Scenic Erie Station Village

How and When to Clean Your Coffee Maker

Woman holding a cup of coffee. Image credit Kristina Paukshtite

April 2020

Is your coffee maker the first thing you unpacked when you moved into your apartment? Are you pretty much unable to function until you’ve had your first cup in the morning? You may be a coffee lover. But when’s the last time you thoroughly cleaned your machine? If you never have and don’t really know how, pour yourself a cup and read on.

Let’s start with why you should do it in the first place. First, there’s the hygiene issue. Coffee makers create a warm, moist environment that bacteria and mold love. Next, brewed coffee leaves behind oils on your machine that can go rancid over time. That can leave your morning cup tasting a little off. Last, there’s a functional issue caused when minerals in water leave deposits (or scale) on your machine’s components over time.

So how often should you clean your coffee maker. That depends on how often you use it. If you’re making coffee at least once a day, plan on a deep clean every three months. While you can purchase special cleaners made for this, it’s easy to make your own with vinegar.

  • Fill the water reservoir in your coffee maker with 1 cup of white vinegar for every 2 cups of water. For example, if you have a 12-cup brewer, use 4 cups of vinegar and 8 cups of water.
  • Let that sit for at least for at least 10 minutes, then start the brewing cycle.
  • Once it’s finished, let it sit for another 10 minutes.
  • Then empty and rinse the pot and brew two full cycles of plain water to get rid of any lingering vinegar taste.
  • Of course, the last step is to brew yourself a pot and enjoy!