Scales are oxide deposits that form on surfaces that are in constant contact with mineral-laden water. It is never a nice scene to have your coffee machine discolored.
The scaling of coffee machines might not be avoidable, but it can be undone. All you need is the right tools and a little knowledge.
What Is Descaling?
Water is the most important component in a coffee drink apart from the coffee beans. As it passes through the coffee machine, minerals like calcium and magnesium, which are contained in it, are deposited in its passageway.
The most affected areas are the heating elements. The removal of these mineral deposits is what we call descaling. Hard water is more lethal because it contains a higher amount of minerals than softened water.
Is Descaling Of A Coffee Machine Important?
If a coffee machine is not descaled for a long time, its boiler will have problems. Below are some of the disadvantages of failing to descale your coffee machine.
- The extraction of flavor from the coffee will not be as efficient. It is because the boiler is not able to boil the water up to the optimum temperature. It could significantly affect the quality of the brew.
- These minerals may build up in the waterways of your coffee machine until they clog. If this happens, your machine will slow down or even stop working. You will have to get a technician or even replace it.
- If the machine cannot boil the coffee to optimum temperatures, then that is a problem. Most people enjoy their coffee hot, and cold coffee will turn them away. This could be disastrous if your production is commercial.
- The coffee might develop a different taste with time. The change will be gradual, so detection might not be easy. The coffee might become sour or bitter.
- If you fail to descale your coffee machine, the coffee or the machine itself will have an acrid smell. It is easily noticeable and can be bad for anyone producing the coffee for commercial purposes.
The Descaling Process
You will need a descaling solution with citric acid or vinegar. This will help dissolve the scale and lighten the task.
1. Take the Machine Apart And Clean It
Open up your machine and take out all the removable parts. These parts could be the lid, the drip tray, and the capsule container. You should wash each of these parts thoroughly with warm soapy water.
Ensure each of the parts is well washed and rinsed before leaving to dry. Using warm water and heavy cloth, clean the body of the machine.
After cleaning, rinsing, and drying all the parts, you should reassemble the machine. You should do this with caution to avoid damaging any components. If you happen to destroy any part, you can get all your café equipment from Ekuep.
2. Prepare the Descaling Solution
The solution is manufactured will all the ingredients needed for the descaling process. Dilute it as instructed for optimum results.
Use of a descaling solution over ordinary soap is necessary due to the presence of calcium and magnesium minerals in the coffee machine, which can be quite hard to remove without it.
It will swiftly disintegrate the limescale build-up in no time. Your coffee will taste as it did on the first day.
3. The Actual Descaling Process
Set the machine in descaling mode. This is simple, hold down the espresso and lungo buttons simultaneously. When they start blinking, hold the lungo button – this will allow the solution to flush through.
It will fill the cup just like regular coffee. Pour the contents of the cup back in and repeat the process until you feel it is enough.
You should note that it takes several rinses to clean different kinds of coffee machines. Read the cleaning guide of your coffee machine for more info.
4. Run Clean Water In the Machine
After running the cleaning solution several times, you need to rinse the machine. Flash lots of water in and out of the machine with particular interest on the water tank.
By doing this, you will remove any traces of the descaling solution. If there is abundant water, you can fill the tank and pour it several times until the entire solution is out.
5. Ensure the Machine Is Citric Acid-Free
The process is a little similar to the third step. Set the machine to regular coffee serving mode. Fill a cup and pour it out. Repeat this process until you pour out two full water tanks.
Only then can you be sure that your machine is free from the descaling solution, which contains citric acid.
6. Perform A Taste Test
You should taste the contents of the coffee machine for any traces of the descaling solution.
The step usually comes after you are convinced your machine is rid of any cleaning agents. If you taste any descaling solution in the water, flush more water until the taste goes away.
7. Make Coffee
The main reason for descaling is to be able to make good quality coffee.
Descaling a coffee machine is not a simple task, and you will indeed want to reward yourself. When your coffee meets your expectations, then you can be sure the coffee machine is clean.
The factors to consider when it comes to descaling coffee machines are:
- The amount of workload the machine is subjected to. More work means more risk of scaling.
- The hardness of the water used in the machine is a factor. The minerals that clog the machine come from the hard water used to make the coffee. If the water in your area has a high concentration of calcium and magnesium, then you should expect frequent clogging incidents.
Just like any equipment, a coffee machine needs regular servicing. One type of service is descaling. The build-up of limescale is unavoidable for any coffee machine.
The descaling process as described above is quite complex but easy to master. Descaling of coffee machines is recommended every 5 to 7 months. For any coffee machine to last and serve you right, it must be regularly taken care of and serviced. Get all your café equipment from us.