Grouphead Brush, for a Clean Espresso Machine

If your espresso machine is dirty or in need of repair, you will not be able to serve good-tasting coffee to your customers. If you own a specialty coffee shop, cleaning and maintaining your equipment should be one of your top priorities because it is used to produce hundreds of cups of coffee each and every day.

In the event that you maintain your espresso machine properly, it should last anywhere from eight to ten years, depending on the model. One important tool that you will need to keep your espresso machine sparkling clean and working in optimum condition is the Pallo Coffeetool Grouphead brush.

Coffeetool is the superior method for cleaning the group heads of your espresso machine and preventing the accumulation of rancid oils. When compared to other group head brushes, our patented design features an ergonomic handle and one-of-a-kind water deflector fins to protect your hand from scalding hot water while you clean the espresso machine’s group head.

Before we look more closely at the specific features of the Pallo Coffeetool Grouphead brush, let us take a look at why it is important to keep your espresso machine sparkling clean and some more general cleaning tips for your commercial espresso machine.

Why should you keep your espresso machine clean?

It is essential that you clean your espresso machine. You would not use a dirty pan to make food for your customers or for your family, right? Your coffee maker is subject to the same constraints. Maintaining a clean coffee machine is the best way to ensure that you are producing the highest-quality coffee possible.

During the process of making coffee, water moves from the boiler to the group head and back again. After that, it makes its way through the portafilter, then the ground coffee, and finally it reaches the cup.

The release-valve, which is a three-way solenoid, will let out excess pressure as soon as the shot is finished. As a consequence of this action, a vacuum is produced, which draws coffee, grinds, and oils back into the group head and solenoid valve. It is reasonable to anticipate that by the end of the working day these components will have acquired a great deal of grime, which is why it is essential to clean your coffee machine.

Coffee oils that are not removed on a regular basis will accumulate and become rancid if this practice is not followed. If your coffee machine is dirty, the coffee it produces will taste bad. Flavors that are described as metallic, bitter, or astringent are frequently placed at the barista’s or even the coffee beans’ feet. We would argue that dirty equipment is more likely to be the cause of these issues.

Not only does a dirty coffee machine affect the flavor of the beverages that it produces, but more importantly it, can be a health and safety hazard. You do not want this at home and you certainly do not want it in a commercial establishment such as a coffee shop!

What about at-home espresso machines with very little usage?

There is a widespread misconception that a machine that sees light use does not require maintenance as frequently as one that sees heavy use, but this is not the case. Because an inactive machine is left to idle for longer periods of time, oils are more likely to become baked onto the group heads and portafilters. This is due to the fact that there is no stream of water passing through them. Thankfully, cleaning the machine is not a difficult task at all – especially with a handy tool such as the Pallo Coffeetool Grouphead brush.

How often should you be cleaning and maintaining an espresso machine?

Your schedule for espresso machine maintenance ought to include both routine inspections and, on an annual basis, the replacement of certain components. It is possible that you will be able to avoid corrective maintenance if you replace small parts on a scheduled basis. This would be advantageous because corrective maintenance could result in the need to close the coffee shop while the machine is being repaired. This, of course, could lead to a loss of earnings and irreparable damage to your coffee shop’s reputation. With so many competitors out there, this is something that you want to avoid!

Make sure you have a cleaning and maintenance routine in place to prevent things from getting to this point.

Daily cleaning habits

​​Good habits on the part of the operator or barista are an important factor: you should clean as you work. Some daily espresso machine cleaning habits include:

  • Always ensuring that the steam wand is thoroughly cleaned after each use. In addition to this, you need to cleanse the wand before and after each use. This will prevent obstructions caused by dry milk and bacteria buildup.
  • Cleaning the group head before making each round of espressos because oils from the coffee and stale grounds can impart flavors that are not desirable. Your customers will certainly be picking up on this!
  • Maintaining the cleanliness of your cleaning cloths. They should be changed out twice or three times a day. Ensure that they are washed at a high temperature with detergent.

An end of day clean

The above pointers are something you should be doing after every use, or at least multiple times a day to ensure the very best coffees for your customers and impeccable hygiene. However, there are some jobs that need to be completed once the doors are shut and your customers have gone home. This ensures that your espresso machines are sparkling clean and ready to go to make the best coffees in town the next day.

