Your coffee maker used to produce the perfect cup, but now something has happened and your once trustworthy coffee maker is acting strange. Sediment, lime, calcium and mold can build up in your coffee maker, preventing you from having a truly great cup of coffee. If you have a white coffee maker you may see some of this build up, but it can go completely unnoticed in a black one. The only thing that you may start to notice is a bitter tasting cup of coffee. Most of us use our coffee pots to brew our java at home every day, but most of us don’t have a regular schedule for cleaning the coffee maker.
According to the National Sanitation Foundation, the reservoir of your coffee maker is the fifth germiest spot in your home, ranking higher than even your dog’s favorite chew toy. A effortless cleaning will help maintain freshness, remove hard water spots from the carafe and prevent staining. It will also remove mineral buildup and clean out the coffee oils that get left behind and turn rancid. A carafe is a wide mouthed bottle or container for serving coffee or other beverages. In an automatic drip coffee maker, the coffee pot is called a carafe.
Keep your coffee maker brewing delicious coffee with these easy Coffee Maker Cleaning Instructions:
- Fill the water chamber of the coffee pot with equal parts water and plain white distilled vinegar. Vinegar is a natural cleaner that breaks up oily buildup and cleans coffee residue. Turn on the brew cycle, and then turn off halfway through.
- Let the vinegar and water sit for an hour, giving it time to steam-clean the coffee maker. After one hour, turn on the brew cycle and allow the vinegar and water to continue to go through the drip cycle.
- Run three quick cycles of water through the coffee maker, and give the coffee pot a quick wipe-down. Now you’re ready for a fresh cup of coffee.
If your coffee tastes like vinegar after you’ve finished the cleaning process, it simply means that the machine didn’t get rinsed out well enough. Run 2 more cycles of plain water through the machine and then try making coffee again. You can also try this method to get rid of the vinegar taste: add hot water and 1 tsp of baking soda to your coffee pot. Let it soak for 15 minutes, then rinse thoroughly with clean water.
Lemons are acidic and can provide some antibacterial and antiseptic properties for cleaning. That acid is just the thing that is needed for getting rid of the build up in your coffee maker.
- Make sure your coffee maker is free of any coffee grounds and run your machine through a water only cycle once. Make sure you have an empty filter in place so that it runs properly.
- Mix a solution of 1/2 parts lemon juice and 1/2 parts water.
- Discard the water from the carafe and turn off the coffee maker.
- Pour your solution into the coffee maker (turned off) and allow your solution to sit for approximately 15 to 20 minutes. This will give the lemon juice time to really break up the oils.
- Turn the coffee maker on and allow the solution to run through.
- If it has been an extremely long time since you have cleaned your coffee maker you may want to repeat the process.
- When the cleaning is complete run a clean water cycle through the coffee maker one or two more times to get rid of any lemon smell or taste.
- Remove any removable parts (the carafe, coffee reservoir, etc.) and wash them with the same lemon solution to remove any oils that remain. Then re-wash these parts with dish soap and water to remove any lemon taste.
Baking Soda Base
Fill your coffee pot full of warm water, then add 1/4 cup of baking soda. Stir until dissolved. First, we will be flushing the coffee maker with our homemade cleaning solution.
- Pour your dissolved baking soda mixture into the coffee maker tank, just like you were brewing coffee.
- Close the top, replace the coffee pot, and turn the coffee maker on.
- Once finished brewing, dump out the coffee pot.
- Repeat these steps to do this cleaning process a second time. This time, don’t dump out the solution when it has finished running through. Let the cleaning solution sit in the coffee pot for about 1 hour.
- Pour out the cleaning solution.
- Fill the coffee pot with plain water and pour it into the tank. Run the coffee maker 2 times like this with plain water to rinse out any debris, impurities, and remaining cleaner.
Keep the top of the coffee maker open after a brew to prevent germs from thriving in the moisture. Most removable parts of your coffee maker are dishwasher safe. No need to hand wash every little part if you have a dishwasher. Properly cleaning out the gunk from past brews will ensure that coffee tastes just the way it should, and not like a sour cup of coffee. Taking care of your coffee maker and coffee pot will keep your coffee maker is good working condition and help it to last longer.