Why and How To Clean and Descale your Coffee Maker


For the coffee lovers, their coffee maker is one of the most precious appliances in their homes as it ensures that they have a great tasting cup of coffee to start their day.

The value of this appliance to them also means that they would want to take good care of it to ensure it performs at optimum levels and lasts for long. So, questions such as how to clean a coffee maker, how often and other such considerations are on top of their minds.

This article contains top tips on various things any coffee maker owner would want to know, ranging from descaling to general cleaning.

How often should you descale your coffee maker?

How often to descale will depend on the model of the coffee maker, how hard your area’s water is, and how often you use the brewer.

Every coffee maker comes with instructions from its manufacturer. Therefore, it’s important that you adhere to the instructions there. And if the brewer is still under warranty, you should have it examined before taking on the responsibility of descaling on your own.

As a general rule, if you use the coffee maker for individual consumption only, it is good to descale the machine once every year. However, heavy users may have to descale twice every year. But if you reside in a hard water area, you may have to do descaling every month.

You simply have to examine your coffee maker, and if there is a buildup of scale, that is the time you should descale.

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Why do coffee machines become dirty?

Coffee and water are the two most important ingredients which go into making a fresh cup of coffee. Both of these ingredients will cause the buildup of residue and dirt inside the coffee maker, which affects temperature and taste. How do each of these two ingredients contribute to build up in your coffee maker?

  1. Coffee

Coffee is mouth-watering; however, it is naturally an extremely oily material. Whether in the shape of grinds or beans, any parts of the coffee maker that’s exposed to coffee can be exposed to the oils and prone to build up. This accumulation will create a foul-smelling residue over time, which will definitely affect your coffee’s taste and smell.

Coffee is naturally an oily substance. Over time, these oils gather inside the coffee maker forming a foul-smelling residue. Even with the most state-of-the-art coffee maker or the best coffee beans, it is not possible to brew the finest cup of coffee with a filthy brewer. Cleaning up the machine gets rid of that build up residue, ensuring the coffee you brew is always tasty.

There are many parts of a coffee maker that come into contact with coffee beans or grinds. These components are often exposed to oils, which need cleanup frequently.

These components include grinder burrs, brew chambers, carafes, and portafilter baskets. The components that are often in touch with your coffee will require cleaning.

  1. Water

All sources of water have specific mineral levels in them. Some sources contain more than others (areas having sources of water with high content mineral levels are hard water areas).

The higher the levels of the minerals in the water, the higher the chance they can accumulate on the machine’s heating elements, resulting in the buildup of mineral scale.

The scale buildup will prevent your coffee maker from getting to the best possible temperature. It will also make it hard for the machine to extract the full taste from the coffee grinds or beans.

Why you should descale your coffee machine

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Water is an important part of any coffee making and all water has minerals, such as calcium and magnesium. Water is different though. For instance, hard water contains more of these minerals than soft water.

As the water passes over your coffee machine’s heating element, minerals start building up. If not looked after, it can continue worsening until the element stops working well.

Additionally, pieces of this mineral accumulation detach and clog up the brewer’s waterlines. This will take place very fast with hard water.

The difficult thing is that, since you can see the machine’s heating element, you might not even know that this is taking place or how bad mineral buildup is.

Frequent descaling and cleanup is the perfect way of ensuring that it never becomes too much.

Descaling is the procedure of getting rid of scale from the coffee maker’s heating element. Cleaning is the procedure of getting rid of the oily accumulation from the brewer.

To make sure you consistently brew the perfect tasting coffee possible, you should both clean and descale the coffee maker frequently.

What will occur if you do not clean up the coffee machine?

If you don’t clean up your coffee maker, that residue will cause some unappealing effects on the coffee:

  • The coffee residue will cause blockages and clogging, which can make a brewer useless.
  • The coffee maker and coffee will start producing an acrid odor.
  • The coffee will start bitter to taste

Tips on cleaning up the coffee machine:

  • If you brew lots of coffee or have hard water in your area, you might have to descale as frequently as once every month.
  • You should rinse until there’s no visible taste or smell, regardless of the number of cycles. Usually, 2 or 3 is sufficient; however, if you want to do 5, do them. If not, the coffee won’t smell or taste great.
  • Clean up the other components of the coffee machine at the same time. After you finish the cleanup cycle, clean the coffee maker’s exterior, filter basket, and carafe.
  • Once you clean well, stick to a frequent maintenance schedule. Many coffee maker cleaner products suggest descaling once every 3 months or so.
  • You should turn the coffee machine off and ensure it’s cool before starting to clean it up.

Tips on descaling a coffee maker

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The process of descaling is very easy. All you should do is look at the instruction manual that came with the coffee maker. However, in many instances, the process is very similar. But every manufacturer provides its own precise measurements for descaling.

