How To Clean A Coffee Maker?

by | Jan 4, 2019 | General

Half of the people surveyed in the United States stated that they drink between two and three cups of coffee per day. This makes the best coffee maker one of the most important appliances in the kitchen. If that’s the case, you better keep it running smoothly.

Mold can start to grow inside your coffee maker if you do not clean it on a regular basis. Studies have found that approximately half the households in the U.S have mold growing in the reservoir of their coffeemaker. Don’t let this happen to you. Learn how to clean your coffeemaker now.

What is the best way to clean a coffee maker?

There are several ways to brew your coffee. Each one has its own way of being cleaned best. Here are the different types:

Drip Coffee Maker

OXO On Barista Brain 9 Cup Coffee Maker

OXO On Barista Brain 9 Cup Coffee Maker

To clean your coffeemaker properly, you should make sure you have the following:

cleaning a coffee maker

  • Baking soda
  • Distilled water
  • Dish soap
  • White vinegar
  • A clean sponge and cloth

Follow these steps for help with cleaning your coffeemaker:

  • Fill your reservoir halfway with distilled water. Fill it the rest of the way with white vinegar. Pour mixture into the water reservoir and wait a half hour to an hour. This will help clean out anything that might be in the reservoir.
  • Turn the coffeemaker on and brew the mixture.
  • Swirl the mixture around in the inside of the coffee pot.
  • Brew two cups of distilled water to help wash out any leftover vinegar. You can repeat this step as many times as you like to ensure the vinegar has been cleaned away. Usually, two times is enough, though.
  • If the coffeemaker has a reusable filter, remove it from the machine and place it in a mixture of water and dish soap for approximately 20 minutes. Rinse with water to remove any soap. Leave on the drying rack.
  • Wipe down the exterior of the coffeemaker using a mixture of distilled water and baking soda. You can apply it with a sponge and clean it up with the cloth.
  • Let the coffeemaker air dry before using.

Keep in mind:

  • Repeat this process once a month to keep your coffee maker clean.
  • When not in use, leave the lid open to allow it to air dry. This can help prevent mold from forming.
  • Do not place any part of your coffeemaker in the dishwasher unless it specifically says it is dishwasher safe.
  • Instead of tossing them into the trash, coffee grounds can be used in your composting.

Stovetop Percolator

Stovetop Percolator

Percolators can be washed by hand after each use with a little soap and water. However, over time you may start to see stains forming. To help get rid of them, make sure you have:

cleaing coffee maker Percolator

  • Baking soda
  • Water
  • White vinegar
  • A clean brush

Here’s what you do:

  • Fill the percolator with water and three tablespoons of baking soda.
  • Turn the percolator on, allowing it to run through a cycle.
  • Once the water has cooled off a little, scrub the inside of the percolator with your brush.
  • Rinse out the percolator.
  • Fill the percolator halfway with water. Fill the other half with white vinegar.
  • Turn the percolator on, allowing it to run through another cycle.
  • Rinse out the percolator.
  • Run a third cycle using only clean water to remove any leftover baking soda.

Keep in mind:

  • If you hand wash your percolator after each use, you should only have to do this process once a month.
  • For those who experience hard water stains, this process can be repeated more often.

French Press

French Press Cleaning

Some people prefer the taste of coffee that was made in a French press. However, they can be tricky to clean. To assist you, get the following items:

Cleaing a French press

  • Baking soda
  • Strainer
  • A clean cloth
  • A long brush
  • A clean sponge
  • Dish soap

Now that you are prepared, here’s how to tackle the situation:

  • Take the plunger out of the press and wash it using a clean sponge, dish soap and water. Rinse off thoroughly and place on a rack to dry.
  • Rinse out the body of the press with warm water. Use the strainer to catch any coffee grounds that may have been in there.
  • Use the brush, dish soap and warm water to clean the body of the press. For any stains that are hard to remove, add a little baking soda to the area and scrub it again.
  • Rinse well to remove all soap.
  • Allow to air dry or use the cloth.

Keep in mind:

  • If you don’t have time to fully clean your French press in between uses, wipe the inside clean with a damp cloth.
  • If you don’t clean your French press this way after every use, at least try to do a thorough cleaning on a regular basis.

Glass Pour Over

Glass Pour Over Cleaning

These can be very appealing to the eye, as well as the taste buds. A glass pour over is a wonderful way to enjoy coffee, but it can be very difficult to clean the inside of it.

To clean your glass pour over, obtain the following:

  • Table salt
  • Ice cubes
  • Lemon juice
  • Dish soap
  • Water
  • A brush or sponge

Here’s how to use those items to effectively clean your glass pour over:

  • With the glass pour over at room temperature, fill the bottom area with ice cubes, or crushed ice if available.
  • Add one tablespoon of water, a tablespoon of lemon juice and four teaspoons of table salt.
  • Swirl around the mixture until the glass appears to be clean.
  • Rinse out the glass pour over thoroughly with cold water. Do not use hot water because it could cause the glass to break.
  • If there are any dirty spots left, you can use the brush to target those specific areas using either this mixture or dish soap.

Keep in mind:

  • It is best to do this procedure after each use, but if you don’t have time, rinse thoroughly with warm water after each use and follow this procedure on a regular basis, preferably every other week.
  • For people who have problems with calcium deposits, only use filtered water to make coffee.

