How to Descale Your Kettle and Coffee Machine

3 min read
How to Descale Your Kettle and Coffee Machine

Limescale is the devil for appliances such as kettles and coffee machines…

Where I live, the water is hard (water with a high mineral content). It tastes hard, it smells hard and it is hard on things such as our hot water service, our kettle and our (beloved) coffee machine. It shortens the life of these items and I would rather take the time to clean them out than replace them. Hard water creates limescale which slowly builds up in your water-based appliances.  Not only does it shorten their life, it makes your humble cuppa taste nasty!

Two things have made a difference to the life of our appliances using a water filter before filling them up (obviously not for the larger items like the hot water system)  and descaling every three months. Many places in Australia, like Adelaide and Brisbane, don’t have hard water,  so you may not need to do it as often but here’s how to do it should you want to!

You will need:

  • Citric acid 
  • Filtered water

How to Descale a Kettle:

  • Empty out your kettle and refill with filtered water.
  • Promise yourself that from now on, you’re only use filtered water.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of citric acid to the full kettle.
  • Boil.
  • Leave to cool for at least an hour or ideally, overnight.
  • Give the inside of the jug, including the element, a good scrub, being careful not to bend or dislodge the element.
  • Refill (keeping your promise to only use filtered water) and boil one more time, then empty and using it as normal!

How to Descale a Coffee Machine:

  • Add 2 tablespoons of citric acid to 1 litre of filtered water.
  • Fill the water reservoir with the acidic water and run through the machine. This may take a few cycles.
  • Discard the water that’s been through the machine, empty and rinse the reservoir and clean all of the parts of the machine that you can (capsule container if it’s a pod machine, basket if it’s a dripolator, drip tray etc).
  • Refill the reservoir with clean filtered water, reassemble the machine and run the entire reservoir of water through the machine.
  • Discard that water, then make a coffee as you would before.
  • Promise yourself that from now on, you’re only using filtered water.

After the investment you make in a fancy kettle or a new coffee machine, it’s a simple and cheap step to take to learn to descale them. You may not need to do it very often but file this away for when your machine’s performance drops, your kettle gets noisy or when you worry that something is not quite right with your beloved coffee machine, or it’s end product!

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About Author

Saskia Brown

Saskia is mama wearing lots of different hats while parenting two small girls. She is a midwife, is married to a scientist and lives in the Adelaide H...Read Moreills in South Australia. When she's not juggling parenting and working, she likes to do a lot of walking, photography and crafting. She enjoys yoga when the childerbeasts are asleep, writing when the mood strikes, reading a good organisational blog or dreaming of far off places. Read Less

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