Learn how to Descale your Sage coffee machine with our quick and easy how to guide. Making sure your machine is kept in tip top condition is vital to making great tasting coffee as well as increasing the longevity of its life span. Having worked in the coffee machine world for over 10 years, our Founder James compares looking after your coffee machine just as you would your car (servicing it every 10-15k miles).
We’ve included step by step instructions as well as a video how to guide to help you look after your machine properly.
How often do you need to descale your machine?
Thankfully, Sage have done the hard work. Your machine should give you an automated prompt when it needs descaling.You’ll just need to ensure you have the appropriate descale cleaning powder. You can either purchase the official sage cleaner which is recommended because if there’s ever any warranty queries you’ll have been following manufacturers guidelines. Alternatively, a descaling solution for espresso machines will work well.
Step by Step Descale Instructions:
1. Enter the menu on your display screen and scroll to descale (this will only appear if your machine needs to be descaled).
2. Next you’ll need to remove the drip tray from your machine and find a 1L container that will sit underneath.
3. Then add 1L of warm water and add your Sage descale sachet into the water. Let it dissolve for 5 minutes.
4. Add this water into the water tank at the rear of the machine.
5. Now you’re ready for start the descale process. Place the 1L container underneath the group head and make sure the hot water outlet and the steam arm are inside the container. This will be used to collect the descale residue.
6. Press enter to begin the cycle and follow the instructions on screen. It will ask you to alternate between the group head flush, the hot water. and the steam. You’ll need to manually change between each function.
7. After you have completed the descale process it’s recommended to repeat the same flush process but this time without the descale solution. Empty your water tank and replenish with fresh cold water. Now flush the group head, hot water outlet and steam wand.
8. Your machine should now be ready to go and squeaky clean.
Can I use vinegar to descale my sage espresso machine?
This question is a perfectly valid one but it’s a resounding No from the Balance Coffee team. We’ve even consulted Sage directly to double check this online myth so we’re here to debunk it once and for all.
Vinegar can damage the internal parts of a coffee machine, especially the seals and the rubber gaskets. It’s difficult to rinse and the smell and taste will remain within your espresso machine for a long time meaning you’ll have tainted flavours (no one wants vinegar con leché).
Why do you need to descale your coffee machine?
Coffee machines are generally designed to pretty straightforward however, they contain lots of small parts with small holes and tubes helping to circulate and heat the water from ambient temperature to hot enough to brew your morning espresso shot. This is where it can start to be problematic…
Particularly in hard water areas of the UK such as London, water is extremely hard and equipment and kettles become ideal targets for limescale build up. When you heat water, it begins to produce a chalky substance and bits of debris – not what you want floating in your coffee machine. This is what it’s so important to periodically descale your sage machine because if you don’t, limescale deposits will begin to stick to internal parts and will cause a number of issues which we’ve outlined below.
Three common signs you have scale build up in your machine:
1. Cooler Water Temperature
If your espresso shot is much cooler than you’d like and seems to have dropped in temperature then limescale could well be the route cause.
2. Low Flow Rate
If you are having dosing issues or the water flow that is being dispensed from the group head is different then it may well be caused by scale build up. Make sure you have descaled your machine and given it a thorough clean first though.
3. Low Steam Pressure
If you have noticed a dramatic drop in your steam wand pressure then it’s likely it could be linked to limescale build up. Just like the group head, if limescale is blocking the components then it is likely to be the issue.
If any of these issues occur then you can contact Sage Appliances directly to resolve your issue immediately.
If you’re looking for a more general sage cleaning rundown then check out the sage coffee machine cleaning guide we created to make sure you’re giving it the TLC it needs.