If you’re someone who relies on a daily cup of coffee to start your day, you know the importance of a good tasting coffee.
However, if you’re not regularly cleaning your coffee maker, you might be compromising the quality of your brew.
Not only can a dirty coffee maker affect the taste of your coffee, but it can also impact the longevity of your machine.
In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps to clean your coffee maker and offer some tips on how to maintain it for optimal performance.
So, whether you’re a coffee connoisseur or just enjoy a simple cup of coffee, keep reading to learn how to keep your coffee maker in top shape.
A Quick Note
In this article, we’re referring to drip coffee makers, which are the most common type of coffee maker found in households and offices.
Drip coffee makers work by heating water and then dripping it through ground coffee beans and a filter, into a carafe or pot below.
The cleaning process described in this article is specifically for drip coffee makers, but some of the tips and techniques may apply to other types of coffee makers as well.
Some Things You Might Need
Before you start cleaning your coffee maker, it’s important to gather a few common supplies.
You will need a clean, lint-free cloth or paper towel, white vinegar or coffee maker cleaner, and water.
If you prefer to use a coffee maker cleaner, make sure to read the instructions carefully before using it. You may also want to grab a toothbrush or Q-tip to help clean hard-to-reach areas.
Having all your supplies within easy reach will make the cleaning process smoother and more efficient. Once you have everything you need, you’re ready to start cleaning your coffee maker.
Step-By-Step Cleaning Guide
Step 1: Empty and rinse the glass (carafe)
The first step in cleaning your coffee maker is to empty and rinse the glass container (also known as a carafe). Discard any leftover coffee and rinse the carafe with warm, soapy water.
Make sure to clean the lid and spout thoroughly, as these areas can become clogged with coffee oils and other residues.
Rinse the carafe with clean water to remove any soap residue.
Once the carafe is clean and rinsed, set it aside to dry. It’s important to have a clean carafe before brewing fresh coffee to ensure the best taste and aroma.
Step 2: Prepare the cleaning solution
The next step in cleaning your coffee maker is to prepare the cleaning solution. There are two options for the cleaning solution: white vinegar or a coffee maker cleaner.
If you’re using white vinegar, mix equal parts of water and vinegar in the carafe or reservoir.
If you’re using a coffee maker cleaner, follow the instructions on the package to prepare the solution.
Once you’ve prepared the solution, pour it into the water reservoir of your coffee maker. Be sure not to overfill the reservoir, as the cleaning solution will need space to circulate through the machine.
With the cleaning solution in place, you’re ready to move on to the next step.
Step 3: Run the cleaning solution through the coffee maker
Now that you’ve prepared the cleaning solution and added it to the water reservoir of your coffee maker, it’s time to run it through the machine.
Turn on your coffee maker and allow it to run through a complete brewing cycle. You may notice some steam or a strong vinegar smell, which is normal.
This process will help to dissolve any mineral build up and remove coffee oils that may have accumulated in the machine.
Once the cycle is complete, turn off the coffee maker and allow the cleaning solution to sit in the carafe or reservoir for 15-20 minutes.
This will give the cleaning solution time to work its way through the machine and fully dissolve any build up. After the waiting period, move on to the next step.
Step 4: Rinse the coffee maker with water
After the cleaning solution has been sitting in the coffee maker for 15-20 minutes, it’s time to rinse the machine with water.
Fill the water reservoir with clean water and run the machine through another complete brewing cycle.
This will help to flush out any remaining traces of the cleaning solution and prevent any vinegar taste from lingering in your coffee.
If you can still smell vinegar after the rinse cycle, repeat the rinsing process until the odour is gone.
Once the machine has been thoroughly rinsed, empty the carafe and rinse it with clean water as well.
Be sure to rinse all parts of the machine, including the filter basket and any removable parts, to ensure that there is no leftover residue.
After rinsing, your coffee maker is now clean and ready to use.
Step 5: Clean the exterior
In addition to cleaning the inside of the coffee maker, it’s also important to clean the exterior.
Wipe down the outside of the machine with a damp cloth or sponge to remove any dust, fingerprints, or spills.
For tougher stains or grime, use a mild soap solution and a soft-bristled brush or sponge to scrub the surface gently.
Be sure to avoid getting any water or cleaning solution inside the coffee maker itself, as this could damage the machine.
Once the exterior is clean, dry it thoroughly with a clean, dry cloth to prevent water spots.
A clean and shiny exterior will not only look good, but it will also help to prolong the life of your coffee maker.
Step 6: Run a cycle of clean water through the coffee maker
Once you’ve finished cleaning the inside and outside of your coffee maker, it’s a good idea to run a cycle of clean water through the machine before making your next pot of coffee.
Fill the water reservoir with clean water and run the coffee maker through a complete brewing cycle.
This will help to ensure that there is no leftover residue from the cleaning solution or any other build up in the machine.
After the cycle is complete, empty the carafe and rinse it with clean water. Your coffee maker is now clean and ready to make a fresh pot of coffee.
By regularly cleaning your coffee maker, you can help to maintain its performance and extend its lifespan, while also enjoying better-tasting coffee.
Step 7: Repeat the cleaning process if necessary
In some cases, one cleaning cycle may not be enough to fully remove all the build-up in your coffee maker.
If you notice that there is still residue or a vinegar smell after running the cleaning solution through the machine, don’t worry – you can simply repeat the cleaning process.
Drain the cleaning solution from the machine, rinse it thoroughly with water, and then prepare a fresh batch of cleaning solution.
Run the machine through another complete brewing cycle with the new cleaning solution, and then rinse it thoroughly with water once again.
Repeat this process until the machine is completely clean and odour-free.
Regular cleaning of your coffee maker will help to prevent the build up of residue and ensure that your machine performs at its best.
In addition to the step-by-step guide above, there are a few additional tips that can help you keep your coffee maker in top condition:
1. Clean your coffee maker regularly
Ideally, you should clean your coffee maker once a month, or more often if you use it frequently. Regular cleaning helps prevent the build-up of mineral deposits and coffee oils that can affect the taste of your coffee.
2. Use high-quality water
The quality of your coffee can also be affected by the quality of the water you use. Hard water with high mineral content can lead to mineral build-up in your coffee maker, which can affect the taste of your coffee.
If possible, use filtered or bottled water to reduce mineral content and improve the taste of your coffee.
3. Avoid using harsh chemicals
While vinegar or coffee maker cleaner are effective at cleaning your coffee maker, avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasives that can damage the machine. Stick to gentle cleaners and soft cloths or sponges.
4. Clean the filter basket and other removable parts
In addition to cleaning the carafe and water reservoir, it’s important to clean the filter basket and any other removable parts of your coffee maker. You can use a toothbrush or Q-tip to clean hard-to-reach areas.
5. Replace the filter regularly
If you use paper filters, make sure to replace them regularly to prevent mould or bacteria growth. Reusable filters should be cleaned after each use.
By following these additional tips, you can help ensure that your coffee maker stays clean and in good condition, and that you enjoy a great-tasting cup of coffee every time.
A clean coffee maker is essential for a great-tasting cup of coffee every time.
By following the step-by-step guide outlined in this article and implementing the additional tips, you can keep your coffee maker in top condition and extend its lifespan.
Remember to clean your coffee maker regularly, use high-quality water, avoid harsh chemicals, clean all removable parts, and replace the filter regularly.
With a little bit of maintenance, your coffee maker will continue to produce delicious coffee for years to come. Happy brewing!
In The Wash is your guide to the best laundry and cleaning products, tips and tricks. Our mission is to solve the UK’s cleaning and laundry dilemmas!