Descale Your Tassimo – The DIY and Easy Way

Descale Your Tassimo Cheap Easy DIY

Your machine lights up with the indicator — it’s time to descale your Tassimo! We had our Tassimo for a few years before it indicated it was time to descale, and when it happened, I had no idea what to do. It still worked with the indicator light on, but it didn’t seem like a good idea to keep using it.

What you’ll need to descale your Tassimo: the cleaning disc, the empty T-Disc with a bar code on it that tells the machine to run water through the system, and descaler. But — how to descale your Tassimo when you have none of those things on hand? That was my problem, but I solved it!

Descale Your Tassimo Without Descaler

How do you descale your Tassimo without descaler? Sounds like a tall order. You could go and get descaler, of course, but in my case, I live outside of a serviced area and would have to order it and wait. If you need to descale now, there are the general options available:

  • VINEGAR – Seems like a good idea, right? But Tassimo recommends against it, and that’s because it’s too acidic. It might work, but it might screw up your reservoir. It’ll probably also make your coffee taste terrible after the fact.
  • CLR – Yes, people on the internet said to put CLR in the reservoir to descale your Tassimo. But that seemed like a horrible idea to me — I use that stuff to clean my bathtub and I don’t really want to ingest it. It’s also not recommended for coffee makers with a built-in reservoir, but it’s allegedly okay for the type where the reservoir attaches, like our Tassimo T20 model. Still, not a fan of the concept.
  • CITRIC ACID – This one is apparently good and easy.Word has it that Kool-Aid, the powdered kind you have to add sugar to, is a good source. But, there’s another way, and it’s what I used…
  • THE WINNER – LEMON JUICE – The pure kind, as in, RealLemon — the stuff from the little yellow squeezy-bottle. I used two tablespoons of lemon juice and one tablespoon of baking soda, and added it to just over 500 mL of water; you have to use at least two cups.

Descale Your Tassimo Without the T-Disc

We lost our disk. I didn’t really feel like spending the money (or waiting) to get a new one. Here’s something that saved my life and will save yours if you are in the same boat: Bob Copeland has the barcode in PDF format! Print it, tape it to an already-used disc, ignore the gross watered-down beverage in your cup, and descale your Tassimo. You may find the paper disintegrates; that’s fine because you can just tape another label on next time.

How to Descale Your Tassimo — In Plain English

The Tassimo manual is basically in hieroglyphics. However, Nerd Fever’s plain English explanation of how the process works is all you need.

Get your (homemade) solution into the back of the reservoir and your (homemade) cleaning disc into the usual place, then hold down the button as if you are making coffee. If you did it right, the coffee-making indicator will blink along with the descale indicator.

How Did it Work?

Twenty minutes after this process began, I had a really disgusting cup of watered-down coffee, lemon juice, water and baking soda, and a soggy disc in the holder, but the descaling light was off and I was only out a buck for the lemon juice.

This had no negative effects on our machine, though it was probably more complicated than just using descaler and the factory standard T-Disc. In the event that you get stuck like I did, though, and you’re desperate for coffee, this should work.

Guest Post: Five Easy Ways to Reduce Waste in Your Life

Here is the lovely Brooke from Killer b. Designs, with some great tips on how to reduce waste in your life.

One of my new goals in life and on the blog is to be more mindful about waste. It galls me to think of how much stuff we run through over the course of a year. There’s just so much junk, and it’s starting to weigh me down. So I thought I would share five pretty simple ways that I cut down on waste in my own life. I’m not quite to the point where I’m creating diesel fuel out of veggie oil 😉 I know it’s easy to get caught up in the idea that one person can’t make a difference, but if we make mindful changes in our daily lives, it will make a very large impact over the course of our lifetimes! Here are my quick tips on what we can do to help be more conservative with our resources:

Ever notice how restaurant portions keep getting larger and larger? Not only is it bad for your waistline (and health!) it’s pretty wasteful. I saw a blurb on the news that Americans throw away roughly 40% of their food sources. FORTY PERCENT! The clip stressed eating more leftovers, but I’m not a huge leftover fan. My fix? Ordering off the a la carte menu or sharing a plate. There’s no way I can manage a full entree, two sides, and potential chips and salsa. It’s so easy to pick out two tacos or a few chicken strips over the plate with 6 strips, fries and a corn cob. It’s easier on the pocketbook as well as reducing uneaten waste.

