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The Senseo coffee machine by Phillips brews coffee in pods rather than with the old-fashioned filter, basket and grounds. As it brews differently, so too does it require a specialized cleaning method according to the manufacturer. This method does not differ drastically from what you may be used to with traditional coffee makers, but there are some important differences worth noting. When cleaned properly, your Senseo will continue to brew you cup after glorious cup of delicious coffee.

Mix either two tablespoons of citric acid or the recommended amount of Senseo descaler with one liter of water in the pitcher. Stir it with the spoon until the powder has dissolved completely.

Fill the water reservoir on your Senseo machine with this mixture, all the way up to the MAX FILL line. Do not fill it higher than this line. If you have a Senseo with a smaller capacity, save the remaining descaler mixture and run a second descaling cycle after your first one is complete.

Turn the machine on and plug a used coffee pod in the way you normally would when making a cup of coffee. Situate a heat-resistant container in the cup holder that can handle at least 1500 milliliters of liquid.

Hit the button for two cups and watch your Senseo cycle. Continue this step until the reservoir has been drained. Discard the descaler mixture you have just cycled through your machine as it cannot be saved for another use. If you have remaining descaler from your initial mix, pour it into the reservoir once it is empty and repeat this process.

Repeat steps one through four one more time to clean the Senseo completely.

Rinse the machine completely by cycling two liters of clean water through it with the same method you used with the descaling mixture. Discard this water as well. Your Senseo coffee machine has now been completely descaled and is ready to make you delicious coffee once more.


Phillips recommends that the Senseo machine be descaled four times a year, or every three months for optimal coffee quality. Additionally, if you are a heavy Senseo user, you should descale your Senseo coffee machine any time you notice that it is taking longer than usual to brew your customary cup of coffee. Such delays are a good indication that scale has built up inside your machine, which requires prompt attention.

Phillips sells a Senseo-branded descaler that is citric acid-based. You can use this, or you can also buy citric acid (sold in grocery and hobby stores for home canning) and pay a little less to clean your machine.


Phillips recommends against using any other cleaning substance in the Senseo, including distilled white vinegar (acetic acid). Although white vinegar is a cleaner of choice in traditional coffee machines, it is less optimal with the Senseo due to its steam technology. Additionally, Phillips warns that it may damage parts of your machine.