Regularly descaling your Breville coffee machine is crucial to extend its life and to ensure it keeps producing high-quality and tasty coffee.
In this guide, we’ll take you through the step-by-step process you need to follow to descale your Breville® Barista Pro Machine
We’ll also explain how to perform a rinse clean, and replace the water filter on your machine – Two other key steps in a proper maintenance regeime.
The process should be undertaken when the descaling indicator comes on or a minimum of once every 3 months to avoid long-term damage to your machine. The process should take around 2-minutes
Note: There are many makes, models, and brands of Breville machines on the market. This guide is intended only for the Barista Pro only. If you have a different machine, please check out our other guides HERE.
Why Listen To Us? Well, because we KNOW coffee! In fact, we make our own coffee, coffee machine cleaners, and reusable capsules which we've sold to over 41 countries. Our team ouf experts include Tristan (an engineer), Claire (a food writer) and Richy (a barista). So, whether you're looking for a recipe or repair guide, we've got you covered 💚
Table of Contents
TLDR: How To Descale Your Barista Pro
To descale the Barista Pro machine, press the MENU button and user the GRINDER DIAL to navigate to the DESCALE command. Fill the water tank with descaling solution then run the descaling process by pressing the ONE CUP button once. When complete, perform a freshwater rinse and you’re done!
Keep reading for the full step by step guide..
Tip: Breville offer their propriety descaling kit, which you can purchase from any Breville machine retailer or online. We think this is a little expensive and prohibits people from descaling their machines as often as they need. You can pick up an eco-friendly alternative that contains 4 doses here on Amazon for less than $20.
What Is ‘Descaling’?
All coffee machines build up deposits of calcium and lime over time. These come from tiny amounts of mineral salts that are naturally found in our water supplies. They’re completely harmless, and in fact, we need them to stay healthy, but they will build up in hot water appliances over time.
“Descaling” is the act of stripping these mineral deposits from your machine’s internal surfaces. To keep your Breville espresso machine functioning properly, you should remove these buildups by descaling regularly.
How Often Should You Descale Your Breville Barista Pro?
Your machine’s user manual recommends that you descale your machine every three months or 300 coffees – whichever comes first.
That means if you use your machine often you may need to descale more frequently. Some examples of descaling frequencies are shown in the table below.
|Number of coffees per day||Recommended descaling frequency|
|1-2||Every 3-6 months|
|3-4||Every 3 months|
|5-8||Every 2 months|
|When the DESCALE light comes on||Immediately|
The frequency of descaling also largely depends on what is known as your ‘water hardness’ – which essentially means how much mineral salts are present in your town or city’s water supply. Areas with high water hardness will require you to descale your machine more often, and areas with low water hardness can reduce the amount of maintenance required.
The Barista Pro Descaling ALERT
Some models of Breville machines (including the Barista Pro) have a warning light or message that appears to alert you that the machine needs to be descaled.
The descaling warning light for the Barista Pro will appear on the LCD screen when your machine needs to be descaled. If you get this warning, you’ll need to descale immediately, which is sometimes inconvenient and why we recommend proactively descaling if possible.
How Long Will Descaling Take?
The entire process of descaling your Breville® Barista Pro Machine should take between 20 and 30 minutes.
What You Need:
What you’ll need:
- Descaling Solution (We recommend this one on Amazon)
- Clean water
- A 1L (36oz) empty jug or container that fits under your machine’s spout.
Recommendation: we prefer to use this Eco Descaler as you get 4 separate doses (enough for 1 year’s descaling) and the packaging is fully compostable, unlike the Breville bottles which only give you one shot per bottle and are made of plastic
You can also our list of most recommended coffee machine descaling products reviewed here!
How To Descale Your Barista Pro Machine (Step-By-Step Guide)
Step 1: Enter Descaling Mode
Step 2: Descaling Solution Rinse
Step 3: Fresh Water Rinse
The next step is to rinse out any remaining descaling solution from the machine. While this is perfectly food-safe, it will leave the coffee tasting bitter and undrinkable.
How To Correctly Clean Your Breville Machine
Cleaning your Breville machine is crucial to maintaining the proper functioning of your appliance and the great taste of your coffee. Breville recommends cleaning your unit every 4-6 weeks, although we’d recommend cleaning weekly if your machine gets a lot of use.
Ensure your device is off before you clean it. Here’s how to clean your machine.
- The one-cup dual wall filter basket
- Cleaning disc that came with your machine (You can get replacement discs here from Amazon)
- One Breville cleaning tablet
Step 1. Preparation
- Empty and reinsert the drip tray.
- Ensure the water tank is filled to the max line with cold water and securely attached to your unit.
