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How to Clean the Hot Plate on a Coffee Maker

Updated: Jul 5, 2023 6:09 PM
How to Clean the Hot Plate on a Coffee Maker
Difficulty Medium
Steps 6
Time Required 20min
Tools Needed

Understanding how to clean the hot plate on a coffee maker will keep rust particles at bay. Sometimes spills happen, especially with a full coffee pot, which can lead to rust. While you can use a chemical rust remover, it’s better to avoid the process altogether.


  • Allow the heating element to cool off as your first step. They keep your coffee warm, so you can quickly burn yourself if you skip this step.
  • Next, use a cleaning solution to wipe down your heating element gently. Apply rust-removing chemicals to problem areas.
  • Drip coffee makers are prone to spillage and overflow, so immediately removing liquids from your heating element is crucial.

Luckily, keeping the hot plate of your coffee maker clean is easy. Even the best coffee maker requires regular cleaning to prevent the build-up of coffee residue, leading to stains and rust.

Guide to Cleaning Your Coffee Maker Hot Plate

Getting a coffee maker hot plate clean only requires a few steps. However, the development of rust complicates things because you’ll need to use an essential household chemical to clean it. Precautions must always be taken when working with chemical properties.

Unlike learning how to clean a stove-top coffee maker, using white vinegar alone doesn’t cut it for this tutorial.

Insider Tip

Clearing mineral deposits from the water reservoir of your bitter coffee brewer is easy with a coffee machine descaler.


After the coffee brewing process finishes up, enjoy your cup of coffee while you wait for the coffee maker’s hot plate to cool off. Remove the coffee pot and soak that in warm water with a few drops of dish soap in the sink.


Turn your coffee machine off. Start with a lint-free cloth with a bit of hot water and white vinegar, scrubbing the coffee maker hot plate. If you have a clean warming plate, this should be enough.


Now, removing rust from coffee maker hot plates is a little more intensive. An oxalic acid solution is an excellent rust remover. Use a solution of water and a small amount of acid.


Apply the solution to burnt-on coffee or water stains that have developed rust. The acidic properties of this mixture create a chemical reaction that lifts rust out of your coffee maker’s hot plate.


Once you’re satisfied with the results, remove the solution from your heating element using a clean cloth. Then, follow up with a damp lint-free cloth damp with clean water to remove all residue.


Thoroughly dry the heating element with a soft cloth. There are ways to skip harsh chemicals in the cleaning process. Learning how to clean your coffee maker naturally is never a bad idea.


Oxalic is a dangerous acid. Exposure to acid can result in damage to your kidneys and other organs, so handle it with extreme caution.


How can I prevent hot plate rust?

First and foremost, ensure that you wipe it down with a damp cloth if there are any spills. After this, dry it thoroughly. Warming plates can dry themselves if you let them run.

How do I remove stubborn stains from a glass carafe?

Soaking your thermal carafe with soap and water will help soften burnt-on coffee stains. Use a dish sponge to gently rub away anything that doesn’t come out with the soaking.

Can I use Coca-Cola to clean the plate on coffee makers?

Absolutely, and it’s a surprisingly effective remedy for rust. Coke has been in use for this purpose for many years and is fantastic for removing rust from household appliances.

Which cleaning products can I use to clean a burnt coffee plate?

Several options are effective rust removers:

  • Citric Acid Solution
  • Baking Soda Paste
  • Coca Cola

STAT: Using the LD50 figure for rats, a 130 pound (58.9 kg) woman would need to consume about 22 grams of oxalic acid to be in danger of death. (source)

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