We receive a large number of queries about the mysteries of descaling Coffee Machines so we have put togther the following guide based on our experience with a extensive range of Coffee Machine Brands and Models.
General Mandatory Disclaimer:
The following is a General Guide only on descaling (sometimes called decalcifying) your Coffee Machine. Please always follow your manufacturerâ€™s directions as failure to do so may void you warranty
Ok, so now that we have that out of the way.
1. Always, always use the right descaling products.
Coffee Shrine sell and recommend Cafetto Organic Descaling products. Descalers or coffee machine cleaners purchased at supermarkets may not be suitable for your machine and the use of vinegar is prohibited by almost all manufacturers and may void your warranty. Avoid commercial back flushing chemicals as home, office and vending espresso coffee machines should never be back flushed like commercial machines.
2. Consult your instruction manual.
3. Dissolve your Descaling or Decalcifying product in a container first and the pour into the water tank.
Never add descaling powder direct into your Coffee Machine the water tank as the undissolved crystals of chemical may enter the filter & pump and restrict flow of water. In fully automatic coffee machines, restricted flow of water will display red flashing warning lights or a digital display sign. A Ventilate message may appear and shut your machine down â€“ you get the picture.
4. Remove the water tank prior to adding your dissolved descaling solution.
In many automatic machines, the coffee bean hopper is adjacent to the water tank. The descaling solution water can also be accidentally be poured into the bean hopper and damage to the grinder. Do not fill the water when the tank it is on the machine.
5. In twin boiler machines make sure you descale both sides.
Water passage in most double boiler machines is separate for the hot water dispensed from the steam pipe or auto frother and the hot water dispensed when extracting coffee. Make sure to flush the descaling solution through both sides, alternatively. In many fully automatic models, a pre-programmed descaling cycle may be incorporated into the machine. The electronic descaling completes only half the job by flushing the descaling solution through the steam pipe only. It is very important to also flush the descaling solution from the coffee extraction water system. Where available use the bypass doser. When a bypass doser is not available, do not hesitate to descale by making shots of coffee. In semi automatic models make shots of coffee without any ground coffee in the filter basket.
6. Turn machine on for 30 seconds to warm up just a bit. Flush one cup of descaling solution from steam pipe and the turn machine off. After a pause of 3 to 4 minutes turn machine on again and make one large (pretend) coffee. Repeat this process until all of the solution in the tank is used up.
This method is best both for semi-automatic & fully automatic espresso machines.
7. When the descaling solution is all used up, rinse the water tank and fill with fresh clean filtered water.
Flush the descaling solution out from the water system in the machine (both sides â€“ the steam side and the coffee side). Repeat the rinsing process alternatively until at least one to 2 tanks of water is used up to flush the chemicals out.
1. Do not leave the machine before completing the rinsing with clean water.
The solution left inside will corrode & tarnish metallic surfaces.
2. In an office environment place a do not use sign on the machine during descaling operations and do not remove until the chemicals have been completely flushed out with fresh water.
3. Do not leave any chrome plated objects submerged in descaling solution for more than 10 seconds as the chrome will dissolve and leave the item permanently corroded and black.
4. Do not leave descaling solution un-used in any container as it can be accidentally mistaken as water causing discomfort and serious irritation to the teeth and digestive tract.
About the Aurthor:
Cathy Ballardin is the founder of Coffee Shrine – Australiaâ€™s Premier Office Coffee Machine Specialists.