An espresso machine is a dream come true for the average working person, and with the perks of a machine that can perk you up comes the responsibility of maintaining it.
If the cleaning light on a Breville espresso machine blinks, you need to clean machine. Ideally, you should clean your machine after every use to avoid buildup. You may need to reset the machine if you have cleaned it and the light isn’t going off.
Keep reading to learn more about the Breville espresso machine cleaning process and the other essential ins and outs of Breville hardware.
When you use a coffee machine of any kind, especially with milk, you’ll need to clean it regularly–ideally after every use. This is mainly to avoid issues like nozzles clogging and grime building up, but also to make sure your coffee stays tasting fresh and delicious.
When your Breville’s light blinks, it’s time to clean or descale the machine. If you clean the espresso machine, your problem is solved–no more blinking light.
Cleaning or Descaling a Breville Espresso Machine
You should clean your machine after each use. However, descaling is a much deeper clean that doesn’t need to be carried out after every use.
The cleaning light comes on when the machine needs to be descaled and for every general clean. So, when the clean light comes on, you need to activate the machine’s built-in cleaning system and leave it to clean until the process is complete.
You’ll need to use your discretion when deciding whether it needs a general clean or a descaling. Cleaning and descaling also have different processes, which you need to become acquainted with before cleaning.
Following the guidelines will ensure you don’t damage any equipment and end up with the best result.
There is a chance that once cleaned, the light will keep blinking. This is just a glitch, almost inevitable with any kind of technology. If this does happen, you need only reset the machine or switch it off and on again.
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After descaling, you can reset your espresso machine to its factory settings. This undoes your custom settings and just reseats the system; think of it like starting a computer.
You don’t have to do a factory reset every time you descale your Breville machine; this is just an extra step you can take to help solve a glitch or if your settings don’t suit you anymore.
To reset your espresso machine:
- Press the Program button and hold it in until the machine beeps three times.
- Release the Program button, and your machine will be reset to original factory settings.
If you want a basic power-down procedure, simply:
- Press the Power button and unplug the machine.
- Leave it unplugged for around 15 seconds, then plug it back in and turn it on. The cleaning light should be off. 
How To Clean and Descale a Breville Espresso Machine?
Breville espresso machines have a touch-screen interface that is easy and intuitive to learn and use. However, cleaning one can be quite a procedure, so you want to ensure you’ve done everything correctly.
The cleaning and descaling processes and materials needed aren’t precisely the same. Below is an analysis of their differences and similarities.
How To Clean a Breville Espresso Machine?
After using the steam wand to foam milk:
- Pull it up and wipe it down with a damp cloth.
- Shift it back to its original position, and the wand will automatically “purge” and clean all remaining residue.
In addition, you should periodically wipe down the outside of the machine to get rid of any dust and other residue buildups that inevitably collect.
Onto the automatic cleaning cycle. When the clean/descale light blinks:
- Ensure that the machine is switched off.
- Check that the water tank is filled with cold water and that the drip tray is empty.
- Prepare your portafilter by loading it with a one-cup filter basket and a silicon cleaning disk.
- Place one cleaning tablet into the center of the silicon cleaning disk, and lock the portafilter onto the machine, ensuring the machine isn’t near any electrical appliances that may get any water on them during the cleaning process.
- Hold the one cup, two cup, and power button all at once for 10 seconds to begin the auto cleaning process.
- Remove the filter and check that the tablet has fully dissolved. If not, repeat the process until it has. 
And there you have it! This process takes around five minutes in total and will let you know when it’s complete by beeping twice.
Look at Breville’s instructional cleaning and descaling YouTube video to demonstrate this procedure.
You can find Breville cleaning tablets like the CleanEspresso Espresso Machine Cleaning Tablets, as well as Impresa Espresso Cleaning Discs (both available on Amazon . These cleaning tablets and discs will help you stay on top of your regular Breville cleaning schedule.
How To Descale a Breville Espresso Machine?
Let’s say your machine has completed the auto clean process, but the clean and descale light is still blinking when you switch the machine back on.
You may need to complete a descaling using a calcifying solution. Many sources will tell you that a water-vinegar mixture is a decent substitute, but this could damage your machine, especially if you do it frequently.
- Ensure that your machine is off and that its water tank is full of cold water.This is where you will dissolve the cleaning solution.
- Hold the double cup button and the power button for five seconds, and the machine will switch on.
- Hold the one cup button for 25 seconds, and turn the hot water on for 10 seconds.
- After you’ve turned the hot water off, turn the steaming mechanism on and hold it for 15 seconds. Repeat this cycle until all the tank’s water has been drained.
- Turn the machine on once you have successfully followed all these steps. This is the end of the descaling process and should turn the clean alert light off. 
You can find a video demonstration of the descaling process on the Lifestyle Lab YouTube channel.
Descaling is vital in the upkeep of your espresso machine, so make sure to have the right tools for the job. This CleanEspresso Descaling Solution (part of a cleaning kit) is an inexpensive way to descale your Breville machine with a high-quality solution. 
Despite their descriptions being similar, cleaning and descaling aren’t the same. Espresso machine owners should give their machines a wipe down and general clean after every use to ensure that there’s as little buildup as possible.
Failure to clean your machine means you’ll probably end up with bitter coffee with an acrid smell and, in severe cases, a total machine malfunction.
Descaling, on the other hand, involves a much deeper clean which you should only get stuck into about once a month, preferably with the dedicated Breville cleaning solution.
Descaling is essential in removing buildup too, but unlike cleaning, it has more to do with avoiding a mineral buildup which can damage the hardware and make your coffee taste unpleasant in the long run.
Mineral buildup can affect more than just taste: it can stop your coffee from being adequately hot and even cause nozzles and pipes in the machine itself to clog, causing it to stop working.
This sounds really unpleasant, but there are warning signs–besides a blinking clean light–that will tell you when your machine needs a deep clean.
An espresso machine is a fantastic investment with a long shelf-life, provided you take adequate care of it and put the necessary time and effort into machine maintenance.
Keeping your machine clean is relatively simple and affordable, so next time your machine won’t stop blinking at you, take a few minutes out of your day to give it a thorough rinse.