How to Clean a Coffee Maker Properly

How to clean a coffee maker properly
Credit - Declan Cronin - Unsplash

If there’s one thing you have in your kitchen, it’s probably a coffee maker. Can you remember the last time you cleaned it? If not, don’t worry, you’re not alone. However, we’re here to share how to clean a coffee maker properly because it is beneficial to do every so often. It’s probably something you’ve ignored and now you don’t know where to start, so be sure to stay tuned for our cleaning tips.

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So, how do you clean a coffee maker?

In order to clean a coffee maker internally, you have to put it through the brewing cycle a few times so that the plain hot water cleans out any leftover coffee residue. You can mix vinegar or baking soda in with the water for extra cleaning of bacteria. You’ll know when to stop running the water when it comes out clear. The first few times, it will probably be dark from the coffee residue, which may shock you.

How do I know if my coffee maker needs to be cleaned?

You can usually tell if your coffee maker needs to be cleaned by the visible buildup around the pot. Another way you can tell is if your coffee tastes off. It is suggested to clean it at least once a month so that no build-up happens. Otherwise, trust your gut when it might be time to clean out the inside and try to do it at least a few times a year.

How to clean a coffee maker step by step?

Step 1: Dump any grounds that are in the coffee maker out. 

Step 2: Add three cups of water and one cup of undiluted vinegar to the reservoir. No need to put a filter inside. 

Step 3: Have it undergo the brewing cycle at least twice 

Step 4: Stop the cycle when the vinegar smell is gone and the water is clear. This can take up to ten minutes, depending on how often you brew the vinegar through the coffee maker. 

How often should you clean your coffee maker?

How to clean a coffee maker
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Ketut Subiyanto – Unsplash

If you use your coffee maker every single day, then you are going to want to clean your coffee maker once a month. It will keep your coffee maker from building up in coffee residue and your coffee from tasting bad. Even the New York Times agrees that you should be cleaning it, even though it’s a dreaded and seemingly extra step around the house. People don’t care to admit they never clean it, but once you do, your coffee might be even better. If you don’t use your coffee maker as much, then every three to six months is recommended. 

How to clean a Keurig coffee machine?  

Similarly to other coffee makers, you should run hot water through it until clean. Here is a step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Unplug the machine 

Step 2: Remove the lid, drip tray, water reservoir, and k cup holder. 

Step 3: If you have a filter inside, pop it out and set it aside. 

Step 4: Wash all the parts under water with soap.

Step 5: Once all parts are rinsed, thoroughly dry them with a towel. Expect the water reservoir to let that air dry to avoid lint from the towel getting inside. 

Step 6: Wipe down the machine with a wet cloth or sponge and then dry it with a clean cloth. 

Step 7: Remove the removable parts, reinsert the water filter, and plug the machine back in. It is cleaned and ready to be used again.

How do you descale a coffee machine?

When learning how to clean a coffee maker, you can use white vinegar to keep the machine performing its best. This is what descaling is. It basically involves any type of cleaning agent that you mix with water and run through metal pipes. You can also use commercial descale from the store, but white vinegar is the best choice if you want something that’s already in your home’s pantry.

What’s the difference between cleaning and descaling a coffee maker?

Cleaning Descaling 
– Removes dirt and oils from the machine using hot water, soap, etc.
– Doesn’t remove the mineral buildup from the inside, no matter how many times you clean. 
– Removes mineral buildup using a cleaning agent like vinegar
– Deep cleans from within the machine
– Prevents coffee from tasting bitter

When to clean an espresso machine?

If you use your espresso machine daily, you should give it a deep clean once a week.  If you don’t use it daily and it’s more of a once-a-week thing, you can put off cleaning it at least once a month.  Home Depot provides an article on how to clean your espresso machine and ensure you don’t ruin it. Essentially, you can scrub the inside metal pieces with a scrub brush and descale the machine the same way you would with a coffee maker.

How to clean coffee maker parts?

Unplug the machine first to avoid any unneeded power happening and make sure to empty any water so that it doesn’t spill on you or your kitchen. Next, remove all parts that can come apart from the coffee maker. The parts should be easy to undo and take off. If you are having trouble, check out a video online for your specific coffee maker. A lot of these will show you the parts and how to remove them. You can submerge the parts in water with soap and let them sit for an hour or so. Clean them afterwards with a towel before re-assembling.

What happens if you don’t clean your coffee maker?

How to clean a coffee maker and what happens when you don't
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John Schnobrich – Unsplash

If you don’t clean your coffee maker, your coffee can begin to taste bitter. It can also start to produce a smell from the residue that is left behind. Coffee can cause clogging and blockage in the machine when you don’t clean it, making it unusable. We don’t want our machines to break after a short period of time, so that’s why it’s important to learn how to clean a coffee maker and keep up with it over time.

Can you run soapy water through a coffee maker?

You can run soapy water through a coffee maker as if you were making coffee and this will clean it. However, it probably won’t be as effective as descaling a coffee maker. You can try adding a couple of drops of dish soap and have it run through once with soapy water, and then after, do the brewing again with just water. It may take a couple of rinses to get all the soap out. Make sure the water starts to come out clear, otherwise your coffee might start to taste soapy.

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We hope this helped you learn how to clean a coffee maker properly. It will make such a difference if you take ten to twenty minutes out of your day once a month and clean your coffee maker. Make sure to follow the steps we provided so that you avoid damaging the machine. Your coffee will taste even better before you know it.  

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