How to Clean A Coffee Maker – Cleaning Tips

A coffee maker is a simple electrical machine that is used to brew coffee. It contains a filter paper that filters ground coffee through a simple filtration technique into a coffee pot or cup.

How To Clean A Coffee Maker
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It is portable and is a convenient way to brew fresh coffee. You also save money that would have been used to buy coffee from coffee shops.

Over time, there’s a build-up of coffee residues, mineral residues, and dirt caused by hard water and essential oils found in coffee seeds. Hence, we need to know how to clean a coffee maker.

This leads to mold infestation and changes the taste of your coffee. It also reduces the efficiency of the machine.

To prevent this, it’s important to clean coffee makers regularly, either daily after use or monthly.

Video: How to Clean A Coffee Maker

If you prefer learning by video, this article is also explained here.

What Are The Parts Of A Coffee Maker?

The parts of a coffee maker include:

1. Hot plate.

2. Carafe or coffee pot.

3. Filter basket.

4. Water reservoir.

“What are the parts of a coffee maker”

A Hot Plate

The hot plate is found beneath the machine. 

It is enclosed by a heating element that heats water in coffee makers and keeps coffee warm after brewing.

A Carafe or Coffee Pot

The carafe or coffee pot receives filtered coffee.

It is a detachable component of coffee makers found directly under the filter basket. Carafes are used to serve coffee.

Filter Basket

The filter basket contains a filter (paper or steel) that holds and filters coffee grounds. 

It has tiny holes that allow filtered coffee to drip down into the coffee pot while it retains the grounds. 

Water Reservoir

The water reservoir is the part that holds water in coffee makers. 

Below the reservoir is a hole or tube that carries hot water down the drip area at the beginning of the coffee brewing cycle. 

Types of Coffee Makers

The following are types of coffee makers:

1. Drip coffee maker.

2. Thermal coffee maker.

3. Perculators.

4. French press coffee maker.

5. Espresso machine.

6. Aeropress coffee maker.

7. Cold brew coffeee maker.

Drip Coffee Makers

Drip coffee makers are fast, durable, and easy to use. The main function of this coffee maker is to make coffee using heated water. 

It filters the coffee grounds before dripping into the carafe. 

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Thermal Coffee Makers

Thermal coffee makers are coffee makers that brew coffee into a thermally insulated coffee pot or carafe. They are like the drip coffee maker but has an added advantage of keeping your coffee hot for hours. 

This leads to continuous cooking of coffee which changes its taste.

Thermal coffee makers are also fast and durable.

Percolators

Perculators are coffee makers that brew coffee by steaming the coffee grounds. 

They’ve been replaced by drip coffee makers.

French Press Coffee Makers

French press coffee makers are portable coffee makers that are easy to use. They have a plunger that when pressed separates coffee from coffee grounds. 

They retain coffee flavors and essential oils.

Espresso Machines

Espresso machines force water near the boiling point under pressure through the coffee grounds to produce a thick and concentrated coffee. 

It is not easy to operate like a drip coffee maker.

Cold Brew Coffee Makers

Cold brew coffee makers brew coffee by adding water to coffee grounds in a coffee pot. 

It can be used to make iced coffee or taken as regular coffee. Cold brew coffee can also be refrigerated for future use. 

What Are The Cleaning Supplies You Need To Clean Your Coffee Maker?

To clean your coffee maker, you need the following:

Dish Soap.

Water.

Soft sponge.

Soft cloth.

Vinegar.

Baking soda.

Bleach

Lemon juice.

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How to Clean Coffee Makers With Dish Soap And Water

Follow these steps to clean a coffee maker with dish soap and water:

1. Remove all detachable parts of the coffee maker.

2. Scrap off all coffee grounds residue on filter basket.

3. Flush hot water through it.

4. Use dish soap, water, and sponge to wash the filter basket.

5. Use warm water and allow it to dry.v. Dispose of left-over coffee in the carafe or coffee pot.

6. Use warm water to clean it.

7. Wash carafe with dish soap and sponge.

8. Again, clean using warm water and wipe dry.

9. Use wet clean cloth and soap to clean the exteriors of the coffee maker avoiding the heating element.

10. Wipe dry.

11. Return coffee maker parts when properly dried.

Video: How To Clean Your Coffee Maker In 3 Easy Steps

This video will show you how to clean a coffee maker step by step.

