Coffee Machines

Maintaining your coffee machine for the best brew

How many times have you heard someone say “I need a coffee” or said this to someone else? It’s such a common phrase, it’s second nature to us. Coffee machines are such an integral part of our daily lives; like the bed we sleep in, or the car we drive – they are like a reliable family member that jumpstarts our day and holds it together. But did you know that your coffee machine needs you, as much as you need it?

Yes, that’s right. Your relationship with your coffee machine is much like any other—you get what you put into it. If you treat your coffee machine right, it will respond in kind, and continue to make that perfect brew. If you fail to maintain your machine’s health, you could end up footing the bill for costly repairs or a replacement machine—not to mention losing a loyal family member.

Performing a health check on your coffee machine

Allowing limescale deposits to build up in a coffee machine can worsen the health of the heating elements, water flow, and circuitry.

A coffee machine relies on hot water to extract the full flavour and substance of a coffee blend. But water naturally contains trace elements of calcium bicarbonate that when heated leaves behind limescale—a chalky substance that blocks components and prevents the element from heating water correctly.

Over time, limescale build up will accumulate and degrade the internal health of the machine, leading to poor quality and taste in your coffee, and eventually– equipment failure.
To ensure your machine is reaching its optimal performance to achieve the best tasting coffee possible, you will have to detox it from limescale.

We recommend testing your water hardness and setting your machine to the correct level so that it alerts you when descaling is needed. To assist with this, we have created some helpful video tutorials on how to set your machine to test for water hardness on our YouTube Channel.

Prevention is better than a cure

Preventative descaling will extend the life of your machine and ensure the quality of your coffee is optimal with every brew cycle.

Depending on what make and model your machine is, the descaling process can vary. For example, the descaling cycle on a De’Longhi coffee machine is designed to be performed only with lactic acid. The fool-proof method for descaling your coffee machine is to refer to your manufacturer’s instruction manual for the specific descaling process for your machine model and use a commercial descaler that will provide a much more effective, thorough, clean.

If you’re lucky, your coffee machine will come with a descaling cycle option like all De’Longhi coffee machines do, but the question remains of how to select the right descaling solution.

Why choose our descaling solution? The right one

Some people opt to use DIY home descaling methods such as lemon juice (citric acid), baking powder (tartaric acid) or vinegar, however, these can incur corrosion and leave behind a lingering aftertaste and residue of their own.

The lower chelating power of a citric acid means limescale will not fully detach from the surface and flow into the water circuit causing further internal issues that will impact the health of the machine.

Our Research and Development team has tested and compared descaling solutions against each other, discovering that lower-powered formulas cause a sawtooth effect that leaves deposits behind.

This means that each time a lower-powered descaler is used, it leaves behind some limescale and new deposits form over the old ones, incurring a progressive deposit build-up that will eventually block the machine’s water circuitry.

With this in mind, we developed a descaling solution that contains 100% lactic acid to remove limescale using an organic process called ‘chelation.’ Chelation means the cleaning solution bonds ionically to the limescale and separates it from the surface.

The lactic acid contained in our EcoDecalk descaler has been shown to provide a safer and more thorough clean than citric or tartaric acids because it has a higher rated chelating power, while retaining the same level of concentration.

It’s important to understand that the descaling solutions available on the market vary by their chemical characteristics and rate differently in their cleaning power.

A general guide to rating descaling solutions is as follows:

  • Chelating Power: The strength of the chemical solution in terms of the ability to combine with the limescale.
  • Saturation Factor: The quantity of limescale salts that will saturate the solution, according to the concentration.
  • Speed of Action and Temperature Slope: How long the formula takes to remove a certain quantity of limescale at a certain temperature, and how the action varies according to the temperature.
  • pH Balance: The pH balance of the solution affects the overall efficacy of the cleaning formula.


In summary, descaling formula is a matter of science, and understanding the complexity of a descaler’s cleaning power will allow you to eliminate limescale deposits and maintain the health of your beloved coffee maker. So, why not treat your coffee machine to a proper limescale detox today?

To purchase our descaling solution, click here. Alternatively, you can visit our YouTube channel for a series of how-to videos with tips and tricks on how to descale your coffee machine the right way.