Descaling. It’s a peculiar sounding word, to say the least. Yet, if you are among the 27% of daily coffee drinkers in the U.S. who brew their cups of joe one at a time, descaling is a word you need to know and understand. The good news is that it’s not nearly as scary as it sounds. It’s good for you in fact as descaling is the process used to keep your single-serve coffee machine squeaky clean.
Why and when to descale
Just as you wouldn’t cook in a dirty pot, or eat from a soiled spoon, you shouldn’t drink coffee made from a machine that’s less than clean. And since submerging your machine in a sink full of hot, soapy water isn’t an option, we descale it instead to get rid of dirt and deposits that can build up over time.
While there are some tried and true methods of descaling, it’s always best to consult the directions that came with your machine when you purchased it. If, like so many of us, you were so anxious to get your coffee maker out of the box and brewing that you have no idea what you did with the directions, don’t despair. Most manufacturers now post them online.
The most common method of descaling calls for using white vinegar and water solution. Simply brew up a few cups of vinegar water (sans the coffee pod) and then rinse repeatedly with water. That means, rinse, rinse, and rinse again to get rid of any lingering vinegar taste. Most machine manufacturers recommend descaling every three-to-six months.
What to do when vinegar won’t work
There are some single-serve machines, usually the commercial kind, that cannot be descaled with vinegar. That’s due to the type and location of the machine’s water reservoir. If yours is one of those, you will want to consult your machine’s directions for an alternative. There are several solutions, some all-natural, on the market that will work.
Daily cleaning tips
While you only need to deep clean your machine a few times each year, the National Coffee Association of America suggests the following tips for ongoing maintenance:
- Use a coffee pod only once
- Use filtered water when brewing to reduce hard water deposits
- Empty and refill the water reservoir daily
- Let your machine “air out” by leaving the lid off
- Replace the filter according to the manufacturer’s recommendations
- Wipe down the outside of your machine, as well as the surface it sits on to prevent dust from settling inside
All that’s left now is to brew up your favorites and enjoy. For information on the single-serve varieties and flavors that are part of the Grande Kaffe Collection, click here. You can now order online and we’ll deliver the next day – direct to your door. A singular sensation, indeed.