How to Descale Coffee Machine - Dream Health

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Monday 30 October 2023

How to Descale Coffee Machine

How to Descale Coffee Machine

Coffee machines usually should be descaled periodically for removing the mineral deposits from the water, which can affect brewing time as well as taste. Doing so not only helps to get better tasting coffee, but also helps to extend the life of the coffee machine. The softness or hardness of water that comes out of the tap will depend on the water supper where you are living. Let's learn how to descale coffee machine.

What Does It Indicate To Descale A Coffee Maker?

The first thing you should know about hard water. This kind of water has a higher mineral content, like limestone, magnesium & calcium, compared to soft water. When you use a coffee maker for a long time, these minerals will build up over time and might affect the coffee taste. Additionally, it can block holes in your appliances. So, if you descale something, it indicates that you are removing that buildup.

How To Descale Coffee Machine?

Let's learn how to descale coffee machine. But before that, you should know the things you will require.

Things You Need To Have:

These are the essential items that you should have:

  • Water
  • Distilled white vinegar

Now, let's go through the step-by-step guide to learn how to descale coffee machine.

Step 1) Wipe Down The Outside Of Your Machine:

When you plan to clean the machine's inside part, you should also clean the outside of the machine. The coffee makers with hot plates might develop scaled zones where brewed coffee will be dripped onto them. It may cause a smoky aroma wafting through the kitchen whenever you are flipping on the brewer. You can use a simple microfiber cloth or sponge with a few cleaners to spiff up the coffee maker. With the help of this, you are able to wipe away the dust which has accumulated.

Step 2) Dissolve The Descaling Powder In Warm Water:

To let the descaler work appropriately, you need to dissolve it fully in water. If you add the powder directly into the reservoir of the coffee maker, it can cause clogs. You can take a standard glass liquid measuring cup. Make sure that the powder is dissolved in 32 ounces of water. Moreover, you need to use warm water —— while cold water will not dissolve the powder properly, using hot water may damage the boiler when the brewer is turned on.

Step 3) Fill The Reservoir With The Descaling Solution And Run A Cycle:

You need to pour the descaling solution directly into the reservoir of the brewer, and then you have to run a cycle. When it moves through the machine, it will break up any scale. After that, it pushes this through the spray head. In case the water is hard, you can see some white flakes that will float in the carafe. However, the solution can seem a little foamy when this cycles through.

Step 4) Rinse, Rinse, & Repeat:

A cycle of descaling liquid is enough to clear any scale from the brewer you have. If you think of running another cycle, you should rinse your carafe thoroughly first. As soon as the descaling solution has gone through the machine, you need to discard this. Then, you have to rinse the carafe with water. After that, you have to fill the reservoir. Then, you should run two more cycles. While the rinsing method helps to remove the solution, it can also help to flush any remaining scale. As soon as you run the solution via the machine, it is necessary to discard it — this will be effective once only. Remember that the upcoming cleaning cycles will need a fresh packet.

Step 5) Wipe Out The Reservoir:

At last, your job is to wipe out the reservoir's inside part if possible. You may see a scale building up in the reservoir. Therefore, you should use a clean microfiber cloth to clean all the reachable surfaces and remove the residue easily.

You can use bottled or spring water to reduce the buildup when brewing rather than using softened water or distilled water. Now, let's learn how to descale coffee machine with vinegar.

 How Do You Descale A Coffee Maker With Vinegar?

If you want your coffee machine to work properly, you should descale it with vinegar. After removing grounds and filters, you have to take half white distilled vinegar & half water for filling the reservoir to the max. You can run a cleaning or brew cycle, and then empty the carafe. You need to run a brew or cleaning cycle and then you have to empty the carafe. Remember that it is necessary to run two or three extra brew cycles using cool & fresh water. After that, your task is to wash carafe and brew basket with hot, soapy water. Then, you have to rinse this thoroughly.

As vinegar is acidic, it helps to break down mineral build-up in the coffee maker. When you can not access any specialized coffee machine descaling agent, you can use this great at-home solution to descale your coffee machine.

How Often Should You Descale A Coffee Machine?

You should know that the frequency of descaling a coffee machine relies on the water's hardness and how often you use it. Generally, it is important to descale a coffee machine once every thirty days. These are some signs that you should look out for to understand when you should descale the coffee maker:

  • You can see the cleaning indicator light, but it only applies to the chosen models.
  • Excessive brew times.
  • The coffee flavor tastes off.
  • White residue is on the coffee maker's visible part
  • Gurgling during the brew cycle.

Once you see the cleaning indicator light is illuminating, you should descale the coffee machine.

Do Capsule Coffee Machines Have To Be Descaled?

If you are willing to enjoy your coffee quickly and easily, and want to spend little time maintaining the appliance & don't have much space in your kitchen, then you should definitely buy a capsule coffee machine.

If you think that emptying the coffee grounds container takes too much time, you can use capsule coffee machines. Although these appliances are small in size, you should not have the wrong impression that these types of coffee machines don't need maintenance at all. You can see that the machines come with a water system, which is susceptible to limescale deposits. Therefore, you need to regularly descale these capsule coffee machines. 

 What Can You Do To Ensure That Your Coffee Machine Has To Be Descaled As Rarely As Possible?

 You need to use soft water, which means that you should install a water softener system or you have to insert a filter in the coffee machine. If soft water is used, it will help to decrease the frequency with which the user needs to descale the machine.

In case you often have to use your coffee machine all day, you need to turn off the automatic shutdown function, or you need to choose the highest interval for this. Whenever you turn on the appliance, its system will be filled up with water. Once you turn off this, it will be rinsed automatically. You should know one thing: the descaling frequency you require will rely on the amount of water that the machine uses — the number will include every rinsing & filling up of the system. If the coffee portion that is brewed in this is not so high, but the coffee machine still prompts you to descale it, then it can be one of the reasons behind it.

