Even the most reliable appliances can encounter hiccups. And when your trusted Smeg coffee maker starts showing signs of trouble, it’s likely signaling that it needs a little extra care.
This is where descaling comes into play. By dedicating a bit of time to the process, you’re not only ensuring the longevity of your machine but also maintaining the superior taste and quality of coffee it produces.
To descale your smeg coffee machine, dissolve a descaling solution in 1 liter of warm water. and fill the machine’s reservoir. Press and hold the selection and long coffee button for 3 seconds to enter descaling mode. Repeat with fresh water to rinse and you’re all done.
Keep reading as we share some tips and trick on the process, as well as how to get rid of the annoying descaling warning light!
Why Listen To Us? Well, because we KNOW coffee! In fact, we make our own coffee, coffee machine cleaners, and reusable capsules which we've sold to over 41 countries. Our team ouf experts include Tristan (an engineer), Claire (a food writer) and Richy (a barista). So, whether you're looking for a recipe or repair guide, we've got you covered 💚
Table of Contents
What Is Descaling
Over time, minerals from hard water can accumulate inside your coffee maker, forming a crusty layer called scale or limescale. This can affect the taste, temperature, and quality of your coffee, as well as damage your machine. Descaling involves running a descaling solution through your machine to dissolve and flush out the mineral deposits from the internal parts of the machine.
Why You Should Descale Your Smeg Coffee Maker
We’ve had a couple of people ask if they really have to descale their machine. And the answer is a resounding yes! Descaling your machine is not just a matter of preference, but one of hygiene and quality. Scale is not only unsightly, it’s harmful to your machine and your health too.
If left to accumulate, scale can:
- Reduce the water flow in your machine, which can lead to weak or uneven extraction of the coffee grounds.
- Increase the brewing time and temperature in your machine, which causes bitter or burnt coffee.
- Clog the valves, filters, and nozzles in your machine, resulting in leaks or malfunctions, and costly repairs or replacements.
- Corrode the metal parts in your machine, which can result in rust or damage.
- Become a breeding home for bacteria. These organisms can spread to the rest of your machine and transfer into your cup, causing respiratory issues or infections.
How Often Do You Need To Descale Your Smeg Coffee Maker
The frequency of descaling your Smeg coffee maker depends on how often you use it and how hard your water is. Because hard water contains more minerals–calcium and magnesium–that can cause more scale buildup in your machine, Smeg recommends descaling it at least once every 3 months. We also decalcify ours more often when we notice a decrease in performance or a change in taste.
You can also check the water hardness level in your area by contacting your local water supplier. From here, adjust the water hardness level on your machine. This setting triggers the red light to flash (when it detects it’s time to descale) and has helped us keep track of our schedule.
How Long Does the Descaling Process Take?
The descaling process for Smeg coffee makers takes about 30 minutes, plus some additional time for rinsing and cleaning. You will need to run two cycles: one with the descaling solution and one with fresh water. You will also need to clean the exterior and the filter of your machine before and after descaling.
What You Will Need:
To descale your Smeg coffee maker, you’ll need the following equipment and solution:
- A large container
- A soft, damp cloth
- Descaling solution
- 1 liter warm water
Recommendation: A product we recommend is this eco descaler. It’s a natural and eco-friendly solution that gently and effectively removes scale from your coffee maker, which makes it safe for most coffee makers, including your Smeg. To use, simply dissolve a sachet in water, and descale as you would when using the Smeg descaler.
A Step-by-Step Guide On How To Descale Your Smeg Coffee Maker: 3 Simple Steps
Now that you have everything you need, you can start descaling your Smeg coffee maker by following these simple steps.
Step 1: Exterior Clean
- Unplug your machine and let it cool down completely
- Remove the water tank, the drip tray, and the filter holder from your machine
- Wash them with warm water and mild detergent, then rinse them well and dry them with a soft cloth
- Wipe the exterior of your machine with a damp cloth or sponge, then dry it with a soft cloth.
Step 2: Descale Cycle
- Dissolve the descaler in water.
- Place the container under the steam wand.
- Fill the water tank with the solution to the MAX level.
- Press and hold the selection and long coffee button for 3 seconds. When the machine beeps and the long coffee button flashes orange, release the buttons. Your machine has now entered descale mode.
- Wait until the water tank is empty. You’ll also know the process is complete when the long coffee, water, and descaling buttons illuminate solid.
