Sunbeam Barista Max Cleaning Guide (Including Descaling)

We use affiliate links and may receive a commission on purchases. Read more here.

Your espresso machine is the hardest working appliance in your kitchen. It should be cleaned thoroughly to keep it running smoothly, avoid costly repairs, and keep your coffee tasting great.

Keep your Sunbeam Barista Max in tip-top shape, and it will continue producing delicious coffees for years to come.

Below, we cover the basic steps for regular and periodic cleaning and descaling of the Barista Max.

RELATED: The Best Sunbeam Coffee Machines

The importance of cleaning and descaling

There are multiple reasons for keeping your Barista Max coffee machine in good condition.

An unloved espresso machine will start to cause off flavours in your coffee. You may notice a burned or rancid flavour in the cup.

If you don’t clean it regularly, the oils that have been extracted from the coffee beans will harden and build up inside of the group heads and filter baskets, making it difficult to effectively pull shots of espresso.

This can also lead to clogging, which can cause further damage.

Most importantly though, cleaning your espresso machine regularly will help prolong its life and make it run much more smoothly.

Important: The specific cleaning requirements of coffee machines can change between models and releases from year to year. This guide, therefore, is for general informational purposes only. For cleaning instructions for your specific model of coffee machine, consult the user manual.

Regular cleaning

Every time you make a coffee with your Barista Max, you should carry out a few basic cleaning tasks to keep the machine in good working order.

Group head

Before and after each coffee, purge the water through the group head (the metal bit where the portafilter sits).

To do this, simply run water as you would when you’re pulling a shot, but without the portafilter attached.

This helps flush out any lingering residues from the previous extraction.

After purging, give the group head a wipe with a damp cloth.

Steam wand

All espresso steam wand steam wands can have milk stuck within the holes after use. This can cause problems for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, you may end up with old, dry milk residue in your coffee.

Secondly, it can reduce the pressure the steam wand will produce. This in turn will result in less foaming power, which means you won’t be able to steam the perfect milk for your cappuccino or latte.

It’s therefore essential to purge the steam wand after each use.

To do this, simply run hot water through the wand. Then wipe the wand with a damp cloth.

Periodic cleaning

In addition to daily maintenance and cleaning, the following should be completed every 1-3 months to keep your Sunbeam Barista Max functioning smoothly.

All required maintenance tools are located behind the drip tray on the Sunbeam Barista Max.


The bean hopper is where your coffee beans are stored. It is important to clean this area because coffee beans release an oily substance which can build up on the interior surface. This oil build up can affect the taste of your coffee and potentially clog the grinder, so it is important to clean the bean hopper periodically.

Clean the bean hopper with the cleaning brush provided and then wipe the inside surface with a damp cloth to remove any oil build up.

For a deeper clean, you’ll want to remove the burrs from the grinder.

First, clear excess beans by running the grinder. Then, power off then remove the hopper and burrs and wash them in warm soapy water.

Use the cleaning brush to scrub the interior parts of the grinder.

Dry the pieces then reassemble.

Steam wand

The steam wand should be soaked in warm water every 2-3 months.

The easiest way to do this is by filling the milk jug with warm water and a cleaning tablet and soaking the steam wand in it overnight.

Running the Cleaning Cycle on your Sunbeam Barista Max

Your Barista Max will let you know that the cleaning cycle needs to be run by illuminating the cleaning light.

This process is important for removing espresso oils and buildup from within the machine and helps keep your espresso tasting fresh.

Before you run the cleaning cycle:

  • Make sure you have a minimum of one litre of water in the reservoir
  • The drip tray is empty
  • A Sunbeam cleaning tablet is placed inside the portafilter

Press and hold the on/off and the manual shot buttons at the same time for 4 seconds. This will commence the cleaning cycle.

Note that the cleaning cycle takes around 7 minutes and it will beep once the process is complete.

Descaling your Sunbeam Barista Max

Descaling is the process of removing mineral buildup from inside your espresso machine.

Minerals present in your water (particularly calcium) will attach themselves to the internal components of your espresso machine over time, affecting both water flow and the taste of your coffee.

Mineral buildup, such as lime scale, can clog up the parts of your espresso machine that regulate temperature and pressure, which can lead to inconsistent or incomplete extraction.

Descaling is required on the Sunbeam Barista Max every 4-6 months.

As with the cleaning cycle, ensure there is a minimum of one litre in the water tank before commencing the descaling process.

You have three different options for descaling the Barista Max:

  1. Fill the water reservoir with one litre of warm water. Add one Sunbeam Descaling Tablet and allow it to fully dissolve.
  2. Add half a cap full of Sunbeam Liquid Descaler to an empty water reservoir. Then fill the reservoir with 1 litre of warm water and allow the solution to mix thoroughly.
  3. Fill your Water Reservoir with 1 Litre of warm water. Add 1½ tablespoons of white vinegar and allow the solution to mix thoroughly.

To run the descaling cycle, hold the on/off and double shot button at the same time.

The descaling cycle takes around 10 minutes.