How to Clean a Sage Espresso Machine
If you own a Sage espresso machine the chances are you’re pretty serious about coffee. So ensuring you take good care of your machine is essential for decent-tasting drinks. And the added bonus is that good habits from the start will ensure your machine has a long, and productive life-span.
You’ll find a complete cleaning guide for your specific Sage machine model in the manual included in the box. But take note of these tips & tricks to stay on top of cleaning & maintenance.
How often: When prompted
Luckily for forgetful people; your Sage machine will actually let you know when it’s time for a clean. After around 200 coffees the screen will show a ‘clean me’ alert. Once this happens you need to:
- Insert the cleaning disc into the single portafilter and add a cleaning tablet.
- Ensure the drip tray is inserted, the tank is filled with water & lock the portafilter into place.
- Scroll through the options until you get to the ‘CLEAN CYCLE’ option & press the ‘MANUAL’ or ‘SELECT’ button which should be illuminated.
- From here the cleaning cycle will run itself.
- Once it has finished remove the portafilter & check that the cleaning tablet has completely dissolved (If it hasn’t, run through the cycle once more). Rinse the portafilter, basket and cleaning disc thoroughly.
- Replace the cleaning disc into the portafilter & insert into the group head without the tablet, press the ‘MANUAL’ button on, leave for a couple of seconds and turn it off again. Repeat a few times to rinse the group head.
How often: After every use
Each time you use the machine, finish by rinsing the portafilter and filter basket under hot water to remove coffee oils.
Every now & then it is a good idea to dissolve a cleaning tablet into hot water and soak these, along with the shower screen if you’re able to remove it. Be sure to leave the plastic handle of the portafilter out of the solution to avoid discolouration.
A standard de-tannin powder is also good to remove coffee stains. Make sure to rinse off any cleaning solution thoroughly before use.
How often: daily
Insert the blank cleaning disc into the single portafilter & lock into the group head. Press the single shot button, or use the manual button on & off to allow pressure to build up within the basket. Repeat several times to clear the internals of the group head & remove any residual coffee oils or grounds.
Cleaning the drip tray
Our best advice for the drip tray is: DON’T wait for the ‘empty me’ sign to pop up! By the time this happens the tray is invariably too full to make it safely to the sink without spilling coffee-water all over the floor.
Empty the drip tray every day & wipe the whole thing down with a damp cloth. Give it a proper clean with soapy water often but never place any part of your machine in the dishwasher.
Changing the water filter
How often: Every 2-3 months
This is something you’re going to want to set yourself a reminder for as it’s one of the most important things you can do to ensure longevity for your machine. Limescale is the enemy of coffee machines, especially if you live in a hard water area. (If this is the case you may want to increase how frequently you change your filter).
Be sure to soak the filter for at least 5 minutes before inserting it into the holder in the water tank & securing it into place.
You can also carry out a descale on the machine if there is evidence of scale build-up within the tank or externally on the machine. Follow the instruction in your manual for this.
Taking care of the steam arm
How often: After every use
With proper cleaning after every use, you should never experience any issues with you Sage machine’s steam arm. However, if you do find it becomes blocked skip to the next section for further advice.
Every time you use the steam arm it is immersed in hot milk so there’s absolutely NO EXCUSES for not cleaning it after every use. If you walked into a coffee shop and saw the barista dunk a milk-crusted steam arm into a fresh jug of milk you’d walk out (we really hope so, anyway) so don’t be tempted to fall into bad habits at home.
Wipe all traces of milk off the steam arm, and clear anything lurking inside the tubes too by purging/giving a little blast of steam. Even if you’re going on to make another cup of coffee immediately, this is a must. The reason? As the steam arm cools down; any residual liquids along the length of the arm will contract & retreat into the machine. The very last thing you want is for milk droplets to make their way inside your machine, going sour and blocking up the pipework – yuck!
There are coffee grounds in my espresso.
- Make sure you’re clearing any coffee grounds from around the rim of the portafilter/filter basket before inserting it into the machine & pressing your espresso button. Even tiny coffee grounds can break the necessary seal between the rim of the basket & the rubber of the group head, meaning a loss of pressure and coffee escaping over the edge.
- Use a stiff brush or a cloth to clean around the inside of the group head, dislodging any old grounds.
- Run a back-flush clean.
- Remove the portafilter form the machine & press the ‘MANUAL’ button. As the water is running insert & remove the portafilter, twisting it in & out of the group head. This should dislodge any lurking coffee grounds. Be careful to keep you hands well out of the way during this process to avoid burning yourself.
My steam arm is blocked/I can’t get decent texture in my milk
- Ensure the steam valve is closed & use the pin tool supplied to insert into the holes on the end of the steam arm & dislodge any blockages there.
- Soak the end of the steam arm in hot water for 20 minutes before repeating step 1 and purging thoroughly.
- Unscrew the tip of the steam arm using the tool supplied and clean thoroughly, soaking if needed. Replace & purge thoroughly.
My group head/steam arm/hot water valve is dripping
Give everything a thorough clean, run a descale and change your water filter more frequently.