You should ensure you observe the recommended ratio of mixing the coffee machine cleaner and water. This ratio is usually half and half, which means equal parts of water and the right coffee machine cleaner and descaler.

However, this will depend on the level of acidity of the cleaner/descaler as well. If there’s high content, go with two-thirds of water and one-third of the powder/liquid. More instructions include:

  • Put the solution inside the reservoir of the coffee maker, just like you are brewing your own coffee. Remember to use the filter, as in the instance of ordinary coffee.
  • Turn the brewer off after you’ve poured half the solution inside. Take care as this is a very important step.
  • Allow the coffee maker to rest, at least for 30 minutes before finishing the brewing.
  • After that, use ordinary water to flush it. This will come after the process of descaling.

Flushing the machine means using only water to run the brew cycle of the system. No descaler, no coffee. You should do it two times to ensure that all residues leave the machine’s reservoir. Your coffee machine will be now ready to brew again.

In some instances, the limescale buildup is very severe. If this is the type of thing you are experiencing, then repeating the first two steps three to four times is important.

A very severe buildup of limescale needs more attention. You should remove the water tank of your brewer to scrape off the stubborn scale by hand.

It might not all come off; however, you can scrape it off as much as you can. This way, you will ensure there is no acid reaction with the metal afterward. Or else, there’s a reduction in the capacity to heat and retain heat.

Using a descaler for descaling your coffee maker

No matter which kind of descaler you need to purchase, you should carefully abide by the guidelines in the package and look at the coffee maker’s instruction booklet.

You can have a powder or liquid descaler, to be diluted in water or put pure in the brewer. It’s important that you precisely follow the proportions shown.

Some coffee makers come with a pre-set descaling and washing program. Simply abide by the guidelines in the brewer manual.

If there’s no washing program in the coffee maker, simply rid it entirely of the water and take out the filters or capsules. After that, place the descaler in the tank (pure or diluted, as the package shows) and allow the water out as for brewing. You should do this until the tank is empty.

Once you’re done descaling, it’s essential that you use just water, to do another wash, if shown in the manual. This stage is important to get rid of any residual descaling (it doesn’t matter if it’s chemical or natural), which can simply change the coffee’s taste or be hazardous. In some instances, it will be important to prepare some coffee to bring the brewer to the optimal level.

Choosing your coffee maker’s descaler

Essentially, descalers are made using acid substances, which dissolve the limestone. These are usually divided into 2 categories: natural and chemical descaler. In these two you need to always adhere to the packaging’s warnings and instructions.

  1. Natural descaler

Natural descalers don’t have chemicals and don’t feature anything that could be harmful to you. Natural descaler mostly comprises lactic acid, citric acid or vinegar. These naturally occurring substances can dissolve mineral scale ecologically and easily.

If natural descaler is your preferred choice, it’s recommended that you buy a professional descaler that’s studied and tested for usage.

  1. Chemical descaler

These descalers are extremely effective and do an entire cleanup of the coffee maker. Additionally, they are specially made to dissolve the scale and clean up the brewer without compromising its operation.

This is because these chemical cleaning agents are usually tested on all materials that constitute the coffee maker itself, which includes rubber gaskets and metal parts.

To use this kind of descaling agent you should adhere to some safety measures like using gloves. This is because they are corrosive and hazardous for the eyes and skin.

  1. Other biological/natural and DIY methods

The coffee machines manufacturers advise against using citric acid or vinegar with DIY methods. The reason being, their action may ruin coffee makers, particularly in gaskets and rubber sections.

Moreover, using pure citric acid to descale the coffee maker might be as hazardous and irritating as working with chemicals.

If you’re planning to use baking soda to descale your coffee maker, understand it’s not a method that is effective. Actually, baking soda is an important substance for cleaning up and sanitizing; however, it doesn’t have an anti-scale effect.

The frequency of cleanup of coffee makers

For the right maintenance of your coffee maker, it’s recommended to clean up every two to three months. This is an indicative figure as it will depend mostly on the water’s hardness and the quantity of coffee you make daily.

Some coffee makers come with a light that will warn you to do the cleanup operation. However, in other instances, you can follow a normal frequency to prevent staining. An alarm signal will be offered by the delivery of irregular coffee because of scale, or by extreme noise of the coffee maker.

While there are many great products in the market, Brew Rite coffee machine cleaner has the best rating and is the most effective product.

Not only does this cleaner feature an amazing Amazon rating but it is also affordable.

Basically, it is a basic coffee machine cleaner that depends on a single, tested and verified ingredient for sufficiently cleaning up your coffee maker – Sodium carbonate.

There are no added features; however, it does not require any because it does just what the label shows.

  • Does not leave any hazardous residue
  • Helps to optimize brewing time
  • Removes concealed mineral deposits

This cleaner is free from smell and non-acidic as well, which makes it perfect for many home coffee makers.

