Descale, Descale, Descale

>> Thursday, August 27, 2009

Before I start today's story, I need to say that I have found it difficult to write today's post. Don't get me wrong, it isn't that I don't have anything to say, but rather this: When Toddler says, "Oh, no," I would be wise to look up faster from my blogging. I would save a lot of time cleaning up that way.

My newest battle with the forces of Entropy and Chaos is being fought over the coffeepot. Yep. The coffeepot. With the persistence that my combatants are fighting, you'd think the world ran on coffee. Well, maybe it does, but I, thankfully, have a "it tastes good, but I don't need the calories" addiction -- meaning I can restrain myself without too much effort. (Don't TOUCH that Diet Pepsi, though. Don't even touch it. Mine.)

I have one of those wonderful one cup machines that serves any flavor I happen to have bought. I have to admit, the different flavors are a ton of fun. Being able to smell the Pumpkin Spice in November, or all of the different ones with caramel in them ... I almost enjoy that smell more than the coffee. On the day before my colonoscopy, I drank black flavored coffee. On the morning of my colonoscopy, I just smelled it, and smelled it ... the sensation almost (almost) made me forget why I wasn't able to drink the coffee. (Of course, after the test, we had a Big Mac, some fries ....)

My coffee pot (which I love), has little lights on the top telling me what is going on and what the machine needs from me. There is a little blue light when the machine needs more water, and a little red light to tell me to be patient because the water is heating. Near the very top, though, there was a silent little button that never glowed. It read, "Descale." Now this little button/light didn't pester me, and I didn't think anything about it. I figured it would go ahead and light up or something to let me know if or when I was needed.

One day, after about 3 years or more, the light came on. The light was an ominous red color. Hmm. "Descale." I don't even know what that means. I decided to make a cup of coffee anyway, and the machine worked, so I figured I had time to think about this. I probably didn't have time to find the manual because I don't know that I ever even HAD a manual, much less read one. If we had it, only God himself could tell me where it was. So, I casually mention it to one or two of my friends and fam. This is what they said:

"Descale -- isn't that where you soak the parts in vinegar?" "Descale? Well, do you have vinegar?" "Descale ... I think that is what you do when you clean things with vinegar to get all the yucky crusties off." So ... you all know this? Where have I been that I don't know you can clean with vinegar, much less that doing so is called "descaling?" Here I am thinking that vinegar is good for making easter eggs and taking pet odors out of rugs. (Well, I guess that is a form of cleaning, isn't it? Good point.)

Just a day or so later, my sister calls. "Guess what! My coffee pot's 'descale' light went off. I found out I wasn't supposed to be waiting for the light, and I was supposed to be descaling it periodically every so often. My coffeepot is ruined, and I need to go buy another." Umm ... really? So I said, "Yeah, my light just turned on, too. How do you descale?" She replied, "You run vinegar through it. There is this whole little process, and it takes a few hours. You can Google it. I'll try to send you the link sometime. By the way, your pot is probably ruined too."

Really? It seems to be working just fine .... Remember when I told you that coffee was a take-it-or-leave-it thing in this house? Well, in her house coffee is a major event and a broken pot is a real crisis. She just told me that, in her world, she thought my house was shortly going to be falling apart. I'm thinking, "That's a stinky way to make a coffee pot! Do what it tells you to do, when it tells you to do it, and you BREAK it?"

So, I Google the process, and there it is. Pour vinegar in the water trap, run it through, let it sit for four hours (4 hours???), run water through, and go on with your life. Of course, I have next to no vinegar in the house. I wasn't planning on making Easter eggs for another 7 or so months. I had a little, though -- about a coffee cup's worth. I made it work. Instead of filling the water trap with vinegar, I poured in what I had, ran it through the machine, poured it back, ran it through ... over and over and over. Oddly enough, when the first bit of vinegar ran through the machine, the menacing red light went out. Was that all it took? Was the crisis averted? I followed through with the process, rinsed, rinsed, rinsed, and all seemed to be well.

About a month later, the light comes back on. "Descale." Again? Ok, I will. This time, though, I didn't rinse well enough, and when I finally made a cup of coffee, the cream curdled. Oh, yuck. What a waste of a good cup of coffee. Actually, no matter what I do, the first cup after descaling is a bit rough, but some are worse than others.

Then, about 3 weeks later, the light comes on again. Really? Again? So soon? Is this pattern what was supposed to happen all along, or is this what Darling Sister meant by "broken?" Am I really not getting it clean, and eventually the thing will freeze up? I guess we'll have to see, but I'm not giving in until the coffee actually stops flowing. A mere threat is not enough for me. I can descale with the best of them. In fact, when I was wiping the countertops this morning, I found a lot of crud on the can opener. I was looking at it and said to myself, "Should I have been 'descaling' this all along, too?" We'll see. I bought the vinegar in the gallon size this time. I'm prepared.


  © Free Blogger Templates Skyblue by 2008

Back to TOP