Useful Tips

Cleaning coffee makers from scale (drip, carob, pod, capsule)


Minerals dissolved in hard water very often remain on the walls of various devices.

The combination of calcium and magnesium is harmless, but not particularly beautiful. Every housewife on the shelf has countless chemicals that help her cope with various deposits on kitchen appliances. But their use carries a danger, especially when you can get the same result with the help of much more ecological and less toxic products.

All these abilities can successfully replace ... a bottle of vinegar. It works efficiently and cheaply, and most importantly, is always at hand.

Why vinegar?

In some recipes you do not need to tell anyone about the benefits of this product. It is used as a preservative and an oxidizing agent, and for centuries has also been used to treat certain diseases. In addition, vinegar is widely used as descaling. Its advantage is the price - it is incomparably lower than various chemicals.

Vinegar is an effective cleaning and disinfectant. Due to its high acidity, it kills most bacteria, mold and germs. It is an inexpensive, non-toxic, environmental and all-natural product.

You can easily descale vinegar on a variety of appliances, including kettles, coffee makers, and coffee machines. It effectively copes with deposits on glass, stainless steel, aluminum, plastic and other materials that make home cooking utensils and accessories.

How vinegar affects scale

In our country, hard water flows from water taps, which is full of various minerals, especially calcium and magnesium. Although they are not harmful to human health, they are not so friendly to various installations and kitchen equipment.

Most sediments contain very strong acids, which turn to stone over time. One of them is calcined acid, which has a strong corrosive effect.

It is enough to heat hard water to a temperature above 550 ° C or simply let it evaporate so that chemical compounds are debugged on the walls and bottom of the devices. In very hard water, more than 300 mg of minerals per liter can be found, which means that during the year the average static family is able to form deposits of up to 70 kg in the form of scale and deposits.

How does vinegar interact with calcined deposits?

CaCO3 + 2CH3COOH -> (CH3COO) 2 Ca + H2O + CO2

Calcium compounds in water (CaCO3) under the influence of acetic acid (CH3COOH) are converted into water (H2O), calcium acetate (CH3COO) are compounds that dissolve in water and carbon dioxide (CO2), which evaporates in the form of gas. As a result of such a chemical reaction, the precipitate disappears from the walls of the devices. If you don’t know how to descale vinegar in a thermos, simply use it with water to heat it.

Also, in the fight against scum, the apple variant, which is formed on fermented apples caused by bacteria of acetic acid, copes well.

How to remove plaque from a kettle

This method is still used by our grandmothers, since it is considered quite effective. The cleaning process is as follows. For 1 liter of water, 100 ml of vinegar is needed.

Stir the mixture and pour into the kettle, put on a small fire to a boil or turn on the electric kettle. As soon as the water begins to boil, it is necessary to observe the cleansing of the walls. Even a strong scale after 15 minutes of boiling softens and is easy to remove with a soft sponge or toothbrush.

Among the disadvantages of this method, the unpleasant smell of vinegar should be noted, but it is easy to remove. To do this, boil clean water in a teapot several times.

Also, a mixture of 1/3 cup of vinegar, 2 tablespoons of soda and 1 tablespoon of ammonia per 1 liter of water can be a good way to deal with scale. Stir the liquid and pour into the kettle, boil for 20 minutes and leave for several hours.

After descaling, rinse the appliance thoroughly and remove any remaining deposits. Approximately the same technology can be used to clean the humidifier.

The reasons for the appearance of scale

The reason for limescale is poorly soluble in water salts of hardness CaCO3 and MgCO3 (salts of rare-earth metals of calcium and magnesium). These compounds are formed by heating the bicarbonates Ca (HCO3) 2 and Mg (HCO3) 2, which are part of natural water and decompose at temperatures above +40 ºС.

Ca (HCO3) 2 = CaCO3 + H2O + CO2,

Mg (HCO3) 2 = MgCO3 + H2O + CO2.

If you install an ion-exchange filter or a device magnetizing water on the incoming water pipe, you can significantly reduce the deposition of hardness salts on the heaters and extend the life of not only the coffee machine, but also the boiler, kettle, washing machine and dishwasher.

Signs of clogging the coffee maker

When using water containing hardness salts, scale will inevitably form in the coffee maker. Both simple drip and capsule or carob coffee makers are susceptible to clogging.

The more bends and the smaller the diameter of the tubes for the passage of water in the coffee machine, the greater the likelihood of scale formation. Particles of limescale clog the water channels.