- Discard the used solution.
Step 3: Rinse Cycle/Fresh Water Rinse
- Fill the water tank with fresh water up to the MAX level
- Place the water tank back into the machine.
- Place the container under the steam nozzle.
- Press the long coffee button again.
- When all the buttons turn white, the rinse cycle is complete.
If you’re looking for a tutorial of the entire process, you can watch this video by Smeg that walks you through the descaling steps.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How do you decalcify a Smeg coffee machine?
To decalcify your Smeg, you’ll need:
A descaling solution, like this one
1 liter warm water
A large container
1. Dissolve the descaler in water.
2. Place the container under the steam wand.
3. Fill the water tank with the solution to the MAX level.
4. Press and hold the selection and long coffee button for 3 seconds. When the machine beeps and the long coffee button flashes orange, release the buttons. Your machine has now entered descale mode.
5. Wait until the water tank is empty. You’ll know descaling is complete when the long coffee, water, and descaling buttons illuminate solid.
6. Discard the used solution.
7. Follow this with a water-only brew cycle to flush out the residual solution.
Q. Is descaling solution better than vinegar?
The best thing about vinegar is that it’s readily available and more cost-effective, and you may already have it in your kitchen. But if you want to make sure you’ve cleaned your machine properly, we suggest you use a descaling solution. Most descalers are made with gentle yet effective food-grade ingredients. This makes them safe and suitable to use on most coffee machines, which, in the long run, offers great value for money. Also, we’ve found that vinegar does leave a lingering odor on some of our brewers, and this takes us even longer to remove any traces of the cleaning agent.
Q. How do you put a coffee machine in descale mode?
To put your machine in descale mode, press and hold the selection and long coffee buttons for 3 seconds. When the machine beeps and the long coffee button flashes orange, release the buttons. Your machine has now entered descale mode.
Q. What is the best thing to use to descale a coffee machine?
You can use any descaling solution suitable for coffee machines, like this eco descaler. It’s acid-based and gentle, so it’ll dissolve limescale effectively without damaging your machine’s internal parts.
Q. Why is the red light flashing on my Smeg coffee machine?
A blinking light on your Smeg coffee machine could indicate different issues, depending on which button is blinking. Here are some potential reasons for the issue and how to resolve them:
S1 button: The water tank is empty or not inserted correctly. Make sure that the tank is filled with water and inserted properly.
S2 button: The coffee beans container is empty or not inserted correctly. Ensure that the container is filled with coffee beans and inserted properly.
S3 button: The coffee grounds container is full or not inserted correctly. Double-check that the container is emptied and cleaned regularly and inserted properly.
S4 button: Check if the infuser assembly is correctly positioned and inserted. If it’s not, it can prevent the machine from detecting it.
S5 (LED) button: The machine needs to be descaled. Grab a descaling solution and set aside about 30 minutes to perform this necessary task.
If all buttons are flashing simultaneously, it means that there is an internal water circuit error. Ensure there’s water in the tank and wait for the circuit to reset. Check the flowmeter, water pump, and water tank valve if the problem persists.
Still unresolved? Contact Smeg customer service for further assistance.
Final Thoughts And Recommendations
Descaling might sound like a bit of a chore, but trust us, it’s worth it.
Maintaining your Smeg coffee maker ensures its optimal performance, prolongs its lifespan and guarantees a consistently flavorful cup of coffee..
You can use any brand of descaling product to descale your Smeg coffee machine, as long as you dilute it with the correct amount of water to the manufacturer’s instructions.
We recommend using our Green Pods Eco Descaler. It comes with 4 sachets (1 year’s supply) which are perfectly portioned. It’s environmentally friendly, and it’s also more cost-effective than the name-brand Nespresso Descaler.
- ✔️ ENJOY BETTER TASTING COFFEE: Infrequent descaling is the #1 reason your coffee is tasting bad. Descale and you’ll taste the difference.
- ✔️ SAFE FOR YOU AND YOUR MACHINE: Our Eco Descaler is safe for all machine parts. It leaves no harmful residues and does not cause corrosion within the coffee machine.
- ✔️ WORKS ON ALL COFFEE MACHINES: Designed and tested on all leading coffee machines including Nespresso, Keurig, Dolce Gusto, Caffitaly, Breville, Delonghi, and more.