The Breville line of coffee makers is known for producing exceptional espresso and coffee drinks in the comfort of your own home. However, over time mineral deposits and limescale can build up inside the machine and affect the taste and aroma of your daily brew. That’s why it’s crucial to learn how to properly descale your Breville coffee maker.
Descaling is the process of removing these mineral deposits using a descaling solution like vinegar or citric acid. This helps clean the internal components, restore optimal water flow, and enhance the flavor of your coffee.
In this comprehensive guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about descaling Breville coffee makers, including:
- Why descaling is so important for performance and longevity
- The signs indicating it’s time to descale
- The supplies you’ll need to get started
- A step-by-step walkthrough of the descaling process
- Tips for maintenance and preventing scale buildup
Properly descaling your Breville coffee maker takes less than 30 minutes and can extend the life of your machine for years to come. Let’s get started!
Key Takeaways: How to Descale Breville Coffee Maker
|Descaling removes mineral deposits like calcium and limescale|
|It should be done every 3-6 months to maintain machine|
|Descaling improves coffee flavor and brewing efficiency|
|It prevents damage and extends the lifespan of the machine|
|Use descaling solutions like citric acid, vinegar or commercial products|
|Follow descaling instructions in owner’s manual for your model|
|Rinse thoroughly with fresh water after descaling|
|Replace parts like filters and gaskets periodically|
|Clean group head, steam wand, etc. regularly|
|Use filtered water to prevent scale buildup|
|Schedule preventative maintenance with a technician|
|Store machine properly when not in use for a long period|
Why Descaling is Important
Descaling your Breville coffee maker on a regular basis is crucial to maintaining optimal performance and longevity. Over time, mineral deposits like calcium and limescale can build up inside the machine from the water. Failing to descale can lead to some significant issues:
- Reduced brewing efficiency – Mineral buildup in areas like the heating element can affect how quickly and evenly water is heated, leading to inconsistent extraction. This can result in coffee that is under-extracted or over-extracted, altering the flavor.
- Altered coffee taste – Limescale and other deposits can give your coffee an unusual metallic, bitter, or sour taste. Coffee experts note that scale buildup is one of the most common reasons for a decline in coffee quality over time.
- Clogged components – Buildup in small tubes like the water lines, solenoid valves, and thermoblocks can restrict water flow and potentially clog the machine entirely. Clogs force the machine to work harder, reducing performance.
- Corrosion and damage – Left unchecked, mineral deposits can corrode metal components like the boiler and heating element and cause permanent pitting or damage. Corrosion can lead to leaks or machine failure.
- Bacteria growth – Limescale provides an environment for bacteria like E. coli and mold to multiply, posing a health risk if allowed to enter your brewed coffee.
Descaling helps prevent all these problems by dissolving mineral buildup and flushing it from the system. Without descaling, your expensive Breville coffee maker will experience reduced performance and shorter lifespan.
Some signs it’s time to descale include:
- Longer warm-up times
- Uneven water flow
- Weak or sputtering brewing
- Strange mineral taste
- Error codes on display
- Visible scale buildup
By descaling every 3-6 months, you can optimize your Breville coffee maker’s performance, improve coffee flavor, extend its lifespan, and avoid costly repairs down the road. It’s a small investment of time that pays major dividends!
What You’ll Need
Descaling your Breville coffee maker is a straightforward process, but having the right supplies on hand is key. Here’s an overview of what you’ll need:
- Use a commercial descaling solution made specifically for coffee equipment. Popular options like Urnex Dezcal and Impresa Descaler are safe for Breville machines.
- Citric acid can be used as a more affordable, natural descaling agent. Mix 1 tbsp of citric acid per 16 oz of water.
- Avoid vinegar or other acids like acetic acid if your machine contains aluminum components. Vinegar can damage aluminum over time.
- Water – Use filtered water if possible to prevent future mineral buildup.
- Large bowl or sink – To catch the used descaling solution that drains out.