We used to be a water bottle household, and would run through a case a week. That’s a lot of bottles to toss. I’m a picky water drinker and don’t like tap water. I know, high maintenance right? So we picked up a water filter and a few metal bottles that I now cycle out with clean, tasty water. So many less plastic bottles! Plus the metal helps keep it cool when I go work out or take a road trip. I really urge you to pick up a couple and try to reduce the amount of bottles that cycle through your refrigerator. It’s such an easy change that has a massive impact.

The hubs recently purged his t-shirt collection without telling me, and tossed them all in the trash. Seriously hubs? Do you have any idea who you’re married to?! Even if your shirts are too threadbare or stained to donate, there’s a dozen different things to do with them. Make an easy quilt, or some headbands, a memory game, or 8,000 different ideas found on Pinterest. I’ve seen reusable produce bags, tshirt yarn woven into blankets or placemats, and baby onesies. Fabric is one of the easiest things to repurpose well, so please don’t just toss it out!

I find myself torn whenever I see great stuff by the curb. On one hand, it’s a fab freebie find. On the other, it’s utterly wasteful if nobody picks it up and you toss perfectly good stuff into the landfill. If you find yourself wanting to replace your threadbare couch or tired old chairs, please consider donation. There are tons of folks out there looking to give these pieces a new life, or need decent, affordable furniture for their homes. But if you don’t have time or means to transport and the local donation service doesn’t pick up (a lot do, so it’s worth it to call your local Habitat ReStore or Goodwill) there are a lot of places to list unwanted items for free. Facebook is a great place for groups (my local one is called FREE Recycle and Reuse Items – Brazoria County) or there’s Freecycle.org and Craigslist. If you don’t like the idea of meeting with strangers, you can place your item in the yard somewhere that it won’t be picked up by trash collectors and write that you’ll remove the ad once its gone. Really, it takes such a small amount of extra effort that it really is worth it to keep our landfills lower.

One of the biggest wasters is gift wrap. Think about it. How often do you keep all your cards from weddings, birthdays or holidays? Does your wrapping paper always end up in the trash? Well, mine does too. While I try to save most of my gift bags to reuse, it’s a bit of a pain to store them. So, I get creative. I use newspaper instead of tissue paper. Plastic shopping bags make great bag filler. The roll of butcher paper leftover from my wedding is my go-to gift wrap. Or you could use a scrap of pretty fabric and ribbon and recycle it for future presents! So many options. And when you think of all the gifts you give over the course of a year, just imagine how much paper and ribbon you’ll keep out of the dump!

That’s my list! Any of them something you’d like to try out? What are your favorite tips to limiting waste? Do you swear by canvas grocery totes? Recycle diligently? Share it with us!

Two Years in Sioux Lookout

It’s October 29, 2009. I’m up early, having tossed and turned all night in the guest bed at my dad and his partner’s lake house. I get out of bed, take a shower, and try to find room in my stomach for food — it’s hard what with the giant knot in it.

Dad has filled up my station wagon with gas. He’s also helped fill it up with most of my worldly possessions. My keys are on a lanyard so I don’t accidentally lock myself out of the car. I have a map of Ontario in the glove box, even though I’m planning on sticking to Highway 17 for the next 2,000 kilometres or so.

The three of us hug goodbye. It’s no later than 7:30 AM and we’re all supposed to be getting on the road; Dad and Patsy back to Ottawa and me continuing on all the way to a little Northern Ontario town I’ve vowed to call home for the next year. I get in the front seat of the car and realize I can’t see out of the windows and the rearview mirror is useless. I will learn how to back up a station wagon using only my side mirrors very quickly.

Patsy bought me an iPod dock for the car before I left. I plug it in and pull out onto the road behind Dad’s van. Imogen Heap starts playing and I start to cry.

There there baby
it’s just textbook stuff
it’s in the ABC of growing up

We reach the intersection where Dad is turning one way and I’m turning the other. He waves out the window and I honk back, with a heavy heart. I’ve left home many times before, but this time feels… permanent.

It takes all the way to North Bay for me to stop crying. I get out and fill up the gas tank, hit Wendy’s for some food, and realize I’m committed, now. I’ve gone this far and I’m not turning back. I start to feel a bit giddy as I take the Sudbury bypass. The road is open, the sky is clear, and my music is playing. Life isn’t really that bad, I decide. I drive and drive and drive some more. I nearly get lost in Sault St. Marie and the lady at the gas station has to explain how to turn the gas pump on because I’m standing there slack-jawed and confused. I feel like maybe I’m not cut out for road tripping by myself.

