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How to Clean a Coffee Maker with Denture Tablets

Beth Huston Profile image

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Updated August 26, 2022

This is an excellent method to get your coffee maker spick and span and for clearing out mineral buildup. After a few cleansing brew cycles with warm water and denture cleaning tabs, you’ll enjoy better-tasting coffee.


  • First, you’ll fill your water reservoir up the fill line, drop a few tablets in, and start the brewing time. This process doubles as a coffee pot cleaning method.
  • After you finish the cleaning brew cycle, you should run a few rounds of water through your appliance to clear it of your cleaning agent.
  • The primary ingredient in denture tablets is bicarbonate sodium, which is the chemical name of baking soda. It’s especially effective for clearing mineral buildup.

If you have coffee residue build-up in your brew basket, this is a chance to take care of it. Learning how to clean a coffee maker filter basket is another easy task you can complete in a few minutes.

Insider Tip

You should clean an auto-drip coffee maker thoroughly at least once a month.


Fill the water reservoir with warm water up to the fill line. For more thorough cleaning, use soapy water.


Remove the leftover paper filter from your morning brewing cycle and throw it out. If you have a filter screen, remove that and set it to the side. Depending on the type of appliance you have, this method may vary. Learning how to clean a commercial coffee maker is a whole other process.


Dropping 3-4 denture tablets in water is enough to run a descaling cycle. This should take roughly 5-10 minutes, depending on the length of a regular cycle for your appliance.


Turn on the brew cycle, and allow the cleaning properties of sodium bicarbonate to work. The hot water will also clean your actual coffee pot as it soaks in the solution. This will help soften tough stains, especially in a glass carafe.


Dump the resultant warm water into your kitchen sink, so long as there aren’t excess coffee grounds present.


Use a damp cloth to gently scrub any stubborn stains from coffee oils in your coffee pot. Place it back in the appliance. You can also use a bottle brush for this.


Fill the water reservoir with more water, and begin the brewing process again to clean out the machine. Do this a few times until the water comes out completely clear.


Look into warnings from NSF International regularly to ensure none of your cleaning techniques or appliances pose a health risk.


How often do I need to clean a stainless steel coffee carafe?

You should clean a stainless steel coffee carafe after every use. Luckily, the process of cleaning a stainless steel coffee carafe isn’t tricky. Use a non-abrasive sponge to avoid scratches.

Is white vinegar an effective descaling solution?

As far as coffee maker cleaning solutions go, running a vinegar cycle efficiently clears mineral build-up. Cleaning your coffee maker with vinegar is a popular, effective method.

Is it essential to clean the outside of coffee machines?

The body of coffee machines is a breeding ground for bacteria. While you don’t have to clean it as regularly, it’s good to wipe it down with a damp cloth once a week.

Why do I need to clean my coffee maker?

Multiple reasons support the regular cleaning of these appliances:

  • Tough coffee stains will form
  • You’ll end up with funky-tasting coffee
  • Leftover coffee grounds can grow mold

STAT: The carbon-to-nitrogen ratio of coffee grounds can be as low as 11:1, an ideal ratio for plant and soil nutrition. (source)

Beth Huston Profile image