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How to Clean a Coffee Maker Burner

Beth Huston Avatar

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Knowing how to clean a coffee maker burner will keep crusty buildup from getting in the way of your coffee brewing process. After all, the last thing you want to see when you start your morning brew cycle is a nasty, rusty coffee maker hot plate.


  • First, wait for your coffee maker hot plate to cool off after your brewing cycle finishes. Enjoy a cup of coffee in the meantime.
  • Next, you’ll apply a water and vinegar solution with a bit of dawn soap or another mild dish soap to your coffee maker hot plate.
  • After finishing up, consider cleaning the rest of your coffee maker with vinegar so that you can enjoy better-tasting coffee from your next brew cycle.

If you invest your money into the best coffee maker you can find, it doesn’t make sense to skip dedicated cleaning cycles. You don’t even need expensive cleaning items. Keep reading to find out what common kitchen ingredients are perfect for this process.

Cleaning a Coffee Machine Warming Plate

Most people don’t realize that you need to clean far more than just your coffee pot. The appliance’s plate does more than keep your coffee warm. It maintains a proper temperature so that you don’t end up with your coffee tasting bitter.

Insider Tip

You can compost the wet ground coffee after you finish the brewing cycle or use it in DIY cleaning solutions for around the house.

Don’t forget to include the rest of your appliance in this DIY cleaning solution. We have a fantastic article teaching you how to clean a coffee maker this is your first time cleaning the device.


Create a solution of water, white vinegar, and mild dish soap. You won’t need much, so use a small container. Place your lint-free cloth in the vinegar solution to soak a little bit.


Remove your coffee pot from the coffee maker hot plate, and set it aside. You can also remove the paper filter from your brew basket and clean that, as well. If you’re unsure of the process, we have an excellent article teaching you how to clean a coffee maker filter basket.


Wring out your damp cloth. Then, gently wipe down the coffee plate to begin softening the burnt-on coffee or water stains.


Take your clean paper towel and wipe away the water, ensuring there aren’t any traces of soap left behind. Leaving traces of soap behind can result in rust.


If you have stubborn burnt-on coffee stains, create a paste using hot water and oxalic acid. Exercise caution and use hand protection to avoid direct skin contact. Spread a thin layer of the paste, and allow it to sit. If you’ve removed rust correctly, it should come right off.


Once the cleanliness of your coffee maker hot plate is satisfactory, make sure it’s totally dry. Place the coffee machine back on the coffee maker hot plate. You’re now ready to brew coffee.


Failing to keep your coffee maker clean can result in mineral buildup, leftover ground coffee, mold, and more.


How do you remove rust from coffee maker hot plates?

The best method is to use a solution of oxalic acid in warm water. Take great caution when using this acid, however. While it’s common as a commercial cleaning solution, it’s also highly toxic to humans.

How often do I need to clean my coffee maker hot plate?

Ideally, you should wipe it down with a clean cloth on a daily basis. This ensures that you don’t end up with a build-up of coffee residue or rust from coffee maker spills.

What can I use besides vinegar to clean my coffee maker hot plate?

Several cleaning products are highly effective for this purpose. Here is a couple of them:

  • Any common baking soda brand
  • Commercial cleaning products

Can I pour coffee grounds down the sink?

You should never pour coffee ground down the sink or flush them. Instead, throw them in the garbage or compost them. They can clog your septic system and cause endless problems.

STAT: Global coffee consumption has risen at an average annual rate of 1.9% over the past 50 years. (source)

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