Out of all the things in our homes that we clean, our coffee maker is often one that’s overlooked. While most of us rely on our morning brew to survive, most of us don’t know how to clean a coffee maker or haven’t thought about it since we brought it home!
Over time, your coffee maker will accumulate mineral buildup from the water you use to brew your coffee along with dirt and dust which can overtake your machine and lower its efficiency. After a good clean, your coffee maker will not only look better but a deep clean can help your coffee taste better too!
If you’re not sure how to clean your coffee maker, we have you covered. You’ll just need some basic ingredients and at least a half hour set aside for cleaning — though the actual cleaning takes about one to two minutes of effort!
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When to Clean Your Coffee Maker
When to clean your coffee maker is subjective based on how often you use your coffee maker, but if your coffee tastes a bit off, it’s definitely time to give it a good cleaning! For regular coffee drinkers, it’s a good rule of thumb to give your coffee maker a deep clean every month.
If you aren’t a daily drinker, it’s still a smart idea to descale and deep clean your coffee maker every three months. Doing so will help remove any dust on the outside and any mineral or grime buildup that can start clogging up your machine.
What You’ll Need to Clean Your Coffee Maker
- White distilled vinegar (5% or 9% acidity)
- Distilled water
- Paper coffee filter
- Damp cloth
How to Clean Your Coffee Maker
Fortunately, learning how to clean your coffee maker is super easy! You’ll need a few basic supplies and about an hour to allow for a few brewing cycles to run through your machine to effectively clean your coffee maker.
For this deep clean, you’ll need some vinegar, which you can easily find at your grocery store. You can pick up regular distilled vinegar at 5% acidity or extra strength at 9%; both will work! Not only is vinegar cheap, but it is perfectly food safe to use on your appliances.
Vinegar does wonders to both disinfect and attack any mineral buildup that’s accumulated in your coffee maker. You’ll also want to use distilled water to ensure there aren’t any minerals in the water, since this cleaning is geared to remove buildup, not add to it. If you don’t have distilled water, it’s not a necessity, but it does help reduce buildup during the cleaning process.
Step 1: Run a Brew Cycle With a Vinegar Mixture
To properly descale and remove any mineral buildup and dirt inside your coffee maker, you’ll want to brew a pot using a mixture of vinegar and distilled water, allowing it to run through all the pipes and parts during the brew cycle.
If it’s been awhile since you’ve cleaned your coffee maker (or you never have!), you can up the acidity of the mixture by increasing the mix from 50/50 vinegar and water to a 75/25 ratio with more vinegar.
Before you hit start and start brewing, place a clean paper filter in the machine to catch any debris if you have especially hard water. Pour the vinegar mixture into the reservoir and hit the brew button, allowing it to heat up and run the mixture through the machine.
Step 2: Brew & Repeat
As the vinegar mixture heats up and runs through the machine, the steam and brewing process will break down any mineral buildup and clean the reservoir, tubing, and carafe. You can let the mixture sit for 10 – 20 minutes before repeating the process with a fresh batch of clean water and vinegar.
Step 3: Wipe Down With Damp Cloth
To remove any mineral deposits that have built up in the lid or residue on the warming plate, wet a cloth with vinegar. Take the cloth and wipe down any areas where the vinegar mixture may not be able to saturate, including the lid, outer surfaces, and warming plate.
Related: How to Clean Keurig Machine
Step 4: Cycle in Distilled Water
The final step to clean your coffee maker is to cycle through some distilled water. Pour out the vinegar mixture and toss the paper filter. Fill the reservoir with water and hit the brew button to run a full brew cycle with fresh water.
Repeat this process once more with fresh distilled water to ensure all the vinegar and mineral buildup has cycled out of your coffee machine and empty out the carafe.