How to Clean a Coffee Maker With Vinegar

Ah, Coffee. Enjoyed by people around the world as a substitute for tea, or because people want something stronger and able to keep them awake when they are busy. Millions of people use Coffee makers to brew their coffee, but a buildup of residue and scale from water, which is actually a collection of mineral deposits can and will affect the taste and the flavor of the drink, but it will also cause problems for the coffee maker. The components will become clogged and over time, the efficiency of the drip operation could become impaired.

It won’t help the residue of the coffee will be mixed with the natural oils. Coffee beans are packed with these oils and they won’t be removed by the water as its mixed with the coffee, so if you taste your coffee and it comes out with a bitter flavor, then it means you’ve got problems with the coffee maker’s basket and some of the other components. The coffee maker should be cleaned fairly regularly, but the problem is made worse when you take into account the leftover coffee grounds is a moist environment. This can become the home of yeasts, or could lead to the growth of molds, bacterias. The scale will narrow the water channels, especially if you use hard water for making the coffee, as a result, the coffee maker will begin to work more slowly if the deposits are not removed.

How often should a coffee maker be cleaned?

Ideally, you should clean the maker after every use. You simply remove the grounds and clean out the brew basket, the lid, and the carafe. However, the deeper cleaning which involves descaling to remove the mineral deposits which build up with the use of hard water should be done, at least, every three months. The problem with hard water, which is water with a heavy mineral content, is if you have a home with it or if you have the habit of filling up the coffee maker’s water reservoir from a rinsed carafe which isn’t cleaned out, the residue may build up more quickly, in that case, it would be advisable to clean the coffee maker on a monthly basis.

The good news is some coffee makers have been designed to feature a visible or audible cleaning signal. This leads to a forced downtime you should use to clean the coffee maker. There are many ways you can clean a coffee maker. You can use chemicals, but the most natural and effective means is to use vinegar since vinegar is a natural household liquid which leaves no residue or toxic compounds. The acidic properties of vinegar are more than effective in removing the minerals, the buildups, and the oils from the coffee maker.

Here is How to Clean a Coffee Maker with Vinegar

Note – Please make sure you have checked the coffee maker’s manual to ensure using vinegar won’t damage the maker. There are some brands which won’t allow it, due to the potential damage the vinegar can have on the metallic parts.

  • Step One – Remove and Clean the parts – Clean out any leftover coffee out of the carafe, and rinse it out properly with cold water. Empty out the coffee maker, clean out the brew basket, and use soapy water on the permanent filter. If you can remove the water filter, do so, and then replace the parts.
  • Step Two-Mix up – Take six cups of water and mix them with three cups of vinegar. This amount should be sufficient to fill the coffee maker. Fill the water chamber with this combination. Or alternatively, fill the water reservoir with equal amounts of water and vinegar, however, if you can’t see the level in the brewer, mix it separately.
  • Step Three – Beginning the cleaning – Take a white cloth and use the solution to clean the outer surface of the maker and the heating element. Allow the solution to sit in the water chamber for up to 20 minutes. This amount of time should be enough to let the vinegar dissolve the hard deposits that have built up.
  • Step Four-Run Half of a Drip Cycle – Make your coffee maker run through half of a drip cycle, stop it so the solution can be allowed to sit in both the water channel and the reservoir for half an hour. Shut off the coffee pot after one cycle is completed before letting it cool for a quarter of an hour.
  • Step Five – Resume the brew cycle – After waiting for half an hour or up to a full hour, resume the cycle and let the vinegar-water solution go through the coffee maker. Discard the solution.
  • Step Six – Seeing if the cleaning solution has worked – When you’ve discarded the solution, run the coffee maker through a brew cycle after you’ve refilled the water chamber with a fresh supply of water. Discard it, and replace the filter if it uses paper. Allow it to sit and then repeat the cycle with fresh water.
  • Step Seven – Have you forgotten the brew basket and the carafe? – Clean out the brew basket, the permanent filter, and the carafe with hot soapy water. It also might be a good idea to change the water filter if the brewer has one, but thoroughly wipe the exterior of the coffee maker as you go.
  • Step Eight – You’re finished! – The coffee maker should now be ready to work again, and the taste of your coffee is now probably better than it had been before.

Extra tips

  1. Use demineralized water when brewing coffee.
  2. Clean the carafe regularly with hot soapy water.
  3. Do not leave the grounds in the brew basket for long periods of time, this will lead to the growth of bacteria.
  4. Some coffee makers require longer cleaning times, so follow the manual thoroughly.


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