How To Clean a Coffee Maker

Nicole Austin

Keep your coffee maker running in tip top shape with regular cleaning - check out our tips for how to clean a coffee maker!

Like anything you use regularly, coffee makers collect germs and build up. Over time, this will impact the efficiency of your machine and the taste of your coffee.

Learning how to clean a coffee maker is a very simple process, but it will pay off with huge rewards, especially since your coffee maker will last longer.

Here we are sharing our complete coffee maker cleaning guide. The best part? You likely have everything you need in your pantry to get started right now!

How To Clean a Coffee Maker Photo

What Do You Run Through a Coffee Maker To Clean It?

There are multiple cleaning methods for how to clean a coffee maker that can be used effectively to clean and descale a coffee maker with ease.

Coffee makers utilize water, which makes them prone to mineral build up over time. Descaling the machine cleans out this build up, making it both look and smell better, all while improving the taste of your coffee.

Cleaning your coffee maker also helps ensure everything stays sanitary and fresh, while reducing the chances of foodborne illness or stinky, foul odors.

Below, you will find many of our tried-and-true solutions for cleaning your coffee maker without a lot of fuss! This guide is all you need to tackle this task.

Is Baking Soda or Vinegar Better To Clean a Coffee Maker?

Many people wonder whether they should use baking soda or vinegar when considering how to clean their coffee maker. The answer? A little bit of both!

Baking soda is good at scouring off residue without a lot of extra work. It is only mildly corrosive, so it can remove stains or build up without etching the glass.

To thoroughly clean the pot portion of your coffee maker, using baking soda is easy, effective, non-toxic and budget-friendly. Talk about a win-win!

That said, baking soda can be difficult to rinse out of the machine, which may clog interior components that are difficult or impossible to reach oto clean.

While good at eliminating odors, it will not stop the growth of the bacteria that may be causing them. Vinegar, however, is excellent at sanitizing and descaling.

Vinegar should be used for the interior components of the machine to keep it fresh and disinfected. Vinegar can be combined with baking soda to clean the coffee pot, if desired.

Vinegar effectively cleans all elements of a coffee maker. Easy answer? All signs point to vinegar being the top contender for cleaning your coffee maker.

How To Clean a Coffee Maker Picture

How To Clean a Coffee Maker Without Vinegar

While cleaning with vinegar is an excellent solution for your kitchen cleaning needs, some people prefer to use other methods for cleaning their coffee maker.

We definitely always recomend knowing how to clean a coffee maker with vinegar, but recognize sometimes you need other easy, accessible options.

Perhaps you have someone in the household with an allergy or you just really loathe the smell - or maybe you just don't have any vinegar on hand right now.

Whatever the case may be, here are some other effective, easy solutions for cleaning your coffee maker:

How To Clean a Coffee Maker With Lemon Juice

Lemon juice contains acid just as vinegar does, but many people agree that the scent is more pleasant. Everyone loves the fresh scent of lemons!

Lemon juice is also affordable, even if it is not quite as inexpensive as vinegar, and is usually readily available at grocery or department stores.

To clean your coffee machine using lemon juice:

  1. Run straight lemon juice or very lightly diluted lemon juice through the coffee pot as though you were cleaning with vinegar.
  2. Run clean water through the system for several cycles to flush the remaining juice out.

How To Clean a Coffee Maker With Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is excellent for disinfecting and is an inexpensive way to use a multi-use product for cleaning your coffee machine.

To clean your coffee machine using hydrogen peroxide:

  1. Combine two cups water and one cup hydrogen peroxide.
  2. Run the mixture through your coffee machine’s regular brewing cycle.
  3. After this cycle has completed, flush the machine using fresh water for at least two cycles to make sure the hydrogen peroxide has cleared from the machine.
Homemade Vinegar Cleaning Solution Photo

How To Clean a Coffee Maker With Alcohol

Hard alcohol is a powerful disinfectant that can be used in your coffee pot to kill germs and clean the interior components without damaging your machine.

It does have a strong odor and should only be used in well-ventilated areas in an environment where no one underage could accidentally ingest alcohol.

To clean your coffee machine using hard alcohol:

  1. Pour hard alcohol, such as vodka, into the water reservoir until the quarter filled mark.
  2. Fill the rest of the reservoir with fresh water.
  3. Run the mixture through a brewing cycle.
  4. Flush with fresh water at least twice to remove all alcohol.

How To Clean a Coffee Maker With Baking Soda

Baking soda can remove bad smells from coffee machines and is affordable and non-toxic.

To clean your coffee machine using baking soda:

  1. Mix a cup of warm water with ¼ cup baking soda. Be sure to remove all clumps and allow it to dissolve so you do not risk clogging your machine.
  2. Run your mixture through one cycle in the coffee maker.
  3. Rinse the coffee pot thoroughly and then flush the system with clean, fresh water until it comes out clear.
How to Clean a Coffee Maker Image

How To Clean a Coffee Maker With Borax

Borax is a multipurpose cleaner that is traditionally used as a detergent booster. It is a main ingredient in homemade laundry soap and used to enhance the cleaning ability of existing detergents.

To clean your coffee machine with Borax:

  1. Combine 2-3 tablespoons of Borax with 1-2 cups of warm water. Stir until it is fully dissolved.
  2. Cycle this mixture through a normal or heavy brew cycle.
  3. Rinse the coffee pot thoroughly and run fresh water through cycles until it comes out clear.

How To Clean a Coffee Maker With Dish Soap

Liquid dish soap is likely already on your regular shopping list and can help clean your coffee maker.

You will need to disassemble your machine to clean it with liquid dish soap, so only attempt this if you are comfortable with taking your machine apart.

To clean your coffee machine using liquid dish soap:

  1. Disassemble all housing and functional components from your unplugged coffee machine.
  2. Wash all parts by hand using the dish soap and warm water.
  3. Rinse thoroughly before reassembling.
  4. After reassembling, cycle fresh water through the machine to ensure soap has been removed.

Tip: Soak all components before washing to remove any build up.

How to Clean a Coffee Maker Pic

How To Clean a Coffee Maker With Vinegar

Of course, we love cleaning a coffee maker with vinegar whenever possible! Doing so is easy, inexpensive, effective, non-toxic and eco-friendly.

Vinegar is one of the most affordable cleaning solutions - it's edible, has no negative affects on kids or pets, and the smell dissipates after the vinegar dries.

You are left with a clean appliance that is disinfected and safe.

The process is a simple method of using equal parts water and vinegar to brew a pot through your coffee maker then rinsing everything until clean and fresh.

You can get the complete how-to guide by checking our easy tutorial for how to clean a coffee maker with vinegar.

Vinegar both cleans and descales your machine for a highly effective cleaning method that is simple and takes almost no time.

We highly recommend utilizing this cleaning method at home and at work for fresh, flavorful coffee that won’t compromise your health!

Of course, we love cleaning more than coffee makers with vinegar! We also reccomend vinegar to clean microwaves, clean a Keurig or clean a fridge!

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Nicole is a self-published author of fiction novels, and a lover of food and spending time in the kitchen with her six children. She lives in coastal Maine where she loves exploring new recipes especially those that can save time, money and wow a crowd.

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