While water is essential for the perfect cup of coffee, it is dangerous for coffee machines.
Tap water is hard. This water must be filtered before use in the coffee machine. Some espresso machines have built-in water filters, aiding in the pour-over technique, making the unit more expensive. The built-in filter in the coffee machine must be changed every three months. Instead, a household water filter will be cheaper and easier to maintain. You will also get multipurpose water. Alternatively, the coffee machine should use already purified distilled and bottled water. At the same time, the use of bottled water is most effective.
In the presence of heat, thick oxide layers form on the hot plate, and therefore the cause of the limescale is in the boiler of the coffee machine.
The cleaning process must remove mineral deposits and rust.
It sometimes happens that tap water is soft. If the coffee machine is not set correctly for water hardness, you will have to clean the appliance more often and decalcify agents. If the average water hardness was formed at the factory and you use hard water, then the boiler of the coffee machine will also suffer.
What is rust?
Rust outbreak is made up of small rust particles. It occurs when unalloyed, i.e., unrefined, iron comes into contact with oxygen and water. The individual iron particles are then removed and washed in the machine with water as rust. The rust film does not fly, and it flows or floats. If you first encounter brown stains on stainless steel kitchen utensils, these are not sources of rust. It would help if you looked elsewhere for the head of the rust.
How to remove rust from the coffee maker hot plate?
An easy way to remove rust at home is to use citric acid, as it is a powerful rust breaker.
As a folk remedy, citric acid is better with these properties:
- The environment is not polluted from it;
- Does not form toxins;
- Limescale, when dissolved in citric acid, does not emit harmful hazardous chemicals for health;
- A small amount of powdered citric acid dissolves even old limescale.
- A pack of citric acid is cheap and saves the family budget.
- There is no acrid smell.
- Citric acid does not deteriorate while stored in an airtight container, so the sachets will last a very long time as you only need a small amount to process the coffee maker.
How do I clean the remaining parts of the coffee maker?
For the best citric acid cleanse, you should follow a few simple preparatory steps. First, remove as much of the coffee maker as possible, such as the filter basket and coffee pot, and rinse them with warm water and dishwasher soap, which will remove coffee grounds or residual oils.
If there are traces of coffee grounds in the filter basket, wipe it off with a clean, damp towel.
For a particularly clean coffee carafe, try mixing a small amount of water, dishwashing detergent, and dry rice in a saucepan and rinsing together to polish the surface of the glass bowl.
Citric acid cleaning
After cleaning the hot plate, filter and reservoir, it’s time to move on to the inside of the coffee maker.
Citric acid is a great way to descale your coffee maker and can be found at almost all hardware and grocery stores.
Just fill the tank with a ratio of 2 tablespoons of acid to 4 cups of water. Then rinse the machine at least twice to remove any residue.
Pour the prepared solution into the tank of the coffee maker, install the filter and turn on the machine.
Let the coffee machine run until about half of the citric acid solution has passed, then turn off the device for half an hour, then turn it back on and let the solution complete the cleaning process. Finally, repeat this process a couple more times to completely remove the scale.
If the given ratio of water to citric acid does not remove scale, you can reduce the amount of water by half to create a stronger solution.
The disadvantage of citric acid is that, with frequent use, it can corrode the aluminum and rubber parts of the coffee machine.
Long-term consumption of citric acid can also cause buildup. One way to fix this is to alternate between cleaning the coffee maker with citric acid and another descaler, such as vinegar or unique products.
Cleaning with vinegar
If you don’t have citric acid on hand or don’t want to use this method to clean your automatic coffee maker, some alternatives are just as simple and effective. One way is to use vinegar and water to decalcify the machine, which is especially important if you have hard water.
While some sources suggest using vinegar, experts strongly advise against it.
If you decide, add 1 part white vinegar and two parts water to the tank for cleaning, install the filter, turn on the coffee maker and run this solution as if you were brewing regular coffee. Then run two more tanks of clean water through the coffee maker to get rid of the vinegar smell after cleaning the machine.
The coffee machine descaler that works best is the ratio of 25% vinegar to 75% water. Some users and manufacturers recommend up to 50%.
- Vinegar is an affordable remedy, but it forms a poisonous vapor and requires cleaning in a ventilated room.
- To avoid the aggressive smell and taste of vinegar, the coffee machine will have to be rinsed much longer than with citric acid.
- Besides, the smell and taste of the vinegar will remain if not rinsed off properly.
- Vinegar contains high amounts of acetic acid, which is a corrosive and aggressive chemical.
You can also approach descaling your espresso machine with vinegar and then cyclically using a commercial descaler every three or four cleanings.
Complete rust removal
Also, there are various unique cleaning products in stores. You can use a stainless steel cleaner containing polishing clay. Alternatively, you can purchase a white polishing stone.
By the way, good old cleaning milk does that too. Just like the commonly cited home remedies citric acid or cola. Leave in the solution for a short time and then wipe and dry immediately. Only rust needs to be loosened. However, prolonged exposure to acid can aggravate pitting.
It is also vital that you do not use a dish sponge but a soft cloth or foam sponge.