What’s The Difference Between Descaling and Cleaning A Coffee Maker?

Posted: Jul 11, 2016 10:29:22 AM

There is nothing worse than getting up in the morning and making coffee only to have it taste bitter, cold, or just not the same as it used to. Perhaps you have been drinking coffee from the same machine for months, even years; all the while thinking your coffee tastes consistent day after day. After all, how can you know you’re missing something of which you are not aware? Well, we can definitively tell you that unless you are consistently keeping your coffee equipment thoroughly cleaned, your coffee does not taste as good as it should.

In order to ensure that your coffee machine is brewing the best tasting coffee possible, it is important to BOTH descale AND clean it. As coffee machine cleaning experts since 1936, we are here to explain why you need to descale and clean your coffee maker to ensure the best tasting (and hottest) cup of coffee each and every time you brew.

The first thing you must know is that descaling and cleaning a coffee maker are not the same thing! This is a common misconception. If you think that “cleaning” your machine is removing limescale – you are mistaken. Let us explain the difference and importance of understanding these two methods of proper machine maintenance so that we can help you make better tasting coffee.


“Descaling and cleaning are not the same thing!”


Descaling a coffee maker
Water is one of the main ingredients in brewing a cup of coffee. As water passes through the machines, limescale (or minerals from the water) starts to accumulate on the heating elements. Descaling a coffee maker is the process of removing mineral buildup. More often than not, the heating elements cannot be seen, which means there can be months of buildup that exists without you even knowing it.

What happens if you don't descale your coffee maker?
Too much buildup can prevent the machine from reaching its proper brewing temperature. If that happens, your coffee can be affected in two ways:

  1. The coffee won’t achieve proper extraction; therefore affecting the flavor.
  2. The coffee won’t be hot enough when you take your first sip.

Since flavor and temperature are two key components to the overall coffee experience, it’s important to descale your machine regularly so you’re not left with a less-than-desirable cup of coffee…not to mention a bit of crankiness.

How can Urnex help?
The best way to descale a machine is to use specialty descaling products. We recommend descaling your machine once a month. If you live in an area with particularly hard water, descaling more often will be necessary.




Cleaning a coffee maker 
Coffee is, by nature, a very oily substance. Cleaning a coffee maker is the process of removing coffee oils that accumulate on internal and external machine parts.

All things that come in contact with coffee grinds or beans are exposed to these oils and need to be cleaned regularly. Some of these parts include: carafes, brew chambers, exit needles/spouts, portafilter baskets, and grinder burrs.

Click here to read more about why you need to clean your machines.

What happens if you don’t clean your coffee maker?
Without proper cleaning, oils accumulate and form a rancid residue that affects the smell and taste of your coffee.

How can Urnex help?
When it comes to cleaning your equipment, the best way to get the job done is by using specialty cleaning products. Depending on how often you brew, we generally suggest cleaning your machine once a week. The more it's used, the more often it will need to be cleaned.

If drinking a better tasting cup of coffee is something you value; if you want the most from your cup on a daily basis, remember to descale AND clean your machine regularly… your taste buds will be grateful.



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