How to Clean Coffee Makers With Vinegar

Follow these steps to clean a coffee maker with vinegar:

1. Add vinegar and water in the same proportion (50:50) to the water reservoir.

2. Run a brew cycle and stop it so that vinegar-water solution can stay in the coffee maker for about an hour. After an hour, finish the brew cycle.

3. Dispose of the water-vinegar mixture from the water reservoir and coffee pot.

4. Fill the water reservoir with clean water and run a second brew cycle.

5. Wash filter basket and coffee pot with hot water and soap.

6. Clean using warm water and allow it to dry.

7. Clean the exteriors of the coffeemaker with a clean cloth and water.

8. Wipe dry with a clean cloth.

9. Replace all parts to the coffeemaker.

This method removes hard water calcification and residues from coffee makers.

How to Clean Coffee Makers With Baking Soda

To clean a coffee maker with baking soda, do the following:

i. Remove filter basket from the coffeemaker.

ii. Fill the coffee pot with warm water and add 1 cup of baking soda.

iii. Shake very well until baking soda dissolves and pour into the water reservoir.

iv. Run a brew cycle and dispose of dirty water.

v. Fill the reservoir with clean water and run brew cycles until all dirt is washed off.

vi. Wash the coffee pot with warm soapy water and sponge and rinse with clean water.

This method will give your coffee maker a fresh smell.

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How to Clean Coffee Makers With Lemon Juice

Follow these steps to clean a coffee maker with lemon juice:

1. Fill the reservoir with cold water and run a brew cycle, ensure that the filter basket is empty.

2. Dispose of water and leave the machine off.

3. Add water and lemon juice in the same proportion (50:50) to the water reservoir.

4. Allow it to stay in the water reservoir for fifteen minutes.

5. Run a brew cycle and stop to allow it to stay in the coffee pot for another fifteen minutes.

6. Run a second brew cycle.

7. Dispose of the lemon-water mixture and run a third brew cycle with clean cold water.

8. Leave the coffee pot and filter basket in warm soapy water for thirty minutes.

9. Wash the coffee pot and filter basket with sponge and lemon juice and clean it using warm water.

10. Wipe with a dry clean cloth and replace it in the machine.

This method removes residues and coffee build-up from your coffee maker.

How to Clean Coffee Makers With Bleach

To clean coffee makers with bleach, do the following:

i. Add half a cup of bleach to three cups of water.

ii. Pour the solution into the water reservoir and run a brew cycle.

iii. Dispose of the mixture after the first brew cycle.

iv. Fill the reservoir with clean water and run brew cycles to completely remove bleach from the machine.

v. Rinse filter basket and coffee pot using warm water.

This method kills bacteria or germs in your coffee maker.

How to Remove Sludge And Grime From A Coffee Pot

To remove sludge and grime from the coffee pot, do the following:

1. Fill coffee pot using warm water, dish soap, and a small quantity of rice. 

2. Whirl the coffee pot gently. 

3. Brush the interiors with a sponge and rinse with clean water.

“How to remove sludge and grime from a coffee pot”

How Often Should You Clean Coffee Makers

Coffee makers should be cleaned regularly, especially immediately after use. This prevents the accumulation of dirt and coffee ground residues in the coffee maker. 

Soak all removable parts of the machine in warm soapy water weekly to remove essential oils.

Deep cleaning of the machine should be done at least once every month.

How to Maintain A Coffee Maker

Follow these steps to maintain a coffee maker:

1. Always discard residual coffee grounds in the machine to prevent mold infestation.

2. Always use soft water to make your coffee to prevent calcification.

You can consult the product manual or manufacturer for more expert tips to clean your coffee maker.

Here are some other great articles from our previous post:

In Conclusion

It’s imperative that we always clean our coffee makers to keep it free from germs. 

Remember the taste, the flavor of your coffee, and the efficiency of your machine are dependent on this. 

