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How to Clean a Coffee Maker? A Comprehensive Guide 2022

When it comes to everyday morning routines, nothing can replace a hot cup of coffee. The aroma of hot coffee is essential for many people to a new day. However, you have to clean the coffee machine regularly to get the flavor you want. Otherwise, it will ruin the taste of this wonderful drink. This article will cover an easy step-by-step guide on “how to clean a coffee maker.” So, without further ado, let's solve it now!

How to Clean a Coffee Maker?

We will give you two of the most common ways to wash your machine.

Use Vinegar

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Step 1: Get Rid of Coffee Grounds

Before cleaning this kitchen appliance, you need to get rid of anything left over from your previous brew. It can be leftover coffee or coffee grounds. Whatever it is, throw it in the trash. Then, return the pot and basket to place.

Step 2: Mix Vinegar and Water 

Mix water and vinegar in a ratio of 50:50. Then pour this mixture into the water reservoir. Alternatively, you can also fill the chamber halfway with vinegar and then fill it with water.

This solution is very effective in removing limescale or other minerals.

Step 3: Run Two-Cycle

Now, you have to run this kitchen appliance. After it completes one cycle, continue to fill the reservoir with the hot vinegar water and run the next cycle.

Step 4: Clean the Pot And Basket

After the second cycle is completed, remove all the water inside the pot and wash it with hot and soapy water. You also need to use hot and soapy water to wash the basket.

If you find residue clinging to the crevices of the basket, it is best to remove them with an old toothbrush.

Step 5: Remove All Vinegar From the Your appliance

Pour cold water into the reservoir. After that, run another cycle and then dump the pot. Repeat this process two to three times until the vinegar is completely removed from the machine.

You should add a little baking soda to the pot for the last cycle. Then, if no more fizz appears, you can rest assured that the vinegar has been completely removed. The reason is that baking soda combined with vinegar will create fizz.

Step 6: Wipe Off Remaining Stubborn Stains

Use a cloth to wipe water spots on the outside of the appliance. If you find any stubborn stains left, dip a cloth in vinegar and scrub them away. Then, wipe it again with clean water and dry it with a dry towel.

Step 7: Rewash the Coffee Basket and Pot

Wash the coffee basket and pot with warm water. Then, let these parts dry completely before putting them back in your machine. You can also use a dry cloth to wipe them.

Check out this video for more information

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Not Use Vinegar

The most common method of cleaning a coffee machine is to use white vinegar. It contains acetic acid, effectively removing build-up and killing bacteria or mold. This cleaning method is also affordable.

However, you'll need to put in a little effort to get the vinegar out of your machine, or it'll ruin the flavor of your coffee.

In addition, many people will feel uncomfortable due to the smell of vinegar emitted during the cleaning process. The good news is that you have many other ways to substitute vinegar.

Use Liquid Dish Soap

If you are willing to disassemble the machine, it is possible to wash the components with liquid dish soap.

  • Step 1: Remove all housing and functional components.

  • Step 2: Use water and liquid dish soap to wash these components.

  • Step 3: Rinse them again with clean water.

  • Step 4: After reassembling the machine, clean it again with clean water to remove all the soap.

Use Lemon Juice

Lemon juice

Lemon juice. Source

Like white vinegar, lemons contain acids. But, lemon juice has a pleasant aroma and is affordable, making it a popular choice for cleaning your machine. Here is how it work

Step 1: Pour the lime juice (seeds removed) inside the machine like you would for white vinegar.

Step 2: Run warm and clean water through its system for several cycles to remove the lemon juice.

Use  Salt and Ice Water

Using salt and ice water is the perfect solution for removing scale build-up in caramel or other removable parts. Here is how it work

  • Step 1: Put table salt and crushed ice in the carafe.

  • Step 2: Rub the ice and salt inside the carafe with a large spoon or a cloth.

  • Step 3: Wash the carafe and other removable parts in the dishwasher.

