So, how often should you clean your coffee maker? That depends on a few factors, such as whether you have hard or soft water and how often you go through the brewing process. When you use the brewing cycle, coffee oils will build up throughout the appliance. Water minerals may also build up, knocking your best-tasting coffee down a notch.
Any coffee lover will tell you that the best coffee maker is one that fits your lifestyle. From single-serve coffee makers to drip coffee makers, there are plenty of options out there.
You don’t need to go through a deep cleaning process every day. Depending on how often you use your coffee pot, a daily wipe-down with a damp sponge and soapy water should suffice. Make sure you clean out all residual coffee grounds, especially if you notice them showing up in your cup of coffee.
NSF International is an organization that sets the standards for public health and safety, and its website has plenty of resources for learning more about appliance cleaning standards.
If you clean regularly, this is what you’ll avoid:
Using the correct type of coffee filters can help reduce the amount of ground coffee beans getting into the appliance’s water system. Our article “How often to change a charcoal filter in a coffee maker” goes more into the specifics. Following these steps will help make sure your machine runs optimally and you hopefully won’t have to ask “How do I fix my coffee maker?”
Deep cleaning should take place once a month on average. If your appliance has dishwasher-safe components, then put those in your dishwasher. Thoroughly clean your brew basket with warm water and your cleanser of choice, like liquid dish soap.
Wipe down the rest of the appliance, focusing on parts that are often touched or handled. Make sure to thoroughly rinse with warm water so that your vinegar solution doesn’t contaminate your morning brew.
The most popular method involves a cleanse with vinegar and fresh water. White vinegar is a gentle cleanser. You can also use a small amount of liquid dish soap in freshwater.
Creating a coffee maker cleaning solution is easy. You’ll need a bottle of vinegar, clean water, and either a bucket or sink. Use hot water to rinse everything thoroughly. If you don’t, you could end up with a lingering vinegar taste in your next pot of coffee.
Some models come with a self-cleaning mode. Detailed instructions are included with the product to ensure the cleaning cycle set-up goes smoothly. Alternatively, you can read about how a self-cleaning coffee maker works. If you’re able to, use the self-cleaning cycle with water twice a week. This will ensure that you’re able to keep your coffee maker clean.
Powerful models will generally come with a cleaning cycle of some sort. If you’re wondering how powerful your appliance is, asking “How many watts does a coffee maker use?” will help you figure it out.
The descaling process is essential for a clean coffee maker, so make sure to learn more about what it means to descale a coffee machine. Limescale buildup restricts water flow, which causes issues with your brew cycle. Exposure to limescale buildup isn’t harmful to your health, and it’s a harmless collection of calcified minerals.
A descaling solution will work wonders for cleaning out any mineral buildup in your coffee machine. You can buy a descaling tablet for this purpose. Alternatively, you can check out how to clean a coffee maker with vinegar if you don’t want to use any chemicals. Never submerge your entire appliance in vinegar. On the other hand, if you want a machine that is easier to maintain, you can check out the best coffee maker for hard water.
Ensure that your appliance is entirely removed from its power source before you attempt to clean it so that you don’t get shocked.
How often should I clean my coffee pot carafe?
You should clean your coffee carafe with soap after each use. If you have trouble seeing the buildup of coffee residue, consider investing in a glass carafe.
What happens if I never clean a coffee maker?
In short, terrible things. Reusing a dirty coffee pot can lead to mold growth, excessive grime, and even bug infestations. Eventually, it’ll either become a fire risk from the grime or stop working altogether.
Which parts of my coffee maker should I clean?
That depends on the type you’re using. For a classic drip-style coffee maker, make sure you remove both the brewing basket and drip tray. Allow them to soak in water with a cup of vinegar thrown in.
STAT: The National Science Foundation found that 50% of households tested had mold or yeast in coffee machine water reservoirs. (source)