Last updated: August 9, 2021

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Welcome to our big descaler test 2021. Here we present all the descalers we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the internet.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best descaler for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a descaler.




Summary

  • A descaler for coffee pod machines and other automatic machines is the right choice for you if you want to extend the life of your machine and maintain the quality of your coffee.
  • The coffee pod machine should be descaled regularly (on average every three months) depending on the water hardness and water flow rate.
  • When buying a descaler, check the ingredients. Descalers usually consist of acetic acid, citric acid, lactic acid and amidosulfonic acid.

The Best Descaler: Our Choices

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying descaler

Why are descalers necessary?

Our drinking water contains various minerals that can be harmful to household appliances. Since our drinking water contains limescale, a layer of limescale forms in the water tank and on the heating pipes after frequent use. To dissolve this, regular descaling of the machine is necessary.

Jemand putzt Toilette

Regular descaling keeps the surfaces shiny. Descalers are available in various forms, for example as liquid descalers or in tablet form. (Photo: rawpixel.com / pexels.com)

Why should you descale your coffee pod machine?

Descaling your coffee machine is an important part of maintenance. Limescale in the coffee machine changes the taste of the coffee and leads to higher electricity consumption, because the heat has to penetrate the limescale layer before the water can be heated.

Descaling your machine regularly not only prolongs the life of the product, it also ensures the optimal coffee temperature and maximum capacity. In addition, your machine requires less electricity and is quieter during the brewing process.

However, limescale is not only harmful to the proper functioning of your coffee machine, but also to the quality of the coffee. If too much limescale has formed, it can be washed out during brewing and end up in your hot drink.

These limescale particles noticeably impair the taste of your coffee. In addition, limescale deposits alter the water flow and water pressure, which leads to a change in crema. The crema should be thick and sweetish in a well-maintained machine. If you have not descaled your coffee machine for a longer period of time, the crema will tend to be thin and bitter.

Did you know that it is better not to use household remedies such as vinegar when descaling your coffee machine?

Vinegar is a good household remedy for descaling certain surfaces in the bathroom or kitchen, but not for your coffee machine. It is a very aggressive agent and could damage sensitive components. Especially rubber pipes and seals could become porous and brittle over time. For this reason, many manufacturers advise against using vinegar. Another disadvantage is the unpleasant smell.

How often should I descale my coffee machine?

How often you need to descale your filter or pad machine depends on the lime content of your drinking water and how often you use it. Many coffee machines have a practical indicator that tells you when you need to descale.

If your coffee machine does not have an automatic indicator, you should first find out what the limescale content of your drinking water is. You can either find this out by doing a postcode search on the internet, or you can use a water hardness test strip to get an accurate result.

You hold the test strip in your drinking water for one second, then wait one minute for the test result.

In addition to water hardness, the water flow rate also plays a decisive role. If you use your coffee (capsule) machine several times a day, you will have to descale it more often. On the other hand, you need to descale your machine less often if you use it only infrequently. In this case, however, you should be careful not to let the water in the tank stand.

If you have no way of knowing the water hardness, or if you are not sure, you should descale your coffee pod machine approximately every three months. This is the recommended descaling cycle, calculated on the average water hardness and on a usage of 1-2 cups per day.

How much does a descaler cost?

The price of descalers depends largely on the type of product. If you choose a branded product tailored to your coffee pod machine, you can expect to pay around €15.

If you want to buy a universal descaler, the price will be between 5 and 10 €. If you want to use a home remedy such as citric acid or vinegar essence, it will cost you about 5 €.

Decision: What types of descalers are there and which is the right one for you?

Basically, you can distinguish between three types of descalers

  • Liquid descaler
  • Descaler in powder form
  • Descaling tablets

All types are suitable as descalers for coffee machines and fully automatic coffee makers. Liquid descaler can be used immediately when dosed correctly, whereas you have to dissolve a descaling tablet or powder first. However, solid descalers with citric acid, for example, are ecologically degradable.

To help you decide on the type of descaler you want, in the following section we explain the descaling agents and their differences in detail and clearly present their individual advantages and disadvantages.

How does a liquid descaler work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Liquid descaler is usually available in plastic bottles as a concentrated cleaning agent. This descaling agent can be filled immediately as a liquid or gel into the appliance to be cleaned.

Depending on the degree of soiling, you can vary the dosage of the agent. Liquid descalers are usually applied directly to the water tank of the coffee machine.

