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How to Get Rid of a Vinegar Taste in Your Coffee Maker

Beth Huston Profile image

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Updated February 12, 2023
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Difficulty Easy
Steps 6
Time Required 15 minutes
Things to Know

Knowing how to get rid of a vinegar taste in your coffee maker will help you enjoy your morning coffee routine rather than be disappointed by it.


  • First, create a solution using fresh water and baking soda. You can use a little soap for an extra boost during the cleaning process.
  • Till the water chamber with your warm water solution. Allow the basic cleaning process to remove traces of your previous vinegar-based descaling solution.
  • After performing basic cleaning routines, it’s crucial to run plain water through your appliance. Fill the water tank back up, and run the brew cycle one last time.

Even the best coffee maker may fall victim to mineral scale build-up. Calcium hardens quickly in your water reservoir, and a vinegar rinse can promptly resolve this. Once you finish cleaning your coffee maker with vinegar, make sure you flush it using the method laid out below.

What Causes a Residual Vinegar Taste?

If there is mineral content in your tap water, this can cause mineral deposits to form in your coffee machine. Descaling with white vinegar involves filling your reservoir with vinegar, which cleans out mineral build-up. And if you have a stainless steel coffee maker, you will want to make sure to know how to sanitize a steel coffee maker.

Insider Tip

Don’t forget to clean your drip tray regularly. A dirty drip tray is a breeding ground for bacteria.

However, cleaning your coffee maker with vinegar can cause a lingering taste of vinegar. Today, we’ll lay out cleaning instructions to eliminate any vinegar smell or taste left behind.

Cheap coffee brewers can also make your coffee taste like plastic. Learning how to get rid of a plastic taste in your coffee maker is also important.


Prepare a hot water solution using baking soda and a little bit of soap. Always use hot water so that the baking soda clumps can dissolve. Use a cleaning brush to scrub the reservoir with water and baking soda.


Pour this mixture into your water reservoir. Then, it’s time for coffee pots to go back on heating elements. This will help get your coffee pot clean, too.


Press the brew button to begin your brew cycle, and allow the magic to happen. This cleansing brew will clean out the brew chambers in no time. Enjoy a cup of coffee while you wait.


Once the brewing time is up, empty the warm water solution into your sink. Watch out for stray coffee grounds. The previous descaling process using a vinegar rinse should have removed them. Still, too many leftover grounds will damage your plumbing.


Step 5 – Now, run the brewing cycle with water. Use spring water to ensure you don’t mess up the descaling process, or you might have to fill your water reservoir with vinegar again. After this, the taste of vinegar should be gone.


Use a cloth or paper towel to dry your drip coffee maker thoroughly. Skipping this step might mean you need to learn how to get rust off a coffee maker soon.


Be careful when picking up a hot coffee cup to avoid burns.


How do I clean my coffee brewer using undiluted vinegar?

You shouldn’t. Instead of using undiluted vinegar, create a solution using a cup of vinegar and soft water. When descaling with vinegar, don’t use more than this recommended amount. You don’t need a gallon of vinegar for clearing out mineral scale build-up.

Does having hard water mean I need to clean more often?

To get your coffee maker clean and free of mineral buildup, you should increase cleaning frequency. This is true for any type of coffee maker, including a drip coffee maker.

Is it okay to use water in a water tank that has been sitting stagnant?

While you can use what’s in your water tank for up to a week, it’s not advisable. Instead, dump it out and refill the water chamber with more soft water.

If I have hard water, do I need to use a charcoal water filter?

Using a charcoal water filter is a great way to make the best-tasting coffee and avoid needing to descale as often.

STAT: To be labeled as a disinfectant, the EPA stipulates that the product must destroy 99.999% of pathogens within 5 to 10 minutes. (source)

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