What Does Decalcify Coffee Machine Mean?
For your favorite coffee machine to work as long as possible, it needs gentle care and timely cleaning and rinsing of its components. The most important preventive procedure is the regular decalcification of the coffee maker or coffee machine. This process involves removing plaque, scale and deposits formed from water of increased hardness.
Usually the instructions for use contain the rules for decalcifying the coffee machine. In the article, we will consider the causes of plaque, basic cleaning products, methods of cleaning coffee makers and coffee machines with our own hands and automatically.
- Why decalcify a coffee machine?
- Coffee machine descaling agents
- Descaling the coffee machine manually
- Automatic decalcification of the coffee machine
- How often should I Decalcify mycoffee machine?
- What happens if you don’t clean your coffee machine?
Why decalcify a coffee machine?
As a rule, plaque inside the structure of a coffee machine arises from the quality of the water that is used during operation. Agree, few of us use distilled water to make a cup of coffee.
If you pour tap water or poorly filtered water, soon a hard dense deposit of salts and even corrosion will form. This will affect the performance of the appliance and the taste of the drink. Then the question arises of how to descale the coffee machine, and what means for decalcification is best to buy.
How do you know when it’s time to descale your coffee machine?
- Coffee has ceased to be rich and aromatic, a bitter taste has appeared.
- The cooking process has become slower.
- Decreased steam pressure.
- The drink began to flow in a thin stream, the pressure decreased.
- There is a lot of noise during the operation of the coffee machine.
If you notice such signs, then the device needs urgent decalcification. Now you need to find the right cleaning agent for your coffee machine, and figure out how to rinse the appliance to remove scale and increase its service life.
Coffee machine descaling agents
Descaling the coffee machine can be carried out using the following methods:
- Manual cleaning of internal parts from plaque and deposits.
- Simple rinsing with water after each coffee brewing cycle. The option is suitable for some geyser coffee makers – for example, Delongey and Krups, as well as for cleaning a Bosch drip coffee machine.
- Folk remedies – for example, citric acid.
- Manufacturers of modern models offer special cleaning tablets for the coffee machine.
- In especially neglected cases – professional cleaning at the service center. By the way, the experts can give you valuable advice on how to clean the coffee machine correctly.
Descaling the coffee machine manually
Decalcification is a simple procedure, the main thing is to find your suitable way of cleaning a particular model. If your coffee machine is not equipped with a special program with a cleaning mode, we suggest that you pay attention to manual decalcification:
- With the use of citric acid. Citric acid solution is a proven descaler for coffee machines and other household appliances such as irons and electric kettles. As a rule, it is enough to take 3-4 glasses of hot (but not boiling!) Water and add one packet of citric acid. All this must be mixed until the acid is completely dissolved, and then add a couple more glasses of cold water. You can use another ratio: 8-9 teaspoons of citric acid per liter of warm water. This creates an effective descaling liquid. Before using it, the parts of the coffee machine must be thoroughly rinsed with water. Next, load the prepared solution into the coffee machine and turn on the device. Wait until half of the filled solution has poured out and turn off the coffee machine. Leave it on for 30-40 minutes and turn it on again. When the remaining liquid has drained out, rinse the parts again with clean water until all deposits are removed. A vinegar solution is also a good cleaner for any modern coffee machine, the main thing is to make a solution of the required concentration, otherwise you can simply ruin the parts of the device.
- Tablets for a coffee machine are another effective way to decalcify. Cleaning tablets are produced by almost all well-known manufacturers of kitchen appliances: coffee machine brands Krups, Saeko, Jura. Briquettes, pods and even capsules are used to remove limescale. The most important thing is to choose a product made by the same manufacturer as your coffee machine. Then you can be sure that it is ideal and will effectively act on pollution.
For example, decalcifiers for the Jura coffee machine are special original briquettes that are compact and easy to use. The Philips Saeco Decalcifier CA6700 / 00 is perfect for coffee makers from Saeco and Philips.
It is a liquid for automatic coffee machines, which is poured into the inside of the device, acts on the heating element and prevents the appearance of limescale.
For capsule machines working with capsules of Tassima, Dolce densely or Nespresso, Dom Kofe powder works well as a cleaner.
Branded descaling products are available for Delongi, Bosch, Melitta coffee machines and others. The prices for them, of course, can be an unpleasant surprise, because you often have to overpay for the brand itself.
The best option for those who want to save money: buying a universal product like Glutoclean or Top House. They can be found at any hardware store.
You can find out about the peculiarities of using specialized descaling tablets, as well as liquids and briquettes, having read the manual for your coffee machine.
We will give advice that will, perhaps, be universal, regardless of the brand of the device. The descaling tablets for the coffee machine must be completely dissolved in the water tank before starting the cleaning process, otherwise efficiency will suffer and money will be wasted.
Automatic decalcification of the coffee machine
This function is not available in all coffee machines, for example, drip and geyser coffee makers will have to be descaled by hand. In most modern models, the auto-decalcification function is present, which means that it is hardly necessary to disassemble the structure and rinse the parts.
