How To Descale An Espresso Machine? Easy Guide

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If you are a coffee drinker, then you know how important it is to have an espresso machine that produces the perfect cup of joe. However, this may not be possible if your espresso machine is dirty. In order to avoid having a clogged pipe and clean out your device at the same time, follow these easy steps on how to descale an espresso machine!

See also:

What Is Descaling?

So, what is descaling? This is simply the act of removing any leftovers of foodstuff or ingredients from a machine after use. Are descaling and cleaning the same?There is more involved in the process of descaling an espresso machine than just washing or cleaning parts.

A key appeal of descaling is that it not only cleans surfaces but also the components deep within your machine. It is imperative to periodically descale the espresso machine in order to prevent buildup of leftover minerals. Descaling involves breaking down these leftovers, which can improve the longevity of this device.

When Descaling Of An Espresso Machine Is Required?

If an espresso machine is used every day, limescale should be removed at least once every month. 

A number of espresso machines come equipped with a reminder to descale the machine when needed. If that function isn’t available on your machine, the number of cups will be a guide. The average is about 200 cups before you need to descale the machine.

Signs that you need to descale your espresso machine: 

  • Brewing time can be increased.
  • Deterioration in the taste and aroma of coffee; 
  • Drinks at a lower temperature
  • Scale particles appear in cup of coffee.
  • Increased noise levels while the machine is working.

When you use hard water, the espresso machine needs to be descaled more often than soft water. In some models of espresso makers, it is possible to install a softening filter that traps calcium ions and reduces the need for frequent descaling. 

How To Descale An Espresso Machine?

How to descale your espresso machine by using Citric acid?

As the referenced video shows, use one quart of cold water and one or two tablespoons citric acid. If your water is harder, then add a little more citric acid to the mixture, eg. two scoops.

Mix the water and the citric acid together well in some type of vessel. The water should be at room temperature for this task, but you don’t need to obsess over it. It can vary from slightly warm to cool.

To make sure that you are following the reciDịchpe correctly, feel free to have a taste – you will likely find it to be quite tangy! Since its all natural, no harm will come to you.

After soaking the boiler with the citric acid solution, you simply run it through your machine by filling up the water reservoir and running your espresso machine. 

You should also run water through your steam wand. The solution should flow through all the areas in the machine to remove any build-up. 

You want to make sure that every pipes in your machine are descaled. Continue running the boiler until you run out of solution. 

Here is a video you can watch if you are not sure about the steps we explained above:

  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to use
  • Can create a different kind of build-up within your machine over the longer term

How To Descale Your Espresso Machine By Using Vinegar?

As you can see in the video above, using vinegar is very similar to descalation with citric acid. It’s a natural product. This method mainly differs from the citric acid mixture in that you are using standard white vinegar directly, not a mixture or solution

For the rest of the cleaning process,it’s nearly the same. Avoid neglecting the steam wand, as it’s likely to become clogged as well.

After running the vinegar through your machine, then its time again to give it a thorough cleaning with fresh water until you feel that the vinegar has been totally rinsed out. To be thorough, you’ll likely want to wash anything that need separately.

  • Vinegar is inexpensive, and can be found without difficulty.
  • Vinegar is gentle on metals.
  • Using vinegar is a more natural way of descaling espresso machines.
  • Vinegar is usually not effective in cleaning the build up from an espresso machine, and customers often need to descale again after using vinegar.
  • The vinegar smell can influence the taste of coffee produced with it after descaling.

Descaling espresso machine (Super-automatic models)

Before you begin descaling your espresso machine, find out if it has an automatic descaler. If it does, run this function over with the recommended solution for a quick and easy clean. If not then follow these simple instructions to do so manually.

  1. Empty the reservoir and full fill it with the recommended descale solution.
  2. Pull the descaling solution into the machine’s boiler. Run approximately one cup of the water into the steam wand—close and secure the steam knob. 
  3. Turn off the device. Let the solution rest for about twenty minutes. This is a crucial step and you must stay put with that time so that it works properly.
  4. After 20 minutes, you can let it run at least halfway through the reservoir into the steam wand. 
  5. Turn off your espresso machine and let it sit for an extra 20 minutes.
  6. As the last step in your descaling process, flushing all the left water into the device steam wand and finish by allowing clean water to run through. your machine.

Descaling espresso machine (Thermoblock/Single boiler)

  1. Empty the reservoir and full fill it with the recommended descale solution.
  2. Pull the recommended solution into your device boiler. Run it for about one cup of the water out through the hot water/steam wand. Close and secure the device steam knob. 
  3. Turn the espresso machine off and letthe descaling solution sit for approximately 20 minutes, which will help this process work more properly.
  4. When 20 minutes is done, run about a quarter of the reservoir out of the steam wand and another quarter should be out of the device brew head.
  5. Turn the machine off, let it sit for 20 minutes.
  6. Flush the rest of the water through the brew head and steam wand. 
  7. Finally, fill the reservoir with fresh, clean water and run it throughout the machine. Do this twice or as often as you want.Make sure to flush out any residue before making your first espresso of the day.

Pro Tips On Maintaining A Cleaner Espresso Machine

Maintaining your espresso machine doesn’t just prolong its life, it also makes for a cleaner tasting coffee. Any person can buy an espresso machine, but not every isn’t aware how to maintain it. If you want to maintain your espresso machine, here are some pro tips:

  • Empty the espresso machine after each use.
  • Avoid plugging the espresso machine in when not in use.
  • Make sure to descale the espresso machine at least once a month.
  • Never let the liquid touch any other machine part, especially the wires and coating.
  • To avoid falls and breaks, put your espresso machine on a secure surface.
  • The espresso machine should be covered when not in use to protect it from dust and damage.


How often should you descale your espresso machine?

The frequency of descaling your espresso machine depends on how often you use it and whether you live in a hard-water or soft-water area:

If you live in a hard water area and use your espresso machine up to 6 times per day, descaling it once every month should be enough. If you live in a soft water area and use your machine up to 6 times per day, descaling it once every 3-4 months should suffice.
People who use their espresso machines more than six times per day in a hard water area should descale it every three weeks; if they live in soft water and use the machine more times than that, they’ll need to do so every two months.

Do I need to descale my espresso machine?

To achieve the best-tasting brew, it is recommended to descale the brewing coffee device periodically. This will also help you maintain your machine and prevent any breakdowns due to clogging over time.

What happens if you don’t descale your coffee maker?

• It’s hard for the water to reach its optimal temperature, and it also means you won’t be able to get all the flavor out of your beans.
• Miner al scale buildup can clog water flow that can cause a machine to stop working.
• Your coffee will not heat to the desired temperature.


Descaling espresso machines is crucial to maintaining their excellent quality. This will help your device provide fresh and rich-tasting cups of piping java without bitterness. We sincerely hope this article helped get your espresso machine back to top form! Thanks for reading!

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