One of the most important aspects when deciding to buy a professional coffee machine is taking care of its maintenance.
Whether it’s a lever machine, automatic or super automatic, what is at tremendous risk of ruining the coffee machine is limescale deposits.
Why does limescale damage the coffee machine?
Limescale builds up over a long period of time and is an absolutely natural phenomenon, so proper maintenance is mandatory and does not depend on the correct use of the coffee machine.
Minerals are naturally present in water, which define and determine the so-called water hardness. When heated, these substances are deposited in the dense network of pipes and tubes inside the coffee machine.
Where does limescale build up?
Limescale particles are also present in bottled water, not just from the tap.
Unfortunately, it is not only water that comes out of our taps, but also other substances that are not only dangerous for our bodies, but also for the appliances we use on a daily basis.
These limescale deposits make the coffee machine less efficient, slower in some processes and often noisier. They also worsen the preparation of what should be a good coffee, affecting the quality of the flavour and its organoleptic properties.
It is certainly true that using bottled water rather than tap water reduces the impact of the deposit, but it must also be said that there is no such thing as water that is totally free of these substances. So, sooner or later, you need to have a descaling session, whatever coffee machine you have at home.
This is why it is essential to know how to descale your coffee machine.
How to descale your coffee machine varies depending on the model of machine
Usually automatic and super automatic models have procedures for descaling systems that can reduce the frequency of interventions, but this does not change the fact that they are still necessary, and also these systems are clearly more prone to problems or malfunctions, being more complex and fully automated.
When and how to descale the coffee machine varies from model to model, and it is not possible to give a standard measure for all: it tends to take into account the number of coffees made.
It is therefore very important to intervene and decalcify the machine, and there are many ways of doing this, which are effective in different ways and, above all, have different impacts on pollution. In addition to traditional methods that contain chemicals, there are many natural alternatives, which are clearly preferable in terms of their impact on the environment.
Descaler tablets contain various acidic substances, which are able to dissolve limescale inside the machine without damaging it. These substances must be handled with great care as they are very corrosive and toxic to humans. They also have a very heavy impact on the environment; they are not allowed to be thrown away in normal household waste, but must be disposed of in landfills.
Among chemical descaling agents there are different levels of aggressiveness, so there are some that are more suitable for periodic cleaning, while others are more suitable for sporadic policing, as they are very strong and full of acidic substances. If used repeatedly, they can potentially ruin the coffee machine.
To remove limescale, however, there are also natural methods, which are very effective and clearly less burdensome for the environment, and which exploit the naturally existing acid substances and extract them to achieve the same effects as chemical products.
Vinegar and citric acid are the best allies in this battle; they are natural methods that do not pollute much, in the case of citric acid almost not at all.
For example, solutions of vinegar and bicarbonate of soda can be prepared. They do not have the same effect as citric acid, but are still very effective.
The procedure for descaling is the same for the different models
Whichever method you choose, the procedure for descaling a coffee machine is very similar: first of all, the machine must be completely emptied.
This means that for automatic and super-automatic machines the pod container must also be emptied, whereas for the lever machine the water tank is sufficient.
Once this has been done, place the industrial descaler or descaler obtained using natural methods in the water tank.
At this point, if the model has a descaling programme, it must be activated. Otherwise, you need to start the machine and activate it to make several coffees. As many as necessary to empty the tank completely.
It is very important that the tank is emptied and that there is nothing left in the internal pipes, because in the best case scenario you risk having vinegar residues. In the worst case, chemical residues, which deteriorate the quality of the first coffees prepared after the procedure.
In all cases it is advisable to make a couple of coffees after descaling and throw them away, to make sure you have removed any residue.
Investing in the quality of the machine saves on maintenance
It is certain that choosing a good model of coffee machine is the best way to make less necessary and more effective every maintenance practice, because logically you are going to invest on a model of machinery made with durable and tested materials.
In this sense, equipping yourself with a Pontevecchio lever machine is a far-sighted and solid investment.
Each model is made to perform over time, with craftsmanship techniques in assembly and construction that make each machine unique.
Fill in the form below to get more information about our lever machines.