How to Clean the Inside of a Coffee Maker: Top DIY Tricks

By: | Updated: April 14, 2021

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Knowing how to clean the inside of a coffee maker is invaluable knowledge and skill that you’re sure to use more often than you think.

There are far too many households that neglect their favorite household appliance since they assume hot water traveling through the device helps to clean it properly, when in fact, you could be leaving germs and gunk behind.

With the help of the steps in this guide, you will know how to correctly clean the inner components of your coffee maker with ease to not only make the appliance last longer but also to keep up with the delicious taste of your morning coffee.

How Do You Deep Clean a Coffee Maker?

There are a few ways you can clean a coffee maker, especially since there are products from manufacturers that can help you sanitize the components with ease.

However, what seems to be the most popular option is to use vinegar since it’s a natural and food-safe solution that also helps break down any buildup and leave your coffee maker smelling fresh.

What you’ll come to love the most about using vinegar as your go-to deep cleaner is that it works away coffee grounds that might be stuck in certain areas and can even shine your glass coffee pots to their original condition.

Sometimes, you might find that you need to clean your coffee maker several times in a row to get rid of any water buildup or deposits that have settled over the months of making coffee.

Once you could work away all of the grime, be sure to clean the coffee maker at least once a month, depending on how often you use it so that you won’t have to worry about going through a deep clean as often and can instead keep up with the regular maintenance.

How Do I Clean My Coffee Maker With Vinegar?

You’ll likely be able to tell when it’s time to clean your coffee maker by its appearance or an off-putting taste from your coffee, especially if the grounds haven’t gone bad, but your beverages still taste stale.

You will want to clean multiple pieces, especially if the carafe looks cloudy or has buildup from hard water along with it, as well as any mineral deposits inside the machine. You can clean everything in the device, though, with vinegar.

Our favorite steps for answering, how do I clean my coffee maker with vinegar include:

Step #1: Prepare the Coffee Machine

Before you start to get into the cleaning, you’ll want to make sure your coffee machine is prepared, such as ensuring it is unplugged and any remaining traces of grounds have been rinsed away.

It’s also a good idea to make sure you empty the carafe, and you might even want to consider rinsing the filter beforehand.

Step #2: Make the Cleaning Solution

The only two items that you will need to make your eco-friendly and food-safe cleaner are vinegar and water.

You can combine the two ingredients, in equal parts, in any container, since you will pour the solution into the coffee maker.

Step #3: Fill the Machine

Take your newly made solution and pour it into the water chamber until it reaches its maximum capacity.

Step #4: Run a Cycle

Instead of letting the vinegar and water sit only in the water chamber, you’re going to want to make sure that it travels through the entirety of the machine.

The best way to do this is to allow for a full brewing cycle to start, and once it has finished, make sure you put more of the cleaning solution in the water chamber, running a second brewing cycle to help push out any excess debris.

Step #5: Run Fresh Water Cycles

You should be able to see all of the gunk that was once stuck in your coffee machine, forcing your beverages to taste less than spectacular.

Be sure to rinse all of the debris away from the carafe and run a couple of freshwater cycles through the machine, as this will help get rid of any residual vinegar that might be left behind.

As you run a cycle, smell the water inside of the carafe to determine if the vinegar has been thoroughly cleaned out; otherwise, you’ll have an exciting surprise when it comes time to make coffee in the morning.

Step #6: Clean the Carafe

Depending on the amount of buildup in your carafe, you might have to spend a few minutes scrubbing any mineral deposits with a gentle cleanser, such as soap and water, or vinegar and water, as well as a soft-bristled brush or sponge.

Just as it’s essential to make sure the inside of your coffee maker gets enough attention, your carafe can also influence how your coffee tastes, not to mention that a clean coffee pot looks phenomenal when displayed on your counter.

After you’ve finished getting rid of any deposits, you can rinse it in warm water and dry it using a soft cloth.

Interestingly enough, this process can also help clean the inside of pod coffee machines, especially since most of their components are impossible to get unless you take the entire device apart.

All you have to do is put a mixture of vinegar and water into the water reservoir and run several cycles through the machine to help get rid of anything that might get stuck in the piping.

Be sure you finish the task with a few freshwater cycles to help get rid of the pungent taste of vinegar.

Barista cleaning cofee machine at coffee shop

How Do I Clean My Coffee Maker Without Vinegar?

Not everyone is interested in pouring vinegar into their coffee maker since maybe they’ve had a poor experience with it in the past or might not believe it helps to disinfect as well as other products do.

Or, maybe you don’t have vinegar at home, but you desperately want to enjoy a delicious coffee cup without a nasty aftertaste.

Below, you will find all of our favorite methods for answering, how do I clean my coffee maker without vinegar?

Lemon Method

By choosing to mix half a cup of lemon juice with half a cup of water and putting it into the water reservoir of your coffee maker, you will have the same effect when cleaning the coffee machine as you would with vinegar.

However, the taste and smell of lemon might be far more appealing to you than vinegar, though you’ll still want to make sure you run a few freshwater cycles to help get rid of lemon residue.

You’ll find that it’s far easier to get rid of the taste of lemon, which might mean you can save time by running one freshwater cycle rather than more than two.

Baking Soda

If you’re not a fan of using ingredients with any taste at all, baking soda is another excellent alternative for getting rid of off-putting smells and flavors from the inside of your coffee machine.

For this task, you will want 1/4 cup of baking soda to one cup of warm water and stir the two ingredients until fully dissolved.

You can then pour the solution into the water reservoir and run a full brew cycle, finishing with one more period of hot fresh water to make sure there isn’t any baking soda left behind.

CLR

Store-bought products are particularly prevalent when it comes to cleaning, especially if you have to descale your coffee maker due to pesky mineral buildup that you can’t remove with soap, vinegar, or lemon juice.

Although it sounds like a severe cleaning product, CLR can be used on an assortment of items that you would typically use for cooking but is mostly known for being quite useful for dealing with dirty coffee machines.

To use CLR, you need to mix one part of the solution with eight parts water and then pour the cleaner into the reservoir of the coffee maker.

Run one full brew cycle and then run three to four freshwater cycles until the smell of the cleaner has dissipated.

You can also use CLR in your carafe, which is quite beneficial, as it will get rid of buildup right before your eyes, returning it to its original condition.

Vodka

If you want a heavy-duty cleaner that isn’t store-bought and will have a very sterile smell when finished, vodka will quickly become your best friend.

This process is one of the most commonly used methods by households when it comes to cleaning coffee machines, as it has been used for years.

Alcohol is a phenomenal detergent, and you won’t have to worry about the smell or taste of vinegar or lemon by using vodka.

The perfect combination for a vodka disinfectant for coffee machines is to mix 1/4 cup with one cup of water and then pour it into the water reservoir, running a brew cycle.

Fortunately, you’ll only have to consider running one freshwater cycle afterward, as the taste of vodka is sure to dissipate after the first round of cleaning.

How to Clean the Inside of a Coffee Maker: Final Thoughts

Learning how to clean the inside of a coffee maker is likely more straightforward than you thought, especially since most of the things you need to do are probably already in your kitchen.

From vodka to lemon juice, several disinfectants can help get rid of any unappealing smells and buildup that will taint the taste of your favorite coffee in the morning.

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.