How to Clean Coffee Maker With or Without Vinegar [Step By Step Guide]

Coffee is something that if you have a habit of drinking, you drink it every day, at times multiple times per day. It just gives your head a kickstart for the day, doesn’t it? If you need it instantly after waking up without putting much effort then you probably got yourself a coffee maker. Although it may not seem like it, coffee makers tend to get very dirty over time. So, let’s find out how to clean a coffee maker for your well-being.

One of the secrets behind a perfect cup of coffee is having a clean coffee maker. It doesn’t matter which one you are using. Your coffee maker may have self-cleaning options, but you need to use that regularly. Quality espresso machines like Jura E6, Jura D6, Barista Express, La Specialista, etc. need cleaning to serve the best.

In fact, each time you brew coffee, the coffee leaves some residue in the maker. This builds up over time and it gives germs and minerals space to grow. With time, it can even change the taste of your coffee. So, it’s utterly essential that you learn how to clean a coffee maker and clean it as needed.

how to clean a coffee maker without vinegar or lemon juice
Ways of Cleaning Coffee Makers

How To Clean Coffee Maker With Vinegar

Are you afraid that cleaning a coffee maker may be very difficult and lengthy? Well, the good news is it’s not. Furthermore, you do not have to buy any expensive cleaning liquid to do it either. You can just make do with vinegar that is available in your house.

In fact, vinegar is one of the best things to clean a coffee maker with. Apparently, you can use Apple Cider Vinegar instead of white vinegar. But, apple cider vinegar has a stronger scent and it may linger for a lot longer. So, how do you do it? Let’s find out.

how to clean coffee maker with apple cider vinegar
Steps of cleaning coffee maker with vinegar

What You Need:

  • White Distilled Vinegar.
  • Water
  • A coffee filter.

Yes, that is about everything you need to clean your drip coffee machine with vinegar.

The Steps

Empty the coffee pot

The first thing you have to do with a drip coffee maker is empty the pot. There should be no coffee in it and the coffee ground should be removed as well.

Fill the pot with vinegar and water

You have already made the mixture. If you haven’t made it just drop the vinegar and water directly into the coffee pot.

Brew a pot

Turn the coffee machine on. What you are doing here is brewing vinegar and water instead of coffee. So, the mixture will pass through every space that the coffee usually passes through. This means all the moldy and dirty places will be touched by the vinegar and water mixture.

Let the vinegar solution sit

Once you have brewed a pot, you have to wait a bit. What you are doing here is leaving the vinegar and water to their jobs. They will get busy killing germs and loosening the internal dirt. You can wait for 15 or 30 minutes or even an hour for this.

Brew two more fresh cycles

Vinegar does not taste very great and it does not smell great either. So, you have to do your part by removing whatever amount of vinegar solution is left in the system. Fill the pot with fresh water and brew the water. In this case, you should complete two brew cycles to be completely rid of the vinegar in the system.

Attend to the surface

You have cleaned the interior, the most important parts of the coffee maker very well. Now, you can clean the rest of the coffee machine by wiping and getting rid of any visible dirt.

How Much Vinegar You Need To Clean A Coffee Maker

If you have a large coffee maker 3 cups of vinegar mixed with 6 cups of water will be perfect. Otherwise, inspect how much your coffee machine is capable of handling. Then, mix the vinegar and water in a ratio of 1:2. In other words, you have to mix double the amount of water with the vinegar.

How To Clean A Coffee Maker Without Vinegar

how to clean coffee maker without vinegar

One of the simplest ways to clean a coffee machine is by using vinegar. However, vinegar comes with its own drawbacks which is why many people do not prefer using vinegar. Apparently, it is difficult to get rid of the smell vinegar leaves behind.

Furthermore, it is very acidic and many bodies cannot handle such an acidic nature.

Fortunately, there are alternative ways of cleaning a coffee maker. Let’s check them out.

Cleaning The Coffee Maker With Lemon

You read that right! Lemon has very similar properties to vinegar. It is great at dealing with bacteria and other germs. Furthermore, it’s acidic and it does not have as bad a smell as vinegar. Lemon is another best way to clean a coffee maker without vinegar.

How To Clean With Lemon

  • Fill the reservoir or pot with lime juice or diluted lemon juice.
  • Run the cycle for brewing coffee.
  • Leave it in for 30 minutes.
  • Start a new brew cycle with fresh water.

And, that is pretty much it. As simple as that!

clean coffee maker with lemon juice
Cleaning Coffee maker with Lemon Juice

Cleaning The Coffee Maker With Dish Cleaning Liquid

If you are alright with putting in a bit more effort then you can try cleaning the internal parts of the coffee maker manually. Here are the steps.

