If your coffee machine making an odd or annoying noise? Or perhaps what comes out is not tasting up to scratch? It’s time to find out how to descale your coffee machine to keep the appliance working properly and so rediscover the daily pleasure of a good coffee.
In fact, there is no need to buy a new espresso machine or even resort back to making coffee in a moka pot: often all you have to do is descale your machine. Indeed, water contains calcium and magnesium mineral salts which form limescale over a period of time and this makes it more difficult for the coffee or even the water itself to pass through the machine.
Removing this limescale is a type of routine maintenance, to be repeated approximately every 300 coffees. It can also be done using chemical descalers or with the aid of natural methods: let’s take a look at both.
Descalers for cleaning your coffee machine
Descalers: what are they?
Chemical descalers are compounds of acidic substances capable of breaking down limescale. The truth is that we have no way of knowing exactly what they contain since manufacturers are not obliged to state the ingredients on the label.
One thing we can be sure of is that they are pollutant, irritating and corrosive. This means that we must keep them out of the reach of children and handle them carefully, by wearing protective gloves and safety glasses.
How to rid your coffee machine of limescale using descalers
Firstly, check that the machine is turned off and at room temperature. Both devices that work with capsules and those that use pods can be cleaned with descalers by following this procedure:
- Pour the descaler into the water tank and fill with warm water.
- Now turn on the machine and press the Start button, just as you would to make a coffee.
- Wait until the water/descaler solution has been expelled by the machine, fully emptying the water tank.
- Remove the tank and rinse thoroughly.
- Fill the tank up again, this time only with water.
- Now wait for all the water to be expelled again, as if you were making a coffee.
Natural methods for cleaning your coffee machine
You can also rid your coffee machine of limescale using a number of natural methods, which clean the machine just as effectively, are low-cost and have a decidedly small environmental footprint.
Vinegar and citric acid are the most common natural substances used. As a precaution, always check the manufacturer’s indications provided in the machine instruction booklet to check that the elements used will not damage the device.
How to get rid of limescale using vinegar
To rid your coffee machine of limescale using vinegar, fill up the tank with half a litre of vinegar. Then, as for the chemical detergents, empty the tank by allowing the machine to expel the contents and then repeat the operation with another half litre of vinegar.
Finally, repeat the procedure once more, this time only with warm water, to rinse the circuits and remove any vinegar left inside.
How to get rid of limescale using citric acid
Finding citric acid can be tricky because it is not stocked by all supermarkets, but it is another effective natural way of ridding your coffee machine of limescale.
You only need about 10 grams dissolved in 1 litre of water. Then, the procedure to follow is identical to the one described for chemical descalers.