Updated: August 3, 2023 by Alex Carpenter
You have a trusty Mr. Coffee espresso machine. That’s great! And for it to keep making you perfect shots of espresso, you just have to take good care of it. The first thing you have to learn is how to clean your Mr. Coffee espresso machine.
It’s an easy process, but my guess is you have no idea where to begin. What you shouldn’t do is try and clean the unit without expert guidance. Chances of erring are high, and this will only complicate things for you.
The good news is that I am going to take you through all the essential cleaning processes which I have simplified so that even beginners are not left out. You could even use some of the steps to clean any other espresso machines you may have. So let’s get straight into it!
Table of Contents
What You Need
- A soft, clean piece of cloth
- Undiluted white household vinegar
- Lots of freshwater
- Cleaning container with a 1-liter capacity
- Gentle dish soap
Even though most of the cleaning should be done after brewing, that’s not where it should stop. I’ll also show what to clean on a weekly to monthly interval.
How to Clean Your Mr. Coffee Espresso Machine: Instructions
Right After Brewing
For your next beverage to be fresh and delicious, your portafilter has to be clean. You can do this in six simple steps:
- Leave the appliance to cool down a little bit.
- Turn the portafilter to the left to unlock it.
- Use the filter clip holder to hold it in place, then empty the grounds by tapping it against the edge of a garbage can. You also dislodge the contents using a utensil.
- Wash the portafilter and the filter cups in warm soapy water.
- Rinse and dry them with a clean piece of cloth.
- Insert the portafilter back into its groove.
Keep in mind that the portafilter and its components aren’t dishwasher safe.
Milk Frother/Dispenser Tube
This is where you put the clean cycle into use so that it can help you get rid of any milk residue within the tube. Steps to follow include:
- Place a large cup on the unit.
- Turn the frothing tube to face the center of your cup.
- Set the control knob to “Clean.”
- Hold the clean button on the control panel until the pump is active.
- Your appliance will automatically stop once the cleaning cycle is complete.
If you still have milk left in the milk reservoir, you can store it in your refrigerator. And if you decide to empty it, make sure you have washed it with soap and water. Note that the milk reservoir is also top-rack dishwasher safe.
Carafe & Lid, Brew Basket, Filter & Drip Tray
All these components can be cleaned in the same way. This must be the easiest of all cleaning processes, and I recommend that you clean each unit separately. Check out the simple steps below:
- Put the component to be cleaned in a washing container.
- Add warm, soapy water into the container.
- Gently wash your unit and rinse it thoroughly.
You could go a step further when cleaning the glass carafe. Such simple cleaning may not be enough in the long run, especially if you use hard or mineral-filled water. Once you begin to notice whitish mineral deposits and brownish stains, follow the procedure below to fix that.
- Prepare a solution of white vinegar and water mixed in equal parts.
- Pour the mixture inside the glass carafe and leave it to rest for around half an hour
- Empty the carafe and then wash it with fresh water. Rinse it thoroughly using a clean piece of soft cloth.
You may also have some grounds stuck in the brew head after brewing. To clean this area, first make sure the unit is unplugged from the power source. Thereafter, use a wet paper towel or soft piece of clothing to wipe off the excess grounds.
Remember to also wipe off any dirt from your coffee maker immediately after every brewing cycle. Make use of a soft wet piece of cloth that won’t leave any marks or scratches on the machine’s finish.
Weekly to Monthly
No matter how careful and accurate you are in using your Mr. Coffee espresso machine, you won’t save it from gathering mineral deposits. In fact, this could happen after just a few brew cycles. You can tell deliming is taking place once the following signs emerge:
- Increased brewing time
- Excessive steaming
- Whitish deposits on the brew head surface
Now, how long you should clean deliming primarily depends on the type of water you are using. For soft water, the suggested cleaning frequency is after every 80 brewing sessions. Cut the frequency in two if you are using hard water.
That said, let’s look at how you should get rid of lime from your water reservoir:
Deliming the Water Reservoir
- Turn off the unit and unplug the cord from the power source.
- Release the pressure and let the appliance cool down.
- Lift off the water reservoir from its position and then fill it with vinegar.
- Let the unit sit overnight with the vinegar solution still in the reservoir.
- Empty the reservoir by tilting the entire espresso unit over the sink.
- Use fresh water to rinse the reservoir and repeat step 5 when emptying it. Do this two to three times.
Deliming the Internal Components
Of all the cleaning processes, this is probably the most delicate and detailed. You want to be right and accurate because errors can be costly.
- If your water reservoir isn’t delimed yet, please follow the previous steps.
- Turn off the unit and disconnect the power cord from the electric outlet. Also, make sure pressure has been released and the appliance has cooled down.
- Pour vinegar into the glass carafe and fill it up all the way to the top of the metal band.
- Unscrew the water reservoir’s cap, pour the solution inside, and then screw the cap back tightly.
- Install the brew basket (together with the filter), and then put the glass carafe on the drip tray. Make sure the lid is on.
- Plug the cord into the power source and turn on the unit. Set the knob to the “Brew” position.
- Once the vinegar gets to the 2 cup mark on the carafe, take a cup with cold water and place it beneath the frothing aid. Direct the frothing arm into the cold water, and then set the knob to the steam position. This cleans all the residue deposits in the frothing tube.
- Turn the knob back to the “Brew” position. Once all the vinegar empties into the carafe, turn off the unit and let it cool down.
- Repeat steps 1-8 using fresh water to rinse off any lingering vinegar in the appliance. Do this three to four times.
This is exactly how to descale a Mr. Coffee espresso machine. At the end of this process, your unit should be in its pristine state, ready to pull perfect espresso shots in no time.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can I use instead of vinegar to clean my Mr. Coffee espresso machine?
Other equally capable non-toxic solutions you could use in place of vinegar include baking soda and lemon juice. These two share so many cleaning qualities with vinegar (except the strong and sharp smell and taste).
Actually, that’s a very compelling reason to use them, not to mention they are affordable. But make sure you have thoroughly cleaned and rinsed your unit so that no lingering smell is left.
Other great alternatives that work magic and can help you descale a Mr. Coffee espresso machine include:
- A mixture of crushed ice and salt
- Cream of tartar
- CLR (calcium, lime, and rust)
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Denture tablets
How do you unclog a Mr. Coffee Maker?
An effective trick to making sure your Mr. Coffee espresso machine doesn’t clog is to thoroughly clean it after every brewing cycle. This prevents the debris from building up and eventually clogging the unit. That said, here’s how to unclog your appliance.
First of all, troubleshoot by stripping down the portafilter and frothing tube. This will help you find out what area is clogged. Once you do, clean the component with warm soapy water and rinse it thoroughly.
You can also run a steam cycle. Get a large cup, fill it with water, and then insert the steam wand into the frother. Set the control knob to “Steam,” and then allow the water to froth for a few seconds. Should the nozzle fail to steam, turn off the knob and use a toothpick or needle to clear the steam nozzle.
Final Thoughts on Cleaning and Descaling Your Mr. Coffee
Your Mr. Coffee espresso machine will only serve you well if you clean and maintain it properly. This is not negotiable. You may ignore this for the short term while the unit works just fine, but in the long run, it will become dysfunctional and dry your pockets as you repair and try to bring it back to life.
But you don’t have to go through all that when the cleaning process is so simple. It won’t even take you long, maybe an hour at most. But it’s totally worth it considering the reward you get in return, which is a delicious shot of espresso and a perfectly working appliance.
All you have to do is follow each of the steps above. You won’t regret the effort and time you will put into this.