Advantages
  • Removes even the heaviest deposits
  • Does not damage the machine
  • Can be dosed individually
  • Easy to use
Disadvantages
  • Expensive
  • Often not ecologically degradable
  • Dosage cannot be read off precisely

Liquid descalers often contain a cleaning base of non-ecologically degradable sulphamic acid, lactic acid or amidosulphonic acid. These have a very strong cleaning effect, so you can use them to quickly descale even machines with heavy deposits.

Many manufacturers guarantee very machine-friendly cleaning with special products. Some descalers also have a colour indicator. This means that the water in the tank turns colour and is only clear again when the descaler has been completely rinsed out of the system.

How does a descaler in powder form work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The descaler powder must be dissolved in warm water before use. Many organic descalers based on citric acid are available in powder form.

The descaler powder is mostly harmless from an ecological point of view, but its solid consistency may be a disadvantage for you. If the product does not dissolve completely, the cleaning effect is reduced accordingly.

Advantages
  • Can be dosed according to the severity of the deposit
  • Inexpensive
  • Ecologically degradable
Disadvantages
  • May not dissolve completely
  • May attack rubber seals
  • Forms residues

Citric acid-based descalers have another disadvantage, especially when used in fully automatic coffee machines. If the cleaning agent is heated too hot, calcium citrate is formed, which settles as a sticky white mass in place of the limescale.

How do descaling tablets work and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

Descaling tablets are pressed from fine powder. They are available on the basis of a wide range of acids and are already dosed in the required application quantity.

Cleaning with descaling tablets is therefore easiest for you, as one tablet is ideally portioned for one descaling process and you do not have to measure anything.

Advantages
  • Packed in portions
  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to use
Disadvantages
  • May not dissolve completely

The descaling tablets dissolve in the water tank of the coffee machines like effervescent tablets. Unlike other descaling agents, the descaling tablets for fully automatic coffee machines can also be placed in the powder chute of the ready-to-use machine and the manual cleaning process can thus be started.

Purchase criteria: Use these factors to compare and evaluate descalers

In the following, we would like to show you which factors you can use to compare and evaluate descalers. This will make it easier for you to decide whether a particular product is suitable for you or not.

In summary, these are:

  • Dosage form
  • Ingredients

In the following paragraphs you can read about the individual purchase criteria and how you can classify them.

Form of presentation

Descaler comes in three different forms. Liquid descalers are best suited for descaling coffee pod machines. These are simply poured into the water and spread quite quickly.

The following table shows the dosage for different applications. Be sure to follow the instructions for use of your product.

Item to be descaled dosage
Kettle 1 - 3 tablespoons/ L of water
Egg boiler up to 2 teaspoons and fill with water, then clean thoroughly with a sponge
Shower head put shower head in large bucket of water and add three tablespoons of lime cleaner and leave overnight
Flower pot pots in bucket, then add 2 - 3 tablespoons of lime cleaner and leave overnight. The next day, clean thoroughly with a brush

There are also descaling agents in powder and tablet form. These are easier to handle in terms of dosage. With these products, however, you must make sure that the descaler dissolves completely in the water, otherwise reliable descaling cannot be guaranteed.

Produktbild

Limescale in the coffee machine changes the taste of the coffee and leads to higher electricity consumption

Components

Descalers consist in particular of acetic acid, citric acid, lactic acid and amidosulfonic acid.

Amidosulfonic acid is considered a chemical, but it is very effective and recommended especially for heavily calcified appliances. However, these are among the most expensive and pollute the environment. In addition, you should always make sure that these products have a childproof cap.

Some coffee machine manufacturers also offer their own descalers based on citric acid. However, these are often more expensive than conventional citric acid from the drugstore or pharmacy. This is very productive, biodegradable and suitable for almost every household appliance.

Liquid descalers made from pure lactic acid are also available. These organic descalers remove limescale from your coffee pod machine in a very gentle way. They are sufficient for regular descaling, but if your machine is loaded with heavy limescale deposits, this natural descaler could reach its limits.

Descalers based on acetic acid, however, are generally rather unsuitable for coffee machines.
They attack the machine's seals and hoses.

We also advise against using the home remedy vinegar essence at this point.

Did you know that you can also descale your water container with Aspiril?

Fill the water container completely with water and dissolve the Aspirin tablet in it. After dissolving, you can empty the container completely and rinse it thoroughly several times.

Picture credits:

50435806 - ©yelenayemchuk/123RF

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