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Breville 870XL/Barista Express – Descaling with Dezcal (citric acid)

Trying some Dezcal citric acid descaling powder in my espresso machine.

In an earlier video:

I used the white vinegar descaling process described in the Breville owner’s manual. This time I thought I would try using a citric acid descaler, so I picked up this Urnex Dezcal descaling powder:


You mix a package of powder (or 1oz/28gm) of citric acid with 1qt/1L of warm water and stir to dissolve. Add that to the machine’s tank and run it through using a long press on the one shot brew button.

After that is done, run 3 volumes of clean water through to rinse. I found the tank holds about 2qts. so I did 1 tank full, refilled then ran about half that second tank though. On the last of the rinse water, I add a cleaning tablet and adapter to the filter basket and run the cleaning cycle:

After that I follow up with wiping down the exterior of the machine:

My take is that this product does a decent job descaling. Some folks are concerned that vinegar might harm internal components and citric acid may be safer. There’s no odor like vinegar and as far as storage, 12 pkgs. of this powder takes a fraction of the space that a gal. jug of vinegar would. Cost wise it may be a bit more expensive than vinegar. Both citric acid and vinegar are bio-degradable and safe, they are both used in food products. You can buy citric acid for canning at many grocery stores, although the Dezcal product has some corrosion inhibitors in it to protect aluminum components plus some sulfamic acid.

Sulfamic acid and other descaling options:

Descaling Appliances: Which Acid is Best?


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And as always, thanks for watching!

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