Last Updated: 25-06-2020

10 Best Coffee Descalers 2020

If you own a coffee machine, when was the last time you cleaned it?

Be honest, even if the answer is ‘never’!

Unfortunately, a machine which has not been properly cleaned regularly can suffer from blockages, leaks and even completely stop working one day. Not to mention the fact that if it is insured or under warranty, this often won’t be valid if you have been shown to not have continued the upkeep.

Want to know how to descale? Follow our step-by-step guide

So, getting a descaler to give it an internal clean is recommended. The right one for you could depend on your brand of machine, type of machine and how it works. The degree of cleaning needed will depend on this too.

Below is a selection of the best coffee machine descalers, from the biggest brands to suit any machine or need.

Our Top Picks

Image Product Details
De’Longhi Descaler Ecodecalk DLSC500
  • Contents: 500ml
  • Type: Liquid
  • Machine Type: All
Check Price
Lavazza Descaler
  • Contents: 250ml
  • Type: Liquid
  • Machine Type: Pod
Check Price
Sage The Descaler
  • Contents: 4 x 25g
  • Type: Powder
  • Machine Type: Any
Check Price

The Best Coffee Machine Descaling Aids

1.
De’Longhi Descaler Ecodecalk DLSC500

Specifications

  • Contents: 500ml
  • Type: Liquid
  • Machine Type: All

One of the biggest manufacturers of coffee machines in the world and this descaler can deal with the two most popular types of machine, too.

It is powerful to act against lime deposits in machines and dissolves calcium deposits up to three times more efficiently and faster than conventional decalcifiers, making it ideal for coffee machines.

The 500ml contents can completely clear a machine up to five times, so it is brilliant value and you will never run out before you have realised you need another bottle. Each measurement is measured out on the label so as long as you pour slow, you won’t use too little or too much.

Depending on the hardness of your water and your machine, one bottle should, therefore, last for around 6-12 months. It is much more cost-effective than the single-use sachets which De’Longhi offer and is a stronger solution than any of the non-branded options around.

It is suitable for all coffee machines but in particular the actual De’Longhi espresso and pod machines. The only downside is the lack of instructions on the actual bottle etc, but they have provided plenty of YouTube videos to guide you.

Reasons to Buy

  • Many uses
  • Top coffee machine brand

Reasons to Avoid

  • No instructions on packaging

2.
Lavazza Descaler

Specifications

  • Contents: 250ml
  • Type: Liquid
  • Machine Type: Pod

A descaler for the Lavazza A Modo Mia coffee machines, this is a single-use bottle which will fully remove any limescale deposits until the next time it is required.

Just tip the whole bottle into the water and follow instructions, and after a few flushes out, you should have a fully working machine again. Pod machines need a very specific water pressure to enable coffee to be forced out of the pod, so it is something which needs doing regularly.

Follow the instructions for your specific machine. While it is a bit pricey for a one-use bottle, it is a solution dedicated to pod machines so is the best stuff around.

Reasons to Buy

  • Top brand
  • Gets to work quickly

Reasons to Avoid

  • Price vs other brands

3.
Sage The Descaler

Specifications

  • Contents: 4 x 25g
  • Type: Powder
  • Machine Type: Any

Sage makes some of the best top-end coffee machines on the market, and if you invest in one of their models, you are going to want to make sure you keep on top of cleaning and that it lasts for its entire possible lifetime.

It will remove even the hardest limescale from their espresso and bean to cup machines, as well as their kettles. After it has been used, it will be like the machine is brand new again, and you will wonder how you ever coped with the slightly struggling water force.

You can also use it on other branded espresso machines, in case you want the absolute best for the one in the office. Other reviewers have commented that they only had to rinse the machine out once for there to be no taste and cleaning residue left over, which is a vast improvement on the usual three or four times which are required for poorer descalers.

It is a bit pricey in comparison to some other brands, but you’re paying for effectiveness, ease and power.

Reasons to Buy

  • Incredibly powerful
  • No aftertaste

Reasons to Avoid

  • Price

4.
Oust Powerful All Purpose Descaler

Specifications

  • Contents: 3 Sachets
  • Type: Powder
  • Machine Type: Any

It is a brand known for its descalers, making products for dishwashers, kettles and irons.

So, when it comes to coffee machines, it is a safe pair of hands. It will work for all household machines and products, so buying a packet of three sachets will ensure everything in your home which touches water can be sparkling new.

It can work in just ten minutes, removing 100% of limescale. If used every three months, your products will always work as new. We think it would be best for pod machines and smaller filter machines, as it may not be powerful and dedicated enough to work on larger espresso or bean to cup models.

You could also use it on a gooseneck kettle if you have a pour-over method of coffee making.

Reasons to Buy

  • Multi-purpose
  • Three sachets

Reasons to Avoid

  • May not be strong enough for high-end machines

5.
Urnex Cafiza 2 Espresso Machine Cleaner

Specifications

  • Contents: 900ml
  • Type: Liquid
  • Machine Type: Espresso

Perfect if you have a professional-standard coffee machine, this cleaner is able to eliminate residue in heads, valves and lines, ensuring a really thorough service.

Whereas other cleaners may just go through the main parts of the system, this offers a full flush, prolonging the life of the machine. It is great if you have not been cleaning the machine as often as you should have been.

Because it is a professional standard cleaner, it is brilliant for commercial environments where you may not have much spare time to clean the machine through, but where the machine gets used hundreds of times per day.

Even better – there are 300 uses per bottle!

