Read This Before Descaling Coffee Machine with Citric Acid

The delicious coffee that comes out of your coffee maker is definitely way more pleasing than thinking of cleaning it. But that does not mean you can skip the very important periodic deep cleaning as well as de-scaling process. The efficiency of your coffee maker and those best-tasting coffees will both have a hard time in maintaining consistency.

With that being said, we will be focusing on descaling coffee machine with citric acid today.

Descaling Coffee Machine with Citric Acid

Descaling Coffee Machine with Citric Acid – The Reason Behind & Actual Process.

You are constantly using the coffee maker for preparing espresso and various types of coffee quite regularly. And with that, your machine is going to get some calcium carbonate deposit since you’ll be using hot water. This is basically called limescale.

If things keep on going like that and you do nothing about this build-up, major problems will start to show up gradually. For instance, you’ll notice the coffee maker is slow in brewing than before. Also, the flavor doesn’t feel like it used to earlier.

Now you can either get a cleaning kit to avoid the de-scaling for a pretty noticeable price. Or simply use a very effective home recipe to descale the coffee machine. Some sort of acid will be amazing to get that limescale off from your machine. And the one that is safe to use for this purpose is citric acid. Vinegar can be an option too. But it sometimes leaves intense smell. And so, some people prefer citric acid more than vinegar.

On that note, let’s get into the guide of how to descale automatic coffee machine using citric acid easily.

Preparation Phase.

To start good, you must consider some preparatory steps prior to the actual process. First of all, think about the parts of coffee maker that will be easy to remove. Or at least possible to remove. For example, the coffee pot and filter basket. You can use warm water with dish soap to simply wash them off. This will help to get rid of any leftover oil or coffee ground remaining inside.

Sometimes the filter basket holds spilled coffee ground. You can use a clean damp towel to wipe the grounds away. Now to make it seem extra clean, use a tiny amount of water with dish soap. Use some dry rice grains inside the pot. And then swish around it. This will let the rice buff entire glass container surface.

Add Citric Acid into Your Coffee Machine.

Since you are using a homemade recipe for the descaling, you’ll have to make it first of all. You will need some water for this. The ratio of water cups must be double of a citric acid tablespoon.

This means if you are using two tablespoons of citric acid, then go for 4 cups of water to make the mixture. The carafe needs to be half-filled. For example, if you have 9 cup machine then the solution you made has to be 4.5 cups. As soon as you make the solution, go and wash your hands. Since this is an acidic solution, you should be extra careful of the mineral deposits.

Let the Machine Brew.

After filling the machine, it’s time to let it run. Of course, you will do that without any grinds. Through this step, descaling mixture will have a chance of moving around the entire machine. It’s going to reach every corner of the machine’s internal part.

And that’s basically going to make the descale work even better. Halfway through cycle, some prefer to turn off the machine. This is simply for the intention of letting descaling solution have some time inside machine.

In the usual cases, there’s no need to wait for more than an hour. In fact, 30 minutes is enough for the descaling mixture to sit inside. After that time period, you can once again turn the machine on for resuming brew cycle.

Get the Mixture Out & Run Water Cycle.

Now the number of cycles you should be running for descaling is going to vary. It depends on how much build-up has taken place inside the machine. However, in a typical case, a full one cycle of brewing should be enough.

Once you are done, take the mixture out from machine. Now pour some clean water inside. Let it run once again. This time it’s for discarding any leftover citric acid solution inside. Usually, one complete cycle is enough for cleaning the interior. And the descaling should be done.


And that was basically how you should be descaling coffee machine with citric acid. A major note that I want to provide is regarding aluminum parts. If your coffee machine is made of aluminum parts, then citric acid is not a good idea to try. This will lead to corroding.

Especially if you use a high concentrated citric acid. Also, you should check the coffee machine’s manual before trying any descaling at all. Usually, the manufacturer will provide information regarding what you are allowed to use and things that should be avoided.

Brian MacCarthy

About the author

This is Brian, your main author for Coffee Tasse. We Review & Guide through various Coffee Machine and Accessories for your batter morning.