Not all coffee makers are equipped with a built-in indicator (counter for the number of brewed cups of coffee), so you need to be able to recognize signs of limescale inside the machine:

  • it takes longer to prepare one serving of the drink than before,
  • when the tube and outlet are clogged, the trickle of the finished coffee becomes thin, which is why the cup takes longer,
  • the taste of the drink has worsened
  • there was an odor
  • a working device began to make unusual sounds,
  • a light gray precipitate is visible in the cup,
  • increased electricity consumption while the coffee maker is running.

According to repair specialists, capsule and carob coffee makers of the boiler are most prone to clogging the heater and clogging the tubes. In devices with a thermoblock, water does not stagnate, and the process of scale formation is slower.

If limescale has appeared, you need to get rid of it, and cleaning the coffee maker from scale is possible at home.

In very advanced cases, the coffee maker will have to be disassembled

Professional and popular coffee maker cleaners

Manufacturers of coffee machines have long created a separate source of income for themselves: they make and sell products for descaling devices. The latest generation models have a function of auto-cleaning with the indispensable use of proprietary products. After making 200-300 cups of coffee, the smart machine signals that it is time to start cleaning. Professional products are available in the form of tablets, powders and liquids.

Each manufacturer of coffee machines claims that you can use exclusively proprietary tools. This is nothing more than a marketing ploy. If you read the composition on the label, it becomes clear that the main component is citric acid. Is it worth it to spend considerable money (from 1000 to 1200 rubles) on the purchase of a branded product when a bag of citric acid costs several times cheaper and is sold at any grocery store?

The use of edible citric acid for cleaning the coffee machine from scale has several advantages:

  • citric acid does not cause environmental pollution, does not emit toxins,
  • the process of dissolution of calcareous formations occurs gently, without the release of hazardous chemicals harmful to health,
  • to dissolve even old formations, a small amount of acid in the form of a crystalline powder (30 g per 1 liter of water) is needed.

Different types of scale descaling instructions

The method of descaling the coffee maker depends on the design of the device. It is convenient to wash machines with a removable filter and a brewing unit under a tap in running water. If you regularly rinse the device after making coffee, thorough cleaning with citric acid or purchased tablets can be done no more than 1 time per month.

Models with a built-in unit often have the function of auto-cleaning (decalcification), and if it is not provided, then the scale is removed independently, using a cleaning solution.

Most modern products are based on citric acid.

Descale drip coffee maker

  1. Wash the filter with warm water and a soft brush (an unnecessary toothbrush) and return it to its place.
  2. Prepare a working fluid from citric acid: dissolve 30 g of crystalline powder in 4 cups of warm water.
  3. Pour the solution into the water tank. Add cold water to the tank to the Max mark.
  4. Turn on the coffee maker for 5-10 minutes. After 30 minutes, repeat the procedure and wait until the entire solution passes into the receiving flask.
  5. If there are still traces of scale on the filter, immerse it in a hot solution prepared in this way and hold for an hour.
  6. Rinse the filter well and replace.
  7. Pour clean water through the coffee machine several times so that the acid comes out completely.

Citric acid is allowed to be replaced with vinegar. To do this, use white table vinegar with a strength of 9%, dissolved in water in a ratio of 1: 2.

If the glass vessel for collecting the finished coffee is cloudy, you need to fill it with a warm solution and rinse thoroughly after 30 minutes with water.

Descaling a carob, capsule and capsule coffee maker

The principle of operation of coffee makers of these types is almost the same, the only difference is in the design of the receiving device for coffee powder. Therefore, the descaling methods are the same:

  1. Unplug the coffee maker.
  2. Remove the used coffee from the horn (holder).
  3. Wash the removable tank under running water and fill it with a solution of the product prepared according to the manufacturer's instructions, or a solution of citric acid (according to the recipe described above). Let the working solution work for 15–20 minutes.
  4. Empty the container to discharge the cake.
  5. Pour water from the drip tray.
  6. Turn on the coffee machine.
  7. Release about half of the heated solution through the nozzle of the cappuccino machine, turning on the steam supply mode.
  8. Pass the remaining solution through an empty horn (capsule holder) in the coffee preparation mode.

After removing the limescale, they start washing the inside of the coffee maker, the process consists of two cycles.

Rinse cycle of the loading block and heater:

  • fill the tank with clean water (up to the Max mark),
  • start a coffee preparation program,
  • Collect wash water in an unnecessary container.

Cappuccino rinse cycle:

  • refill the tank with clean water (up to the Max mark),
  • Select and start the steam generation program. Collect flushing water from the cappuccino nozzle in a substituted container.

Auto Cleaning

In modern coffee machines and coffee makers of the latest generation, the “automatic descaling” mode (decalcification) is provided. After completing the first 6 points of the above algorithm for manual mode, you need to enable the "Auto Clean" function. A smart machine will do it all by itself. It remains only to top up the cleaning solution or water, following the instructions that appear on the device’s LCD display.

