Shannyn Allan | 

How to Clean Your Cuisinart Coffee Maker

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A good cup of morning coffee just starts the day off right. If you’re a daily coffee drinker who worships at the throne of their Cuisinart coffee maker, your machine will need a good cleaning on a monthly basis. But how do you properly clean this thing in a way that really makes a difference? We have some ideas.

With daily use, your Cuisinart coffee maker will eventually need to be descaled, as minerals from water can cause build up in the machine. Yes, even purified water contributes to this. The grime can not only make the machine look dirty but also impact its efficiency. Even worse, mineral buildup can make your coffee taste off. No one wants that.

If you’ve noticed your Cuisinart coffee maker isn’t drawing up water as quickly as it used to, it’s time to completely clean and remove any mineral buildup that could be clogging up your machine.

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How to Clean Cuisinart Coffee Makers With a Self-Cleaning Feature

self-clean button on a cuisinart coffee maker

If you need to figure out how to clean a Cuisinart coffee maker, some models come with a self-cleaning feature. It will actually alert you when the machine is due for cleaning. However, a good rule of thumb is to clean the machine monthly if you use it daily or have hard water. If you’re less of a coffee drinker, you can get away with using the self-cleaning feature every three to six months.

To start the self-cleaning feature on a Cuisinart coffee maker, empty out the grounds from the filter basket and any brewed coffee from the carafe. Fill the reservoir with a 50/50 mixture of distilled white vinegar and distilled water.

Close the lid and start the self-cleaning cycle by hitting the “self clean” button. Follow this up by brewing a pot of just plain water, ideally distilled water.

It’s really this simple to clean a Cuisinart coffee maker with a self-clean feature. Your Cuisinart coffee maker should take about 15 – 20 minutes to run through a cycle and then will turn off when it finishes.

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How to Clean a Cuisinart Coffee Maker

Figuring out how to clean a Cuisinart coffee maker without a self-clean feature or indicator light is also super easy. You’ll want to get on a schedule of deep cleaning your Cuisinart coffee maker every 30 days if you have hard water or if you drink coffee daily. Deep clean every three to six months if you don’t brew coffee as often.


Step 1: Run a brew cycle with a 50/50 vinegar and water mixture.

person cleaning cuisinart coffee maker with water-vinegar solution

Over time, you’ll want to remove any mineral buildup and dust accumulating inside your coffee maker. To descale, run a food safe cleaner through your Cuisinart coffee maker. Vinegar is the best choice to disinfect and descale. Brew a pot using a mixture of three cups of vinegar and three cups of distilled water. Allow it to run through all the pipes and parts during the brew cycle.

Place a clean paper filter in the machine to catch any debris before you brew the mixture. This is especially important if you have really hard water and calcium is visibly built up in the reservoir.

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Step 2: Brew and repeat.

cuisinart coffee machine self-cleaning process

Once you’re ready, hit the brew button so your cleaning mixture of water and vinegar can run through the machine. As the vinegar mixture heats up, the steam and brewing process will descale the inner workings of your Cuisinart coffee maker.

You can let the mixture sit for 10 – 20 minutes in the carafe before repeating the process with a fresh batch of clean water and vinegar.


Step 3: Wipe down with a damp cloth.

person cleaning a cuisinart coffee machine by wiping with towel

To remove any mineral deposits and dust in your coffee maker, 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. You can follow this up with a water-dampened cloth, but any vinegar smell should dissipate on its own in a few hours.


Step 4: Cycle in distilled water.

person cleaning a cuisinart coffee maker with water-vinegar solution

The final step to clean your Cuisinart 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 a final time 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. Then empty out the carafe. With that, you’ll be able to enjoy a clean coffee maker that runs efficiently, producing coffee that tastes great.

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