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How to Descale a Breville Coffee Machine: Banish Pesky Limescale with These Simple Tips

How to descale a Breville coffee machine - featured. A bottle of descaling solution and a coffee machine water tank with scale deposits

Love your coffee? Then you’ll want to make sure your Breville Espresso coffee maker is kept clean and free of limescale. Here’s how

If you’re a coffee addict, you’ll probably rate your Breville Espresso coffee maker as one of your most important purchases. But there’s no point having a machine for making your perfect cup of joe if you don’t take care of it.

We all want coffee that’s full of flavor and aroma, but if you neglect to maintain and care for your Breville machine, you could end up with a coffee that tastes chalky, bitter or insipid.

To avoid the above, in this guide we deliver advice on the essential process of descaling your Breville coffee maker, as well as offering tips on general cleaning to keep your machine working flawlessly. Read on for guaranteed great-tasting coffee, no matter the length of time you’ve had your Breville machine.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

How to tell when it’s time to descale and clean your Breville coffee machine?

While all Breville Espresso machines come with pre-programmed cleaning cycles and accessories to help keep them spotless, there are some key signs to look for that indicate your coffee machine probably needs a clean.

First, you may start to notice a change in the flavor of your coffee. If your drink tastes bitter, insipid or has bits floating in it, then this is likely down to limescale and debris starting to build up, which is impacting the taste of your drink.

In addition, is your coffee looking cloudy and/or are there white particles and film inside the coffee maker? These are usually down to mineral deposits in the water, in particular limescale. If you live in a hard water area these will be more noticeable and, left unchecked, the buildup of deposits may prevent your machine from working efficiently, or at all. Plus, your coffee won’t taste great either.

The best solution here is to use filtered water to make your coffee; a filter water jug will remove any deposits from the water. However, do also note that cloudy coffee can be a sign that you’re grinding your coffee beans too finely, allowing some to pass through the filter and into your drink.

Why is descaling so important?

As we explained above, limescale and mineral deposits can prevent your Breville from working its best. Limescale buildup obstructs the water flow through the machine, which can cause blockages in the internal valves and tubing. Such deposits can also accumulate in the boiler and water pathways, which then reduce the water pressure and lead to malfunctions in the brewing cycle.

Limescale will also have a detrimental effect on the lifespan of your Breville, with the deposits causing wear and tear. In addition, you also run the risk of bacteria building up within the limescale, which, of course, could lead to illness and health concerns.

Lastly, since limescale can impede the heat transfer in your machine, optimum brewing temperatures might not be reached and you could end up with under-extracted or bitter-tasting coffee. As such, regular descaling is so important to keep your coffee tasting great.

How to descale your Breville Espresso coffee maker

Descaling your Breville is a relatively simple affair. Check out our step-by-step guide on running through the process quickly and easily:

  • Step 1: Turn off your Breville and make sure it’s unplugged and cool.
  • Step 2: Empty the water tank and rinse thoroughly. Now refill with Breville’s recommended descaling solution and distilled/filtered water (as instructed on the packet). Alternatively, you can use a 50/50 mix of white vinegar and distilled/filtered water.
  • Step 3: Replace the water tank and turn on the espresso machine. Now initiate the descaling cycle as instructed for your particular model of Breville coffee machine. This usually involves activating a descaling mode, which will circulate your solution through the internal components of the machine.
  • Step 4: Once the descaling cycle is complete, flush the system thoroughly to remove residual solution and limescale deposits that have become loose. You’ll need to repeat this flush several times to ensure the system is completely clear.
  • Step 5: Don’t forget to clean all the removable parts of your Breville coffee machine in hot, soapy water. These include items such as the portafilter, drip tray, filter baskets and frothers. Rinse clean before replacing.
  • Step 6: Once all parts have been correctly replaced, run a brewing cycle with just fresh filtered water to check that the machine is completely clear of limescale and descaling solution.
  • Step 7: If relevant to your Breville model, don’t forget to reset the descaling/maintenance indicator according to the instructions.

Daily cleaning

As well as a deep clean, it’s important to run some daily maintenance. After each brew, let your Breville cool down completely and then empty out the coffee grounds, filter baskets and drip trays. Wash all the removable parts – not forgetting the milk jug – and make sure you steam clean the milk frother with the automatic hot water purge. Wipe down the exterior of the machine with a damp cloth to remove any coffee splatter.

How to descale a Breville coffee machine. Cup on the drip tray of a coffee machine with lots of splash stains

Do also remember to clean the coffee bean holder (if your machine has one); this isn’t a daily task, but you should empty it out and clean at least once every few weeks. And don’t forget to schedule in regular group-head cleaning and backflushing to prevent coffee oils accumulating and ruining the taste of your coffee.

Maintaining your Breville

As well as following a regular descaling regime, it’s worth taking the time to maintain your Breville correctly. A Breville is an investment, so if you look after it properly, it should reward you with a long lifespan.

  • Water – If you live in a hard water area, you’re probably already trained on the benefits of using filtered or softened water to help minimize mineral deposits and limescale buildup. However, limescale buildup is still an issue in soft water areas. So, we recommend that you always use filtered, softened or distilled water in your coffee machine to keep it running smoothly. And, as a bonus, it means you won’t need to descale your appliance as often.
  • Read the instructions – We know some people aren’t fans of reading instructions, but in the case of maintenance of your Breville, it’s well worth getting familiar with its requirements. Knowing how to look after your machine properly will lengthen its lifespan and keep it running smoothly.
  • Servicing – Follow the recommended servicing schedule and have your machine checked over by the professionals. You’ve invested in this machine, so it makes sense to look after it thoroughly.
  • Environment – Place your Breville in a clean and dry environment, keeping it away from excess heat, moisture and direct sunlight. You also want to make sure it sits on a flat, even surface to ensure smooth running, with no strain being placed on particular parts.

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