How To Clean A Coffee Maker

You coffee tastes bitter – Your coffee maker has some foul smell – Or their are some strange sounds with your machine, probably, your machine needs some clean up. Don’t worry as you are among the 85% of Americans who brew coffee at home and are stuck at how to clean it thoroughly. Well, we are going to tell you the best method for that, but let’s first understand as why is it important to clean a coffeemaker.

How To Clean A Coffee Maker

Why is Cleaning a Coffee Maker So Important

When we think of germs and bacteria in the kitchen, a coffee maker is often skipped, and that’s one of the biggest mistakes. In actual, it’s one of the highest germicide spot at home, and sometimes and the spread can be even more than that of a bathroom. The following are some of points directly linked with clean up –

  • Better Coffee taste No one would like previous month’s leftovers in today’s coffee, ensure that you clean your coffee maker every 30 days. Oil residue from coffee beans can build-up; cleaning prevents off-flavors from contaminating your coffee.
  • Durable – Regular cleaning prevents water calcium deposits, which can reduce a coffee maker’s life, from accumulating in the heating unit.
  • Clean and Dry Discard wet grounds after brewing and don’t let them sit in the filter basket all day. Leave the lid up too after washing to ensure a clean, dry environment.
  • Coffee Windows indicator – In some coffee maker reservoirs or coffee pots, there is a coffee level window that shows how many cups of the coffee are remaining. Regular cleaning prevents you from thinking there’s coffee left when there isn’t.
  • Shine On – Tannin in a coffee can cause brownish stains to develop on the internal area of the coffee pots. Regular cleaning helps to keep the pots looking shiny and new.
  • Hard Water Build Up -However, you may notice the extended brewing time of your brewer in a long run. It’s because of the hard water mineral built up in the inner parts. For that, a thorough cleaning is required (To reduce the built up, always try to use filter water).

How to Clean A Drip Coffee Maker

The method is a little long and is not required on daily basis, but do it monthly or bi-monthly. Although after every use, you should clean the external parts like filter, warming plate, carafe and water reservoir with a little baking soda. It will remove the coffee, grounds and oil. Many of the coffee maker’s external parts are dishwasher safe, so that should be an easy task.

  1. Empty the coffee maker from grounds and coffee.
  2. Place a paper filter into the empty basket of machine.
  3. Fill the reservoir with 1:2 parts of white vinegar and water, like 3 cups vinegar and 6 cups of water. Let it stay there for 5 minutes. (Many of the tutorials will show half water and half vinegar, but that leaves a little more fragrance of vinegar).
  4. Run half brewing cycle and let the solution sit for 20-30 minutes.
  5. Run the remaining half cycle to empty the solution from the reservoir and inside the machine. If the machine is not cleaned from long, repeat steps 3-4 2 more times for a thorough cleaning.
  6. Now run the coffee maker 2 times with water in an interval of 15 minutes to get rid of the smell of vinegar.
  7. Clean the basket with soapy water. Use a toothbrush to remove any coffee residue left at extremes.
  8. Wipe off the machine with a clean cloth or a lint-free cloth and cleaning is complete.

How To Clean a Single Serve Coffee Maker

Cleaning Single Cup

Making use of coffee maker on a daily basis without proper cleaning can develop clogs that can cause the device to quit altogether. Here’s a quick cleaning routine to keep your coffee machine running appropriately.

(1) Unplug the device – It is a simple step, but important step.

(2) Disassemble and rinse removable parts – Remove the water reservoir and lid, mug stand, and also the k-cup holder. Wash these pieces in warm soapy water and dry.

(3) Wipe the machine surface – With a clean, dry cloth (or a damp cloth where needed), wipe the surface of the device. Return all removable parts and plug in the machine.

(4) Descale with a vinegar rinse – Mix one half white vinegar and water to fill the reservoir. Start the brew cycle without inserting a k-cup. Repeat until the tank is empty, discarding the MU items after each brewing cycle. This technique will help remove lime and scale buildup. Keurig recommends descaling your brewer at least every 3-6 months depending on your water source.

(5) Repeat rinse with water – Repeat the process using only plain water in the reservoir to remove any residual vinegar taste.

