Fish Tank Smell from Your Espresso Machine: Effective Tips and Solutions

Identifying the source of the fish tank smell

Before diving into the solutions, it’s important to identify the source of the fish tank smell. Check the water reservoir and other parts of your espresso machine for signs of bacteria or algae growth. Be sure to clean the machine thoroughly before implementing the following tips.

1. Regular cleaning and maintenance

To combat fish tank odor, establish a regular cleaning routine for your espresso machine. Start by following the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and descaling the machine. Use a mixture of water and food-grade citric acid or a commercial descaling solution to remove mineral deposits and bacteria buildup. Pay special attention to the water reservoir, brew group, and any removable parts. In addition, wipe down the outside of the machine with a damp cloth to remove any spills or residue.

Regular cleaning and maintenance will not only help eliminate the fish tank odor, but will also ensure that your espresso machine operates optimally and consistently produces delicious coffee. By removing mineral deposits and bacteria build-up, you can prevent odors and maintain the quality of your espresso.

2. Vinegar solution

Vinegar is a natural cleaning agent that can help eliminate odors and kill bacteria. Prepare a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water. Fill the water reservoir with the vinegar solution and run the machine through a brew cycle without coffee. This will help clean the internal components and remove any remaining odor-causing bacteria. After the vinegar cycle, rinse the machine thoroughly by running several cycles with clean water to remove any vinegar residue.

Vinegar is an effective odor eliminator and can help combat the fish tank odor in your espresso machine. It helps break down and eliminate bacteria and residue that contribute to the unpleasant odor. However, be sure to rinse the machine thoroughly to remove any vinegar taste or residue from your future brews.

3. Baking soda solution

Baking soda is known for its odor absorbing properties. Make a paste by mixing baking soda with a small amount of water. Apply the paste to a soft cloth and use it to wipe down the interior surfaces of the machine, paying particular attention to the water reservoir and any areas where bacteria may accumulate. Rinse thoroughly with clean water to remove baking soda residue.

Using a baking soda solution will help neutralize odors and absorb any lingering odors in your espresso machine. It’s a safe and natural way to eliminate fish tank odors. The paste can be applied to various surfaces to ensure a thorough cleaning and odor removal process.

4. Proper storage and fresh water

To prevent future odors, store your espresso machine in a clean and dry environment. Avoid leaving water in the reservoir for extended periods of time, as this can lead to bacterial growth and unpleasant odors. Always use fresh, filtered water when brewing espresso.

Proper storage and use of fresh water are essential to maintaining a clean and odor-free espresso machine. Keeping the machine in a clean and dry environment minimizes the possibility of bacterial growth. Using fresh water ensures that you have a clean starting point for brewing and prevents any existing odors from affecting the taste and aroma of your coffee.

5. Professional maintenance

If the fish tank odor persists despite your cleaning efforts, it may be time to consider professional service. Contact the manufacturer or a professional technician to inspect and service your espresso machine. They can identify any underlying problems and perform the necessary repairs or maintenance to eliminate the odor.

If the fish tank odor persists even after thorough cleaning and maintenance, seek professional help. An espresso machine technician can evaluate the machine for any underlying problems that may be contributing to the odor. They have the expertise to identify and effectively address the problem, ensuring that your espresso machine functions optimally and smells fresh.


By implementing these tips and solutions, you can say goodbye to the fish tank smell and enjoy the aroma of freshly brewed espresso once again. Remember to establish a regular cleaning routine and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for best results. With a clean and well-maintained espresso machine, you can fully enjoy the rich flavors and delicious aroma of your favorite coffee beverages.


Why does my espresso machine smell like an aquarium?

If your espresso machine has a fish tank smell, it may be due to a buildup of bacteria and algae in the water reservoir or other internal components. Over time, if the machine is not regularly cleaned or properly maintained, residual coffee oils, mineral deposits and moisture can create a breeding ground for bacteria and algae. These microorganisms release volatile compounds that contribute to the unpleasant fish tank odor. In addition, stagnant water in the reservoir for extended periods of time can promote bacterial growth and intensify the odor.

To eliminate fish tank odor from your espresso machine, it is important to establish a regular cleaning routine and follow proper maintenance practices. Thoroughly cleaning the machine, descaling to remove mineral deposits, and using natural cleaning agents such as vinegar or baking soda can help eliminate bacteria and neutralize odors. In addition, proper storage and the use of fresh, filtered water can help prevent future odors. If the odor persists despite cleaning efforts, it may be necessary to seek professional service to address any underlying problems or repairs needed to restore your espresso machine to optimal condition.

How do I neutralize the smell in my fish tank?

How to remove bad smells

  1. Wipe down the glass.
  2. Clean your substrate.
  3. Prune any dead leaves off plants.
  4. Clean any rocks or decorations.
  5. Clean your filter inflow and outlet.
  6. Perform a partial water change.
  7. Rinse your filter to remove trapped gunk.


Why does my espresso machine smell?

Silicone could cause some smell when heated. But this should have been more pronounced when the machine was newer, and decay over time. A light descaling should eliminate any funky smell.

Why does my fish tank make my room smell?

Excess food: Overfeeding is another common cause of bad odors from fish tanks. Uneaten food falls to the bottom of the tank, where it promotes an overgrowth of bacterial colonies. As the bacteria grow exponentially, they release waste gasses that have a foul odor.

How do I get rid of the smell in my coffee maker?

All you need is:

Pour baking soda in to the coffee pot full of water. Mix with a spoon. With your coffee maker turned on, pour the baking soda water through the coffee maker and run the coffee maker as normal (minus a coffee filter).