- Insert the one-cup wall filter basket into the portafilter.
- Insert the cleaning disc.
- Place the cleaning tablet onto the cleaning disc.
- Lock the portafilter into the group head.
Step 2. The Cleaning cycle
- Press the 1-cup, 2-cup, and power buttons simultaneously for 3 to 5 seconds.
- The machine will power on, and the 1-cup button will flash to indicate the cycle is in progress.
- Let the cycle run for approximately 5 minutes until the machine returns to ready mode – when the lights illuminate solid.
Step 3. The Rinse cycle
- Remove and rinse the portafilter, filter basket, and cleaning disc.
- Fill the water tank with clean water.
- Press the 1-cup or 2-cup button to rinse the group head.
- Empty and rinse the drip tray, then reattach it to the unit.
- Ensure the tablet has dissolved completely. If it’s not, repeat the process until it’s completely dissolved.
- Turn off the machine. Your cleaning cycle is complete.
Download: Get a copy of our descaling cheatsheet below.
This video from the Breville website takes you step by step through the process
How To Change The Water Filter On Your Barista Pro (And When)
The water filter should be changed every 2 months. It’s really simple to install and our FREE calendar below can be printed to remind you when to change yours.
How to replace the water filter in a Barista Pro:
- Take out your water tank and empty any remaining water into the sink.
- Pull the old filter out of the water tank and unclip the filter holder by pressing the clasps and pulling it apart. You can throw the old filter in the bin.
- Unwrap your new water filter and submerge it in water for 5 minutes (I use an upside-down mug on top of the filter to hold it down in the water as it tends to float..).
- Give the new filter a rinse under the tap to clean off any sediment.
- Insert it into the filter holder.
- Adjust the reminder wheel – This is the little plastic dial numbered 1 to 12 to represent the month you changed the filter last. To use this, set the number to the current month plus two for when you next need to change the filter.
- Add the filter to the water tank.
- Fill the water tank and re-insert it into the machine
This video from the Breville official website shows you how to do this on your machine.
Frequently Asked Questions About Descaling The Breville Barista Pro:
Q. Why is there foam coming out from the coffee machine?
When you perform this task, you may find foam coming out from the brewer due to the cleaning action of the descaling solution. Don’t panic. It is the aftereffect of the reaction between the descaling solution and mineral deposit.
Q. Can you use vinegar instead of descaling solution?
Scientifically speaking, cleaning your Breville with vinegar is almost exactly the same as with a commercial descaler solution.
Unfortunately, however, vinegar tends to peel off the scale build-up in flakes which could clog your machine causing irreparable damage. We’ve heard numerous cases of people having to throw out their coffee machines because of this. We’d recommend sticking with a commercial descaling product.
Q. What is a descaling solution made of?
Descaling solution is generally an acidic chemical that is capable of dissolving mineral salts such as oxides and carbonates. Notable descaling agents include acetic acid, citric acid, and lactic acid. These are all food-safe chemicals, however citric and acetic acid do impart a more noticeable taste to the machine, thus lactic acid is typically preferred.
Q. Can you make your own descaling solution?
You can make your own descaling solution using vinegar or citric acid, though we’d recommend using a commercial descaling product in a concentration that is proven not to damage your machine.
Q. Can I use any descaler in my Breville Machine?
Yes, in fact, you can use all descaling products in any brand of coffee machine. Just make sure to read the machine’s specific descaling instructions to make sure you use the correct amount of product and dilute it with the correct amount of water!
Q. What happens if you don’t descale your coffee machine?
Scale builds up inside the pipes restricting the flow of water. If this happens inside the heating element it prevents water from reaching its optimal brewing temperature. When this happens it’s impossible to extract the full flavor from the coffee pods and the flavor will become weak. Severe scale buildup can clog water flow completely, causing a machine to stop working.
Q. Is the descaling solution toxic?
Our favorite Eco Descaler descaling powder is completely non-tox and eco-friendly. It’s made from citric acid which is food safe in moderate doses. Other descaling solutions may use caustic chemicals such as sodium hydroxide which is highly toxic, so please check the label if unsure.
Q. Where can I download the Breville Barista Pro machine manual?
You can download a copy of the machine’s manual here: Download Barista Pro User Manual
We hope you’ve enjoyed our comprehensive descaling guide for the Breville® Barista Pro Machine.
Let us know if the comments section below if you have any questions or tips & tricks you’ve figured out while maintaining your prized espresso machine?
Product Recommendation: If you’re looking for a good descaler that is proven to work on your Breville machine, then check out the Green Pods Eco Descaler. It comes with 4 sachets of descaling powder and simple easy-to-follow instructions so there’s zero confusion on how much to use.