Fire Department Coffee
Coffee brewed after descaling a coffee machine

How to Descale Your Coffee Machine

November 18, 2020

We know, we know. Descaling your coffee maker? That’s probably the least of your worries. However, hear us out: if the thought of drinking bad coffee terrifies you (as it should), learning how to descale your coffee machine is key to avoiding this sad scenario.

Got your attention, now? Thought so! We could tell that you had your priorities straight.

And, since speed and practicality are also important for hard-working people like you and us, don’t worry: cleaning a coffee maker isn’t as hard and time-consuming as you fear.

Why do I need to descale my coffee machine?

Piping hot mug of coffee

Because, if you never descale your coffee machine, you’ll end up shortening its lifespan and, worse, your java won’t be as tasty in the long run. We’re dead serious.

This is due to the build-up of calcium, magnesium and other minerals that happens when you’ve been using your coffee maker for a few months. Obviously, this will compromise the coffee taste. 

On top of that, all this limescale will stick to the heat source, preventing the water from reaching its optimal brewing temperature. The result is a lower-quality cup of coffee that isn’t even as piping hot as you wish.

If you’ve just upgraded your morning routine by switching to our freshly roasted coffee, why run the risk of compromising it with limescale? Yuck. 

How to descale a coffee machine

Descaling a coffee machine is actually really easy. All you need to do is fill up its reservoir with cold water and add a tablespoon of white vinegar, lemon juice or citric acid per cup. 

Then, brew it like you’d do when making a coffee (minus the drinking part, of course) and discard it. 

To make sure you get rid of any potential acidic aftertaste, run a couple of brew cycles using just fresh water. That’s it!

A water and lemon solution used to descale a coffee maker

Obviously, you still need to wipe and clean the coffee pot and other parts of your machine more frequently, but that’s all you need to do in order to look after its heating and hidden elements.

However, while this method works with most coffee makers, we also recommend checking your instructions before giving it a go. This is because some manufacturers can void your warranty if you use anything other than their solution. Cheeky, we know.

In that case, follow the exact same steps but succumb to their power and use their branded descaling solution instead of our DIY trick.

And how about cleaning a coffee maker with capsules?

That’s pretty much the same as cleaning a coffee pot! If you prefer the practicality of pods, the only difference you’ll encounter when cleaning these machines is that most capsule coffee makers have a specific descale button. Some might even let you know when it’s time to use it!

Person brewing a coffee after descaling the coffee machine

If yours doesn’t....

How often do you need to descale a coffee machine?

For the tastiest and hottest coffee in the ’hood, you should descale your coffee machine every three months. Definitely going to forget about it? Well, if the thought of limescale-infused coffee isn’t enough to remind you, we recommend doing it on the first day of the month or at the start of each season.

Don’t forget that, to reduce limescale buildup, you can also switch from tap to filtered water. Charcoal filters are particularly useful if your water is rather hard.

Now that you know how to descale your coffee machine, do your best to turn it into a habit and keep your morning cup of joe fresh, hot and flavorful. You’ve got this!

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