How To Descale Bunn Coffee Maker Internal Tank And Sprayhead

Mike C
Written By Mike C

I've been writing about coffee and espresso machines for 3 years. My goal is to provide you with helpful content that you can trust based on my own personal experiences, information from manufacturers, and tips and tricks I've gathered from other coffee and espresso machine users.

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How To Descale Bunn Coffee Maker Internal Tank And Sprayhead

How To Descale Bunn Coffee Maker
Bunn Coffee Maker

Making coffee with your Bunn machine is probably an important part of your morning ritual. Make sure you never have to go a morning without a cup of joe by regularly descaling your coffee maker to keep it operating at its best. Keep reading to learn all you need to know about how to descale Bunn coffee maker models.

What Does Descaling Bunn Coffee Maker Mean?

The water used to brew coffee causes mineral limescale buildup inside your Bunn coffee maker. While not toxic, this can impact the machine’s water flow, temperature and performance. It can even affect the taste of your coffee. Descaling, also known as deliming or decalcifying, is the name of the deep cleaning process that removes these minerals to extend the life of your machine. It is recommended that you do this for both the internal water tank as well as the sprayhead. You will need to find the Bunn deliming tool that came with your machine or order a replacement in order to complete this.

How Often To Descale A Bunn Coffee Maker?

A good rule of thumb is that a you should descale Bunn coffee makers after 3 months. This is true if you are using filtered water, bottled water or tap water with a low to normal mineral count. Regular deliming will extend the life of your coffee machine. This is in addition to regular cleaning.

You should descale your machine more often if your tap has “hard water,” meaning it contains higher level of minerals. This will cause the limescale to buildup inside your machine even faster. If you are not sure about the level of minerals in your water, you can always get a low-cost water testing kit.

If you start to experience any of these issues, you will also want to desacle your Bunn coffee maker and sprayhead ASAP:

You’ll also want to descale your Bunn coffee maker if you’ve left it unused for an extended period of time and did not empty the water from the internal tank. Limescale likely built up during this time.

Can You Descale A Bunn Coffee Maker With Vinegar?

you can descale bunn coffee maker with vinegar, but it may not be the best option
you can descale bunn coffee maker with vinegar but it may not be the best option

If you look in your user manual, you will see that Bunn’s descaling instructions use vinegar. If you have some around and you are comfortable with that, go for it. Other manufacturers will advise against using vinegar. White vinegar contains 5-8% acetic acid and apple cider vinegar has 5-6%. This type of acid can wear down metal and cause leaks. Vinegar is also less effective than other descalers at removing oils left by used coffee beans. Plus, it may leave a lingering taste or odor which may make your drink unpleasant.

Instead, I think the best way to descaler your Bunn is with one of the below solutions. They have safe and effective types of acids and they are odorless too and won’t impact the taste of your coffee.

Bunn Coffee Maker Descaling Solutions

Impresa Descaler

Impresa Descaler - how to clean a bunn coffee maker

The Impresa descaler is a top selling descaler. It has citric and sulfamic acids. Both of these are gentle on metal. Each pack contains two bottles. Each bottle can be used twice.

Essential Values Descaler

Essential Values Descaler - how to clean a bunn coffee maker

The Essential Values descaling solution has a citric acid that is both odorless and powerful. Each bottle is good for two uses. A two pack will provide four doses. That’s a year supply if you descale your machine every three months. 

How To Descale Bunn Coffee Maker Internal Water Tank

Once you have your descaling solution and the Bunn deliming tool, follow these simple steps on how to descale a bunn coffee maker to get rid of limescale buildup inside the internal water tank.

Descale The Bunn Internal Tank

  1. Slide the brew funnel into the funnel rails. Place the carafe under.
  2. Open the lid, and then:
    • If you are using vinegar, add 32 fl oz of undiluted white vinegar in the coffee maker.
    • If you are using a descaling solution, follow the instructions on the packaging to prepare the solution-water mixture in a container. Then add it to the coffee maker.
  3. Close the lid. The vinegar or solution will begin to dispense into the carafe. When done, empty the pot and wash it with a gentle sponge and mild soap.
  4. Flip the switch on the tank to the OFF position. Unplug the unit. Let it sit for at least two hours in order to give the vinegar or solution time to clean the inside of the machine.

Descale The Bunn Sprayhead

  1. Remove the brew funnel. Unscrew the sprayhead. Use a toothpick to clear any visible deposits. If you there is a lot of buildup, you may want to use the Bunn deliming tool instead a toothpick.
  2. Insert it into the sprayhead tube. Pull the tube back and forth five times. Then wash the sprayhead with dish soap and a damp cloth, then rinse.

Rinse The Bunn Coffee Maker

  1. Now you need to rinse out the vinegar or solution. To do this, fill the carafe with fresh water only. Pour it into the machine. Place the carafe under the funnel. Reinsert the funnel and close the lid. The machine will start rinsing.
  2. When done, discard the contents of the carafe. Rinse it thoroughly.
  3. Repeat step 6 three more times. If you used vinegar, you may need to repeat this more to get rid of any lingering odor.

Wrap Up The Bunn Descale Cycle

  1. Remove the funnel. Reattach the sprayhead.
  2. Replace the funnel. Put the carafe under the funnel.
  3. Plug in the unit and flip the tank switch to ON. After 15 minutes, the machine will be ready to use.

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