How to Clean a Coffee Maker with Vinegar


White vinegar is a useful natural cleaning agent. It removes grease and calcium buildup, which is why it is extremely effective with coffee makers that come into contact with minerals in water. You should clean your coffee maker with vinegar at least once every six months to keep your machine hygienic and your coffee tasting great.

Part 1
Preparing the Machine and Vinegar Solution

Preparing the Machine and Vinegar Solution on How to Clean a Coffee Maker with Vinegar

1
Empty the carafe of any remaining coffee grounds. Throw away the used filter if you haven’t done so already. Pour out any remaining water from a previous brew.[1]

Preparing the Machine and Vinegar Solution on How to Clean a Coffee Maker with Vinegar

2
Quickly rinse out the basket with warm water. Do this to make sure there aren’t any coffee grounds stuck inside of it. If there are grounds that are stuck, wash with soap and then rinse with water. Place the basket back in the coffee maker when all of the grounds have been removed.[2]

Preparing the Machine and Vinegar Solution on How to Clean a Coffee Maker with Vinegar

3
Some machines, however, recommend a lower dose of vinegar in the cleaning solution. You can find out the recommended amount of vinegar for your coffee maker by reading the user’s manual or doing a quick search online.[3] Typically, you can use 1/3 of the vinegar you normally would if your machine calls for less.

Preparing the Machine and Vinegar Solution on How to Clean a Coffee Maker with Vinegar

4
Mix a solution of 1-part distilled white vinegar and 1-part warm water. If your machine call for less vinegar, use whatever amount is recommended. Pour this mixture directly into your coffee carafe. Make enough solution to fill the water reservoir.

Part 2
Cleaning the Coffee Maker

Cleaning the Coffee Maker on How to Clean a Coffee Maker with Vinegar

1
Press the brew button one the vinegar solution is in the carafe. Watch the coffee maker as it brews to avoid it completing the cycle. Turn off the coffee maker halfway through the brew cycle.[4] You can use the clean cycle instead of brewing if you have this option on your coffee maker. An automated clean cycle usually starts and stops, allowing different parts of the machine to soak in the solution.

Cleaning the Coffee Maker on How to Clean a Coffee Maker with Vinegar

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This allows time for the vinegar solution to tackle any mineral and mold buildup. If you don’t have an hour, it’s okay to let it sit for 30 minutes.[5]

Cleaning the Coffee Maker on How to Clean a Coffee Maker with Vinegar

3
Turn on the brew function again after one hour. Let the rest of the solution brew through the coffee maker. You may see brown or white bits in the water. This is normal and means the vinegar solution is doing its job.[6]

Part 3
Rinsing the Coffee Maker

Rinsing the Coffee Maker on How to Clean a Coffee Maker with Vinegar

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After the coffee maker has finished the complete brewing process, pour the solution down the sink drain. It’s okay if there are still remnants of the solution left in the coffee maker.[7]

Rinsing the Coffee Maker on How to Clean a Coffee Maker with Vinegar

2
Use warm water and soap to clean out the carafe. You can use a sponge to scrub or you can swish the water and soap around. Pour out the soapy water and rinse with only water to remove soap bubbles when you are finished cleaning.[8]

Rinsing the Coffee Maker on How to Clean a Coffee Maker with Vinegar

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After you’ve rinsed it, pour fresh water into the carafe. Do not mix vinegar with the fresh water. Use the maximum amount of water the coffee maker can brew.[9]

Rinsing the Coffee Maker on How to Clean a Coffee Maker with Vinegar

4
Press the brew button to run a cycle with just water. Allow the entire brew cycle to run. Then, repeat the brew cycle two more times. The water needs to be poured out after each cycle and then refilled. Let your coffee maker cool down for three to five minutes between the cycles.[10] Consider doing 1 to 2 more brew cycles with warm water if you can still smell vinegar.Our Expert Agrees: After youclean your coffee pot withvinegar, run 3 cycles with wateronly, which will flush it out.Our Expert Agrees: After you cleanyour coffee pot with vinegar, run 3cycles with water only, which willflush it out.Our Expert Agrees: After you clean yourcoffee pot with vinegar, run 3 cycles withwater only, which will flush it out.Our Expert Agrees: After you clean your coffee pot with vinegar, run 3cycles with water only, which will flush it out.Our Expert Agrees: After you clean your coffee pot with vinegar, run 3 cycleswith water only, which will flush it out.

Rinsing the Coffee Maker on How to Clean a Coffee Maker with Vinegar

5
Pour out the water after the last brew cycle. Then, remove the carafe and basket from your coffee maker. Clean the entire surface of your coffee maker with a small amount of liquid soap and a microfiber cloth. Rinse everything with clean water when you are done cleaning.[11] Make sure that you clean off all of the coffee stains that may have accumulated over time.

Rinsing the Coffee Maker on How to Clean a Coffee Maker with Vinegar

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If you don’t want to wash the outside of your coffee maker with soap and water, it’s also an option to use a vinegar spray. First, fill any spray bottle with white vinegar. Do not dilute the vinegar. Then, spray some of the vinegar onto a cotton cloth. Wipe down the surface of the coffee maker. Use more vinegar if necessary. Finish by rinsing with water.[12] You can use a Q-tip to clean heard-to-reach places.

Rinsing the Coffee Maker on How to Clean a Coffee Maker with Vinegar

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You can hand wash the coffee pot and basket or put them into the dishwasher. To wash by hand, pour some dishwashing soap onto a sponge or rag. Scrub the entirety of the pot and basket. Then, rinse with water. If you’re using the dishwasher, select the gentle cycle for the pot and basket.[13] A product called Quick n Brite can take off stubborn lime deposits that may have formed inside of your carafe. To use, pour some of the product into the carafe, let it sit for a few minutes, and then rinse it out.

Rinsing the Coffee Maker on How to Clean a Coffee Maker with Vinegar

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Check to make sure there aren’t any remnants of mold or mineral buildup left. Replace the carafe and basket when you are done cleaning. You are now ready to brew a fresh cup of coffee.[14]