Descaling an espresso machine is the process by which built-up calcium and minerals are removed from the machine's boiler. Many espresso machines require descaling to keep working smoothly and to maintain the good taste of the coffee. However, some commercial espresso machines should not be descaled, and some have automatic decalcifiers. Check your machine's instruction manual to determine whether descaling is necessary.
- Add descaling agent to the water reservoir
Remove the water reservoir from the espresso machine. Empty any liquid from it, and fill it with warm water. Add the descaling cleaner. Make sure it dissolves completely.
- Run the descaling agent through the machine
Put the water reservoir back in the espresso machine. Turn the machine on. Close the steam knob so that only hot water comes out of the steam wand. Run about 1 cup of water through the steam wand. Turn the machine off, and let the water sit for about 20 minutes. Turn the machine back on, then open the steam wand. Let the rest of the water with the descaling agent run through the machine.
- Rinse the espresso machine
After the descaling agent has run completely through the espresso machine, pour out the collected water. Rinse the water reservoir in clean water, fill it with clean water, and return it to the machine. Run the clean water through the machine one or two times to make sure all of the descaling cleaner has been removed.