Scale is a term used to describe the strong buildup of various minerals, such as lime, within your espresso machine. This heavy buildup can have a negative impact on the function of the espresso machine, mainly affecting the boiler and also altering the taste of the coffee.
In order to adequately maintain the coffee maker, it is recommended to descale it at various intervals which can vary from once a month or once a year. The descale operation is even more important if the area you live in has hard water. The frequency of descale is influenced by how hard the water is, on how much you use the espresso machine and also how often you leave the water to sit in it for longer periods of time.
Read on below for some tips on how to descale your machine
Cool It Down
To start with, you need to switch off the machine and let it cool down. Keep in mind that it is dangerous to handle a hot machine. Additionally, the descaling solution is not very efficient in the case of a hot machine.
Mix Lemon and Water
Although the use of vinegar is recommended by some users, in most cases it can damage the interior and the mechanics of the espresso machine. A citric solution can be easily prepared even by you by mixing lemon and water. You can also buy a descaling solution from a store, solution which is specifically for espresso machines.
Durgol, CLR and Saeco are popular commercial brands of descaling solutions. In most cases, the manufacturers of expensive espresso machines have their own brands or a preferred brand of descaling or decalcifying solutions.
Run the Machine
Place the descaling solution in the water reservoir of the machine and turn on the machine. Allow the machine to pump water for about 20 or 30 seconds and then turn off the machine.
Let the solution to dissolve for about 10 minutes. Next, turn on the machine again allowing the water to be pumped for another 30 to 90 seconds and then turn it off.
Repeat the procedure
These steps should be repeated for about 5 times, procedure which should last roughly an hour.
Clean the Coffee Machine
The descaling solution can result in a bitter and distasteful taste in the coffee machine. In order to eliminate this unwanted residue rinse the water reservoir and fill it again. Turn on the machine with the clean water and let it run. Repeat the procedure for two or three times.
Prepare a Pot of Coffee
Prepare a shot of espresso or a pot of coffee and throw it away to remove any remaining descaling solution from inside the espresso machine.
Next you can make yourself a tasteful cop of coffee!
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