Cleaning the Dual Wall Filter

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  • Updated 2 years ago
The Dual Wall - Double Shot Filter BES820XL/205 for my Cafe' Roma has become clogged and won't allow a flow of water. I've tried soaking it in white vinegar which seemed to work for a day or two but it keeps clogging. Dual wall - single Shot filter is still working so I'm not without my espresso :)
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Posted 5 years ago

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Photo of tom


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went on line to order another filter and got a closeup of the filter pod, the outlet has a single hole in the center, the rest of the pattern is for show. cleaned out the center hole which was pluged and ran white vineger for two cycles to clean the rest of the filter. runs like new
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Rob, Official Rep

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Thanks Tom, great advice.
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do you run the vinegar through the whole machine and do you use 100% vinegar or vinegar and water
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Hello bmw325e,

The best and easiest way to keep your filter from clogging is to brew water through the filter with no grounds before you shut the machine off to flush the filter. Grounds will pop up out of the filter and the oil residue will be flushed. If you’re having a little trouble at this time, try turning the filter upside down and tapping it on the counter several times firmly. This will jar some of the grounds loose and may even pop them out. Please note that this will work the best if your filter is dry as the grounds shrink and may come out of the filter easier. You should be able to brew some water through the filter after this.

You may also try filling the filter cup with lemon juice. Attach to the machine and allow the lemon juice to slowly work through the filter into a cup below. Once you see juice in the cup, (you may need to leave it for up to an hour) turn the machine on, let it heat up, and brew a half of the reservoir through the filter to thoroughly flush it. Please be willing to repeat this process as the lemon juices acidity dissipates with time similar to a soda going flat. Also, please keep in mind that we do not recommend firm tamping.

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Better yet... Phone Breville customer support and order 'single wall' baskets for your Cafe Roma. This will depressurize the portafilter (or you can order the single wall baskets here... ). If in Canada, you have to order by phone (about $20 CAD). This little upgrade will makes a big difference in the results.

Then you can use a 'real' espresso grind which will result in a better crema and better taste. Plus, your basket will never plug up again. However, you need to have a good grinder to get a real espresso grind, as too course of a grind will just have the water gush right through.
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You don't need vinegar, lemon juice or any cleaning agent for this. It is the coffee that blocks the filter, not scaling from the water. Best advice: after making coffee don't leave the used coffee in the filter.
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Gregg T

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You can also use welding tip cleaners (very thin stainless steel wires) of varying sizes to enter the bottom hole. You can get flexible ones that will allow you to go in and loosen up the gummed coffee residue and then flush.

I tried to drill the hole a bit bigger with a 1/16" drill bit but it is too big and the back pressure is greatly reduced as is the crema. If you can get your hands on a 1/32 drill bit, that might do the trick. You should have seen the gunk come out at 1/16", even after I had cleaned the filter with scaler/lemon juice, etc. numerous times.
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Mary-Beth Piggott

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I found a great solution. Bring water in a small pan to a boil and add 1/2 cup of baking soda slowly and put the dual filter in and keep it on a rolling boil for about 15 minutes. The water will be coffee coloured and the filter will be mostly clean. Then run a few cups of water through the filter on your machine without coffee grounds to finish the clean.
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Przemek Klosowski

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I found a PERFECT solution. I just used a sharp nail to punch a _second_ hole besides the existing one, and I never have the clogging problem any more. I had to adjust grinding to finer size.
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Gregg T

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Mary-Beth's advice worked great. Could see the residue and gunk in the pan and bubbles coming through the filter holes. Combined with the welding tip cleaners, my 2003 Bodum Granos is still making great espresso.
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Andy Spence

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Thank you Mary Beth
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J Kingsley

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I have also succesfully deblocked the double-shot filter for my Breville Venezia machine by heating it over my stove. This burns out the coffee particles that get stuck inside, and then I'll run water through it with the machine to clear it all out.
THIS DOESN'T WORK WITH THE SINGLE SHOT FILTER --- it seems that Breville put plastic in there to fill up the extra space, so you'll just get black plastic oozing from every hole, and it'll ruin the filter.
I do this regularly with the double filter though. Combine this with descaling the machine every so often as per the instruction manual (using a vinegar/water mix), and machine is good to go.
I'll try Mary-Beth's baking soda remedy too.