3 Easy Ways to Clean Portafilter Between Shots

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Cleanliness is a major prerequisite to extracting high-quality espresso. Coffee oil and debris remaining in an espresso machine’s group head or a portafilter can ruin the taste of this beverage. That’s why professionals always ensure each item used in preparing espresso is neat and clean. 

A portafilter is an obligatory device for making espresso that must be clean to maintain the drink’s quality. 

In this article, we will share three methods of cleaning a portafilter between shots.

1. Portafilter Cleaning between Shots: The Quick Method

Portafilter Cleaning between Shots

Flushing your portafilter is the quickest way to clean it between shots. Baristas in coffee shops apply this technique since they have less time to clean a portafilter thoroughly. 

The only thing you will need is a clean and dry cloth. 

After finishing an espresso shot, flush the portafilter with hot water and swab it with the cloth to ensure no presence of a water blob in the basket.

This technique will immediately clean the remaining debris and coffee ground in the portafilter.

2. Cleaning a Portafilter with a Brush and Dishwashing Liquid

The second quick and easy method of cleaning your portafilter is using a brush and dishwashing liquid. It will take a short duration and provide you with the best espresso shot each time.

Step 1: Get a scouring brush and a good quality dishwashing liquid.

Step 2: Pull out the basket from your portafilter and wash it with the scouring brush and a few drops of dishwashing liquid in hot water.

Recommended brush and dishwasher: We suggest Amazer Dish Brush with Handle and Palmolive Ultra Strength Dishwashing Liquid for cleaning a portafilter.

Read More: Our Recommended Best Bottomless Portafilter

3. Cleaning a Portafilter with a Cleaning Tablet 

This portafilter cleaning method will take time compared with the previous ones. But, it is great for thoroughly cleaning the entire portafilter. 

Step 1: Take a small bowl of warm water.

Step 2: Drop a cleaning tablet into it and soak the metal parts of the portafilter in hot water.

Step 3: The tablet will dissolve in hot water and clean the portafilter’s metal parts within 15 to 20 minutes.

Recommended cleaning tablet: We suggest using Impresa Descaling Tablet in this cleaning method.

How to Thoroughly Clean Portafilter with Vinegar

Vinegar has been one of the best cleaning solutions for metallic objects since the ancient era. This cooking ingredient has an acidity that not only cleans a surface but also kills germs.

If you want a deep clean for kitchen accessories, use vinegar. To clean a portafilter, you will need white vinegar and pure baking soda.

Step 1: When you have the two main ingredients, fill a bowl with hot water.

Step 2: Add 4 tablespoons of white vinegar and 2 tablespoons of baking soda to the water. Keep mixing them with water until they become diluted.

Step 3: After preparing the solution, separate the basket from your portafilter’s head and sink both parts into the water.

Step 4: Wait about an hour and take them out of the water. Scour both parts using a scouring brush or toothbrush to ensure no presence of debris and coffee oil.

Step 5: When your cleaning is over, wash them with fresh water and swab those parts with a clean and dry cloth.

How to Clean Pressurized Portafilter

Clean Pressurized Portafilter

A pressurized portafilter is a great tool to ensure that your espresso is extracted correctly. Since it comes with double walls, it can be challenging to clean, as the pressurized chamber often traps debris. The best way to clean a pressurized portafilter is as follows:

Step 1: Disassemble the portafilter and soak the parts in hot water. 

Step 2: Once the parts are soaked, use a brush to scrub away any remaining coffee grounds or oils. 

Step 3: Rinse the parts thoroughly with hot water before reassembling the portafilter. 

Following these steps, you can get an appropriately cleaned pressurized portafilter to provide you with great-tasting espresso. 

Final thought 

You can clean a portafilter between shots in many ways. However, the cleaning method depends on your urgency and competence. If you have to clean it quickly, simple flushing with an espresso machine is the best way to wash a portafilter.

On the other hand, when you want to clean it thoroughly, use vinegar and baking soda cleaning solution. The remaining debris and coffee oil in a portafilter can alter the taste of espresso. No matter how you clean it, the purpose is to get high-quality espresso in every shot.


I currently reside at Millburn, NJ, United States. I'm a skilled barista and roaster known for my passion for coffee and dedication to creating the perfect cup. I have a strong following of loyal customers who appreciate my expertise and friendly demeanor. In my free time, I enjoy trying new coffee recipes and experimenting with different brewing techniques.

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