How often should I descale my coffee machine?

In our blog, we have talked on many occasions about the descaling process of coffee machines, producing guides for all brands. However, one of the questions that arise once we have realised that we need to descale our coffee maker is how often we should carry out the process.

Descaling is very important for two fundamental reasons. On the one hand, to maintain the health of our coffee machine and extend its useful life as limescale clogs the pipes and components of our coffee maker until it stops working. On the other hand, when water passes through pipes full of limescale, it loses pressure and picks up flavours from impurities, resulting in poor quality coffees.

If you are already convinced that you should descale regularly, we are now going to tell you how often you should do it, depending on the type of coffee machine, its use and where you live. Yes, where you live does influence the frequency of descaling, you will see.

Factors affecting the frequency of decalcification of a coffee machine

Let me briefly remind you what decalcification is all about; The water we drink, whether tap or bottled, contains mineral salts that are very beneficial to humans. However, these mineral salts in the water are deposited on the surface little by little as the water evaporates, creating a crust which, if not removed in time, can cause clogging.

  • The more water circulating inside our coffee machine, the more calcification will occur. In other words, the more coffees we make, the more limescale will be deposited. If you make five coffees a day instead of one, you will have 5 times more limescale.
  • The more mineral salts in the water, the more limescale will be deposited in our coffee machine. Not all water is the same, that’s why we talk about hard water and soft water. You should look on Google to see what kind of water you get from your tap or what water you buy to find out if you are using harder or softer water.

Frequency of descaling according to use and water hardness

To simplify things, we have compiled a list of the different descaling frequencies depending on the number of coffees you make and the hardness of the water in your city. To do this, we have classified water into just two types, hard and soft.

NOTE: If your coffee machine indicates through its colour code on the power light or through a display or other means that you should descale the machine, do so immediately.

Coffees per dayType of waterFrecuency of descaling
One coffeeSoft water2 Years
One coffeeHard water1 Year
Two CoffeesSoft water1 Year
Two CoffeesHard water6 Months
Three + CoffeesSoft water6 Months
Three + CoffeesHard water3 Months

Anyway, after all this maths, you won’t be able to say again that you don’t know when to descale your coffee machine, will you? So now you know, buy a good coffee machine descaler and get to work from now on. Your coffee maker will thank you and so will your taste buds.

NOTE: The above is simply a generic reference table. Adjust the times accordingly. For example, suppose your water is of medium hardness. In that case, descaling every 4-5 months will be sufficient if you use it very often, or every nine months if you do not consume two coffees a day. Always consult the instructions for your coffee machine to find out how often you should descale.