- Towels – For wiping up spills and drips. Lay towels under the machine.
- Gloves – Wear rubber gloves when handling descaling solutions.
- Eye protection – In case of splashing during the descaling process.
- Breville user manual – Follow the descaling instructions specific to your Breville model. Steps may vary.
- YouTube tutorial – Search for a video on descaling your specific Breville machine model for a visual guide.
- Breville support – Call Breville support if you have any questions before descaling.
Only use solutions designed for coffee equipment to avoid damage. Check your manual for Breville’s recommended descaling frequency and process. Never mix chemical descaling agents.
Step-by-Step Descaling Process
Descaling your Breville machine involves a few simple steps. Be sure to follow the instructions for your specific model found in the user manual. The general process is:
- Prepare the coffee maker
- Remove key parts like the water filter, portafilter, carafe, drip tray, etc. Refer to manual.
- Drain any water from the reservoir and internal tanks.
- Fill reservoir with descaler
- For liquid descalers, mix with water per package directions.
- For citric acid, use 1 tbsp per 16 oz water.
- For vinegar, use equal parts vinegar and water.
- Run descaling cycle
- Initiate the descaling mode listed in your manual, often by pressing “Clean” or “Descale”.
- Allow solution to circulate for full duration, usually 30+ minutes.
- Rinse thoroughly
- Drain descaling solution completely.
- Refill reservoir with fresh water.
- Run 2-3 cycles with only water to rinse.
- Flush the system
- Brew 2-3 full batches of plain water through the machine.
- Discard the output water – don’t drink it.
- Clean and reassemble
- Wipe down exterior with a damp cloth.
- Rinse and replace any parts removed earlier.
Tips for the process:
- Lay down towels in case of drips or splashes.
- Wear gloves when handling descaling solutions.
- Follow all steps carefully to fully rinse the machine.
- Never interrupt or pause the descaling cycle.
- Prep a large sink or container to catch used liquid.
- Expect hissing sounds as the solution dissolves deposits.
Be sure to descale regularly every 3-6 months for optimal performance. Always use solutions formulated for coffee equipment.
Alternative Descaling Solutions
While Breville recommends their proprietary descaling solutions, there are some effective homemade alternatives:
- White distilled vinegar works well due to the acetic acid.
- Use a 50/50 ratio of vinegar to water.
- Rinse thoroughly after descaling to avoid any vinegar taste.
- Avoid malt vinegar, apple cider vinegar, etc. – the flavor can linger.
- Sold as a powder or crystallized citric acid.
- Mix 1 tablespoon per 16 oz of water.
- Provides natural descaling without odors.
- Can be found online or sometimes in stores near canning supplies.
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice contains citric acid.
- Use a 1:2 ratio of lemon juice to water.
- May require several lemons for a full reservoir.
- Rinse machine well after to avoid lemon flavor.
Other Acid Solutions
- Phosphoric acid found in some rust removers. Use extreme caution and dilute very well.
- Acetic acid is sold as a concentrated descaling solution. Follow dilution instructions carefully.
When using any homemade descaling solution:
- Wear gloves and eye protection for safety.
- Rinse machine thoroughly with plain water after descaling.
- Run 2-3 cycles of fresh water through the machine.
- Discard the first few batches of coffee to remove any taste.
Vinegar, citric acid, and lemon juice offer affordable and effective options compared to commercial descalers. Always follow descaling steps carefully and rinse fully afterward.
Tips for Ongoing Maintenance
- Descale every 3-6 months with vinegar, citric acid or a commercial descaler to prevent mineral buildup.
- Refer to descaling instructions in your model’s owner’s manual.
- Schedule descaling on your calendar to remember.
- Wipe down the exterior, drip tray, and other surfaces regularly with a damp cloth.
- Clean portafilter, filter baskets, and group head weekly with cafiza or espresso cleaning powder.
- Rinse steam wand after each use to prevent milk buildup. Wipe with a damp cloth.
- Empty drip tray often to prevent overflow.
