How to Deep Clean a Coffee Maker

Wren’s Little Nest
by Wren’s Little Nest
2 Materials
1 Hour

Deep cleaning your coffee maker might not be a cleaning chore you think of doing often, but it is something that is so important to stay on top of.

Giving your coffee maker a good deep clean regularly will not only extend the life and performance of your coffee maker, it will also keep the machine germ, bacteria, and buildup free thus resulting in a great tasting cup of coffee.

Deep cleaning a traditional coffee maker is not complicated at all, and takes minimal time. Read below to find out how I like to clean out my coffee maker.

The first thing that I do is to take out any removable parts. This includes the drip basket, water filter holder, coffee pot and lid. Soak these items in a sink full of hot soapy water for 10-15 minutes. This will help to break up any coffee buildup that has accumulated in any small crevices.

Here is a good shot of the coffee pot before. You can see it has a brown tinge to it. Soaking this will lift that right off. If you have a coffee maker with a stainless steel pot (my previous coffee maker had that) the best way to get that clean is to put a dishwasher tablet in it, fill it with boiling hot water and seal the lid. After an hour you can dump out the water and give it a good rinse.

If your coffee pot is glass like mine is now, soaking and scrubbing is the best method to get it sparkling clean.

While the inner components are soaking I like to use a microfiber cloth and some cleaning vinegar to wipe down the exterior of the coffee maker. The spot my coffee maker gets the most dirty is right where the pot sits, so I like to pay extra attention there.

Learn how to clean a Nespresso machine here.

You can see how much coffee buildup and dirt had accumulated since the last time I deep cleaned the coffee maker. Once the outside of the machine is wiped down, I like to get a fresh cloth and do the same to the interior of the coffee machine. Make sure to unplug the coffee maker before cleaning the inside.

Once the inside has been wiped out, you can plug the coffee machine back in and get it ready to brew a cleaning cycle. To do this fill the reservoir up with a 50/50 mixture of cleaning vinegar and water. If you are using regular vinegar you can use it at full strength if you have a lot of buildup. The vinegar will clean out the interior and remove any calcium and mineral buildup.

After the reservoir is filled you can throughly wash all of the pieces that have been soaking in the sink and put them back in the coffee maker. If you have a water filter replace it with a new one also. By the time you are done doing that the vinegar that has been sitting in the reservoir will have had some time to work it’s magic in removing any gunk that has been sitting in there.

You can see how clean and sparkly the coffee pot looks now!

Once all of the pieces have been replaced run a brew cycle with the vinegar. If you don’t like the smell of vinegar I recommend opening up a window because it will make your kitchen smell like strong vinegar.

When the vinegar cycle is done brewing, repeat the same thing one or two more times using only water this time. You need to make sure everything on the inside of the coffee maker is thoroughly rinsed out and all vinegar has been removed.

And now you are ready to brew yourself a nice fresh cup of hot coffee, and reward yourself for a task well done!

I guarantee you will notice a taste difference in the coffee and in the performance of the machine.

I always try to do this deep clean once a month so my coffee maker stays in tip top shape!

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2 of 22 comments
  • Michele Tatro Michele Tatro on Sep 25, 2023

    After the last vinegar only cleaning brew, I pour the hot vinegar into my garbage disposal that has a few tablespoons of baking soda in it.

    Let the combo sit for a few minutes, then turn turn on the water and disposal and it is fresh and clean!

  • Betty Betty on Sep 27, 2023

    At least once a week I run the carafe and basket through a cycle in the dishwasher. (Top shelf, of course)