How to Clean Your Gaggia Semi-Automatic's Brew Group

by Whole Latte Love Updated: December 3, 2020 2 min read
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Kathy shows you how to clean the shower screen and shower holding plate group head of the Gaggia Classic Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine. Theseinstructions also apply to most other Gaggia Espresso Machines regardless of boiler type.

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Make sure that the machine is cold and unplugged before beginning.
  2. Remove the water tank, drip tray and grid, portafilter and power cord.
  3. Lay the machine on its back
  4. Locate the shower screen. It is where you lock the portafilter into place.
  5. Remove the shower screen, it is fastened into the group head with a chrome Phillips head screw in the center. Once the screen is out, the 3/4 inch-thick aluminum shower holding plate is exposed. It is held in place by two 5mm Allen bolts.
  6. The Shower Holding Plate should just drop out after you remove the Allen screws. If it does not, use a large flat blade screwdriver to gently pry out the Shower Holding Plate. Be careful not to damage the ridge that the shower screen fits up into. If you do, a new holding plate is available. It is part number GA-DY0036/A and is available as a replacement part. Please call us to order a replacement.

    Note: The "Gaggia New Espresso" models do not utilize a Shower Holding Plate, instead having the shower screen secured to the group valve retaining grub screw.

  7. Sometimes, the Shower Holding Plate will be really stuck. To remove a plate that is stuck, you can use a pair of needle nose pliers. Open the pliers and stick the points into the holes where the Allen bolts were. Then turn hard. This should break the Shower Holding Plate free. Clean out any build-up that you see using a stiff brush and some descaling solution – the same kind you would use to descale the machine.
  8. You should now be able to remove the group gasket. It is a large black rubber ring.
  9. Once the parts are removed, use a stiff brush and some descaler (like Urnex CleanCaf) to clean any build up in the group head. You can also soak all metal parts in the descaler to remove tough stains and build-up.
  10. DO NOT soak any plastic pieces in the descaler as this can compromise their integrity. This is also a good time to soak the portfilter head and coffee baskets.
  11. Once everything is clean, make sure you thoroughly rinse off any descaler or other detergent that you used during the cleaning process.
  12. Reassemble the group head in reverse order and test it out.