How to clean a coffee machine with cleaning tablets?

Mostly, maintenance of a coffee maker consists in occasional rinsing of its piping and other components, which directly contact coffee powder, oils, and are exposed to limescale. The latter has poor heat conductivity. If blocks steaming and causes metal to overheat. If that is the case, the device is more likely to break down. Finally, insoluble salts and coffee oils create a kind of sediment, which affects the brew’s quality. Coffee begins to taste bad and bitter. Some models, for example, those manufactured by MeliTTa and Krups, feature automatic diagnostic systems, which signal when it is time for a cleanup.

That how often you have to clean your coffee maker depends on the hardness of water. The harder it is, the more frequently you have to descale it. Roughly, lime deposit builds up after 1-2 months. It is recommended to clean a coffee machine after every 200 portions.

Here are the most common issues:

  • Coffee won’t run from the faucet due to a clog;
  • If there is a strange noise when you pour yourself a cup of coffee, the net or filter are clogged;
  • Water has changed color: the diffuser needs to be cleaned;
  • The milk frother produces hot milk instead of crema;
  • Lime builds up on the inside walls when hard water is used. It can seriously affect the heater; Finally, it is very unhealthy;
  • Coffee grounds and oils block filters and pipes;
  • Milk deposit is a breeding ground for unhealthy bacteria;
  • The ‘dеsсаlе’ word appearing on the display signals that the device is heavily contaminated.

Most problems are caused by:

  • Limescale blocking the tubing;
  • Water not flowing;
  • Connection elements collapsing.

Warranty does not cover problems resulting from improper maintenance and/or failure to clean and/or descale a device.

What’s the difference between descaling and cleaning?

There are two types of tablets available for sale:

Type 1:

These tablets are intended for removing limescale from inner parts of a coffee machine and are known as:

  • Descaling tablets;
  • Cleaning tablets;
  • Decalcifying tablets.


Pour some warm water in the water chamber, put a tablet in it and stir it until it dissolves completely. Run the coffee machine using the brewing mode. Do so at least three times. Then do the same thing twice without using a tablet or coffee grounds to remove the remains of contamination and the tablets.


Maleic acid: a water softener.

Sulfamic acid: it cleans and dissolves calcific buildup and removes milk deposit. This acid is a unique disinfectant, and it does not affect metal.

Sodium bicarbonate is a good cleaner and water softener, and it removes foul smell.

Benzotriazole prevents corrosion.

Type 2

These tablets are used to remove ether oils from the tubing and chambers. They are used for particular purposes, such as:

  • Removing oils from the tubing and chambers;
  • Removing coffee oils;
  • General cleaning of the tubing and chambers.

Their chemical composition is very different from those of descaling and decalcifying tablets. They contain the following chemicals:

Tripolyphosphate breaks up and removes fats.

Sodium carbonate peroxide kills bacteria.

Sodium citrate removes calcific deposits; sodium adipate removes limescale.

Sodium carbonate boasts abrasive properties.

Lauryl sulphate captures dirt particles very well and is washed away easily.

Polymers are good disinfectants.

Magnesium stearate is an auxiliary agent, which is mostly used as a stabilizer and defoamer.


Put a tablet in the coffee grounds chamber (for modern models). Fully disassemblable coffee makers do not require any special cleansers: a bit of liquid soap and brush will do. Launch the ground coffee brew mode. Set maximal time and amount level. Wait until the process is over. At the end, water should resemble white foam. Repeat the procedure using clean coffee-free water.

Choosing it

Using tablets that are original for particular models is the best choice, because they have been tested on them. Also, Top House and Swirl are highly recommended brands of tablets. Feedbacks testify to their effectiveness and affordability compared to original brands.

Where do I get these tablets? Well, they are widely available at supermarkets. Also, you can contact your local dealer or coffee machine maintenance service and order a pack. Finally, manufacturers seek to provide coffee machine cleaners via distributors.