How to Clean a Coffee Maker - Top Tips!
So your coffee is tasting a little “off,” and your coffee maker isn’t running as fast as it usually does. You know you have to clean the thing, but you have no idea how. You might think you have to run out and buy a host of different chemicals, but you probably already have exactly what you need in your home to clean your machine and go back to great tasting coffee.
Here’s how to clean your automatic drip coffee maker–with household ingredients–in 5 steps.
What you’ll need to clean your coffee maker:
- Regular white vinegar
- Tap water
- Baking soda
- Dish soap
- Clean cloth
- Clean dish sponge
Determine the maximum amount of liquid that will fit into your carafe. For a standard sized machine, it’s 8 cups; for smaller machines, it’s 4 cups. Make a 50/50 solution of water and white vinegar directly into your carafe. If it’s a standard size, that’s 4 cups each of vinegar and water. If it’s a smaller machine, that’ll be 2 cups each of water and vinegar. Pour the solution into the water reservoir of your drip machine.
Turn your coffee maker on. Let your vinegar-water solution brew half way, and then turn the machine off. Now, let the other half of the solution sit in the reservoir for 30 mins. Now that the machine is heated, the heat will help the vinegar break up the deposits. After 30 mins, turn the machine back on, and brew the rest of your solution. Once it’s done brewing, discard the brewed vinegar-water solution.
Rinse out your carafe well, and fill to the top with fresh water. Pour the fresh water into the reservoir and brew the entire pot. Discard the water once brewed. If you’re worried about the vinegar flavour lingering, you can repeat this step one more time.
Remove your filter basket, carafe lid, and permanent filter (if you have one) and hand-wash well with dish soap and warm water. Set aside to air dry. Meanwhile, wipe down the entire coffee maker with a clean, damp cloth. Grinds tend to accumulate around the dripper because the basket is right underneath, and the grinds can come in contact.
Rinse your carafe with warm water, and fill halfway with fresh warm water. Add in 2 teaspoons of baking soda, stir well, and leave to sit overnight. In the morning, discard the water, and clean with dish soap and warm water. Allow to air dry.
Why use vinegar?
Over time, automatic drip coffee makers accumulate lime and mineral buildup in the water reservoir, especially in municipalities with well water (hard water). Vinegar is a natural, food-safe acid that breaks up these deposits.
Why do I need to clean my drip coffee machine?
Mineral deposits can leave an aftertaste in your coffee. In addition, they can build up in the intake water spout, leading to slower brew times. Plus, if you don’t clean your coffee maker regularly (as in every 2 months), you run the risk of getting sick from mould growth. Why take the risk?
Coffee’s still not tasting perfect even after cleaning? Check out our Brew Guides and Recommended Grinder Settings for more helpful tips to improve your home brew!