The more I mention it to people, the more I realize how few people follow this simple routine for cleaning out and decalcifying your coffee maker! It’s really simple, prolongs the life of your machine, and keeps the flavor of your coffee top notch. So, while some of you are undoubtedly aware, this post is for the rest of you, blissfully ignorant of the decalcification your coffee pot so badly needs! If you’re somebody that loves their coffee but doesn’t have a machine of their own, then it may be time to pull your finger out and have a look at some coffee machine hire options that could change the way you enjoy your mornings.
First off, what are we talking about here? This is a quote from Cuisinart, maker of many fine kitchen products, including coffee makers:
Decalcification refers to removing the calcium deposits which form over time on the metal parts of the coffeemaker. For best performance from your coffeemaker, decalcify the base unit from time to time. The frequency depends upon the hardness of your tap water and how often you use the coffeemaker.
Every coffee maker I’ve ever owned, bonavita vs technivorm, Mr. Coffee, Krups, Cuisinart, etc, has recommended a similar frequency for decalcification, normally about every 30 uses. If you’re a daily coffee drinker, like myself, that means you should just plan on doing this once a month, even if your coffee maker has a built in water filtration system, like mine does. I know some people who completely forgo cleaning their coffee makers and just go out and buy a new one from somewhere like Identifyr because they don’t clean their coffee and it ultimately is used so much that it breaks. Or they believe that there is no way to actually clean a coffee machine. Luckily, the procedure requires nothing fancier than household white distilled vinegar. If you’re worried about cost – don’t! No need to use up your good cooking vinegar for decalcification. The one-quart bottles of vinegar I use on my coffee machines are the absolute bottom of the barrel (Kroger’s “Value” brand), and cost a measly $0.98 a piece. Depending on the size of your coffee maker, one bottle will just about get you two cleanings. Remember, you’re cleaning with it, not eating it!
So, here’s the very simple process you should go through each month. Fill your water reservoir with one-third vinegar and two-thirds water. For my 12-cup Cuisinart, that’s means I fill it to the 4-cup mark with vinegar, and then to the top with water. For my latte maker, which only holds eight ounces of water, it’s a little under three ounces of vinegar and the rest water. When the reservoir is full, go ahead and run the coffee maker through a normal brewing cycle (minus the coffee grounds, of course). If you have a built in grinder, be sure to deactivate it for this cycle. When it’s complete, refill the reservoir with water and run it through again. Depending on the coffee maker, you may need to repeat this procedure one additional time to eliminate the flavor and smell of the vinegar (I only need to run it once on my drip coffee maker, but the latte maker needs two additional cycles of water only after the vinegar).
And that’s it! Set a reminder for yourself to do the same thing next month, and you’ll get a longer-living, better performing coffee maker out of the deal.
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What about KEURIG?
Sunday 28th of August 2016
The KEURIG machine is a fancy water heating apparatus that injects hot water through a concentrate of coffee contained in the little plastic packet you dispose when a "brewing" cycle is complete. Decalcification is a process to remove deposits that accumulate upon the heating mechanism contained in any fluid heating type of apparatus. The diluted vinegar solution - 1 part white vinegar with 2-3 parts water - is an agent that loosens up the scale that accumulates upon the heating elements in a machine. Remember to run 1-2 fresh water cleaning cycles after processing the vinegar solution. Using this method you'll keep your machine running more effectively.
Monday 29th of June 2015
Hi, Cindy! They are actually pretty similar. Here they are: