Tweet Pin it Reddit
I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Coffee Maker Descaling Frequently Asked Questions

If you are a new owner of coffee maker, you may have heard about descaling. What does descale mean and why is it important? Understanding descaling is one of the most important things you can do to keep your coffee maker and coffee pot in great shape. Keep reading to get answers to common descaling questions.

What Does Descale Mean?

The water used to brew coffee causes limescale buildup inside your machine. While not toxic, this can impact the machine’s water flow, temperature and performance. It can even affect the taste of your drink. Descaling, also known as deliming or decalcifying, is the name of the deep cleaning process that removes these minerals.

A good rule of thumb is that a you should descale every 2 or 3 months. This is true if you are using filtered water, bottled water or tap water with a low to normal mineral count. Regular descaling will extend the life of your machine.

You should descale your machine monthly 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 have any of these issues, you will also want to descale your coffee maker ASAP:

  • brew speed is too slow
  • the volume brewed is less than you expect
  • coffee does not come out
  • machine makes a rumbling noise

Descaling Solution vs Vinegar

If you look in your coffee maker user manual, you may see descaling instructions with vinegar. If you have some around and you are comfortable using a homemade solution, go for it. Follow the steps below. Just know that many other manufacturers 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 cleaners at removing oils left by used coffee beans. Plus, it may leave a taste or odor which may make your drink unpleasant. That isn’t how I like my coffee to taste…

When it comes to descaling solution vs vinegar, I personally think the best way to deep clean your coffee pot and coffee maker is with one of the below descaling solutions. I only use descaling solution for my own coffee machines, never vinegar.

What Is A Descaling Solution?

A descaling solution is a formula specially made with safe and effective acids to deep clean your coffee maker. The ingredients are also odorless so they won’t impact the taste of your drink.

Impresa Coffee Descaler

Impresa descaling solution

The Impresa descaler is a top selling coffee machine cleaner. 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 Coffee Descaler

Essential Values Descaling Solution

The Essential Values cleaning 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 every three months. 

How To Use Descaling Solution

  1. If your machine has a filter holder in the water tank, remove it.
  2. Prepare the solution following the steps on the descaler packaging. It will tell you how much solution and how much fresh water to add to the tank.
  3. Make sure there are no grinds in the basket. Insert a filter.
  4. Place the coffee pot under the outlet. Begin a brew cycle as you normally would.
  5. When half of the solution has been brewed into the pot, turn the unit off. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes. This will give the solution time to clear mineral buildup from the inside.
  6. Turn the unit on again and brew the remaining solution into the pot.
  7. When done, discard the contents of the pot. Rinse it thoroughly.
  8. Put a new filter into the machine. Add a pot full of fresh water only to the brewer.
  9. Brew all of the water through to rinse away any descaler residue. You may want to repeat this rinse cycle a total of two times.

Descaling Coffee Maker With Vinegar

Follow these steps for descaling a coffee machine with a homemade vinegar solution.

  1. If your machine has a filter holder in the water tank, remove it.
  2. Add equal parts (50 / 50) white vinegar and water to the water tank. Other DIY recipes call for one cup of vinegar, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and the rest of the tank filled with water.
  3. Make sure there are no grinds in the basket. Insert a filter.
  4. Place the coffee pot under the outlet. Begin a brew cycle as you normally would.
  5. When half of the vinegar-water solution has been brewed into the pot, turn the unit off. Let it sit for at least half an hour.
  6. Turn the machine on again and brew the remaining vinegar-water solution into the pot.
  7. When done, discard the liquid in pot. Rinse it thoroughly with warm soapy water.
  8. Put a new filter into the machine. Add a pot full of clean water only to the brewer.
  9. Brew all of the water through to rinse away any vinegar and odor. Repeat this two or three times, or more, until the vinegar smell has gone away.

Descaling Instructions For Specific Coffee Maker Brands

If you have a machine from one of these brands, click the relevant link for more specific steps I have written on how to descale your specific coffee maker:

If you also drink tea, check out my guide on how to descale a tea kettle.

get our latest guides, reviews, recipes and more for your coffee machine in your inbox

Thank you for subscribing. Check your email and confirm your subscription.

Something went wrong.

Leave a Reply

get our latest guides, reviews, recipes and more for your coffee machine in your inbox

Thank you for subscribing. Check your email and confirm your subscription.

Something went wrong.