Do you want to delay the next descaling process as much as you can? Or are you willing to get rid of the need for descaling your machine altogether? If this is the case, then you should try to replace water filters. The accurate frequency with which you descale your device when you use a filter relies on the manufacturer of the coffee machine. A few models let you forget everything regarding the descaling method when you replace the filter immediately after the machine prompts you to do it.

After replacing eight filters in a row, other coffee machines want you to descale them. Try to use a water filter to spend less time maintaining the coffee machine and prevent limescale. Remember that you need to buy a filter that the manufacturer of your coffee machine has produced. In addition, ensure that you remove the filter before beginning the descaling process.

 Water Filters As The Best Means Of Fighting Limescale:

In order to fight limescale in the most effective way, you need to prevent this from accumulating. And it can be done using a water filter. The limescale is not able to sleep through this. With the help of the water filters, balancing the water composition is possible. Therefore, when the water flows through the coffee, it will be able to absorb all the finest features of the coffee.

In most cases, coffee drinkers don't consider the fact that coffee that is brewed using hard water is usually weak and lacks aroma. Hard water is saturated with different nutrients. Therefore, it can't absorb anything else. If you have a water softener system, you need to ensure that the water is not too soft. If you use extremely soft water, your coffee can be more acidic and bitter.

You can change your coffee's taste by adjusting the level of calcium and minerals in it. The simplest way that you can follow to do so is to use special water filters. Remember that a lot of coffee machines prompt you to perform the descaling process regularly despite using a filter. It is done for prevention, and the frequency with which the user needs to descale the coffee machine still radically decreases.

The Most Common Coffee Machine Descaling Mistakes:

These are the most common coffee machine descaling mistakes:

Incorrect Frequency:

As soon as you buy a coffee machine, it is important to perform a special water hardness test. It applies also when you have moved to another flat or a new house. When you prepare food, you may not notice that you are using hard water. The water hardness test results have to be used to choose the right level of water hardness in the coffee machine, which can be used to set the required descaling frequency automatically.

However, a lot of people do not remember to do this or do not even know how important choosing the correct water hardness is. The factory settings of most coffee machines add the hardest setting. You must keep in mind that your coffee machine is unable to recognize the water's hardness automatically. It can choose the necessary descaling frequency, relying on the level of water hardness that is selected. Sometimes, users say that the water they use is high quality and select the softest setting without performing a test. However, remember that hardness or softness of water is not so related to water quality.

Unsuitable Descaling Products:

In order to remove limescale deposits found on different surfaces, you can use vinegar & citric acid. However, using such substances at an incorrect concentration may cause more harm instead of giving any benefit. Based on the coffee machine model you use, the descaling cycle lasts between ten and twenty-five minutes. As the duration is relatively short, it may not remove all limescale deposits when you select a very weak concentration. The entire water system is located inside the coffee machine. So, you may not notice the deposits most of the time.

 If the concentration you have selected is very strong, you can find a few coffee machine parts getting affected by the acid. As a result, you will need to replace them later. Additionally, when the system is not rinsed properly, these substances will move to coffee. Some people complain about the taste of acid in their coffee, when they use homemade descaling products. Whether you are willing to avoid this and still want to use the effective homemade solutions, you need to rinse the coffee machine many times to get rid of citric acid or vinegar.

Ignoring The User Manual:

Sometimes, you need to find the required section in the provided user manual to follow the given steps that the manufacturer has said. Hence, you should know that the process to descale coffee machine is easy. You need to perform one or two times to figure it all out. Even if you are descaling simpler & less automated machines, you may need to perform a lot of steps. While you need to look for the flashing light, you also have to rotate the steam valve at the right time. If you descale the coffee machine properly, it will keep on brewing delicious coffee for you.

What Should You Know About The Descaling Of Coffee Machines?

Limescale deposit is actually the arch-enemy of every coffee machine. Every service technician will tell you that if you properly maintain your coffee machine, it will serve you much longer, and you also need to invest less in its repair.

 You need to descale the coffee machine once the appliance prompts you to do so or as the manufacturer recommends. Generally, such recommendations refer to periods no longer than two-three months.

One thing you need to keep in mind is that water hardness tests are vital. Therefore, if you have bought a new coffee machine or moved to your new house, you have to test the water immediately. Water hardness test strips cost a few pounds. But when you use them, these will help you to ensure that you have picked up the right cleaning parameters in your coffee machine to protect it from any damage.

Water filters can help you to prevent limescale from accumulating. While these help to soften the water, they also balance the water composition to make it ideal for brewing coffee. If you replace such filters on time, you can delay the upcoming descaling process.

The Bottom Line:

In this article, we have discussed how to descale coffee machine. If you have any further queries, you can ask us via comments.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can you use to descale your coffee machine?

You should descale your coffee maker with vinegar so that your machine can perform in the best way. After you remove grounds and filters, you need to fill out the space of the reservoir to max with half water & half white distilled vinegar. Then, you need to run a cleaning or brew cycle. After that, you have to empty the carafe. Now, you should run two or three more brew cycles using water that has to be cool and fresh.

Can you use a coffee machine without descaling?

You have to descale coffee machines periodically in order to remove the mineral deposits from water that affect brewing times & taste. Descaling your coffee machine will help to get better-tasting coffee and extend the machine's lifespan.

How do you descale your coffee maker without vinegar?

You need to mix baking soda and water in a 1:4 ratio. Then, you should run it through the brew cycle. Lemon juice can also be used (but ensure that there is no seed, pulp, or rind in the liquid) to clean the coffee machine without vinegar.

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