  • Disassemble the coffee machine first to get your hands on the interior parts that come in contact with the coffee.
  • Wash each of these components with liquid soap and preferably warm water.
  • Rinse them with fresh water.
  • Reassemble the removable parts correctly.
  • Run the brew cycle with fresh water to remove any residual dish soap in it.

That is it! It can be quite a lengthy process but it gives all the removable parts a good clean. Because you will manually handle each of the smaller parts.

Cleaning The Coffee Maker With Ice Water And Salt

Want to clean the carafe of a coffee maker using the most easily available materials? Then, you can use ice water and salt to do the job!

  • Put the ice water and salt in the carafe.
  • Rub the ice along with salt on the interior surface of the carafe.
  • Just rinse it all well after cleaning. You will be able to understand whether it’s clean or not just by touching and observing it.

How To Clean A Coffee Maker With Baking Soda

You will find that baking soda is quite he harmless alkaline cleaning agent for coffee makers. It has no adverse effects like that of vinegar. Furthermore, it is easily available. The process in which you use it is quite the same. Let’s take a look at the steps.

  • Make a cleaning solution of baking soda. In this case, mix a quarter cup of baking soda with a whole cup of warm water.
  • Put it in the reservoir or coffee maker pot.
  • Run the full brew cycle for once.
  • Rinse the interior by running two or more cycles with fresh water.

You see the process is almost the same. It’s just the ingredients that vary.

Using Borax To Clean A Coffee Maker

Borax is actually a cleaner by nature. It is used to clean many household appliances and your coffee maker can surely be one of them.

This is how you use it.

  • Mix a few tablespoons of borax with a few warm cups of water.
  • Put it in the reservoir or the pot of the coffee maker
  • Then, run the coffee maker cycle to touch all of the interior parts to clean.
  • After you are done, rinse the interior by running a new brew cycle with fresh water.

Using Hydrogen Peroxide To Clean Coffee Maker

Hydrogen Peroxide is another cleaner that you can use to clean your coffee maker. It is pretty simple to use as well.

  • Mix a cup of hydrogen peroxide with two cups of water. You have to keep a ratio of 1:2 Hydrogen Peroxide: water in this case.
  • Put the mixture in the pot or reservoir.
  • Run the full cycle of the coffee machine.
  • Rinse again with two or more cycles with fresh water and a full cycle.

Cleaning A Keurig Coffee Maker (Or K-Cup Coffee Maker)

Keurig coffee makers are different from drip coffee makers. They use K-cups and brew lighter and less coffee. These are single-serve coffee makers and they need a different process for cleaning.

What You Will Need

  • White Distilled Vinegar.
  • Water.
  • Empty Mug.
  • Dish Cleaning Liquid.
  • Wiping towel.

The ratio of vinegar and water is still 1:1 in this case. Mix the same amount of water with an equal amount of vinegar based on the size of your coffee maker.

The Steps

  1. Clean the Exterior Parts.

The first thing you will have to do in the case of a Keurig coffee maker is to clean the exterior parts. Start with the reservoir, drip tray, and cover. All you have to do is use the dish cleaner liquid and hot water to deal with the germs. Let these soak in the liquid for a few minutes.

Then, rinse them and wipe them dry with a towel. Your coffee maker will be shining.

  1. Clean the K-cup holder.

You can use a toothbrush to get rid of any coffee residue in the K-cup holder. If you feel that there has been a mineral buildup in there then you can soak the towel in a solution of white vinegar and wipe the K-cup holder with it. Let the vinegar sit on it for some time to deal with the germs. Then, wipe it off again and reassemble the coffee maker.

  1. Fill the reservoir with vinegar and water.

Remove any pods from the machine. Now, fill up the reservoir with your solution of vinegar and water. Choose the biggest cup size and turn the machine. Run the cycle and complete it until there is no more vinegar and water solution left in the reservoir.

Then, let the vinegar sit on the internal parts of the machine for some time.

  1. Use Fresh Water.

Now, fill up the reservoir with fresh and clean water. It is time to get rid of the vinegar solution from the inside of the machine. Allow the cycle to run until you are sure that all the vinegar has come out and there will be no vinegar flavor in your coffee.

Self Cleaning Or Automatic Cleaning System

Everything has been made easier for humans so why will the cleaning procedure of coffee makers stay difficult? If you think that the whole descaling procedure with vinegar or something similar is too much for you, you can consider a coffee maker that comes with its self-cleaning feature.

In such coffee makers, you do not have to do much except provide the solution and click the clean button to get the descaling process started.

Cuisinart coffee maker, Benn coffee maker, and many other such coffee makers from various brands have this automatic cleaning feature. Check out which one suits you perfectly.

However, they may work quite differently from each other. When using the self-cleaning feature, you will get the best results if you first read the manual of the coffee maker.

Only the manual will be able to tell you how you can use the feature properly.

How Often Should You Clean Your Coffee Maker?

