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How to Clean a Coffee Maker So That It Makes a Delicious Cup o’ Joe Every Time


Whether your have a a plain, ol’ coffee maker or a multi-setting espresso machine, it’s increasingly important to take care of it so that it can continue to churn out your morning, afternoon, or evening cup without fail. When it comes to cleaning appliances, many people don’t even consider this one, so here’s everything you need to know about how to clean a coffee maker.

Why do you need to clean a coffee maker?

Over time, processing coffee beans and grinds causes calcium deposits and residue to naturally build up. If you aren’t regularly cleaning your machine, it’ll not only slow down and become less effective, but it won’t produce as good — or strong — of a cup of coffee over time. Note that if you have a much more intricate coffee machine, or you use something like a Keurig, you’ll want to consult your user handbook for more information on how to clean manufacturer-specific parts.

What is the best way to clean a coffee maker?

There are many different ways to clean a coffee maker. Some appliance manufacturers may make special cleaning solutions depending on the model you bought, but you can also make your very own DIY cleaner.

First, you’ll want to detach all of the removable parts of the appliance. Rinse them off, then submerge them for at least five minutes in a tub of warm water and dish soap before drying them off.

Next, if you want to clean the entire machine and not just a few parts, you’ll want to decalcify it using white vinegar. Simply create a mixture that’s equal parts vinegar and water and pour it in the reservoir after placing a filter in the empty basket. Make sure your pot is in place as you “brew” the vinegar liquid halfway. Turn off your machine and let it sit for at least 30 minutes before finishing the “brew” and dumping out the vinegar mixture. You’re going to want to then brew a full pot of clean water twice to ensure that any remaining vinegar has cleared through the appliance.

Now, it’s time to turn your attention to the carafe. Even if you give it a quick clean every day, you may notice it starting to look dingy or streaky over time. To return it to its shine-filled glory, fill it with soapy water and a handful of white rice. (Yes, it’s a little strange!) Swish the rice liquid around for a few minutes to polish the sides and remove excess grime, then rinse and finish washing the carafe with a sponge.

How often should you clean it?

You should definitely be cleaning the removable parts of your coffee machine, such as the carafe and brew basket, after daily use to keep them from showing any signs of degradation or residue. You’ll want to schedule a deeper clean every one to two months, whenever you notice your coffee maker starting to get dingy, dirty, or just less efficient.

How do you clean it without vinegar?

You can definitely clean your coffee maker without a single drop of vinegar. If you want a citrusy scent, you can swap vinegar for lemon juice in the initial recipe (equal parts water and lemon juice) and run that diluted mixture through your reservoir instead. Just follow all of the other steps as is. A solution that’s one cup of warm water and a quarter-cup of baking soda can also do the trick without having to change your process.

Once your coffee maker is clean, you’ll have the best brew every single day!

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