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How to Clean a Coffee Maker with Dish Soap

Beth Huston Profile image

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Updated February 12, 2023

Learning how to clean a coffee maker with dish soap will help you keep things squeaky clean on the cheap. All you need is some warm water, mild dish soap, and patience.


  • First, create a solution using fresh water and soap. This will be the primary agent for cleaning your appliance, but you can add a cup of vinegar if you prefer.
  • Pour the mix of water and soap into your water tank, and then start the brewing cycle. You’ll go through the brewing process multiple times before you’re finished.
  • After finishing up, wipe down everything with a clean cloth to ensure there isn’t excess moisture left over that could encourage mold or mildew growth.

After you’ve purchased the best coffee maker for your lifestyle, you need to maintain it properly. Keeping your coffee machine clean will provide a cleaner taste for every morning cup of coffee you enjoy.

Is Soapy Water an Effective Cleaning Solution?

Between built-up coffee oil and residual coffee grounds, there are tons of reasons to perform a monthly cleaning of your appliance. You can use a homemade cleaning mix of different household essentials you already have.

While liquid dish soap and freshwater are highly effective as a combo, it can be challenging to wash out your system thoroughly. For that reason, learning how to clean a coffee maker with lemon juice is never a bad idea.

Insider Tip

If you have stubborn stains in your pot of coffee, use a toothbrush for extra grit while you scrub.

How to Clean a Coffee Maker With Dish Soap

Tools Needed: Liquid dish soap, warm water, paper towel or clean kitchen towel, dirty coffee maker dish sponge, white vinegar (optional)


If you have a removable water reservoir, take it out. Focus on hand cleaning it thoroughly as your first step. You should be able to wipe it down thoroughly with a damp cloth.


Next, create a mixture of soapy water. Put a couple of drops of mild dish soap into clean water, and stir vigorously. This is also where you can include other ingredients, such as white vinegar.


Pour your mix of water and soap into the clean water chamber. From there, you’ll start the brew cycle. If this is part of a Keurig descaling process, make sure you have a cup in place to collect the resultant water solution. If you’re using a drip coffee maker, then your coffee pot will work just fine.


After the brew cycle finishes, you’ll start a second brewing cycle. This time, skip using the liquid dish soap altogether. Repeat the brewing cycle with water as many times as it takes for the hot water in your coffee pot to be clear of soap bubbles, and perhaps one more time after that, to be sure.


Once the hot liquid your appliance dispenses becomes plain water, you should now have a clean coffee maker. If you aren’t delighted with the results, you can also learn how to clean a coffee maker with baking soda.


Only use cleaning products and solutions that are approved for your appliance, even if they’re homemade with all-natural ingredients.


Can apple cider vinegar clean a coffee maker?

You can, but cleaning your coffee maker with apple cider vinegar alone isn’t enough if that’s all you’re using. Instead, creating a cleaning mix with a few other eco-friendly products should work wonders.

How do you remove calcium deposits from a coffee maker?

A descaling product will help immensely. Some models come with a descaling cycle that helps your descaling solution work to its fullest ability.

What is the best deep cleaning method for a coffee maker?

Deep cleaning requires the use of a commercial descaling product to be fully effective. This helps clear out mineral deposits. Even if you use a water filter, some stuff will still get through.

Why is using white vinegar an inferior cleaning method?

While cleaning your coffee maker with vinegar is recommended, it might not be the best method. Acetic acid is what creates the characteristic smell of vinegar. Unfortunately, it has a relatively low P.H., making it less effective except as an ingredient in a cleaning mix.

STAT: The global dishwashing liquid market grew to 18 billion dollars in 2019. (source)

Beth Huston Profile image