In actuality, most people clean their coffee machines less often than they actually should. Apparently, a dirty coffee machine won’t kill you but it surely will ruin the taste of your coffee with time. So, it is best if you take regular care of it.

When it comes to a deep cleanse which includes the internal parts of your coffee machine, it is best to descale the coffee machine every month. So, yes, we mean that you should clean it with vinegar or any other cleaning agent you had planned to initially use it with once a month.

If you use your coffee machine less often then you can increase the interval between two cleans. Make it two months if you want to.

How To Keep A Coffee Maker Clean For A Longer Period?

Is the monthly cleanse enough to keep the coffee maker clean for a long time? Actually no, there are some other things you will have to focus on if you want your coffee maker to be cleaner for longer.

  • Firstly, you will have to clean your coffee maker daily. The daily cleaning procedure does not include the lengthy descaling but it does include a bit of washing and wiping.
  • After you have taken your last cup of coffee from the machine, disassemble some of its parts. Like, take out the filter and wipe the used grounds off. You can even wash it if you want. Empty the reservoir. Then, clean or wash the reservoir and wipe it dry.
  • Wiping the parts dry is often not enough. If you want the coffee maker to be free of molds and other bacterial growths, you should leave no place for moisture in it.
  • Therefore, when you are not using the coffee maker, keep the lid open. This way the air will keep the interior of the coffee maker dry. So, future bacterial and mold growth will be prevented. This is how you can increase the clean life of your coffee maker, but you will still have to clean it monthly to make sure no invisible germ is there to make your coffee taste pale.

Tips To Prolong Coffee Maker’s Lifespan

Tips to make Coffee Maker Last Longer
Tips to make coffee maker last longer

It’s not only the cleaning cycle every month that ensures that your coffee maker is in good condition. In fact, your coffee maker’s life may as well depend on how you use it even before cleaning it. Cleaning it too often and too harshly can also cause it some damage, don’t you think?

So, how about you make sure that the coffee maker is used in such a way that it does not need much cleaning. Then, you can make sure that the cleaning procedure only protects it more. And, finally, you repeat the care after the deep cleanse you provide it with.

Here are some tips to help make your coffee maker last longer.

Know What You Use

A coffee maker will mainly need water and ground coffee to do its job for you. Therefore, make sure you use high-quality coffee and water that has components that won’t damage the coffee maker.

Apparently, it’s the water that contains many different kinds of minerals that ultimately deposit on the filter and other parts to ruin the taste of your coffee. So, it is best that you use water that is filtered and the content of which has been checked.

The less you expose your coffee maker to such minerals, the fewer cleanses it will need and the more durable it will be.

Keep It Dry

The main source of bacterial growth and molds is wet places. Therefore, you should make sure that despite having water in the reservoir, the coffee maker is dry at the end of the day. This is when you are not using the coffee maker.

Make sure that you empty the coffee maker well after you are done for the day. Keep the lid of the reservoir off so that air can enter the coffee maker and keep it completely dry.

Do Not Use Anything harsh

You will definitely clean the coffee maker with the best intentions in mind. However, make sure that you are not using any harsh chemicals that could damage the material of the coffee maker. Such chemicals will not only bring down the durability of the coffee maker but will also take away the shine and good looks of the maker.

Clean Regularly

A deep cleaning by descaling is a must every month. But, that does not mean that you will leave the coffee maker alone for the rest of the month. Every day after you are done getting your coffee from the machine, give it a short clean. You can clean the easiest to disassemble and reach parts using dish soap.

This will ensure that the coffee maker does not incur any long-term damage due to the buildup of dirt.

Provide A Stable Power Source

The coffee maker will usually need an electric power source. A voltage that fluctuates can cause harm to its sensitive electrical parts. Therefore, make sure that you connect it to a stable source of power. This will not just keep the coffee maker safe but it will keep you safe as well.

Final Thoughts

In order to get coffee that tastes best, you need to buy the best coffee beans out there as well. There are many different ways in which you can use a coffee maker to make coffee. Just find out what you love most and learn how to make such coffee. Both drip and K-cup coffee makers will be able to provide you with the coffee you like most.

Apparently, K-cup coffee makers can be quite expensive in the long run because you will have to keep buying K-cups to use the machine. So, if you are looking for budget-friendly options, then drip coffee makers are among the best. On that note, if you are on a budget but badly need an espresso machine, here are some affordable espresso machines for you.

The truth is a coffee maker will serve you the way you treat it. If you take good care of it, it will serve you coffee that tastes like heaven in the morning. You will be able to start the day in a really good mood.

But, not cleaning the coffee maker properly will not only result in a degrading taste of coffee but will affect the durability of the machine as well. Now, you know how to clean a coffee maker not just with vinegar but with a number of other ingredients. It should get you and our coffee maker through the worst of times.

Enjoy Your Coffee!!

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