How To Descale Saeco Espresso Machines

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.

I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

A Step-By-Step Guide To Using the Saeco Descaling Solution To Clean Your Machine

The water used to brew espresso causes lime scale buildup inside your Saeco Philips machine. While not toxic, these minerals can slow the machine’s water flow and cause blockages. They can even negatively affect the taste and temperature of your coffee! Descaling is the process that removes these minerals to extend the life of your machine. Keep reading to learn how to descale a Saeco espresso machine.

How Often To Descale Saeco Espresso Machines

Saeco espresso machines come with a built in warning light that will activate when it is time to descale your machine. However, you don’t have to wait for this light to turn on. A good rule of thumb is that a you should descale your coffee maker after 3 months or 90 uses, whichever comes first.

This is true if you are using filtered water, bottled water or tap water with a low to normal mineral count. You should clean your machine more often if your tap has “hard water,” meaning it contains higher level of minerals. If you are not sure about the level of minerals in your water, you can always get a low-cost water testing kit.

Can You Descale Saeco Machines With Vinegar Or Another DIY Solution?

You should not use water and vinegar to clean Saeco machine. White vinegar contains 5-8% acetic acid and apple cider has 5-6%. This type of acid can wear down metal and cause your machine to leak. Plus, vinegar cannot remove oils left by used coffee beans.

Instead, the best way to clean your coffee maker is with a cleaner made by Saeco (models CA6700 or CA6701). It has safe and effective types of acids that won’t damage your machine. Using DIY or solutions from other manufacturers may damage your machine and void your warranty.

Saeco Descaling Solution

Philips Kitchen Appliances Philips Original Espresso Machine Descaler, Perfect Descalcification for a Prolong Machine Lifetime, 1 Descaling Cycle, Bottle of 250 ml, (CA6700/47)
  • Decalcifying your espresso machine regularly with the original Philips Espresso Machine Descaler is essential to make sure it keeps performing at its best, it removes scale and prevents corrosion, protecting your appliance and extending its lifetime
  • For a Long-Lasting Espresso Machine: Philips has exclusive formula for sage and gentle descalcification, protecting your system against limescale build-up

The Saeco Decalcifier is the official descaling solution from Saeco Philips (CA6700). It is made in Germany with an exclusive formula that is both safe and effective in cleaning your machine. One 250 ml bottle is enough for one descaling cycle. If you have used your machine well beyond 3 months and have never descaled before, you may need to run the cycle a couple of times. In that case, we advise that you stock up on a couple bottles.

How To Descale Saeco XSmall

The specific descaling instructions will vary based on your machine type and the serial number found inside the service door.

  1. Pour the Saeco descaling solution into the tank, then add water to that all of the liquid is at the max line. Place the water tank back on the machine.
  2. Press the ON / OFF button to turn the machine off. Turn the control dial to BEAN.
  3. Place a large container under the wand. Press and hold the ESPRESSO and COFFEE buttons at the same time for 5 seconds to start the descaling cycle. The exclamation mark light will start flashing. Solution will start being dispensed into the drip tray. The process will complete in about 5 minutes when the 2 CUPS light turns on. Turn the dial to the hot water position.
  4. Now solution will start being dispensed through the wand until the tank is empty (about 15 minnutes).
  5. When the 2 CUPS light begins flashing slowly, turn the dial to the BEAN position. The red NO WATER light will turn on. Empty the container and place it back in position. Now you need to run a rinse cycle.
  6. Empty the drip tray. Empty the tank and fill it with fresh water to the MAX line. Place it back on the machine.
  7. When the 2 CUPS light turns green, turn the dial to HOT WATER. The green lights will start flashing slowly. Turn the dial to BEAN. Water will begin dispensing into the drip tray.
  8. When the 2 CUPS light turn on again, turn the dial to HOT WATER so that water starts dispensing through the wand until the tank is empty.
  9. When the green 2 CUPS light starts flashing slowly, turn the dial to BEAN and the red NO WATER light will turn on.
  10. Empty the container and drip tray and return them to position.
  11. Rinse the water tank and fill with fresh water to the MAX line. Put it back on the machine.
  12. When the 2 CUPS light turns green, turn the dial to HOT WATER. Water will dispense from the wand until the tank is empty.
  13. The machine will turn off when done. Turn the dial to BEAN. Rinse the water tank again and fill it with fresh water to the MAX line.

Saeco Incanto Descaling Instructions

Once you have your descaling solution, follow these simple steps for Incanto models HD8911 to HD8922. Other models may have different instructions. Note the process will take about 30 minutes to complete and cannot be interrupted or paused.

  1. Empty the drip tray. Remove the water filter and frother if placed.
  2. Press the menu button and select the START CALC CLEAN with the ok button.
  3. Pour the Saeco solution into the tank, then add water to that all of the liquid is at the CALC CLEAN line. Place the water tank back on the machine.
  4. Place a bowl under the steam wand and coffee dispenser. Press OK to start the descaling cycle. The first part of the process will continue for 20 minutes until the tank is empty.
  5. Rinse the water tank and fill it with clean water to the max line. If your machine has a milk carafe, fill that with water up to the min line and pull the carafe dispenser out to the right. Empty the bowl and place it back in position.
  6. Press the OK button to start the rinse cycle. The process is done when the machine display CALC CLEAN OK. Press OK to exit descaling.

Saeco Royal Coffee Bar Descale Process

Once you have your descaling solution, follow these simple steps.

  1. Empty the drip tray. Remove the water filter and frother if placed.
  2. Select the MAINTENANCE option from the menu. Select DESCALING and press the espresso button to confirm.
  3. Remove the water tank. Pour the entire bottle of Saeco solution into the tank and add fresh water up to the CALC CLEAN line. Press the espresso button.
  4. Empty the drip tray and place it back on the machine. Press the espresso button.
  5. Place a 1.5 litre container under the wand and dispenser. Press the espresso button to start descaling. The display will show you the progress. When done, the machine needs to be rinsed.
  6. Rinse the water tank and fill it with fresh clean water only to the max line. Press the espresso button.
  7. Empty the drip tray and place it back. Press the espresso button.
  8. Empty the container and place it back into position. Press the espresso button. This will activate the rinse cycle. The display will show you progress. It will end when all of the water has been sent through the machine. The cycle will end automatically.

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