How to Clean Coffee Maker

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Cleaning your coffee maker is an essential task to ensure your morning brew tastes great and to maintain the longevity of your machine. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take you through the steps of cleaning a standard drip coffee maker with a glass carafe. If you have a different type of coffee maker, such as a single-serve or espresso machine, the basic principles of cleaning apply, but specific steps may vary.

Why Clean Your Coffee Maker

A clean coffee maker is crucial for several reasons:

  • Better Taste: Over time, mineral deposits, coffee oils, and residue can build up in your coffee maker. This can lead to off-flavors and a bitter taste in your coffee.
  • Hygiene: Coffee makers can harbor mold and bacteria if not properly cleaned. Regular cleaning ensures that your coffee is safe to drink.
  • Efficiency: A clean coffee maker brews more efficiently, ensuring that the water flows through the coffee grounds evenly.
  • Longevity: Regular maintenance can extend the life of your coffee maker. Neglecting cleaning can lead to breakdowns or malfunctions.

Materials You’ll Need

Before you begin, gather the following materials:

  • Vinegar or Coffee Maker Descaler: White vinegar is an excellent natural cleaner, but you can also find specialized coffee maker descaling solutions. Both work to remove mineral deposits.
  • Water: You’ll need water for various cleaning steps.
  • Soap or Dishwashing Detergent: For cleaning removable parts.
  • A Soft Cloth or Sponge: To wipe down the exterior.
  • A Brush or Toothbrush: Useful for scrubbing small or hard-to-reach areas.
  • A Microfiber Cloth: For polishing the exterior.

Step-by-Step Coffee Maker Cleaning Guide


Unplug and Empty Your Coffee Maker

  • Always start by unplugging your coffee maker and letting it cool down if it’s been in use. Pour out any leftover coffee or water from the carafe and remove any used coffee grounds or filters.

Disassemble Removable Parts

  • If your coffee maker has removable parts like a water reservoir, coffee filter basket, or carafe, remove them for cleaning.

Wash Removable Parts

  • Using warm, soapy water and a soft cloth or sponge, wash the removable parts. Be thorough, especially if there are coffee stains. Rinse them well to remove all soap residue.

Clean the Coffee Pot and Filter Basket

  • Make a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and water. Pour it into the coffee pot and place a paper filter in the filter basket. Run a brewing cycle without coffee grounds. This helps clean the internal components, including the water reservoir, tubing, and heating element. The vinegar solution will break down mineral deposits.

Rinse and Repeat

  • After the vinegar cycle, run a couple of plain water cycles to thoroughly rinse out any remaining vinegar. Ensure there’s no lingering vinegar smell or taste.

Clean the Exterior

  • Wipe down the exterior of the coffee maker with a soft cloth or sponge and soapy water. Pay attention to the control buttons, the warming plate, and any crevices where grime might accumulate.

Scrub Any Remaining Stains

  • For stubborn coffee stains or mineral deposits, use a brush or toothbrush to scrub gently. Be careful not to scratch any surfaces.

Dry and Reassemble

  • Allow all the parts to air dry completely, or use a microfiber cloth to speed up the process. Once everything is dry, reassemble your coffee maker.

Descaling the Coffee Maker

  • If your coffee maker sees frequent use, it’s a good idea to descale it occasionally to remove mineral buildup. You can use a coffee maker descaling solution for this. Follow the instructions on the descaler packaging; usually, you’ll need to mix the solution with water and run it through the machine. Remember to rinse the machine thoroughly with water afterward.

Final Polish

  • Use a microfiber cloth to give the exterior a final polish, making it shine like new.

Dispose of Used Coffee Grounds Properly

  • Don’t forget to dispose of used coffee grounds responsibly. They can be composted or used for various household purposes, such as deodorizing the refrigerator.

Regular Maintenance

  • To keep your coffee maker in good condition, consider a monthly cleaning routine. This might involve a vinegar rinse to prevent mineral buildup and a thorough cleaning of removable parts.

Final words

Remember that while this guide is specifically for standard drip coffee makers, other types of coffee makers may have different cleaning requirements. Always consult your coffee maker’s manual for manufacturer-recommended cleaning instructions.

By following these steps, you’ll ensure that your coffee maker remains clean, safe to use, and capable of producing delicious coffee every morning. Regular maintenance and cleaning are essential for the longevity of your machine and the quality of your coffee.


As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

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