How to Clean a Coffee Maker

Your daily caffeine fix takes its toll on your coffee maker. The good news? The one ingredient you need to give it a thorough cleaning is already in your kitchen cupboard!

When you think about it, your coffee maker is one of the hardest working appliances in your home. Day after day, and week after week, calcium and lime scale from your tap water can begin to clog up the works and make your coffee taste stale or slightly metallic. (Find out more mistakes everyone makes when brewing coffee.) The good news? When we asked cleaning experts how to clean a coffee maker, they said the answer was as simple as good, old-fashioned white vinegar.

How to Clean a Coffee Maker With White Vinegar

Pour in enough full-strength white vinegar to complete a typical brew cycle and then run the cycle as usual. Let the vinegar sit in the pot for 30 minutes before pouring it out. Follow with a couple of plain-water brew cycles to rid your coffee maker of the vinegar-y smell and taste.

Coffee tasting weak? You probably need to unclog the plastic plate that sits above the basket. A toothpick should do the trick! (Here are more clever cleaning hacks that take the hassle out of housekeeping.)

Deep-Clean Your Coffee Maker Carafe

To clean built-up stains inside the carafe, sprinkle the interior with baking soda and warm water. Allow it to soak for 10 to 15 minutes. Then, scrub well and wash thoroughly. (Don’t miss these other brilliant uses for baking soda.) Some coffee drinkers have reported great success with detergent dishwasher pods. They recommend putting one pod in your tannin-stained carafe, filling it with hot water and allowing it to soak. Follow with a thorough wash.

Stain still there? Try a Magic Eraser or a commercial product such as Whink Coffee Maker Cleaner, which is made with sulfamic acid and hydroxyacetic acids (much stronger than vinegar’s acetic acid). Fill the carafe with hot water and Whink, soak for a few hours and then wash with dish soap and hot water.

Surprise—here are seven ways you’re shortening the life of your coffee maker without even realizing it.

The Family Handyman
Originally Published on The Family Handyman