The coffee machine itself will signal that cleaning needs to be done. This can be a blinking indicator light, a beeping sound, or information on the display on the front control panel.
All you need to do is take the necessary descaling agent for the coffee machine, pour it into a container of water and start the self-cleaning option. Then you only have to drain the dirty water and periodically add it to the boiler.
Some of the newest models – Bosch, Delongy, Krups coffee machines – have a fine filter in their design. It is installed directly in the boiler with water and is an excellent barrier against the penetration of dirt, clogging, various deposits and plaque. Your task in this case is to regularly replace the filter.
How often should I Decalcify mycoffee machine?
It is important to know here that there are no sensors in the coffee machine that limit the degree of contamination of the hydraulic system. The machine understands only those parameters that you set for it at the first start (set the degree of water hardness in the settings).
If you have not installed anything, then the default is the factory setting for water hardness (maximum). After reading the operating instructions, you will learn how to set the water hardness level in the coffee machine settings (if applicable). Depending on the indicators you set, the machine will count the amount of water passed through the system.
The Delongy and Phillips Saeko premium coffee machines have mini computers that count how many cups of coffee and what type have been prepared for the entire time. With a water hardness of 2 units (soft water), approximately every 150-170 cups, the machine will descale.
The higher the water hardness value from 1 (softer) to 4 (harder), the more often the coffee machine will signal the need to descale. Some coffee machines (Jura, Bosch, Siemens) have a different hardness setting metric, but the essence is the same, the higher the indicator, the harder the water.
Returning to the question – how often? For example, with low coffee consumption, once every 2-3 months, with an amount of 20-50 cups per day, at least once every 1-1.5 months. Remember that too much limescale will affect the taste of your coffee.
What happens if you don’t clean your coffee machine?
And if you do not carry out decalcification for a long time, then we will tell you about what happens to the coffee machine when the cleaning sensor blinks for 2-3 months or more.
Taste will change
If for some reason you decide to “score” on the maintenance of the coffee machine, then you need to understand that the taste of the brewed coffee will change from month to month. And it’s not about the formation of scale in the thermoblock or boiler, but about the fact that coffee residues will accumulate in the internal channels of the coffee machine.
We once saw how a clot (or rather a slug) from coffee residues accumulated in the coffee dispensing unit. Fresh coffee was flowing through this clot into the cup and we did not know what taste it had. Remember that when descaling, the cleaning agent cleans these channels and prevents coffee deposits from forming.
Cooking time will change
And here everything will depend on the amount of scale in the heating elements of the coffee machine. If cleaning is not done for 6-7 months, then the water in the thermoblock or boiler will not be able to quickly heat up through the scale layer. From this, the heating element will heat the water longer and, accordingly, spend more electricity.
If the coffee machines work in this mode for a long time, then the heating element will simply fail and its repair will cost you a significant amount. The sad thing is that when the service center opens your coffee machine and sees a layer of scale, then the warranty on it will be canceled. This is stated in the instructions for the coffee machine.
The taste of the water will change
All because of the same scale in the heating elements, the taste of water when heated can change. As an example, remember what will be the taste of spring water, which was boiled in a kettle, in which unfiltered tap water had been boiled for a long time. That’s right, the unpleasant aftertaste of chlorine, calcium and other salts will appear in spring water.
Everything works in much the same way in a coffee machine. If you don’t want to descale it, then after a while it will not matter what kind of water you pour into it. It will be saturated with the taste of salts and have the same taste that will change the taste of the coffee you make.
Reduced serving size
The preparation of a drink in the coffee machine occurs when hot steam passes through the ground coffee under pressure. Steam is supplied by a pump that, if properly cared for, lasts a long time and does not cause problems. In our case, when we do not descale the coffee machine, scale particles will accumulate in the pump and, over time, damage the walls of the piston that builds up pressure.
As a result, the pressure in the coffee machine from the standard 15 bar can drop to 10 or 7 bar. As a result, insufficient steam will be fed into the ground coffee, and its strength will not reveal the flavor of the beans. This will also change the taste of the prepared drink.
And finally, we can add one very sad point to the list of troubles – several elements in the coffee machine may fail at once and you will have to choose a new coffee machine. To prevent this and save 40-50 thousand rubles for a family or office budget, it is enough to simply descale with an original cleaning agent. This procedure is short-lived and will allow you to drink delicious and aromatic coffee for a long time.
What Does Decalcify Coffee Machine Mean?
Descaling any type of coffee machine, be it a conventional drip coffee maker or a sophisticated espresso machine, is an important care element. The fact is that simple rinsing under running water, rinsing the infuser and wiping the body are not always enough.
How to descale a coffee maker so as not to damage parts and appearance, you can find out, first of all, in the manufacturer’s instructions. We offered some tips on how to clean the coffee machine, and also listed the general rules for using various products. The most important thing is to regularly follow these rules, monitor the condition of the coffee machine, and then it will serve you a long and loyal service.