How to Decalcify an Espresso Machine

Periodic decalcifying, or descaling, of your espresso machine is essential if you want it to run efficiently and deliver great-tasting coffee. Over time, calcium and mineral deposits form inside the machine, restricting the water flow and compromising its function and longevity. Fortunately, the decalcification process is quite straightforward.

Step 1

Turn off and unplug your espresso machine, making sure that it cools down before you clean it.

Step 2

Wipe down the exterior of the machine with a damp cloth or paper towel to remove any obvious dirt and grime build-up on the rubber nozzle. If the frothing wand is removable, remove it and wipe it down too.

Step 3

Unscrew the single screw on the brewhead. Take off the brewhead and clean it with a damp cloth. For hard-to-reach areas, you can use an old toothbrush. When it's clean, re-attach it to the espresso machine.

Step 4

Remove the water reservoir from your espresso machine. Empty it completely of any liquid and then refill it with warm water. Add one packet of decalcifying cleaner to the water and stir thoroughly until the cleaner completely dissolves.

Step 5

Replace your water reservoir and turn on your machine. Set a container below the steam wand but select the hot water setting on the machine, rather than the steam setting.

Step 6

Open the steam valve and wait for the decalcifying liquid to drain into the container. When this process ends, discard the contents of the container.

Step 7

Thoroughly rinse the water reservoir and refill it with fresh, clean water before returning it to the machine. Run this water through the machine the same way that you did with the decalcifying solution. Repeat this procedure once more with fresh water, to completely remove all traces of the decalcifying agent.