Descale the coffee maker with citric acid - is that possible?

Hard water in the home can be a real scourge. Kettle and coffee maker are constantly calcified and must be descaled continuously. Whether you can also use citric acid for decalcifying the coffee machine, and what you should pay attention to, read this post.

Descale coffee machines

Regular descaling of the coffee maker is absolutely necessary - even if the water hardness in the household is not so high. By heating tap water, a large part of the lime dissolved in the water separates together with other hardeners and deposits inside the coffee machine.

This leads to adverse consequences:

  • changes in taste
  • longer heating times
  • Long-term damage to the device to the point of complete destruction by the lime
  • Corrosion of the device, thereby even an electric shock can be offset or fire triggered


For coffee machines and other devices that heat water, there are commercially known as Heißentkalker. These are the tools of choice since they are tailored to the devices for which they are intended.

Of course you can also use home remedies for descaling - like vinegar essence or citric acid. But there is a certain risk.

Effect of citric acid when heated

Citric acid combines on heating with the existing lime to form a completely insoluble calcium citrate complex. This creates deposits that can no longer be dissolved with any chemical agent. The coffee machine is then completely destroyed and unusable in most cases - an exchange of calcium-citrate complex-coated parts is often uneconomical and not worthwhile.

Tips & Tricks

Citric acid is a popular descaling agent because, unlike vinegar, it does not cause any unpleasant odors in the equipment. However, citric acid should only be used cold at all costs and should never be heated.

Video Board: Clean Your Espresso Machine with Citric Acid