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How do you descale a coffee machine?

If you have a drip coffee maker, French press or espresso machine, you will need to descale every now and again. See our descaling advice here...

Coffee makers and coffee machines need to be descaled periodically to remove mineral deposits from the water which can affect brewing times and taste. This not only means you will achieve better tasting coffee, but also extends the life of your machine.

The hardness or softness of the water coming out of your tap depends on the water supply where you live.

Signs that your coffee machine may need to be descaled

  1. A warning light, or cycle clean indicator light comes on (depending on the machine model)
  2. Excessive brew times
  3. Gurgling or other unusual noises during the brew cycle
  4. Visual signs of mineral deposits

How to descale a coffee machine

Please take a look at the User Guide of your particular machine to find out how to descale it. If you don't have it, you can find it here.

In general, use a commercial descaling agent or vinegar solution. When using a commercial descaler, follow the directions on the pack for the recommended amounts of descaling agent and water. When using vinegar, fill the carafe or reservoir with a solution consisting of half vinegar and half water.

Note: Coffee maker cleaning tables are available in retail stores. If you have a coffee maker with a grid that makes it difficult to put the entire tablet into the water reservoir, you can crush the tablet into smaller pieces in a plastic sandwich bag, and pour the powder into the water reservoir.

  1. Before descaling, always remove any water filters and make sure the basket contains no coffee or coffee filters.
  2. Run the coffee maker through a complete cycle using a suitable descaling solution or vinegar/water mixture.
  3. Rinse the coffee maker by running it through two brewing cycles using fresh, cool water each time.
  4. Wash the brew basket and carafe in hot, soapy water and rinse with hot water.
  5. Reinstall or replace the water filter.

How to descale the KitchenAid Espresso Machine

Run the descaling programme when the Clean Cycle Indicator blinks. The frequency of descaling depends on the hardness of the water in your region, so it's important to programme the Espresso Machine according to the water hardness level of your location.

The descaling process runs in 4 phases, takes about 10 minutes and must be completed before the next use. At any time during the descaling programme, you can pause the cycle by pressing start/stop button. And, resume too by pressing the start/stop button. Make sure you only use descaling solution intended for Espresso Machines.

Need more advice? If you'd like to download or view product literature for your particular KitchenAid appliance, please visit our Manuals and Literature page.

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