When machines asks to "refill," empty water reservoir, rinse and refill with fresh water.
5. Repeat step 3 until you run two full tanks of fresh water through the system.

Why? Lime scale gradually builds up in the brew unit, affecting it’s efficiency and shortening it’s lifespan. The harder the water the faster this happens. If waiting too long the lime scale will eventually break the boiler, requiring a costly replacement. Besides that, a heavily calcified heating element will be much less efficient resulting in higher electricity costs and a less regulated temperature (and that affects the espresso quality).


1. Empty all coffee from grinder.
2. Add Cafiza Grindz grinder cleaner – use 1 capful (35-40g) for espresso grinders or 2 capsful (70-80g) for shop grinders.
3. Adjust grinder to medium setting and operate.
4. To purge, repeat above process twice with coffee.

Why? The more coffee you grind the more your grinder clogs up. Cafiza Grindz removes not only all of the old ground coffee but also the rancid oils caught in the grinder, ensuring better flavor and freshness of your coffee.


Rinsing / Wiping the O-Ring
Best done at least daily. No matter how careful you are, a little bit of coffee grounds will always get stick in the o-ring. Just turn on the water of the espresso machine and wiggle the group handle around from left to right to rinse the o-ring. Alternately you can also take a towel and wipe off and grounds left inside.

Why? Because otherwise the grounds stuck there will create a hole allowing the water to escape where it should while making an espresso.

Purging and wiping the steam wand
Every time you use the steam wand to steam milk, wipe it down and run some steam through it.

Why? Because it looks nasty and is unhygienic. Also it’s to avoid having milk travel up the steam wand and into your boiler, potentially ruining it, even though newer machines have measures to help prevent this.