How to Clean a Coffee Maker Properly

Keeping your coffee maker dirty is a big no-no. It might seem like it’s not, but it can also be the home of mold and bacteria. Disgusting, isn’t? It isn’t as dirty as your kitchen sink or garbage can, but it definitely is unsanitary. A study by NSF last 2011 even found out that the reservoir of a coffee maker has more germs than some areas in your bathroom. Those germs are almost all types of filthy germs—coliform bacteria, mold, and yeast. Yikes! You wouldn’t want to make your coffee out of a filthy coffee maker, right?

So here’s how you can clean your coffee maker. And by “clean” we mean totally, absolutely, 99.9% good-looking and germ-free.

  • Clean it after every use. To prevent the buildup of germs and other bacteria, make sure to take out the removable parts and wash them. Leave the reservoir’s lid open and give it some time to completely dry out. After all, germs stay in wet areas. Now, let’s go back to the removable pieces. Wash them thoroughly with warm water until they’re free of grinds, coffee, and oil. If you’re going to hand wash and use soap, rinse them through and through. Most of the time, these removable parts are dishwasher-safe, so you can avoid getting your hands wet and smelling like coffee. Once the washing part is done, wipe the outside area and the warming plate as well. To clean the filter basket and the carafe, wash them in warm water with a little soap. You can also add a little rice to that mixture and spin them to get rid of the smell. Rinse everything completely.
  • Clean the reservoir or water chamber thoroughly once a month. You also have to get rid of hard water minerals that gather in your coffee maker’s mechanism. You’ll know there’s a buildup if your coffee takes forever to drip. When this happens, you should now call the help of a reliable liquid—white vinegar. Here’s how to use the vinegar:
  1. After you’ve emptied the carafe, rinse and remove any remaining coffee grounds in the filter.

  2. Fill half of the reservoir with water and the other half with white vinegar.

  3. Position a paper filter into the empty basket of your coffee maker.

  4. Set the pot in position and begin brewing. Once it’s in the middle of its brewing cycle, turn your coffee maker off and give it a break for 30-60 minutes.

  5. At this point, you’ll need to turn the machine on and let it finish the brew cycle.

  6. When the brew cycle has finished, take out the water-vinegar solution you’ve poured earlier.

  7. Rinse the reservoir by placing a fresh paper filter and starting another brew cycle with just water. Do this process twice or thrice just to make sure it’s clean. Or else, your next cup of coffee would smell like vinegar. Note: Allow the coffee maker to rest between the brew cycles. Don’t be too hard on it. It’s just a coffee maker.