Use Baking Soda

Baking Soda

Baking Soda. Source

Baking soda is also known as an effective and non-toxic cleaning product. Also, it can work well with coffee makers, thanks to its alkaline properties. Here is how it work

  • Step 1: Mix a quarter cup of baking soda with a cup of warm water.

  • Step 2: Run this mix through your machine in one cycle.

  • Step 3: Remove this mixture by running clean water for one or two cycles.

Use Borax

This all-purpose cleaner is often used to clean refrigerators and washing machines. Of course, you can use it to clean your coffee maker. Here is how it work

  • Step 1: Mix a few tablespoons of borax with a few cups of water.

  • Step 2: Run this mix through the system for one cycle.

  • Step 3: Run fresh water through the system one cycle to remove this mixture.

Use Alcohol


Alcohol. Source

Hard alcohol also contains unique properties for removing stains in kitchen equipment. Here is how it work:

  • Step 1: Fill the water reservoir with hard alcohol. Vodka and other spirits work well for this task.

  • Step 2: Pour fresh water into the reservoir.

  • Step 3: Run the water and alcohol mixture for one cycle.

  • Step 4: Rinse your device at least twice under fresh water to remove the mixture.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is also suitable for this project, thanks to its excellent disinfecting properties. Here is how it work:

  • Step 1: Mix one cup of hydrogen peroxide with two cups of water.

  • Step 2: Run this mixture for one cycle.

  • Step 3: Run fresh water through the system for two cycles to remove this mixture.

Why You Should Clean Your Coffee Machine Frequently

The residue will build up significantly inside the machine over time when you make coffee every day. If these residues are not removed, your drink will become increasingly bitter.

On the other hand, even though your machine looks good, it could be home to many different strains of bacteria or molds and yeasts. Some can make you sick when they enter your body, and others will stay in your gut like a new home.

Hence, daily and monthly cleaning of the coffee maker is necessary to protect your health and preserve the perfection of the coffee taste.

How Often Should You Clean Your Machine?

If you want your machine to always be in top condition so you can get the perfect hot cup of coffee every morning, it's best to clean it on a specific schedule.


After each use, you should wash removable parts, such as the filter basket, pot, and lid. It is wise to use hot soapy water to remove greasy coffee grounds.

If you want a deep clean, you can sprinkle some salt or baking soda inside or place them on the top rack of your dishwasher.


Monthly cleaning is essential to prolong the machine’s life and keep it in top condition. You should use one of the methods mentioned above for the best results.

Signs That Your Machine Needs Cleaning

If you are too busy cleaning your coffee maker daily, you will need to know when to clean your machine. Here are some obvious signs of that:

  • Brewing time is longer than usual

  • Your coffee smells or tastes weird

  • Your machine makes noise when brewing

  • Your machine spews coffee everywhere

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. How many times should I run vinegar through my coffee maker?

Ideally, run the vinegar through your machine two to three times or until you feel it is spotless.

2. Does vinegar really clean the coffee maker?

Yes. It is even the best way to clean your machine. However, some people cannot stand the unpleasant smell of vinegar. Also, the other types of vinegar like apple cider,  balsamic, red wine have more particles, making your machine dirtier.

3. How do I clean my coffee machine without vinegar?

You can clean your coffee machine without vinegar. Here are a few alternatives for you:

  • Baking Soda
  • Salt and Ice Water
  • Liquid Dish Soap
  • Lemon Juice
  • Borax
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Alcohol

4. How much vinegar do you put in a 12 cup machine to clean it?

You will want to use 4 to 6 cups of white vinegar and 6 to 8 cups of plain water to lean it.

5. Can I use baking powder for cleaning?

While baking powder may offer some cleaning effect, it is designed for baking. So, you should not use it for any cleaning purposes. Instead, you should use baking soda for cleaning.

Wrap Up

In general, how to clean a coffee maker is not as complicated as many people think. But, you must do it right to preserve your perfect coffee taste.

You will have a perfect coffee machine, free of impurities and ready for subsequent use by following our step-by-step instructions.

Thank you for reading!