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Descaling Your Coffee Machine With Citric Acid

There is an easy way to use citric acid to descale your coffee machine. I learned that there is a difference between cleaning my coffee machine and descaling it. I am an avid coffee drinker, and cleaning your coffee machine can greatly affect the taste and functionality of your coffee machine. So I researched when you are cleaning your coffee machine how citric acid works to descale it. So, how does citric acid work to descale your coffee machine?

It is best to use citric acid to descale your coffee machine when you are cleaning it. Your coffee machine requires regular maintenance to maintain its integrity and use. Most will just clean their coffee machine and stop there. However, rising citric acid and water to descale your machine will work wonders for your coffee machine. The citric acid and water mixture will help remove built-up mineral deposits.

In this post, I will help you to know how to descale your coffee machine using citric acid properly. In my research, I looked at many different aspects of using this approach when cleaning your coffee machine. Firstly, why do we need to clean or descale our coffee machine? What exactly does that entail? You want to make sure you know how to clean all parts of your machine correctly. I will also discuss how to descale your coffee machine with citric acid. Continue reading on, and I will provide you with the essential information you need to descale your coffee machine, ensuring you will have the best-tasting coffee around! 

Citric Acid Descaling Your Coffee Machine

Why Clean or Descale Your Coffee Machine?

We need to clean our coffee machines to enable them to work at their best and last as long as possible. Cleaning your coffee machine must be done regularly. Cleaning your coffee machine inside and outside will help stop mineral deposits from the water used to make the coffee. Extreme mineral deposits can affect your coffee machine, causing water loss, uneven brewing, and coffee that does not taste right. You also need to make sure you clean and wipe down the warming plate of the coffee machine, or your coffee may not warm evenly. If you have spilled on your coffee machine burner, it can cause rust to your hot plate, which is not good for your coffee plate’s protective enamel. Flaking can result, thereby shortening the life of your coffee machine.

How to Use Citric Acid to Descale Your Coffee Machine

When you’re cleaning your coffee machine, citric acid is the best solution to clean with. Citric acid is a natural cleaning solvent. Citric acid is found in lemons, limes, oranges, and other citrus fruits. You can purchase it in powdered form. You will need to make a twenty percent solution, adding two tablespoons of citric acid per quart of water.

To begin, you must prep your coffee machine by removing all removable parts of your coffee machine, such as your filter basket, and wash with dish soap. Clean your coffee carafe. This can be done with water, dish soap, and dry rice. Mix everything together. The rice will act as a buffer to the surface of the glass container.

Now you are ready to descale with citric acid. Use your citric acid mixture and pour it into your coffee machine’s reservoir with a filter. Turn the machine on. You will need to run your machine with the citric acid mixture until half of the solution has been brewed. Turn the machine off for thirty minutes. Then turn the coffee machine back on to finish brewing and cleaning your machine. This process can be done a few times to make sure you have fully descaled your coffee machine. 

Citric Acid Descaling Your Coffee Machine

Pros and Cons of Descaling with Citric Acid

There are pros and cons when cleaning your coffee machine with citric acid. Some pros include that cleaning with citric acid is cost-efficient. You can find citric acid online and at many local stores. Citric acid does not spoil if stored properly in an airtight container. You only need to use a small amount to descale your coffee machine so that a bag will last you a long time. Citric acid does not leave an odor inside your coffee machine when cleaning it with citric acid.

There are not many cons to using citric acid. A few things to be careful about include that you have to run a few rinses through your coffee machine to ensure that all the mineral deposits are removed. Also, long-term use of citric acid can cause build-up in your coffee machine. A way to prevent this is to use different methods (other than citric acid) when cleaning your coffee machine, like vinegar, lemon juice, or other store-bought product. 

Other Cleaning Methods for Your Coffee Machine

There is a vast amount of cleaning agents you can use when you are cleaning your coffee machine. Cleaning and descaling are vastly different, as cleaning alone will not remove mineral deposits from your coffee machine. However, cleaning alone removes coffee oil, yeast, bacteria, and mold. Mineral deposits of calcium, magnesium, and lime can build up in your coffee machine’s carafe, tubes, or burner. Not removing mineral deposits can make your coffee taste bitter or just not right. Mineral build-up can affect your coffee machine’s ability to reach the correct temperature or clog the water flow, which prevents your coffee machine from working. Citric acid is a great way to descale your coffee machine.

Citric Acid Descaling Your Coffee Machine

However, there are other products you can use. You can purchase a commercial descaling solution that contains strong acids to descale your coffee machine. This will cost more than using natural products. Other natural methods of descaling your coffee machine include using white vinegar. You must fill your coffee carafe with equal parts vinegar and water. This is not as effective as citric acid or commercial descaling solutions, so you might have to brew it a few times with this mixture. Lemon juice is also used to descale coffee machines. It is not as acidic as other cleaning agents, so you will have to repeat the process of cleaning this many times. To use lemon juice, you must fill the coffee carafe with equal parts lemon juice and water. These are just a few of the best alternative methods I found to descale your coffee machine. However, citric acid is still the overwhelmingly best choice if you are going to descale your coffee machine. 


So, there you have it! Citric acid is a great descaler for coffee machines. It’s inexpensive, easy to find, and environmentally friendly. If you have hard water or calcium deposits in your machine, citric acid can help clear them out and get your machine running like new again. Just be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for using it, and always test any cleaning solution in an inconspicuous place before applying it to the entire machine. Thanks for reading!

Related Questions

Is hard water ruining my coffee machine? 

You might be asking, is hard water also affecting your coffee machine alongside mineral deposits? You also might be thinking, is the hard water causing the mineral deposits? The answer to those questions is possibly, as hard water does cause more issues with mineral build-up in your coffee machine. This is because it is high in mineral content. Hard water can cause white residue on faucets, soap scum on sinks, clogged pipes, and low water pressure spots on clean dishes, and it can even irritate your skin. You can test your water with a water hardness testing kit or call your local public utility. Using a water softener can be a solution to fight hard water. 

How often should I descale my coffee machine? 

It would be best if you descaled your coffee machine at minimum every three months. If you have hard water, you will have to descale more often. Your coffee machine might also make you aware when it is time to descale. Many coffee machines have indicator lights that tell you when it is time to descale. If you have hard water, you will need to descale monthly. 

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