de·​scale (ˌ)dē-ˈskāl How to pronounce descale (audio)
descaled; descaling; descales

transitive verb

: to remove a coating, layer, or incrustation from : to free from scale (see scale entry 3 sense 3)
To descale the kettle, fill it with equal parts water and vinegar and let it soak for an hour before making sure it's been properly rinsed out.Sarra Gray
: to remove scales (see scale entry 3 sense 1a) from
You can, of course, ask the fishmonger to gut and descale the fish for you.Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

Examples of descale in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Instead, the unit works to descale your water by using electrical pulses. Brittany Vanderbill, Better Homes & Gardens, 28 July 2023 Keurig has a descaling solution (since every model is a little different, follow Keurig's instructions for descaling). Brittany Anas, House Beautiful, 17 May 2023 Your machine should alert you with a light indicator when the time comes to descale, about once every three months. Li Goldstein, Bon Appétit, 29 June 2023 This model features a light-up button that denotes whether more water is needed, and a button for descaling the machine. Rennie Dyball, Peoplemag, 5 Apr. 2023 Plus, Nespresso recommends their descaling cleanser instead of vinegar or other traditional cleaning methods. Emily Estep, Better Homes & Gardens, 20 Mar. 2023 Compared with a Keurig, Patel notes that the Cuisinart machine allows for more brews in-between cleanings where the Keurig needs to be descaled more often. Lindsey Malhado, Peoplemag, 7 Mar. 2023 This is a thorough way to descale the inside of your electric kettle as recommended by the Good Housekeeping Institute Kitchen Appliances and Innovation Lab. Jessica Hartshorn, Good Housekeeping, 11 Aug. 2022 Each model may have unique instructions for how to properly descale it. Kelly Allen, House Beautiful, 30 Jan. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'descale.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


de- + scale entry 3

First Known Use

1875, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of descale was in 1875

Dictionary Entries Near descale

Cite this Entry

“Descale.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Sep. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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