  • if the house does not have filters for water treatment based on ion-exchange resins, use only bottled water with a salt content of 75 to 250 g / l for brewing coffee,
  • do not mix solutions of branded products with citric or acetic acid,
  • in order to clean the coffee maker from scale, it is forbidden to use abrasive products,
  • a few servings of coffee brewed immediately after cleaning have to be poured out: you can’t drink them.

How to cope with scale in a thermos

With a thermos, you can perfectly warm yourself with aromatic coffee or tea on the go or on the go. And it is also prone to scale formation. Caring for it is quite simple, easy and fast.

To keep the accessory in perfect condition, you can use vinegar, which perfectly removes calcined deposits from the liquid. To do this, just pour 1 cup of acid, add water and a few grains of rice and leave overnight. Rinse thoroughly with cold water before reuse.

How to clean the coffee maker from scale at home

  1. Special descaling agents. Today, in many stores, supermarkets and online stores, you can find a wide selection of special descaling agents in the form of tablets, briquettes, liquid and powder products, and it is recommended to use universal products for use under each brand of coffee machine (for example, Durgol, Antinakipin ), or special from the manufacturer, for example for Saeco coffee makers (as well as Philips, Gaggia) - Saeco descaler, for Bosch coffee makers - descaler from Bosch itself, etc.
  2. Table vinegar 9%. Ordinary table vinegar is widely known as an effective anti-scale remedy in coffee makers and other household appliances, while in almost every house.
  3. Lemon acid. The most popular and effective anti-scale remedy among folk remedies in coffee makers and other household appliances.

Note: many manufacturers of coffee makers (drip, carob) recommend using only special cleaning products from the same manufacturers or universal to remove scale, as they are specially designed for certain models of coffee makers, they cope well with the task and do not harm the internal elements in the coffee maker even with regular cleaning.

Preparing the coffee machine for descaling

Before starting the descaling process from the coffee machine, it should be thoroughly cleaned of coffee (strainer, filters, all visible contaminated items) using ordinary water and a clean sponge for washing dishes. All removable items and accessories are washed under running water from the tap, but the coffee machine itself should not be washed with water (it may cause damage to the machine).

Important: when washing the coffee pot and other elements of the coffee maker, do not use soap, as it can bind the oils that remain after making the coffee, which then will not be easy to wash and will negatively affect the taste of the prepared coffee in the future.

Instruction manual

  • Fill a container with 1 cup of hot water and 1 teaspoon of dishwashing liquid.
  • Start the machine cycle.
  • Clean the inside of the dishwasher with a brush and a soapy residue, especially walk through hard-to-reach places.
  • Fill the bowl with water and 1 cup vinegar. Start a short cycle with the hottest water.

This will remove all residues of scale, disinfect the machine and remove extraneous odors.

We use a special descaler in the coffee maker

Special descaling chemicals are the best and recommended method for descaling by coffee makers, which have virtually no contraindications and disadvantages (the main disadvantage is their cost).

Let us consider separately how to descale a carob and drip type coffee makers that have automatic self-cleaning and which do not have such a function.

Descaling from a coffee machine

Over time, compounds in hard water also form on coffee machines. Cleaning with vinegar once a month will help get rid of unpleasant plaque and extend its life.

For a conventional coffee machine, you must:

  • Add 1 cup (250 ml) of warm water to the water tank, then 2 cups (500 ml) of vinegar, and then start the coffee brewing process.
  • Pour out the liquid and rinse the equipment thoroughly with water.
  • Start the brewing process 2 more times with plain clean water to rinse off the rest.

Regular cleaning of the coffee machine allows you to get rid of not only scale, but also to prevent the accumulation of coffee oils inside the device, which affects the quality of the drink - it becomes bitter. It is worth noting that the boiler is cleaned according to the general technology.

Cleaning the coffee machine with the automatic descaling function

  1. A cleaning agent and 1 liter of warm water are poured into a special water tank.
  2. We turn on the coffee maker and pass hot water in a volume equal to 2-3 cups of coffee through a hot water pipe, and then close the hot water tap.
  3. We set the coffee preparation mode and wait until the mixture of water and descaler passes through the entire mechanism of the coffee maker. We wait until a volume of water equal to 2-3 cups of coffee is collected in the coffee pot.
  4. We turn on automatic descaling in the coffee makers and wait until it ends (in each model of coffee makers, the process takes a different time and starts differently, so we carefully read the section “Cleaning the lime” in the operating instructions for your coffee maker and perform all the steps exactly as there indicated).
  5. At the end of the automatic decalcification process (descaling), turn off the coffee maker and thoroughly rinse all removable elements and the water tank with plain clean water.
  6. Pour ordinary clean water into the water tank and run one cycle of brewing coffee (full coffee pot) in the empty (without coffee).

