Your coffee machine works wonders that are often unseen due to the exterior materials. With that being said, every single morning, or period through-out the day, it works extremely hard to prepare the most delicious and flavorful cup of coffee for you.
Have you ever taken the time to reflect on all the delicious cups of coffee your machine made?
Now, let me ask you a question. Have you taken any time to treat your coffee maker with the same love and respect? While that might sound silly or a bit crazy; however, it is kind of true. If you are not taking the time to provide your coffee maker with some TLC, it will break down and no longer function.
In order to prevent that from happening, you need to scale your coffee maker. While there are many products in the industry that you can buy to do this, there is one route that always works better: homemade or natural descalers. You may be asking, “what natural or homemade descalers can I use?” Lucky for you, I have done the research for you!
What is a descaler?
You may be wondering if “cleaning” your coffee maker and descaler your coffee maker are the same thing. The answer is: NO! If you are simply cleaning your coffee maker, you are not properly taking care of your coffee maker. Since a coffee maker functions off of water, the machine, on the inside, will generate lime scale.
This is not a bad thing, per say, but it will alter the coffee machine and the taste of your coffee. The intention of descaling is to remove these unwanted minerals and elements from the machine and preventing more extensive build up.
While there are different products that the stores offer to descale your machine, many of those chemicals are the same chemicals you want to avoid at all costs. The best route to descale your machine is through natural and homemade means.
How do you descale?
Now that you are familiar with the importance of descaling your coffee maker, you probably are wondering how do you do it, right? Well the process is quite simple. It is important to mention to always research the specific brand or product that you decide to use.
Every company will have their own specific descaling measurements. Roughly speaking, it is said to create a solution of water and the alternative natural descaler in equal parts. Depending upon the acidity of the product, it is suggest to do 1/3rd of the natural descaler to 2/3rd water.
From there, you are going to place this solution in the reservoir as if you are brewing a fresh cup of coffee. You are going to want to use a filter, just like regular coffee as well. Depending upon how much of a solution you made, once you notice that HALF of the solution has been poured, turn the machine off.
This is the most important step! Let your machine rest for 30 minutes before finishing the brew. It is that simple! Some alternatives may require multiple runs or water-based runs. Those will be outlined below.
The Best Natural Descalers for Coffee Makers and Espresso Machines
Vinegar: descaling solution extraordinaire
For those people who are familiar with house cleaning products, you might know that vinegar is one of the best cleaning tools in the world. So much so, many doctors and researchers are even saying that vinegar is essential for cleansing the human body from sicknesses.
Isn’t it crazy? You should not be surprised that vinegar is on this list. Since this is extremely acidic it has no probably combating the lime scale and other unwanted minerals. It is important to note that this product, while extreme productive, can take a couple cycles of rinsing to remove.
The benefits of using vinegar:
- This is one of the strongest products that will remove all of the unwanted minerals.
- Relatively cheap and easy to find.
- Can be used to clean exterior of machine as well.
Citric Acid a descaling solution?
The benefit of using critic acid in comparison to white wine vinegar is that you won’t have to smell the natural scent of vinegar for hours. Citric acid, while less acidic than vinegar, can work some impressive magic as a descaler.
Since it has a lower pH level, you may have to do a couple rinse cycles of the citric acid to insure all of the unwanted minerals wash away. What is also beneficial about this product is that it will not linger into the taste of your coffee, unlike other descalers.
The benefits of using Citric Acid
- This is one of the best smelling alternatives to chemical-based products.
- Less acidic, which means you will not need to rinse or repeat water cycles to remove unwanted flavors or scents.
- Relatively cheap and easy to find.
Water Softening Pellets
Another route that you can always take is through water softening pellets. This is probably one of the most unconventional means to accomplish the task, but it works! If you have a water softening system, you can essentially take the water softening pellets, an example of this could be Morton Salt, and use this with your machine.
Out of all of the different natural sources of descalers, this probably the one that will take the least amount of time. It is advised to do some research on your machine and make sure that you have the best water softening pellets to accomplish this task. Removing unwanted minerals can be tough and you want to always use the strongest products available.
- This is probably the most cost-effective route.
- Extremely easy to do.
- One of the FASTEST alternatives to descaling your coffee machine.
This is another source for all of the avid cleaners reading this article. Baking Soda is known to be a wonderful cleaner and assistant in many cases. This too includes your coffee maker!
First and foremost, if the exterior part of your machine is fifthly with stains, baking soda may be the perfect solution to cleaning the exterior of your machine. Now, Baking Soda is also quite handy when it comes to descaling your coffee maker as well.
There are a couple people who have reported that the baking soda was one of the best sources to descale and others report the opposite. Reason being, in some cases, the baking soda did not entirely dissolve in the water. If you don’t have any other option, baking soda is a healthy alternative.
The benefits of Baking Soda
- This is one of the best cleaners for the exterior and interior of the coffee maker.
- This will not leave an after taste or scent in the machine.
- Great value: cheap and comes with enough product to last months.
I am pretty sure Lemon Juice is nearly a source of healing and cleaning for almost everything, like vinegar. With extreme levels of acidity, lemon juice can actually do the same amount of powerful work that vinegar does but it is not as hard to remove from the system.
In other words, lemon juice is probably your BEST option in terms of scent and time. The only downside to lemon juice is that you will need a lot of lemons in order to descale your coffee maker. If you are not a fan of squeezing lemons, you could opt for buying lemon juice.
If you are planning on using vinegar, the process to use is the same: 1/3 lemon juice 2/3 water. It is suggested to do multiple runs of just water AFTER descaling with lemon juice. This will help remove the after taste of lemons.
The benefits of Lemon Juice
- Next to Citric Acid, this is one of the best scents to use in descaling your coffee maker.
- Lemon Juice is extremely acidic, meaning it can provide the quality of cleaning that Vinegar can without the smells.
- This is one of the fastest products for cleaning. You will only did to descale once and then do a water-run after to remove left over lemon tastes. It is important to note though that Lemon is an enhancing ingredient and could provide for a unique tasting experience.
Stay Away from Chemical-Products
Now that you are properly aware of descaling your coffee machine, it is essential to remember one fact: stay away from chemical products for descaling your machine. You don’t want to mix any unwanted chemicals with unwanted minerals – that is a dangerous concoction for the human body.
That is why it is so important to consider using one of these five alternatives as they are not only natural and organic, they are also safer and healthier for you. In doing so, you coffee machine will be grateful for cleaning it and will provide you with some of the best tasting coffee ever.