- Backflush the group head monthly to clean inside. Use cleaning tablets.
- Use filtered water to help reduce scale-causing minerals.
- Change the filter cartridge every 1-2 months per manufacturer recommendations.
- Replace parts like gaskets, O-rings, and seals periodically as suggested in manual.
- Inspect parts while cleaning and replace if cracked or worn.
- Schedule periodic maintenance checks with a technician to keep machine in optimal condition.
- Technician can inspect internal components and perform tune-ups.
- If storing for prolonged periods, run a descaling cycle first.
- Empty all water from reservoir, lines, and boiler tank before storage to prevent stagnation.
- Refer to owner’s manual for model-specific procedures.
- Manual provides recommended maintenance schedule.
Proper maintenance helps ensure consistent performance and premium espresso for the life of your Breville coffee maker. Descale, clean, and replace parts regularly.
Descaling your Breville coffee maker is an essential maintenance task that should be performed every 3-6 months. Allowing mineral deposits and limescale to build up can negatively impact your machine’s performance and longevity.
By following the step-by-step descaling process outlined in this guide, you can effectively remove calcium and scale buildup and restore your coffee maker to optimal brewing conditions. Be sure to rinse thoroughly after descaling to flush out any residue.
Some key takeaways:
- Descaling improves coffee flavor by removing mineral taste and optimizing water temperature.
- It enhances brewing efficiency by clearing blockages in components like the heating element.
- Preventative descaling helps avoid expensive repairs and extends the lifespan of the machine.
- Use vinegar, citric acid or commercial descaling solutions. Follow directions carefully.
- Rinse several times with plain water after descaling.
Q1: What is descaling and why is it important for a Breville coffee maker?
Descaling is the process of removing mineral deposits like calcium and limescale from the internal components of a coffee maker. Over time, these mineral deposits can build up in areas like the water reservoir, heating system, and tubes. Descaling helps remove these deposits to improve brewing efficiency, coffee flavor, and the lifespan of your Breville coffee maker.
Q2: How often should I descale my Breville coffee maker?
Breville generally recommends descaling every 3-6 months. The frequency depends on your water hardness and how often you use the coffee maker. If you notice mineral buildup, altered coffee taste, or slow brewing, it’s a sign it’s time to descale.
Q3: What do I need to descale a Breville coffee maker?
- Descaler solution or white vinegar
- Large container to collect used liquid
- Old towels
- Breville coffee maker manual
Q4: Is white vinegar safe to use to descale a Breville coffee maker?
Yes, white vinegar is a safe and effective natural descaler for Breville coffee makers. Use a 50/50 ratio of vinegar to water. Rinse thoroughly after descaling to remove any vinegar taste.
Q5: What is the descaling process for a Breville coffee maker?
- Remove parts like the filter basket
- Fill reservoir with descaler and water
- Initiate descale cycle per manual instructions
- Rinse thoroughly with fresh water when complete
- Run 2-3 cycles of plain water to flush
- Wipe down exterior and replace parts
Q6: How can I prevent scale buildup in my Breville coffee maker?
Use filtered water, descale regularly every 3-6 months, rinse after steaming, and empty the drip tray often. Replace the water filter as recommended.
Q7: Where can I find descaling instructions for my specific Breville model?
Check the owner’s manual or user guide that came with your Breville coffee maker for model-specific descaling instructions. You can also search online for your manual if needed.
Q8: Can descaling damage my Breville coffee maker?
When done properly using recommended solutions, descaling will not damage the machine. Avoid interruptions once the descale cycle is started. Always rinse thoroughly with plain water afterward.
Simon is a coffee enthusiast who has spent years exploring the world of coffee. He has a deep passion for the art of brewing and enjoys experimenting with different brewing methods to create the perfect cup of coffee. His love for coffee has led him to become an expert in the field, and he is known for his meticulous attention to detail when it comes to selecting and brewing the perfect cup. Simon is also an avid traveler who loves incorporating new flavors and techniques into his brewing.