Descaling DeLonghi: How To Clean Your Coffee Machine?

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descaling delonghi

Descaling DeLonghi – do you know how to do it properly? Here is our step-by-step guide to help you clean and descale your DeLonghi coffee machine.

Your Delonghi is alerting you it’s time for descaling.

But you can’t seem to find the manual anywhere… 

And, of course, you have no clue what to do.

Well, don’t worry because I do. 

In this article, I’ll share with you step-by-step instructions on descaling Delonghi machines.

Let’s dive in!

Descaling Delonghi Machine – How is It Done?

Generally, descaling a Delonghi machine is pretty simple. In most cases, you’ll need a manual for the first try, but you’ll get the hang of it rather fast.

Before we get into instructions for each model, here’s what you need to do first, regardless of the model you own:

  1. Empty the water tank and remove the softener filter (if your machine has one).
  2. Take the descaling solution and pour it into the tank up to level A marked on the back. Then, add water until it reaches the level B.
  3. Place an empty container underneath the spout to collect water. The container should have a capacity of at least 50 ounces.

Now that you’ve done that, here’s how descaling works on each specific model.

Magnifica and Magnifica S

Let’s start with one of Delonghi’s most popular models, the Magnifica.

Now, it doesn’t matter whether you have the original or the S version of this model, as the descaling method for both of them is practically the same. 

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Press the descale button and hold it for about five seconds or so. During that short window of time, the machine makes sure that the solution is added to the tank and everything is ready to go. 
  2. Once ready, one-cup, two-cup, and descale lights will start flashing – on a Magnifica. In the case of Magnifica S, only the descale light will flash. When this happens, turn the steam dial to the I position. The descaling solution should start flowing out from the spout into the container underneath. 
  3. After about half an hour, the water tank should be empty. This will be indicated by flashing one-cup, two-cup, and steam lights. Again, in the case of Magnifica S, only the steam light will flash.
  4. This is when you need to rinse and refill your espresso machine. Turn the dial back to the 0 position before removing the water tank. Rinse the tank and refill it with clean water, then put it into its designated place. 
  5. Turn the steam dial back to the I position, which will start the rinsing process.
  6. Once the water tank is empty again, turn the dial back to its original position.
  7. At this point, you can refill the water tank and start using your machine again.

Maestrosa, Primadonna Elite, Dinamica, Dinamica Plus, Elleta

All of these models have a display, so the descaling process is made easy. Basically, the machine guides you through the whole thing. In other words, there’s no need to read a manual beforehand. 

When the machine alerts you that it needs descaling, it will also prompt you to start the process right away. The display will say “Press OK to start,” and you’re one button away from descaling.

But of course, you may not have time to do it right away. I guess one or two more cups of espresso won’t make a difference, right?

In that case, you can access the descaling menu later by choosing the settings menu and selecting descale. 

As I said, the machine will guide you through the actual process. In fact, you don’t need to do the prep part before starting the descale cycle, as the machine will walk you through that as well. But in case you want to know the steps beforehand, here’s what you’ll do:

  1. After the machine alerts it’s time to descale, press OK to start the cycle.
  2. Empty the ground container and drip tray, then remove the water filter. Click Next.
  3. Add the descaler up to level A, then add water up to level B
  4. Place a container underneath the spouts, then press OK to start descaling.
  5. After the cycle is done, rinse and refill the tank with fresh water. 
  6. Empty the container underneath the spout and place it back there. When “Rinsing” is displayed on the screen, press OK to start the cycle.
  7. Once done, the machine will say “Descale complete.”


Dedica is one of the simpler Delonghi models when it comes to ease of use. That’s also true for the descaling process. Once the machine has too much mineral buildup, it will let you know by turning the steam button orange.

When that happens, here’s what you should do:

  1. Press the On/Off button. Once one-cup and two-cup lights become steady, that means the machine is ready for use.
  2. Press the steam button and hold it for about 10 seconds until all three buttons start flashing.
  3. Now, turn the dial knob to steam. Then, press the steam button, which will start the descaling cycle.
  4. When the machine stops pouring the descaling solution and the steam light flashes orange, it’s time for rinsing. 
  5. After rinsing, refill with fresh water and press the steam button to start rinsing.
  6. Once the orange light goes out, the cycle is complete.
  7. Turn the steam dial to the closed position and use your machine.

La Specialista (Maestro/Arte/Prestigio)

With so many buttons on its interface, La Specialista is not the most intuitive Delonghi model out there. Without a manual, figuring out the descaling process is pretty difficult. 

Luckily for you, I’ve already been in this situation, so I know what to do.

  1. If you own a Maestro version, press the descale button and hold until the descale light starts blinking. In the case of the other two, turn the knob to the water hardness setting
  2. The OK light will turn orange, and the descale light will start flashing at the same time. When this happens, press the OK button and hold it for a few seconds until it flashes. This will start the descale cycle.
  3. Once done, the descale light turns white. Empty the tank, rinse it, and refill it with fresh water. 
  4. Press and hold the button until the descale light starts blinking, indicating rinsing begins.
  5. Once rinsing is over, refill the water tank and start brewing coffee.

Can You Descale a DeLonghi Machine With Vinegar?

Technically, you could.

Vinegar is considered to be one of the best ingredients for removing limescale.

However, vinegar contains acetic acid, which can be too harsh on certain parts of the espresso machine. Mainly, vinegar can damage stainless steel and rubber.

That’s why it’s best to use a Delonghi descaler for your machine. It’s better to be safe than sorry. 

How Often Should You Descale Your DeLonghi Machine?

De'Longhi Descaler

Well, that depends on how often you’re using it.

The manufacturer recommends doing that after three months. But the answer is not that simple.

Obviously, the more water passes through the machine, the more limescale builds up.

So if you drink coffee daily, you’ll have way more limescale after three months than someone who drinks it once a month. 

Instead, a more realistic estimate is to descale after 200 brews.

Now, you should also add water hardness into the equation. If the water is hard in your area, you might have to do it more often than that. 

To be honest, it can’t hurt descaling your machine more frequently than recommended. Well, it may hurt your wallet a bit to buy all those descaling solutions. But that’s what keeps your espresso machine working smoothly, so it’s worth it.

To Sum Things Up

As you can see, most Delonghi machines have similar descaling steps.

They all require a bit of input from your side. Namely, you need to rinse and refill the water tank and empty the collecting container before the rinsing cycle.

But overall, descaling a Delonghi is rather simple, and you’ll learn it by heart after one try.

Not sure how your Delonghi works? Here’s our article with an in-depth guide on how to use the machine.

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Viktoria Marks
Viktoria is a writer and a journalist who can't imagine sitting by her computer without a large cup of java in her hand. She loves sampling coffee from all over the world as much as writing about it.