Iron cleaning

If you live in an area with hard water, then over time the minerals clog the thin steam pores of the iron, reducing the flow of steam. To clean it, you must:

  • Заполнить резервуар уксусом с водой в соотношении 1:1, а затем поместить его лицевой стороной вниз.
  • Включите утюг на установку подачи пара и держите его в таком положении, пока резервуар не станет пустым.
  • Заполните емкость водой и используйте по предназначению.

One way to get soft water without impurities is through the filters through which it is purified. They can be installed directly on the tap or filter the aqueous solution in a special jug.

On the other hand, water should be removed from the devices each time immediately after boiling. Also, citric acid from limescale will help you.

How to clean the coffee maker with descaler if it does not have an automatic cleaning function?

  1. Pour the purchased descaler and one liter of clean water into the water tank.
  2. We turn on the coffee maker and pass water through a tube for hot water in the amount of 2-3 cups of water.
  3. Turn off the coffee maker and wait 5-10 minutes for the aqueous solution of the detergent to react with scale inside the pipes and in the tank in which the water is heated, after which we repeat steps 2 and 3 several times, after which we close the hot water supply tap.
  4. We turn on the coffee maker and set the coffee preparation mode (we don’t fall asleep coffee) and wait until all the water with the cleaning agent passes into the coffee pot.
  5. In conclusion, we repeat the whole process of descaling, only add clean water to the water tank without descaling.

How to clean the coffee maker from limescale with citric acid?

Advantages: cheap and effective descaler, after which there is no unpleasant odor, as well as possible residues of “chemistry”, as after some special descalers.

Disadvantages: not found.

To clean the coffee maker with citric acid from scale at home, you will need to perform just a few steps:

  1. In 1 liter of clean water at room temperature, mix 3-4 teaspoons of citric acid with a slide (20-30 grams), and then pour this cleaning solution into a water tank in a coffee maker.
  2. If the coffee maker has an automatic cleaning start button, press it, if not, just turn the coffee maker into coffee preparation mode and wait until the entire solution of water and citric acid passes from the water tank to the coffee pot.
  3. At the end of the cleaning process, turn off the coffee maker and rinse the water container and other removable elements under running water.
  4. We collect clean water in a water container and turn on the coffee machine in the coffee preparation mode, wait until the water rinses the entire device from the inside and collects in the coffee pot. We repeat this procedure another 1-2 times to completely rinse the coffee maker from the remnants of citric acid and washed scale.

How to clear the coffee maker of a scum of vinegar?

Advantages: an effective tool that will help to quickly get rid of scale even in the most advanced cases (if for a long time the coffee machine was not cleaned of scale and lime scale inside).

Disadvantages: unpleasant odor during cleaning, it is necessary to rinse the coffee maker well after descaling, so that there are no signs of using acetic acid.

Vinegar is used both for preventative descaling and in more serious cases when a large layer of limescale has formed in the coffee maker. To descale using vinegar in a coffee machine, do the following:

  1. We prepare a solution of vinegar for cleaning, mixing ordinary 9% table vinegar with water in a ratio of 1: 3 (for example, 1 cup of vinegar to 3 cups of water) or 1: 1, depending on the degree of contamination of the coffee machine on the fly.
  2. Pour the vinegar solution into the water tank in the coffee machine and turn on the automatic cleaning mode (if there is one in your model of coffee machine), if there is no such mode, turn on the coffee preparation mode and after half of the coffee pot of water with vinegar is typed, turn off the coffee machine by 10- 15 minutes, then turn it back on and complete the process (until the solution in the water tank runs out).
  3. Upon completion of cleaning, thoroughly rinse with a plain water coffee pot, water tank and other removable accessories in the coffee maker.
  4. Pour clean water into the water tank and turn on the coffee preparation mode (we don’t add coffee and vinegar) and wait until all the water passes into the coffee pot. We repeat the procedure 2-3 times to completely clean the coffee maker from the remains of vinegar and cleaned scale.

In conclusion to the article, it can be noted that knowing how to clean the coffee maker from scale at home using improvised means and special cleaning products from scale and plaque, you can significantly extend the life of this device and enjoy quality coffee daily. He leaves his tips and reviews on how to clean the coffee machine from scale in the comments to the article and share it on social networks if it was useful to you.

Hello! I am Inna - the author of articles on this blog. An enterprising housewife with experience in a cleaning company for more than 4 years. I will be happy to answer all questions on the topic of articles in the comments! Always ready to share your useful tips!

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