How to Clean a Coffee Maker Without Vinegar

By: | Updated: April 14, 2021

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When it comes to cleaning virtually anything, no one can deny the benefits of using natural solutions over harmful chemicals.

In these cases, many will turn to using vinegar.

What do you do when you’ve run out or simply can’t use it? Are there other solutions you can use to clean, say, your coffee maker?

Learning how to clean a coffee maker without vinegar is easy. After all, it’s far from the only way you can successfully go about this task.

Let’s take a closer look at some alternative cleaning methods that may work better for your home than vinegar-based solutions.

How to Clean a Coffee Maker Without Vinegar

Because of the strong smell of vinegar, some people just don’t like using it to clean anything, including their coffee maker.

Others find that the lingering taste sticks around in the pot for too long after cleaning things out.

Thankfully, cleaning coffee maker without vinegar is very doable.

When thinking about how to clean a coffee pot without vinegar, it’s best to first break down the individual parts of the coffee maker and the base.

You may use vinegar to clean every single part, but they should be handled separately when using any other cleaning solution. Why?

Each individual part will respond better to different cleaning products.

Therefore, you would want to choose the best replacement cleaning solution according to the part’s material.

How to Clean a Coffee Pot Without Vinegar

When you’re trying to determine how to clean a coffee pot without vinegar, you simply need to think about what gets the pot.

Removable parts of the coffee maker, such as the carafe and filter basket, can be cleaned with vinegar, but there are actually better options.

These removable items are best cleaned with warm, soapy water.

They can easily be submerged in your sink, allowed to soak, and then cleaned up with a sponge or a washcloth.

Once you rinse them off and let them dry, these components will be completely clean.

These are the parts of cleaning coffee maker without vinegar that is easiest to handle.

Soap and water are super effective, so you don’t have to worry much about cleaning your pot and filter basket.

How to Clean the Base Without Vinegar

Coffee makers typically have some type of base.

It houses the electronics of the system, and it also holds all of the removable parts in place during brewing.

How can you clean this part of the coffee maker without vinegar? Like the removable parts, this aspect is usually effortless to clean.

Here’s what you need to do:

Step 1: Unplug the coffee maker base from the wall.

Step 2: Run some warm water, and get a washcloth ready to go with warm, soapy water.

Step 3: Squeeze out all of the excess water so that the washcloth is damp and soapy.

Step 4: With this washcloth, gently wipe down the outside of the base.

Step 5: Take care not to get any of the electricals wet.

Step 6: Allow the base to dry completely before reassembling.

That’s all it takes!

If you have any really stubborn buildup, you can spray a little bit of all-purpose cleaner on your washcloth and use it to clean the base.

How to Descale Without Vinegar

Descaling is the biggest thing that vinegar is used for when cleaning a coffee maker, but it is possible to descale without vinegar.

Why is vinegar used to descale?

Vinegar is often used to descale coffee makers because of the high acidity of the liquid.

The minerals that have stuck inside the coffee maker won’t come off easily, but the acid of vinegar helps break it down.

This is because vinegar helps to neutralize the buildup of minerals from hard water.

Still, other cleaning solutions can achieve a similar outcome. Lemon juice, for example, acts very similar to vinegar, but it is far from the only option.

Descaling Alternatives

When you’re ready to descale your coffee maker, and you don’t want to use vinegar, your two other options are chemical products and baking soda.

Here is how you can use baking soda to descale the inside:

Step 1: Mix one cup of warm water with a quarter cup of baking soda.

Step 2: Set the coffee system to brew.

Step 3: Allow the cycle to brew.

Step 4: Run two cycles of just plain water to rinse the system.

Since baking soda has alkaline properties, it can work to break down mineral buildup in a similar way that vinegar does.

Another option is to use a chemical descaler; many of these products are sold specifically for coffee makers.

To use these, you simply need to follow the instructions on the label.

Coffee Maker Cleaning FAQs

1. Should I clean my coffee maker with vinegar?

Though some are hesitant to use vinegar to clean their coffee makers, there are several benefits to doing so.

Vinegar is gentle but incredibly acidic when compared to the mineral buildup that is found in coffee makers.

This means that it will quickly and easily break down any buildup, and it will do so without damaging the device.

Essentially, the acids help neutralize the buildup that is caused by hard water and can be damaging to coffee makers.

You can do this type of cleaning regularly without any worry about its side effects, and that can be a big relief.

Plus, it is very effective while still being a natural solution.

Beyond descaling, you can also use vinegar to clean the coffee pot and coffee filter basket by adding a little bit of the liquid to your washing water.

2. Can you clean a coffee maker with baking soda?

Yes! As mentioned, baking soda is a great option to use as a home cleaning chemical.

To descale and clean the inside of the coffee maker with baking soda, simply dilute some in warm water in the water reservoir.

Then, run the coffee brewer.

After that, you can run two water cycles to flush out the machine.

Baking soda can also be used to clean other parts of your kitchen as well:

  • Sprinkle on a damp sponge to clean countertops.
  • Add some to your laundry to neutralize odors on kitchen towels.
  • Keep in your refrigerator as an air freshener.
  • Dilute in warm water to deep clean pans and other items.

3. How do you clean a coffee maker naturally?

Other than vinegar and baking soda, which are both natural solutions, there are other ways that you can clean the coffee maker.

One of the best things you can use to run a cleaning or descaling cycle is lemon juice!

By juicing a few lemons into the water reservoir and then diluting with water, you can run a brewing cycle to descale the machine.

Lemon is acidic like vinegar, so it goes through a similar process when breaking down the mineral buildup inside the coffee maker.

Get Started Cleaning Your Coffee Maker

No matter what type of coffee maker you have at home, it is imperative that they are kept clean.

Regularly cleaning with vinegar is an option, but it isn’t one that everyone likes to follow.

Now that you know how to clean a coffee maker without vinegar, you can choose the method that works best for your home and appliance.

Remember that some coffee makers will respond better to a particular cleaning method than others.

If you don’t feel like the machine got clean enough, try a different method, and see how that works instead.

Cleaning your coffee maker is essential, so you would want to invest some time into this process.

Joakim
by Joakim
Joakim is a coffee connoisseur who loves all types of coffee, no matter the type or region of origin. He loves writing about his coffee experience, sharing with readers the tastes, methods of making, and more.