If you’re lazy like me, you’d also deign cleaning anything, including your coffee maker. I know. Ugh cleaning right? Oh how easy life would be is you can just brew and drink coffee, without any consequences.
But as much as I want to indulge you in this mutual laziness fest, you should probably think twice. Not cleaning your coffee maker makes it a haven for a host of various microorganisms. According to one study, kitchen appliances are home to molds and yeast. Ew!
When you don’t clean your coffee maker, it also becomes calcified. Minerals dissolved in the water you use accumulate in your coffee maker. Little by little, the calcification of these minerals affects the taste of your cup of joe. It can also affect how long your coffee maker can last.
In this post, I will discuss how to clean the inside a coffee maker. To keep your coffee maker sparkling clean and calcification-free, learn these simple cleaning and maintenance hacks.
TL;DR: If you are busy, watch this video instead:
Cleaning your coffee maker after every use with dishwasher soap
The first step to coffee maker maintenance is to clean it after every use with dishwasher soap. I know. After drinking your daily caffeine fix, you just want to leave your coffee maker on the sink.
But it’s always better to clean your coffee maker immediately after use. Just follow these steps with your newfound caffeinated energy:
- Ensure that your coffee maker is not plugged in.
- Detach the removable parts of your coffee maker.
- Remove the ground coffee, if any.
- Wash with water.
- Wash with dishwasher soap using a sponge.
- Rinse thoroughly until the soap is completely removed.
- Store to dry.
Removing coffee stains with baking soda
Sometimes, even if you clean your coffee maker every after use, some coffee stains stay. They’re just so persistently clingy like the memory of your ex (just kidding).
Dishwater soap is simply not enough. In this case, you may need baking soda and water to remove those persistent coffee stains.
Baking soda is a miracle powder. Not only does it help you bake that perfect cake for your coffee, it also doubles as cleaning agent. Here’s how to use baking soda to clean your coffee maker:
- After cleaning your coffee maker as usual, sprinkle baking soda. For best results, cover the bottom part of the coffee pot with baking soda.
- Warm some water then add to the baking soda until it forms a paste.
- Using a piece of cloth, scrub the inside of the coffee pot until the stains are removed.
- The abrasiveness of the baking soda helps in eliminating the stains.
- Rinse the baking soda paste with water.
Decalcify your coffee maker with white vinegar.
Whatever brand of coffee maker you use—Ninja, Cusinart, Bunn—you need to know how to decalcify your coffee maker. As stated earlier, minerals from the water you use accumulate in your coffee maker. Overtime they are calcified.
These calcified minerals affect the way your coffee taste. They also obstruct the flow of coffee when brewing. This makes the brewing process less efficient.
These calcified minerals are usually basic (pH level that is greater than 7). This means that when there are acidic substance, they dissolve.
It’s like yin and yang. If basic substances are yin, then acids are the yang. In the end, they kind of cancel each other out.
One of the most common acidic substances that we use is vinegar. It has a pH of 2.4, which is perfect for decalcification. When decalcifying your coffee maker, it’s best to use white vinegar.
- Prepare a solution that is equal parts water and vinegar.
- Place a filter paper into your coffee maker’s empty basket.
- Put the coffee pot in its usual place.
- Pour the vinegar and water solution (instead of the water you usually use for brewing coffee).
- Now “brew” this solution. Turn on your coffee maker and let the vinegar-water solution brew into the coffee pot.
- Turn off the coffee maker and leave the setup for at least thirty (30) minutes to allow the vinegar to dissolve the calcified minerals. For best results, leave it for one (1) hour.
- Throw away the brewed vinegar solution (Don’t drink it okay? Ew.)
- Rinse your coffee maker by “brewing” water. Do this three (3) or more times.
If you want, you can also clean your coffee maker with dishwater soap after. This will ensure that your coffee maker won’t reek of vinegar. Just follow the steps as discussed above.
If you don’t want any of that hassle, you can instead get a coffee maker that’s best with hard water.
How often should you clean your coffee maker
You must clean your coffee maker after every use with dishwater soap. This will prevent or minimize the buildup of harmful microorganisms, such as molds, bacteria, etc. Washing your coffee maker after use also prevents the buildup of minerals.
For decalcification, this should be done monthly. Otherwise, the minerals would quickly build up, affecting the taste of coffee in the process.
Keeping your coffee maker sparkling clean is the first step to having a delicious cup of coffee. Be sure to follow the steps above to maintain your coffee maker. Enjoy!
If you’re tired of cleaning your classic coffee maker, why not try getting one without a carafe instead? We also have recommendations on the best carafe less coffee makers to ease your cleanup burden.