I got a Bambino Plus just under a month ago and I'm generally very happy with it and Sage (after their CS sent me some single walled baskets) however today I encountered the cleaning cycle and it just seems like a crappy way for Sage to make a bit more money by selling you cleaning tablets.
First of all the manual says that the machine will prompt you to run the cleaning cycle after about 200 coffees. Like I said, I've had it for under a month and made an average of 2 coffees a day, max, there's no way I've made 200 coffees.
Then I watched the official video and thought now how does the water get through the cleaning disk? (And what would be the point of that anyway?) I started the cleaning cycle and sure enough the water seemed to be washing out the waste channel directly into the drip tray, none coming into the 2l bowl I'd carefully balanced on the drip tray as instructed. So I called Sage support and the guy said that yes, the video is incorrect and was made before some changes were made to the machine (right) and what I was seeing with my machine was correct behaviour. The cleaning cycle ends and I remove the portafilter to see virtually the entire cleaning tablet still intact::
And what is actually even being cleaned here? I totally get the descaling option, but cleaning on top of that seems totally pointless.