Coffee makers are convenient household appliances that can provide you with a fresh cup of java first thing in the morning. However, due to the high levels of moisture, they can easily harbor mold and bacteria. Drip filter coffee makers require cleaning after each use. They also need to be deep cleaned monthly to remove hard water deposits, leftover coffee oils, and other impurities. With a little elbow grease, you can keep your coffee maker nice and clean. How to Clean a Coffee Maker.
Cleaning Your Coffee Maker After Each Use
1. Disassemble the coffee maker.
Remove any parts that come off, such as the pot, the brew basket, and any other removable parts. These parts should be cleaned separately from the rest of the coffee maker.
2. Wash the removable parts.
Submerge the removable parts in warm, soapy water, and wash them using a dishrag. You can wash removable parts of your coffee maker the same way you would wash dishes. If you’re unsure if your coffee maker can be washed in the dishwasher, err on the side of caution and hand wash it.
3. Wipe down the outside of the machine.
Take a wet, soapy rag and give the outside of the machine a good wipe down. Wipe down the sides and remove any coffee grinds from the warming plate. When you’re down, wipe off any soap suds with a clean, damp rag.
4. Reassemble your machine.
After all the parts are dry, you can put your coffee machine back together. It is ready to use again. Make a habit of cleaning your coffee maker like this after each use.
Deep Cleaning Your Coffee Maker
1. Add a vinegar and water solution to your coffee maker.
Make a mixture using half white vinegar and half water. The precise amounts will vary depending on the size of your coffee maker, but make roughly enough to fill the reservoir. Pour the mixture into the reservoir like you normally would with water when making coffee.
Cleaning Guru & Owner, Maideasy
Running a vinegar cycle will help clean the inside of your coffee pot. Marcus Shields of Maideasy says: “Mix two parts warm water and one part vinegar. Run the vinegar through the coffee pot on a regular cycle. It will clean all of the components inside the coffee maker, and it will also remove any residue from the inside of your coffee pot. When you’re done, just rinse out the pot.”
2. Let the coffee machine run half a brew cycle.
Turn the coffee machine on. Keep an eye on it as it brews. Once about half the pot is full of the filtered vinegar/water mixture, turn the pot off.
3. Let the coffee maker sit for an hour.
Set a timer for an hour. Let the coffee pot sit for this time frame. This will give the vinegar time to sit in the machine and clean out any mold.
4. Complete the brew cycle.
After letting the coffee maker sit for an hour, turn the machine back on. Let it run the rest of the brew cycle. When done, all the vinegar/water mixture should be filtered into the pot. You can pour this mixture down the sink.
5. Run two brew cycles with plain water.
Fill your coffee pot with clean water. Pour this into the reservoir and run a complete brew cycle. When it’s done, pour the water out and run one more brew cycle with clean water. This should clean any vinegar out of your coffee maker.
6. Wipe down the coffee maker.
After disinfecting the coffee maker, take a clean, damp rag. Wipe down the exterior of the machine to remove any dirt and debris. You should also make sure to remove coffee grinds from the warming plate.
Cleaning Guru & Owner, Maideasy
Deep clean your coffee pot about once a month. Marcus Shields of Maideasy says: “If you use your coffee filter daily, you should deep clean it every month. With coffee makers, it tends to be out of sight out of mind, but mold can grow inside of the machine. Since your coffee comes out black, you can’t see it, but you’re ingesting it.”
Avoiding Common Mistakes
1. Read your instruction manual.
If you still have the instructions manual, read it before cleaning your coffee maker. Most coffee makers can safely be cleaned with a vinegar/water mixture, but it’s always a good idea to check first.
You may be able to find an instructions manual on the Internet.
2. Leave the reservoir lid open.
Many people keep the reservoir lid closed. However, it’s a good idea to leave it open when not in use. This will help dry out the machine, preventing mold and bacteria from growing in a moist environment.
3. Rinse the brew basket in the sink regularly.
The brew basket is very susceptible to mold as it gets wet during the brewing process. Make sure you rinse out the brew basket after each use and make a habit of cleaning it each time you do dishes. This will keep your coffee maker mold and germ-free.