Descaling coffee makers (drip, carob, pod, capsule)

Descaling coffee makers (drip, carob, pod, capsule)
Descaling coffee makers (drip, carob, pod, capsule)

In coffee makers and coffee machines, as in any household appliance that heats water during operation, limescale deposits form. If the heating elements are not regularly descaled, electricity consumption will increase, the performance of the device will deteriorate and there is a risk of failure.

Cuisinart EM-200NP1 Programmable 15-Bar Espresso Maker, 12.8″(L) x 9.25″(W) x 10.63″(H), Stainless Steel

  • Programmable espresso maker brews single or double espresso and has 15 bars of pressure.
  • Brew 1 or 2 cups of coffee using either ground espresso or pods; You can select a pre-programmed cup size set at 1.5 ounces and 3.0 ounces.
  • Stainless steel steam nozzle for cappuccino and latte and separate steam button function for easy use. BPA Free
  • Portafilter holder with locking mechanism that makes it easy to dispose of wet grounds after use.
  • Includes 69-ounce removable reservoir, Removable drip tray and cover, warming tray on top of unit, Tamping tool with measuring spoon and stainless frothing cup and limited 3-year warranty.

The causes of scale

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

The reaction occurs:

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

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

If an ion-exchange filter or a device that magnetizes the water is installed 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 maker, but also the boiler, kettle, washing machine and dishwasher.

Signs of a clogged coffee maker

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

The more bends and the smaller the diameter of the water pipes in the coffee maker, the greater the likelihood of scale formation. Limescale particles 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 deposits inside the machine:

  • it takes more time to prepare one portion of the drink than before;
  • when the tube and the outlet are clogged, the trickle of the finished coffee becomes thin, which makes the cup take longer;
  • the taste of the drink has deteriorated;
  • a foreign smell appeared;
  • the working device began to emit unusual sounds;
  • a light gray precipitate is visible in the dish;
  • increased electricity consumption while the coffee maker is running.

According to the repairmen, the most susceptible to overgrowing of the heater and clogging of pipes are capsule and carob coffee makers of the boiler type. In devices with a thermoblock, water does not stagnate, and the process of scale formation is slower.

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

Descaling coffee makers (drip, carob, pod, capsule)
Descaling coffee makers (drip, carob, pod, capsule)

Professional and folk remedies for cleaning coffee makers

Coffee machine manufacturers have long created a separate source of income for themselves: they manufacture and sell descaling products for devices. The latest generation models have an auto-cleaning function with the indispensable use of a proprietary product. After 200–300 cups of coffee have been dispensed, the smart machine signals that it’s time to start cleaning. Professional products are available in the form of tablets, powders and liquids.

Each coffee machine manufacturer claims that only proprietary products can be used. This is nothing more than a marketing ploy. If you read the composition on the label, it will become clear that the main component is citric acid.

Using food grade citric acid for descaling the coffee maker has several advantages:

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

Instructions for descaling coffee makers of different types

How you descale a coffee maker depends on the design of the device. Machines with a removable filter and infuser can be conveniently washed under the tap in running water. If you regularly rinse the device after making coffee, you can do a thorough cleaning with citric acid or purchased tablets no more than once a month.

De’Longhi EC685M Dedica Deluxe Automatic Espresso Machine, 1, Metallic

  • 15-bar professional pressure ensures quality results every time, and adjustable controls allow you to make modifications for your personal taste preferences
  • Whatever your preference – single or double espresso, cappuccino or latte –the machine brews authentic barista-quality beverages just like you enjoy at your favorite coffeehouse
  • The premium adjustable frother allows you to adjust the foam and steam levels to customize a variety of delicious espresso-based drinks with little to no effort
  • The automatic flow stop feature dispenses just the right amount of espresso. If you’d prefer a larger-sized beverage, no problem. The double drip tray is easy to adjust or remove to fit taller cups, such as latte glasses
  • Warranties may not apply to purchases from an unauthorized retailer. Fast heating time: 40 seconds

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

Descaling a drip coffee maker

  • Wash the filter in warm water with a soft brush (unnecessary toothbrush) and replace it.
  • Prepare a working liquid from citric acid: dissolve 30 g of crystalline powder in 4 glasses of warm water.
  • Pour the solution into the water tank. Add cold water to the tank up to the Max mark.
  • 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.
  • If there are still traces of scale on the filter, immerse it in a hot solution prepared in this way and hold it for an hour.
  • Rinse the filter well and refit.
  • Pass clean water through the coffee maker several times so that the acid comes out completely.

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

If the glass container for collecting ready-made coffee becomes cloudy, fill it with a warm solution and rinse thoroughly after 30 minutes with water.

Descaling the carob, pod and capsule coffee maker

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

  • Unplug the coffee maker.
  • Remove waste coffee from the horn (holder).
  • Wash the removable reservoir 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.
  • Empty the cake dump container.
  • Empty the drip tray.
  • Turn on the coffee maker.
  • Dispense about half of the heated solution through the cappuccinatore nozzle by switching on the steam mode.
  • Pass the remaining solution through the empty cone (capsule holder) in coffee preparation mode.

After removing limescale, they start rinsing the inner surface of the coffee maker, the process consists of two cycles.

Rinse cycle for loading unit and heater:

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

Cappuccinatore rinsing cycle:

  • refill the reservoir with clean water (up to the Max mark);
  • select and start the steam generation program. Collect rinse water from the cappuccinatore nozzle into the container provided.

Perform each cycle twice.

Auto cleaning

In modern coffee machines and coffee makers of the latest generation, the “auto descaling” mode (decalcification) is provided. After completing the first 6 steps of the above algorithm for manual mode, you need to enable the “Autocleaning” function. A smart machine will do everything by itself. All that remains is to add the cleaning solution or water, following the commands appearing on the LCD of the device.

Mr. Coffee BVMC-EM7000DS Home Kitchen 1 Touch 19 Bar Pump Automatic Cappuccino, Latte, Espresso Maker Machine, Black

  • ENJOY YOUR FAVORITE ESPRESSO DRINKS: Enjoy espresso, cappuccinos, and lattes in your own home with this programmable espresso maker
  • EASY TO USE: Easy to use, simply fill up with water, milk, and espresso beans, then plug it in and push a button; Make your favorite drinks with the included milk frother; Manual pour and frothing settings for customized drinks
  • PROGRAMMABLE SETTINGS: Features pre-programmed settings for cup sizes, pouring 1 or 2 cups, lattes, cappuccinos, espresso, and froth
  • BEST-TASTING PERFORMANCE: High-performance espresso maker produces 19 bars of pressure to extract the perfect amount of flavor
  • SPECIFICATIONS: Power: 1,040 watts; Cord length: 26 inches; Dimensions (L x W x H): 14.6 x 12.8 x 8.7 inches; Weight: 13.3 pounds

Helpful hints:

  • 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, do not use abrasive products;
  • several cups of coffee brewed immediately after cleaning will have to be discarded: they cannot be drunk.
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