Backflushing Instructions

Disclaimer: This technical support is provided for information purposes only. 1st-line Equipment, LLC is not responsible for any injury or damages resulting from such information.

Caution: Detergent below is harmful if swallowed. If ingested, drink large amounts of water. In case of eye contact, flush thoroughly with water. Contact a physician in either case. Avoid excessive skin contact. KEEP OUT OF REACH FROM CHILDREN AND PETS.

Purpose: Remove coffee oils and deposits from the grouphead’s dispersion screen and portafilter gasket.

Machine identity: These instructions are provided for descaling a traditional espresso machine with water reservoir or direct water connection. The espresso machine MUST have a three-way solenoid valve.

AscasoAscasoRequirements before you start: Traditional espresso machine with 3-way grouphead solenoid valve, Ascaso Detergent or any other recommended backflushing detergent, backflush disc or blind portafilter basket.

Warning: If your espresso machines does NOT have a 3-way solenoid valve, please do not perform this procedure as you can damage your espresso machine. If your espresso machine is not sold on our web site, we will not be able to confirm whether your machine has a 3 way grouphead solenoid valve. Therefore, please check with the manufacturer or your selling dealer if you are not sure whether your machine has a 3-way grouphead solenoid valve. If your instruction manual has instructions backflushing, please use those instructions as the primary instructions, and please use the following as secondary instructions.


“Short” Backflushing an espresso machine with a 3-way solenoid valve

Please follow these instructions carefully to avoid machine damage not covered by warranty. Please do NOT follow instructions on packaging as these relate to commercial espresso machines with commercial pumps. Video demonstration.

  1. On your espresso machine, make certain all the switches are in the OFF position.
  2. Fill the water tank / reservoir with COLD water. If necessary, plug in your espresso machine.
  3. Prime your espresso machine if necessary.
  4. Allow your espresso machine to fully heat to operating temperature.
  5. If necessary, remove the regular filter basket (the one with holes) from the COLD portafilter / filter handle.
    TIP: You can use the rim of another basket to pry basket locked into portafilter / filter handle.
  6. Insert the blind filter insert (the one with no holes).
  7. Place 1-2 grams (or 1/3 of 7g of Ascaso package) into the blind filter insert.
    NOTE: Using more detergent can clog internal parts of machine.
  8. Position and fully lock portafilter / filter handle into your espresso machine grouphead.
  9. Turn “ON” the coffee switch, wait for 3-4 seconds, and then turn “OFF” the coffee switch.
    NOTE: Water and detergent may flush through solenoid valve and into back of drip tray.
  10. Wait 3-5 seconds.
  11. Loosen filter handle 1/3 away from full-locked position.
    NOTE: This will clean grouphead gasket.
    WARNING: BE CAREFUL TO AVOID BURNS FROM HOT WATER.
  12. Turn “ON” coffee switch, wait for 3-4 seconds, and then turn “OFF” coffee switch.
    NOTE: Some water, coffee and detergent may flow down side of port filter. Water, coffee and detergent will flush through solenoid valve and into back of drip tray.
  13. Wait 3-5 seconds.
  14. Loosen filter handle another 1/3 just before disengaging.
    WARNING: BE CAREFUL TO AVOID BURN FROM HOT WATER.
  15. Turn “ON” coffee switch, wait for 3-4 seconds, and then shut “OFF” coffee switch.
    NOTE: Water, coffee and detergent will flow down side of port filter. Water, coffee and detergent will flush through solenoid valve and into back of drip tray.
  16. Remove portafilter / filter handle from the grouphead.
  17. Rinse the portafilter / filter handle and blind filter insert under cold running water in your sink.
  18. Position and fully lock portafilter / filter handle into your espresso machine grouphead.
  19. Turn “ON” coffee switch, wait for 3-4 seconds, and then shut “OFF” coffee switch.
    NOTE: Water and detergent may flush through solenoid valve and back into drip tray.
  20. Wait 3-5 seconds.
  21. Remove portafilter / filter handle from the grouphead.
    NOTE: Rinse portafilter / filter handle and blind filter insert under cold running water in sink.
  22. Place an 8 ounce cup or larger under grouphead and turn “ON” coffee switch.
    NOTE: There may be a pause or two during the time the 8 ounces of water is being pumped into the cup. This is normal.
  23. When the cup fills with hot water, shut “OFF” coffee switch.
  24. Discard the water and clean the cup.
  25. Remove the blind filter basket from portafilter / filter handle.
  26. Insert coffee filter basket (the one with holes).
  27. Extract 1-2 full espresso shots and discard them. These espresso shots will absorb any leftover chemical residues in the espresso machine.
    NOTE: At this point, your espresso machine is now backflushed. This maintenance procedure should be used sparingly and should be supplemented with removal and cleaning of the dispersion screen in the grouphead. The dispersion screen can be soaked overnight in the detergent. We recommend to backflush your espresso machine every 50 extractions.

Other recommended backflushing detergents:

Pallo Joe GloPallo Joe Glo Urnex CafizaUrnex Cafiza Full Circle PowderFull Circle Powder

Video Demonstration:

Copyright 2001. 1st-Line Equipment LLC. All Rights Reserved. Distribution prohibited as only certain espresso machines can be back flushed. Use at your own risk.