Some of the things that you need to do at the end of every day include:

  • Carry out an extensive backflush by first brushing the group heads of the coffee machine with a machine brush such as the Pallo Coffeetool Grouphead brush to loosen and remove coffee grounds, followed by using JoeGlo Backflush detergent and a blind filter. Backflush instructions can be found on the website in the “How to use” section for JoeGlo.

Continue doing so until the water that emerges is completely clear. We also suggest pulling several shots of espresso afterwards in order to get rid of any possible detergent flavors that may be present in subsequent cups of espresso although the Pallo coffeetool grouphead brush has a super handy detergent dosing spoon to make sure that you are using the correct amount of backflush detergent every single time.

  • To clean the steam wand, remove the tip and place it in JoeGlo Backflush detergent’s “wicked solution.” Allow the wand to sit in the solution for 10 minutes. Again, the Pallo Steamy Wanda is perfect for cleaning inside the stem wand. After removing the steam wand tip insert the Pallo Steamy Wanda into the steam wand tube to scrub inside the tube. Avoid twisting the steam wand while cleaning to protect the twisted wire from becoming loose and loosening the bristles. Use the Steamy Wanda vent hole cleaner to clear the vent holes of mineral deposits and milk residue, ensuring proper aeration of milk so that you can make the frothiest coffee around!

It is important to keep the draining hose clean so that you can avoid any clogs or buildup of coffee grounds that could prevent water from draining properly from the drip tray.

It is imperative that the portafilters, filter baskets, and drip trays be thoroughly cleaned. They can all be soaked in JoeGlo detergent’s “wicked solution.” The portafiler spouts can be scrubbed with the Pallo Steamy Wanda.

The instructions for JoeGlo “wicked solution” are on the back of the 25 oz jar of JoeGlo Backflush and Soaking Solution. You can also find the instructions on this website. Go to the “How to use” drop down menu and select JoeGlo.

Every couple of months

To stop leaks from occurring between the portafilter and the group head, you should replace the shower screens and the portafilter baskets.

In addition to that, you ought to be aware of the quality of your water. You run the risk of your steam tank becoming calcified if the water you use contains a lot of minerals. To prevent this from happening, speak with your machine’s distributor or manufacturer about setting up a regular decalcification schedule.

Every year

You should replace these minor components once a year in order to prevent them from developing into a major issue:

  • The valves for steam and hot water, if there are any.
  • Shims for the shoulder bolts
  • The expansion valve in the system (this will prevent leaks and temperature loss in the tank)
  • The anti-suction valve is located here.
  • The bearing for the brew actuator
  • The conduit for waste
  • The portafilter baskets (this may not be necessary, but take the time to check each year)

It might seem like a lot of money to replace all of these things. However, this option is more cost-effective than not being able to operate your espresso machine.

What should you use to clean it?

JoeGlo Backflush and Soaking Solution is a good choice as it prevents scale build up. JoeGlo is NOT a descaler but it does prevent scale. If you already have scale build up you should use a descaler.

The Pallo Coffeetool Grouphead brush is a tool that you definitely should have in your espresso machine cleaning toolbox. As we have mentioned above, it enables you to give the steam wands a thorough clean, leaving them clear and bacteria free. It also enables you to clean your espresso machine group heads and prevent the buildup of rancid oils. Unlike other group head brushes, the patented design features an ergonomic handle and unique water deflector fins to keep scalding hot water from reaching your hand while cleaning the espresso machine group head.

You do not have to buy a new one each time you notice the bristles becoming a little worn – a three pack of replacement bristles are available as well, saving you money and cutting down the impact your expresso machine has on the environment.

The Pallo Coffeetool Grouphead brush

The Pallo Coffeetool grouphead brush is a crucial part of your espresso machine cleaning kit. This handy tool gets into all the crevices and nooks of your coffee machine grouphead, making for a super clean finish for perfect tasting coffee. You do not need to worry about scalds and burns as the patented handle design and water deflector fins create a barrier against the boiling hot water, making it a safe task to do. With reusable bristles available, it is a small tool with big promise.

Final thoughts

It is essential to both maintain the machine’s functionality and adhere to proper hygiene practices by ensuring that the espresso machine is cleaned thoroughly at the end of each working day.

When in doubt, always give that group head an extra flush, and never finish your cleaning routine unless you would be happy to drink a coffee from the machine. Stray coffee grounds and leftover milk residue will not only harbor bacteria but will also have an impact on the flavor of your coffee.