The method stated above is the very basic one and requires a home ingredient, vinegar. However, if you don’t like the smell of it or many people also complaint about the left over smell of vinegar in the coffee machine, you can go for the descaling solutions. They come at additional cost but are also effective in cleaning more thoroughly.

Common Problems In Single Serve Machines That Require Cleaning

There are some other challenges you can witness, if you acquire any single serve coffee makers, such as;

  • The unusual sound made by the coffee maker – one common problem that may arise with a coffee maker is the strange sounds coming out of the appliance. If you notice any clicking sounds at the time of brewing, then this could be due to some blockage or glitch in the machine. This sound is an indication of dirt or mineral builds up which tends to block the tubes inside it. To resolve this situation, you may need to clean the machine properly.
  • A leaking coffee maker – a lot of coffee maker users have experienced the problem of leaking warm water. In some cases, this could be the hot water leaking out of the machine while in other cases, this could be due to excessive steam build up which tends to get released and thus creates moisture. The main course behind this is a fault with the tubing in the appliance. One can resolve this problem by checking the pipe to ensure that there is no issue and that none of the tubes are loose.
  • Resultant brewed coffee does not remains hot – another common problem that people who use coffee makers face is the fact that the brewed coffee does not stay hot. This outcome is an indication that something is wrong with the heating element placed in the device. You can make use of an electrical tester so that you can check the correct warm switch. Also when the brewing process is going on, you must check for the auto shut off switch to ensure if it is in the right position.

How To Clean A French Press

If you use a French Press, you must know it makes one of the purest forms of coffee. Most of the variants come in glass forms, so you can’t go with dishwasher. Here are few simple steps to cleaning a French Coffee Press.

  • First of all, let your coffee press cool down.
  • Fill your Press with water and pour it over a fine mesh strainer to get all the grounds in it. Then dump the grounds in your garbage bin.
  • Use liquid dish soap and water to clean the carafe. Move the plunger up down a few times to form bubbles and then wash thoroughly with clean water.
  • If there is hard water at your home, you might be facing the problem of mineral built up. For that, use a 50/50 solution of water and vinegar and scrub the carafe. Baking soda can also be used in place of vinegar.
  • To clean the plunger thoroughly, disassemble the parts and dip them in the liquid soap solution for a while, or better add some baking soda too. After that, wash thoroughly for 1 or 2 times with clean water and check there are no stuck grounds anywhere.
  • Reassemble the things and you are done.

How to Clean a Moka Pot

If you are using a Moka Pot for brewing, then you might already know that no special instructions are required to clean it. Just take care of the things you are using.

  • Disassemble the parts of your Moka brewer.
  • Soak them in a liquid soap solution for a while.
  • Wash thoroughly to remove all stuck grounds, don’t use hard steel wool as it will scratch the body.
  • Dip it in a solution of 50/50 Vinegar and water if you feel some foul smell.
  • Wash again with liquid soap.
  • Reassemble the assembly and you are done.

Problems If You Don’t Clean Your Machine Regularly


It is essential to avoid beverages produce by dirty coffee maker to prevent ourselves from experiencing the following cases:

  • Bitter coffee taste The first sign that your coffee machine is contaminated is if your coffee is unusually bitter.
  • Allergies once the mold spores pour in your coffee from a polluted machine, they might lead to sneezing or an allergy.
  • Health related issues  Drinking beverages that are produce by dirty coffee makers can attract health related problem such as; Headaches, congestion, watery and itchy eyes and also skin irritation.
  • Gastrointestinal issues If you are a coffee lover, and are experiencing distress from gasses that also prompt diarrhea and vomiting, it might be as a result of the coffee you are taking from contaminated coffee maker because it is liable to trigger the gastrointestinal problem in the body system.
  • Respiratory infections – such as chronic bronchitis, coughing up blood and sinus infection can also be cause by dirty single coffee device.
  • Memory damage – While coffee is meant to keep you more alert that might not happen if it contains mold. High level of mold in body can cause brain damage and consequently result to long term memory loss.

If you notice any of the above symptoms, it might imply that your single coffee machine is contaminated.

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