How to Clean A Coffee Maker –Related FAQs

How to Clean Coffee Maker Without Vinegar

To clean a coffee maker without vinegar, use any of these methods:

Method 1:

  1. Add a cup of hydrogen peroxide to your coffee pot or carafe.
  2. Fill it up with warm water and run a brewing cycle with all the hydrogen peroxide solution.
  3. Rinse the coffee maker using clean water, running at least 2 cycles.

Hydrogen peroxide is a potent disinfectant that can be used to remove limescale from coffee makers. You can use hydrogen peroxide with or without vinegar. 

Method 2:

  1. Fill the coffee pot or carafe with hot water.
  2. Add 3 tbsp cream of tartar and stir until completely dissolved.
  3. Run a brewing cycle through the coffee maker using the cream of tartar solution.
  4. At the end of the brewing cycle, wash all removable parts of the coffee maker with soapy water.

You can also run a rinse cycle using water. This is not necessary in most cases.

Cream of tartar is a spice that has a similar working mechanism with baking soda. Cream of tartar is used to remove dirt and grime from the coffee maker.

Method 3:

  1. Add 3 tablets of Alkar Seltzer into the water reservoir filled with water.
  2. Allow the Alkar Seltzer tablets to fizzle in the water for about 15 minutes.
  3. Run a full brewing.
  4. At the end of the cycle, run at least 1 or 2 rinse cycles with clean water.

The Alkar Seltzer tablet is an antacid that is made up of baking soda and citric acid. These tablets can also be used to reduce the effects of indigestion.

How to Clean Keurig Coffee Maker With Vinegar

Follow these steps to clean Keurig coffee maker with vinegar:

  1. Unplug the coffee maker from the electric source.
  2. Dismantle all removable parts of the Keurig coffee maker.
  3. Wash all removable parts of the Keurig coffee maker in soapy warm water and allow the parts to dry.
  4. Use a dry clean cloth to wipe all surfaces of the Keurig coffee maker. Pay special attention to the coffee pod area.
  5. Replace the removable parts back to Keurig coffee maker and plug the coffee machine into the wall socket.
  6. Pour the white vinegar into the water reservoir halfway.
  7. Add water to fill up the reservoir.
  8. Run a brewing cycle with the vinegar solution without inserting the Keurig cup until the water reservoir is empty.
  9. Repeat the brew cycle with clean water to remove any lingering vinegar taste. 

How Do You Unclog A Coffee Maker?

To unclog a coffee maker, follow these steps:

  1. Fill the water reservoir with water and vinegar.
  2. Run a brew cycle with the vinegar solution, drain the coffee maker, and rinse the coffee maker with clean water.
  3. Use a sharp wire to poke the coffee maker drain hole to further unclog the machine.
  4. Replace any broken parts of the coffee maker.
  5. Unplug the coffee maker and remove the base plate.
  6. Remove the rubber elbow from the water reservoir and clean it with soap and warm water.
  7. Clean the valves with soapy water and rinse with clean water.
  8. Assemble all parts after washing.

Most times, coffee residues and mineral deposits clog the sprout and water valves. Cleaning them and descaling your coffee maker gets rid of all clogs.

When Should You Replace Coffee Maker?

You should replace your coffee maker when: 

  1. there is a change in your coffee taste.
  2. your coffee maker is old. New coffee makers are multifunctional and have features that save energy and money.
  3. the coffee maker leaks due to long time use and worn out parts. Sometimes, you may notice the coffee maker no longer brews coffee to full capacity or volume.
  4. your coffee maker no longer brews your coffee at the right temperature due to worn out heating element.
  5. your coffee maker becomes too small to meet your coffee needs. This may be due to the small size of the coffee machine.

How to Repair A Leaking Coffee Maker

Follow these steps to repair a leaking coffee maker:

  1. Fill the water reservoir with vinegar and water in a 50:50 ratio.
  2. Run a brewing cycle. This will dissolve all mineral build-up in the coffee maker.
  3. Unplug the coffee machine and check the pump valve for clogs or broken parts.
  4. Clean the pump valve or replace the valve if it’s faulty.
  5. Remove the base plate and inspect the brew switch. You can test the brew switch with a volt-ohmmeter.
  6. Check the tube connectors. Clean the elbow and tube if they are clogged or replace them if they are faulty.

If your coffee maker still leaks after following these steps, it’s time to replace it altogether.