I don’t notice any of the Lake Superior scenery. It’s getting dark and I’m sore and exhausted. This is the longest I’ve ever driven a vehicle. This is the longest I’ve ever been in a vehicle alone. I think I see northern lights and get excited but it turns out to be the glow from a paper mill. The Wawa goose is the most glorious site I’ve seen because it means I can finally get out of the car and go pee. I promised my father I would under no circumstances attempt to drive further than Marathon in one day. I consider stopping in Wawa but the hotels all look sketchy and I still have lots of energy. I grab a coffee and get back in the car.

The drive to Marathon is treacherous. It takes longer than it should because fog rolls in that was not there before. If I had known this was going to happen I would have stayed put with the goose, but I’m already on the road, sandwiched between transport trucks, and the winding hills are not getting any less winding. I’m willing to pay any price the man at the Travelodge asks when I finally arrive. Nothing is open. I eat leftover Wendy’s chili and swallow a few painkillers.


I’m up a bit too late in the morning, checking the oil in the car. I was exhausted the night before and accidentally slept in and now I probably won’t get to my destination until dark. The fog from the night before is still hanging around, clinging to the road, and it’s drizzling and cold outside. I drive into Marathon to buy a pair of sweatpants and a coffee. Tim Horton’s has been replaced by Robin’s Donuts and that’s when I know I’m really, really far away from home.

Driving. Driving. Thunder Bay is busy and it’s almost nice to see traffic again. I stop in Kakabeka Falls for gas but I can’t be bothered to get out and look at the falls. More driving. Slow down in Upsala because that’s where the cops will get you — my dad’s warnings echo in my head as I take my foot off of the gas pedal. In Ignace I buy a sandwich and the cashier compliments my tattoo. I know I’m nearing my destination. When I see the sign for Highway 72… I keep driving. I can’t go yet. I’m too nervous.

I drive to Dryden and hit up Walmart for more comfortable clothes. I didn’t pack in a logical way and I have nothing to wear for pajamas. I drive all the way to Minnitaki and buy a pair of sheepskin slippers. I have to get to where I’m going eventually, so I turn around and head down the road. I’m terrified of moose. I’m terrified of this town. It takes forever to get there and the hotel room is even more expensive than it was in Marathon. I don’t have anything to eat but I don’t want to venture out to town to buy anything and besides, it’s pouring rain.

The next day I check out and go to my new apartment to move in. Turns out the landlady forgot when I was coming and it isn’t ready yet. I’m supposed to come back later that day. I drive to Dryden again, in my pajamas, buy magazines at Walmart and read all day in the parking lot in my car. When I return, I’m told I still can’t move in and I’ll have to find somewhere else to stay for the night.

I try to call my Dad but my cell phone stopped working somewhere around Nipigon. I can receive calls but I can’t make them, so I text him to call me. I get about three words in and burst into tears, homeless, homesick, and broke. I check into a different hotel and Dad tells me where he hid the champagne in my car. I drink it from the bottle while lounging in the discoloured bathwater in my hotel room, reading the book of Mormon because there isn’t anything else in the room.

Halloween. I wake up dejected and spend the day eating chocolate covered banana chips that I bought in Ottawa and a few green apples I had stashed in the car. I watch scary movies and wonder what, exactly, I’ve got myself into. I finally get to move into my apartment later that day. It doesn’t have a stove and there are random frozen fish stockpiled in the freezer, but I can finally hang my pictures on the wall and unpack my car.

I go to work the next day. From my driver’s seat window, I see a guy bounding down the stairs and think, “Yay! I get to work with a boy!”

The rest, as it’s said, is history. I settle into work. I move four more times. I go on a date with the boy from work. I fly in a few bush planes. I get stuck in lots of blizzards. I travel, in all directions, even further north. Even further north than highways exist.

I witness real northern lights, not tricky paper mills. I witness the most glorious sunsets I’ve ever seen.

I fish. I snowshoe. I lose track of all the animals I’ve seen — moose, bears, a few beavers, a lynx, a handful of wolves, deer… I cook Thanksgiving dinner in a former Mennonite school on a gas stove. By myself.

I celebrate birthdays, Christmases, and life. I make friends. People say hi to me in the grocery store. I survive not just one winter, but two. Two summers, two springs and two falls. I trade the station wagon for something a little more rugged, with an actual block heater and four-wheel drive.

I fall more in love than I ever thought I could. I stop running away from life and embrace it instead. I stay. I don’t leave. I’m here.

Happy anniversary to me.