Reasons to Buy

  • Professional grade
  • Gets right through all internal parts of machine
  • Only has to be left for 5-10 mins

Reasons to Avoid

  • Best for those who constantly need to descale due to large bottle

6.
HG Descaler

Specifications

  • Contents: 500ml
  • Type: Liquid
  • Machine Type: Espresso, Pod

This descaler is based on citric acid, so if you’ve heard that vinegar can do the job, you will be pleased to know that this is even stronger and doesn’t leave the smell around.

Not only will there be no smell, but it will get your machine working faster and smoother if you have been noticing a bit of a lag. 

Within the bottle is enough liquid for around six doses, which should give you around a year and a half worth of treatments. For ordinary machines and kettles, there is another HG Quick Descaler available.

It comes at a great price too, working out at an average of just £1 per use.

Reasons to Buy

  • Based on citric acid for quick results
  • Odourless

Reasons to Avoid

  • Can struggle with top-end machines

7.
Ecozone Coffee Machine Cleaner

Specifications

  • Contents: 500ml
  • Type: Liquid
  • Machine Type: All

Perfect for all machine types if you’re going to be regularly descaling the machine, this is an odourless and taste-free formula which gives the user five uses.

Available to buy as a single bottle or in bulk, it is great for home-use machines which get regular daily use. It is best left overnight, which could be annoying, but your machine will be ready for the next morning.

It is cruelty-free approved, sustainable without the use of harsh chemicals and toxins, and Allergy UK approved as well. Because it can cater to multiple appliances, it will also allow you to do an emergency descale of your iron or kettle if needed.

Reasons to Buy

  • Multi-use on appliances
  • Can be left overnight which makes things easier

Reasons to Avoid

  • Overnight use could also make it trickier for some

8.
Urnex CleanCup Keurig K-Cup Coffee Maker Descaler Liquid Concentrate

Specifications

  • Contents: 420ml
  • Type: Liquid
  • Machine Type: Single-Cup Brewers, Automatic Drip Machines

This cleaner is highly acidic, fighting through the toughest of build-ups.

It not only tackle these, but it can help to prevent future build-ups too, helping to maintain water pressure and consistent temperatures.

The cleaner is odourless, and it is suitable to treat all Keurig machines. It will also cope with most non-Keurig machines, of the single-cup brewers and automatic drip machines variety.

Every 420ml bottle will be able to deliver around 3 full cleans, so while it may be a little pricey, your machine will be clean for well up to a year.

Reasons to Buy

  • Strong mix
  • Perfect for commercial machines

Reasons to Avoid

  • Expensive

9.
AEG ECF5 Universal Descaler

Specifications

  • Contents: 500ml
  • Type: Liquid
  • Machine Type: Any

Just use 25% of the mix per litre of water, and this descaler will be able to clean your machine right through.

Because it is universal, it will be able to clean pretty much any machine. Great for pod machines, in particular, it is also suitable for kettles and irons and other household appliances, so would be good if you have a few items to tackle.

It is strong, and you have to flush it through a few times to ensure there is no taste behind but is good value for the brand.

Reasons to Buy

  • Good for any appliances
  • Environmentally friendly

Reasons to Avoid

  • No instructions with it

10.
WoldoClean Descaler for Coffee Machine and Kettle

Specifications

  • Contents: 750ml
  • Type: Liquid
  • Machine Type: All

One of the best big bottles, suitable for high-grade coffee machines and kettles.

It contains a special corrosion guard, so won’t only clear current calcium build-ups but will also protect against eventual wear of the unit and internal pipes. A measuring indicator is easy to follow on how much to use.

You can use the descaler up to six times overall. If it passes through the system and is still red, it can be reused, but if it is orange then all of the descaler power has been used up.

Just pour 125ml descaling liquid and 250ml water into the water tank, and let it run through. Repeat until there is no residue left. It has been designed to be gentle, so can be used in all variation of machine.

Reasons to Buy

  • Can be used multiple times
  • All purpose

Reasons to Avoid

  • Not the strongest

Coffee Machine Descaler Buying Guide

Choosing The Best Coffee Machine Descaler

The best machine descaler will depend on your type of machine, brand and how often you need to use it.

As a first step, refer to your user manual. This will let you know what ingredients you have to avoid if any, and whether descaler is even needed – some will recommend a simple vinegar solution. Others may say that you have to be very particular and buy a descaler which has been made for that machine, or that any industrial cleaner will do.

Also, pay attention to the type of cleaner they recommend. Some will need a liquid, and others will require tablets or powder in the water tank.

FAQs

What is limescale caused by?

Limescale, which descaling your coffee machine removes, is caused by hard water. As small bits of these catch on your pipes and internal machine parts over time, it builds up, eventually leading to some of the issues below.

We have talked about the importance of water in the taste and quality of your water here.

While limescale is needed in small doses, it should be kept to a minimum as to not affect your machine, or at least removed regularly.

What are some issues caused by scaling?

A build-up of scale in your coffee machine can cause:

  • Leaking water when pouring
  • Excessive dripping from the spout 
  • Reduced water flow and pressure
  • Complete blockage 
  • Failure to heat water
  • Unusual noises

All of these will result in a poor cup of coffee, and a machine which could eventually completely stop working.

What else do I need?

It would be a good idea to also invest in some decent hard water testing strips as well as a water jug which will filter your water before use.

Also, take note of the cleaning guide for your machine. It could be worth emptying out the water after every use or running it through without any coffee inside on a weekly basis.

Share

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email
Scroll to Top