Additionally, this coffee maker cleaner is a lot more effective at getting rid of those unpleasant bitter coffee oils from your coffee machine system than vinegar.

How to select the best coffee maker cleaner products?

Best-selling category will not only tempt you but it will also increase your curiosity. The question of why other people are buying a specific product more may push you into making a hasty decision of purchasing it as well; however, before you buy, keep this in mind.

  • Do a comparison of different prices from different vendors
  • Reading verified coffee maker cleaner reviews from customers
  • Go through the description of the product

Looking for the best coffee maker cleaner products, which suit your expectations and needs, is simpler when you’re knowledgeable about the various products online. The return policy and money-back guarantee make shopping online the best experience as well.

When searching for Keurig coffee maker cleaner, you should think about not only the quality but customer reviews and price as well.

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Descaling and cleaning a coffee machine have many similarities and common objectives. Both will remove unwanted substances, help the machine operate at its best, and both affect the coffee machine’s hidden inner workings.

However, it is important that you clean the coffee machine and descale the machine. This is to make sure the coffee maker is brewing coffee that tastes better for a long time to come.

Cleaning Cuisinart coffee machines

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To ensure your Cuisinart coffee machine is at its best state, you need to use some simple Cuisinart coffee maker cleaner to clean it up frequently. Whether or not the machine features a self-cleaning choice, you need to clean up the coffee machine frequently.

You can do this by decalcifying the reservoir with the best products and cleaning the other parts of the coffee maker the right way. With the right cleanup products, Your Cuisinart machine should keep on offering you coffee that’s full of flavor.

Cleaning BUNN coffee machines

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You can use bunn coffee machines for personal and commercial use and are very popular. To make fresh, tasty coffee, you should keep the coffee pot bacteria-free and clean. Frequently cleaning with the best bunn coffee maker cleaner can make sure the coffee pot lasts longer as well.

To clean up a bunn coffee pot, you have to wash the thermal carafe, clean the brewer and pot between uses. Also, provide the whole coffee maker with a thorough cleanup every 3 months.

Goo Gone Coffee Maker Cleaner

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Nothing can beat a fresh, hot cup of coffee early in the morning, rejuvenating you and getting ready to face the day ahead. This wonderful feeling is usually taken away by a clogged brewer removing a half-cup of strange tasting coffee.

This takes place with over-worked, uncleaned single serve coffee machines. Fortunately, it’s easy to fix.

Simply use Goo Gone Coffee Maker Cleaner for getting rid of any buildup. Additionally, use it for clearing the tubes of your coffee machine and restoring the coffee machine to its refreshing self.

This cleaner is more effective than using vinegar and will not leave an unpleasant aftertaste in your coffee maker. Actually, it will leave no taste or odor of any kind. It simply removes the mess very fast.

The dip it coffee maker cleaner powder helps to clean up everything from stains to hard water to limescale residue in the coffee machine. After only a single wash, the coffee will have a few, fresh good taste.

Cleaning up the coffee maker is an important part of having your everyday dose of coffee daily. You should clean your coffee maker regularly to retain its superb performance. Cleaning and taking care of it is a simple process that can take you only fifteen minutes.

Water deposits, coffee remains, and other dirt heaps up in a single serve coffee machine that has regular use. This buildup will leave the coffee with a funny taste. Using a single cup coffee maker cleaner can help remove all build up and grime, which can affect the performance of the machine.

Cleaning up once every week can help keep the coffee machine in the best condition for years to come. You should ensure that you make this a frequent habit. So if you would like to have your coffee maker stay for longer, remember to take care of it.

Coffee maker cleaner vs vinegar

The process of descaling is the same, regardless of which product you use. Vinegar is more affordable and readily available than coffee maker cleaner (descaler). A coffee maker cleaner is specially formulated to descale the pots. It can also help in keeping the coffee machine operating reliably.

If you don’t like how vinegar smells, however, this procedure won’t be for you. As the pot brews, the smell of vinegar will be everywhere in the kitchen especially if you did not run enough fresh water brew cycle in your coffee maker. The good thing about using vinegar is that the fumes will get rid of lingering cooking smells in your house as well.

Therefore, if you can cope with the smell of vinegar go ahead and use it to clean and descale your coffee maker. If you find the smell of vinegar is irritating, it’s best to go for commercial cleaning products such as brew rite coffee maker cleaner. This can work well and you can substitute it for vinegar.

Cleaning coffee maker with vinegar

  • To start with, remove all the coffee leftovers in and on the chamber. After that, use warm water to rinse. This will further get rid of traces of the tasty coffee.
  • Next, mix equal parts of water and vinegar. Pour the solution in the machine’s reservoir.
  • Run the machine’s brew cycle. Halfway through the procedure, halt the operation. Allow for at least one hour for the vinegar solution to rest inside.
  • Next time when doing the brewing cycle, you can use water.