Cold Brewer

Cold Brewer Coffee

Because not all cold brewers are the same, this will just give you a general idea of how to care for yours. For further details, contact the manufacturer. To start, you will need:

  • Water
  • Dish soap
  • A clean sponge or brush

To put those items to work, do the following:

  • Remove the pitcher from the rest of the cold brewer. This may require you to take apart certain pieces, depending on how your cold brewer is assembled.
  • Wash the pitcher with the sponge and dish soap. Rinse thoroughly with water until all the soap is gone. Set aside and let air dry.
  • Rinse out the filter. If clogged, you can clean it with the brush and dish soap. Rinse thoroughly with hot water.
  • Make sure every piece is dry and then reassemble.

Keep in mind:

  • You should be rinsing out your filter after every use.
  • Cleaning your cold brewer after each batch will help to reduce the amount of mold or mildew that may form.


Aeropress Cleaning

An Aeropress is extremely easy to keep clean. This is because the plunger acts as a squeegee, wiping it clean every time you use it.

To clean your Aeropress, you don’t need anything special:

Cleaing Aeropress

  • Water
  • Brush
  • Dish soap
  • A clean towel

Here’s how to keep it clean:

  • Unscrew the cap and press the Aeropress until the condensed coffee grounds and filter are freed.
  • Rinse out the body of the Aeropress. Also, rinse off the rubber seal on the plunger and wipe clean with a towel.
  • If your Aeropress still needs more cleaning, you can clean the body with a brush and dish soap. The Aeropress is also dishwasher safe when putting on the top shelf.

Keep in mind:

  • Rinse out your Aeropress after each use to ensure it remains clean.
  • Keep an eye on the rubber gasket for any damage that may cause the Aeropress to not work properly.

How do you clean a coffeemaker without vinegar?



If vinegar is not available, lemon juice is a wonderful alternative. This works well because lemons have the same acidity level as vinegar. You can use freshly squeezed lemons or lemon juice.

To use, mix a half cup of water with a half cup of lemon juice. Pour it into the water tank and let sit from a quarter to a half hour. While using a clean filter, turn the coffeemaker on and run a cycle.

Rinse out the coffeemaker with clean water. Fill with water and run it for another cycle. Repeat as many times as necessary to ensure any lemon residue is gone. Usually, two times is sufficient.

Denture Tablets

Denture Tablets

This is a quick and easy way to remove mineral deposits. Fill your coffeemaker with warm water. Add two tablets and wait for them to completely dissolve. Run a cycle using this mixture.

After, rinse and run a cycle of clean water. Repeat as needed until any residue from the denture tablets is gone.



Vodka can be used to clean your coffeemaker. Because it has no taste or smell, it is a good choice. The alcohol acts as a powerful detergent to help remove residue that has formed.

If you have purchased a new machine and it still smells like plastic, using vodka to clean it will help remove that scent.

To use, mix three parts water with one-part vodka. Run a cycle with the vodka mixture. After, rinse thoroughly and run a few cycles with fresh water.

Alka Seltzer

Alka Seltzer

These antacid tablets are a safe and affordable alternative for cleaning your coffeemaker. The citric acid, aspirin and baking soda found in Alka Seltzer make wonderful cleaning products. To use, put two tablets in the filter area and two tablets in the water reservoir.

Allow it to sit for 15 minutes. During this time, the Alka Seltzer will be fizzing. Once the fizzing has stopped, fill your coffee pot all the way with cold water. Turn on your coffeemaker and run a cycle. When it is done, rinse the coffee pot. Run two more cycles with clean water to remove any traces of the Alka Seltzer.

How do you deep clean a coffeemaker?

The best way to deep clean a coffeemaker is using water and vinegar, as seen when cleaning a drip coffeemaker or stovetop percolator. This method is the most effective when trying to remove deep stains.

For those who are not fond of the smell of white vinegar, apple cider vinegar can be used instead. It is just as effective as white vinegar and smells nicer.

How do you clean a coffeemaker with baking soda?

Baking soda can be used in a similar fashion as the white vinegar.

Fill your coffee maker with water, adding a quarter cup of baking soda.

To ensure the baking soda dissolves properly, use warm water. Let it sit for a half hour, followed by rinsing with clean water.

Finish by running several cycles of clean water.

Why do I need to clean my coffeemaker?

It is important to clean your coffeemaker for several reasons. You want to make sure what you are drinking won’t adversely affect your health. Cleaning your coffee maker will usually result in a better cup of coffee. Here’s why:

Because a cup of coffee is 99% water, it is important that the water you are using has the right level of minerals. All water has some minerals in it, such as magnesium or calcium. Every time you use your coffee maker, the water passes through and leaves trace amounts of these minerals behind.

As these minerals build up, it becomes known as limescale. If too much of it forms on a coffeemaker’s boiler, it can negatively affect your coffee in the following ways:

  • The boiler may not heat up enough, making it unable to extract all the flavor from the beans.
  • The build-up can cause clogs to form, possibly rendering your coffeemaker useless.


Following any of these methods usually returns pretty good results. Although there are many kinds of coffee makers, they all get cleaned using similar products in similar ways. Find what works best for you and enjoy better tasting coffee.



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