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 water) can begin to clog up the works and make your coffee taste stale or slightly metallic. 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 Much Vinegar Do You Use to Clean a Coffee Maker?

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 plain-water brew cycles, to rid your coffee maker of the vinegar-y smell and taste. Find out 30+ more genius uses for vinegar all around the house.

Coffee tasting weak? You probably need to unclog the plastic plate that sits above the basket. A toothpick should do the trick!

Deep Clean Your Coffee Maker Carafe

To clean burned-on 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 clever 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, fill it with hot water and allow to soak. Follow with a thorough wash.

Stain still there? Try a Magic Eraser or a commercial product such as Whink Coffee Maker Cleaner. Whink cleaner 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.

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Originally Published on The Family Handyman