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Espresso machine cleaning tablets?

Gentlemen, I am using a Breville Barsta Express. It came with two tablets of "espresso machine cleaning tablets" and has a light that pops on saying to clean the machine. My question is what are these tablets and is there something I can use to clean the machine other than tablets I have no idea what they contain?
 
There are two kinds of "cleaning" when it comes to espresso machines

Descaling: Removing mineral accumulation in the boiler

Back Flushing: Removing coffee residue, stains, and rancid oils in the brew head and porafilter

What type of cleaning are the "tablets" for?

OR better yet, what type of cleaning do YOU want to do to the machine?
 
Hi Turtle, I am not sure how to answer this. A light comes on and says to clean the machine. The machine was supplied with two "espresso machine cleaning tablets" you put them in the portafilter and there is a program you start to clean. I have a feeling it's probably back-flushing but I don't really know.
 
Hi Turtle, I am not sure how to answer this. A light comes on and says to clean the machine. The machine was supplied with two "espresso machine cleaning tablets" you put them in the portafilter and there is a program you start to clean. I have a feeling it's probably back-flushing but I don't really know.
That's a back flush.

You can use Urnex Cafiza in place of the tabs

http://www.urnexbrand.com/products/Cafiza_Espresso_Machine_Cleaning_Powder.aspx

Check around locally to you and online. It is a common product

 
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Not sure if it really helps but I descale and clean the brew group every 500 drinks I make (recommended) by the manufacturer book and haven't had bad quality drinks yet.
 
Hi Turtle, I have never seen this product. But I will look around. Is there a common household product, like baking soda, that would work?
 
Hi Turtle, I have never seen this product. But I will look around. Is there a common household product, like baking soda, that would work?
It is a commercial product for cleaning restaurant coffee brewing equipment so you will need to go to a restaurant supply store to find it locally or buy it online. Even the smallest size you can get is a lifetime supply as you only use a table spoon for a back flush and this is only once or twice a month maybe even 4-6 times a YEAR if you are not using your machine several times a day

I do not know of any common house hold ingredient that can be used for back flushing that you could substitute. REMEMBER you are dealing with an item that produces CONSUMABLE products so be careful what you put in the machine as you DO NOT want to poison yourself and your family by trying to save a little coin. I would recommend you either use the tablets or the commercial product.

You can find other back flush products that ARE in tablet form if you want to use the type of back flush product that was recommended by the manufacturer.

URNEX makes their oils cleaner in tablet form if you want to use it that way.

http://www.urnexbrand.com/products/Tabz_Coffee_Equipment_Cleaning_Tablets.aspx

I use their commercial powder because I have a semi-commercial machine and it can use the powder, your machine may not be able to use it. I am NOT familiar with the machine you own so I would lean to a product that comes in a tablet form and follow the manufacture's instructions to clean.



NOW... when you are ready to descale the boiler, I can help there as a boiler is a boiler regardless of whether it is on an espresso machine, a coffee pot, or a commercial hot water dispenser

For descaling you can use acidic acid which you can find in the pickling (spice) isle in your local grocery store BUT this is for removing scale from the boiler not removing coffee oils from the brew part. There are commercial descaling products and I bought one of the better ones BUT.... I opted to go to my local health food store and buy some bulk acidic acid which I used to descale my Pasquini. Worked great!!!

You only need to descale maybe once a year, more often if you have high mineral content in the water you are using. All community water supplies are required by law to publish their annual water quality report. Find the one for your community and see if your city water is high in minerals and adjust your descaling routine based on that

This has always been my mantra: "Less is best and NEVER do anything that CANNOT be undone"

SO....

If you are in doubt drop back to the lowest common denominator (what the manufacture supplies for cleaning)
 
I would suggest you purchase cafiza from the Internet, it is designed for the removal of oil and grinds, and more importantly, designed to be easy to flush so you don't end up with detergent screwing up the taste of your coffee.
 
I use Joe Glo, a similar product. It suds less than Urnex / Cafiza. They have their MSDS available on their website and have garnered a "more eco-friendly" reputation (though I don' know if it is deserved, or just a byproduct of being open with their MSDS sheet.
 
Everyone, thanks for the info. I don't need to do the boiler yet....but I have feeling I will as we have hard water. I do make 2 or 3 cups a day, so I guess I will get the Cafiza tablets. The 100 should last me a long time. But, I buy my feather DE blades 100 at a time I should accustomed to buying in bulk :-/
 
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