How to descale and deep clean your trusty coffee machine

Don't fancy a limescale-uccino? We don't blame you — here's how to deep clean your coffee machine

Coffee Machine Cleaner

Coffee is powerful fuel for work, sport and even parenting. But when limescale builds up over time, your trusty coffee machine may start serving up stale flavours or blinking with that dreaded red light. That means it’s time to discover how to descale a coffee machine and give it a deep clean. Fortunately, it’s a fairly simple process that only requires water, white vinegar and a few minutes of your time.

1. Get ready to clean your coffee machine

First thing’s first: empty the machine. For a filter coffee machine, pour excess coffee into the sink and rinse the pot under warm water to get rid of any old grains. If you have an espresso machine with detachable accessories, remove them and rinse.

2. Make up your coffee machine cleaner

Descaling a coffee machine with vinegar solution offers the simplest and cheapest method of descaling your machine. That’s because vinegar is the ultimate nemesis of mineral deposits. To make up your coffee machine cleaner, mix half a litre of distilled white vinegar with half a litre of water.

If you want to know how to clean a coffee maker without vinegar, you can buy a store-bought descaling agent. Or alternatively, you can mix two tablespoons of citric acid with a litre of warm water.


How to clean coffee machine parts may vary depending on the machine, so read the instructions that came with your machine before descaling it. Aluminum boilers are sensitive to damage from vinegar and citric acid.

3. Add the coffee machine cleaner to your water reservoir 

Run the coffee machine cleaner through your machine as if you were making a normal cup of coffee (but without the coffee). This will help to break down the mineral deposits. If you still have visible limescale stains, dip a piece of super-absorbent Plenty Flexisheets into the vinegar solution and apply it directly to the deposits. To get rid of any vinegary residue and taste, run a cycle of clean water through the machine.

4. How to clean coffee maker accessories

If your espresso machine has a steam wand or milk frother, use a moistened Plenty kitchen towel to wipe off any dried milk. Run clean water through the wand steamer to clean the inside of the pipe.

Now you can enjoy the flavours of your clean coffee maker. So put your feet up and get someone to make you a fresh cup. You’ve earned it.

5. Compost your coffee grounds

After descaling your coffee machine, don't throw away those used coffee grounds! Coffee grounds can be an excellent addition to your compost pile. They are rich in nitrogen and other nutrients than can help nourish your garden soil. Simply collect the coffee grounds and add them to your compost bin or mix them directly into your existing compost.

Over time, the grounds will break down and contribute to the overall quality of your compost, providing a natural and eco-friendly way to recycle your coffee waste. So, before you dispose of your coffee grounds, consider giving them a second life in your compost pile. It's a great way to reduce kitchen waste!

Composting is a great way to reduce kitchen waste! But there's an important difference between biodegradable and compostable matter. To become a certified composting expert, check out those differences here!

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