How to Clean Espresso Coffee Machines with Citric Acid

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Any appliance that stores and uses water can eventually develop mineral scale and buildup, including espresso coffee machines for home and office use. This mineral buildup is particularly likely in areas with hard water, but it can occur in any espresso maker in just about any location. Over time, mineral scale can result in poor water flavor and quality, and can even affect the machine function. Using some citric acid, which can be purchased at many grocery, hardware and culinary supply stores, you can clean the espresso maker and help preserve the quality of the coffee.

Things You'll Need

  • Citric acid powder
  • Water
  • Dissolve 10 grams of citric acid in 1 cup hot water. Mix well until the citric acid is dissolved and then add cold water until the total liquid volume is approximately 1 liter.

  • Open the lid on the top of the espresso machine and fill the water tank with the citric acid mixture. Close the lid.

  • Run 10 ounces of water through the steam wand on the espresso machine and 3 ounces through the brew head. Turn the espresso machine "Off."

  • Wait 20 minutes and run another 10 ounces of water through the steam wand and 3 through the brew head.

  • Repeat until the water tank is empty. Fill the tank with clean, cold water and run the water through the machine. Run some water through the brew head and steam wand as well. Refill the tank with water and repeat until the water has no citric smell or taste.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use caution when using citric acid powder, as it may cause harm to eyes. Wash hands after handling.

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References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images
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