There are certain items everyone uses on a daily basis. Whether it’s your headphones, electric toothbrush or pairs of underwear, certain products serve a critical purpose in our lives, and because of that, need to be cleaned more regularly than others. They get dirtier faster, and them being clean is more important due to how frequently they’re used. This is true of most hygiene products, certain items of clothing and kitchen gadgets that produce essential sustenance for day-to-day life. Your coffee maker, obviously, falls into this category.
Not only is a coffee maker a heavily used device in most households, it’s also super susceptible to material build-up due to the water cycling through it every day. It’s also notoriously difficult to clean a coffee pot. The wrist contortions involved in getting a sponge into every nook and cranny of a curvaceous coffee pot? Forget it. Use a descaler instead.
What is a Coffee Descaler?
A coffee descaler is a cleaning mixture that helps break down material build-up in your coffee maker, cleaning it more effectively than you typically can with a soapy brush.
Desclaing your coffee pot and coffee maker is especially important if you live in an area with hard water tap water, basically tap water with higher concentrations of calcium, magnesium and limestone in it. These minerals aren’t dangerous, but can accumulate over time in your coffee pot, dishwasher, sink and shower head. Descaling breaks down and removes this material build-up and enables your machines to run smoother.
How to Use a Coffee Pot Descaler
- Empty out your coffee maker, and make sure all of the grounds are cleaned out of the chamber before starting the cleaning process.
- Mix your cleaning solution — whether that involves dissolving a powder, grabbing a pod or mixing together white vinegar and water.
- Pour the mixture into your coffee maker’s chamber, filling it all the way to the top.
- Start a brew cycle, let it get halfway through and then pause and let it sit. Resting time varies, but if you never clean your coffee maker you should leave it for an hour, if you regularly clean it, maybe less.
- After the rest period, turn the brew cycle back on and let it run its course.
- Pour out the coffee pot, rinse it and run the whole machine through 1-2 water cycles to get rid of any lingering taste or smell from the cleaning solution.
Best Coffee Pot Descalers
Impresa Products Coffee Machine Descaler
This coffee pot descaler from Impresa is compatible with all single-use coffee and espresso machines. It’s formulated to improve the taste of your coffee, preserve your machine and eliminate hard water mineral deposits. It’s a liquid solution you pour directly into the coffee machine along with water. It’s made safe for you and for the environment, and can extend your machine’s lifespan through eliminating corrosion.
Essential Values Universal Descaling Solution
This non-toxic, multipurpose solution is formulated to remove limescale and mineral deposits from inside your coffee maker. It deeply penetrates oil and can also work to decalcify other kitchen appliances. It’s compatible with a wide range of coffee machines, including Keurigs, Nespresso, Cuisinart, Ninja coffee machines and more. This solution is made to extend the life of your coffee maker, improve the flavor of coffee and clean without leaving a vinegar taste behind. They recommend using their liquid solution every 1-3 months or whenever your coffee comes out cold or is brewed slower than normal.
OXO BREW Descaling Solution
This descaling solution from OXO is an all-natural solution formulated to break down grime build-up without the smell of vinegar. It’s phosphate-free, non-toxic, biodegradable, odorless and made to not leave behind a residue after you use it. It’s compatible with all home coffee makers as well as things like kettles, water heaters, humidifiers, sinks and shower heads.
Keurig Descaling Solution
This descaling solution is specifically designed for use with Keurig machine, and is formulated to extend the life of your brewer. The solution is made with vinegar that’s super effective at removing calcium deposits that can build up. It’s a liquid solution you pour directly into the machine, and is made to be used every 3-6 months. It’s compatible with all Keurig K-Cup, Keurig 2.0, Rivo and Vue brewing machines.
Read More: How to Clean Your Keurig Coffee Machine the Right Way
Affresh Coffee Maker Cleaner
These coffee maker cleaner tablets from Affresh are made with powerful cleansing ingredients and without vinegar, so you won’t have a sour smell or taste left behind after the cleaning cycle. They’re made to dissolve in water in the back of your coffee maker and cycle through the machine, breaking up hard water residue and other mineral grime along the way. They’re DFE-certified by the EPA and are compatible with multi-cup and single-serve coffee makers alike.
Urnex K-Cup Descaling Liquid
This company makes both household and commercial coffee maker descaling solutions, and has a bunch of options based on the type of coffee maker you own. Their K-Cup descaler is designed for use with Keurig K-Cup coffee machines, and is made without vinegar to avoid the smell. You get three uses out of every bottle and the brand recommends quarterly use for best results.
Read More: The 9 Best Keurig Coffee Makers for Your Home & Office
Urnex Universal Cleaner & Descaling Solution
This is Urnex’s universal descaling solution for all Keurig, Nespresso, Nreville, Jura and Delonghi machines. It’s more effective at removing limescale than vinegar, works faster and won’t leave behind an odor. It’s made from natural ingredients and is 100% biodegradable. It comes in a pack with two bottles, each of which has two uses inside.
Urnex Dezcal Coffee and Espresso Cleaner
This is their general use descaling solution that can be used on a whole bunch of coffee makers as well as items like kettles, garment steamers, domestic irons and more. It’s formulated to remove limescale without a vinegar smell and works fast. It works with single serve coffee makers, drip coffee makers, super automatic coffee makers and traditional espresso machines.
Halefresh Descaling Solution
This descaling solution comes in a larger bottle with eight uses, and only needs to be mixed with water to work. It’s made in the USA, and is a universal formula that can work on all coffee machines including Keurigs, Ninja, Nespresso and more. They recommend using their solution every 6-8 weeks, depending on the mineral/calcium content in your water.
Bar Keepers Friend Coffee Maker Cleaner
This coffee maker cleaner is made to remove oil and tannins from hard-to-reach-and-clean inside your java maker, where grime can easily accumulate. Oily residue can affect the taste of coffee over time, so it’s best to regularly clean with a solution like this one that can also extend the life of your coffee maker by allowing the internal components to run more smoothly. This one is safe to use on automatic drip coffee makers, espresso machines, single cup coffee makers and even travel mugs and thermoses.
Natural & Clean Eco Friendly Descaler Solution
This descaler for coffee pots is made with eco-friendly ingredients that won’t leave behind a dingy or bitter taste, and will also help improve the function of your coffee maker and the taste of your coffee. It’s made to flush out limescale and other mineral deposits, and has a proprietary formula that works on all single-use, drip coffee and espresso makers. The bottles come in 2-packs with two concentrated uses per bottle.