Descaling coffee machine with citric acid

Descaling Coffee Machine With Citric Acid

Is your coffee machine important to you? Are you taking care of it? Remember how valuable your coffee machine is to you. What’s the point of descaling your coffee maker? Do you know that every time you brew your coffee using tap water, mineral or filtered water has deposits known as limescale?

It is a hard white substance consisting of calcium carbonate which is a component of hard water. One of the culprits that can clog up and even damage your machine that builds up over time and thickens preventing your coffee maker from making smooth performance. A large deposit of limescale will reduce the boiler capacity and create heating problems affecting the brewing temperature and the taste of your coffee. It puts a serious strain on the pump making the brewing process very noisy and can even make your coffee maker break down.

Even if you have the water you like, it is still a good idea to descale your coffee machine on a regular basis.  But here, we will be descaling coffee machine with citric acid. You should consider doing this to keep your machine healthy as well as make you happy. There three cleaners to put through your coffee machine which are the citric acid, white vinegar, and commercial descaling product. But before you can choose and decide on an approach, you have to check first your manual to know if there are any restrictions or other recommended methods.

On the other hand, if you want to know about your water, you can test what minerals are in it. If it has high minerals, it’s a sign to descale your coffee machine more often. Every machine is different and every water source is different it undergoes the same process.

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But here, we will be descaling coffee machine with citric acid. Citric acid is naturally found in citrus fruits like lemons and limes. It can be bought in a dry powdered form in the markets and grocery stores. It is also called sour salt due to its physical resemblance to salt. It is usually used in cooking as an alternative to vinegar or lemon juice wherein a pure acid is needed. And this makes used as a descaler for coffee machines.

You should also know that there are advantages and disadvantages in descaling coffee machine with citric acid. What’s the good about citric acid, is that it is inexpensive and easy to use but over a longer period of time it can also create a different kind of build-up within your machine. However, you can solve this by using different products as an alternative or just by using it three times.

What do you need when descaling coffee machine with citric acid? Citric acid and water. Yes, just the two of it.

You just have to simply purchase a bag of citric acid which definitely lasts for a long time as you only need 1-2 tablespoons for each descaling process.

Here are the simple steps on descaling coffee machine with citric acid. 

  1. Pour 2 tablespoons of citric acid into 1 liter of water.
  2. Fill the water reservoir with a citric acid-water mixture.
  3. Turn your coffee machine and allow it to go through the brewing process.
  4.  Pour clean water into the reservoir and run another brewing cycle.
  5. Clean out any trace of citric acid from your machine.

And that’s it. You’ve just descaled your coffee maker with citric acid.

But if your coffee maker is Nespresso Machine, you might descale it after several months of daily coffee brewing as the layer of scale grows and affects your coffee maker, slowing down the brewing process and the quality of your coffee. Descaling coffee machine with citric acid is a good way to ensure these problems don’t happen. You may repeat the easy steps mentioned above.

But there are some few cons in descaling coffee machine with citric acid too. Since citric acid isn’t that acidic, so you may need few rinses through the machine to remove mineral deposits properly. And long-term use of citric acid can also result in buildup thus, considering other cleaning methods would be a good alternative.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does it mean to descale a coffee maker?

Well, here is what we called hard water. This hard water has higher mineral content, unlike soft water. These will clog up over time in your coffee maker. It isn’t a big deal but it can affect the taste of your coffee and even block the holes in your machine. So to descale meaning to remove something that builds up.

But how will you know if it’s time to descale your coffee maker?

If your machine has a light indicator then it will turn on and let you know your machine needs descaling. If you have an older machine model, it doesn’t have. However, it isn’t about the light, because you can see white residue when it’s time or when your coffee starts to taste a little off.

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Now, your coffee machine is ready to use and make delicious coffee again. This process greatly helps clean the system from limescale, at the same time maintains the reliability and perfect flavor of your coffee. Do not forget to take care of your machine and it will forget to treat you with delicious coffee every day.

The process is quite simple but it is always important to research the specific brand or product and consult its manual for specific instructions. This method is applicable to any coffee maker.

Every manufacturer has their own specific descaling measurements. Depending upon the acidity of the product, thus, it suggested to do ⅓ of the natural descaler to ⅔ water.

  1. Place your solution in the reservoir as if you are going to brew a fresh cup of coffee.
  2. One half of your solution has been poured, turn off the machine. Let your machine rest for 30 minutes before finishing the brew.
  3. Then, flush it with regular water like running the brew cycle with just water and no coffee one or two times to remove residual of descaling solution then you’re good to go.

If the limescale is very severe, you may need to run the descaling solution through your machine 3 to 4 times.  If the scale buildup is too extreme then, you may need to remove the water tank and try to scrape off the limescale. Leaving the acid in the tank for too long will cause to react with the metal thus, decreasing its capacity to heat up and retain heat.

Descaling coffee machine with citric acid is way better than white vinegar because you won’t have to smell the natural scent of vinegar. Citric acid is less acidic than vinegar and can work impressively as a homemade descaling solution. With citric acid, since it has a lower pH level, you may perform a couple of rinse cycles to make sure that all unwanted minerals wash away. This remedy will not linger into the taste of your coffee, unlike another descaler.

Milliard Citric Acid 1 Pound-100% Pure Food Grade NON-GMO Project Verified (1 Pound). This a non-GMO citric acid as a kitchen essential for preserving, flavoring, and cleaning. It adds an acidic or sour taste to meat, candy, and ice cream. It keeps fruits and vegetables fresh and flavorful.

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The commercial solutions are mixes of different acids that try to get a more effective combination at removing impurities. Still, it is important to stay away from chemical products as much as possible. You must remember this fact to not mix unwanted chemicals with unwanted minerals which are dangerous for your body. That is why it is better to consider natural alternatives in descaling your coffee machine. Like descaling coffee machine with citric acid, which offers safer and healthier benefits.

How often should you descale your coffee machine?

Well, it depends on the type of your machine and how hard the water is. Remember each machine has a guide from the manufacturer so it is always safe to follow their instructions. If your machine is still under warranty, have it checked first before descaling it on your own. As a general guideline, if your coffee machine is for personal consumption only, descaling once a year is fine but twice a year would be fine if you’re a heavy user. But if you have hard water in your area, you might need to do it every month. If you just check your machine and limescale build-up, then it’s time for you to descale it. Again, descaling is a must for you to get a consistently good quality coffee at the same time to protect the lifespan of your machine.

Here’s a video on descaling coffee machine with citric acid. CCTO: Peaceful Cuisine


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