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How to Sanitize a Steel Coffee Maker

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Updated February 12, 2023

If you’re shopping for a top-tier coffee maker, you’ve probably considered a stainless steel model. After all, a stainless steel coffee pot is durable, stylish, and sturdy. In addition, stainless steel pots hold heat much longer than the carafe of a standard coffee maker. That said, you need to know how to sanitize a steel coffee maker’s carafe if you want delicious coffee for years to come. It is essential for quality taste and for keeping your cup of coffee free from harmful bacteria.


  • Sanitizing your coffee maker is necessary to avoid the buildup of mold, yeast, and harmful bacteria.
  • Use dish detergent and boiling water to clean your steel coffee pot.
  • Wash the outside of your coffee maker with warm soapy water or white vinegar to remove coffee stains.

Luckily, sanitizing a coffee carafe and the outside of your coffee maker doesn’t require an intensive cleaning method. You just need a cleaning agent and boiling water. In addition to mild dish detergent, you’ll want a soft cloth and possibly some white vinegar, if you don’t mind the vinegar scent. Lastly, you want to learn how to program your coffee maker if your unit has an automatic cleaning process. If you’d like to clean the inside of your coffee maker itself, you can check out the best coffee maker cleaners or see our guide to cleaning a coffee maker with vinegar if you prefer something a little more natural. Just be sure not to use too much vinegar or you will have a not-so-great cup of coffee. However, if that happens, we have you covered with an article on how to get rid of vinegar taste in a coffee maker.

How to Clean a Stainless Steel Coffee Maker

Tools: damp cloth, dishwasher detergent, water, white vinegar (optional)

Insider Tip

Most coffee pots are dishwasher safe, but you still want to use a bottle brush or damp cloth for deep cleaning.

STEP 1 Unplug the Coffee Maker

On any electrical appliance, you should unplug it from the wall before cleaning or doing maintenance. Keep in mind that you’ll need to set your coffee maker timer once you plug the unit back in.

STEP 2Place Detergent or Dishwasher Pod in Coffee Carafe

Pour some mild dish soap or dishwasher tabs or pods into your coffee pot.

STEP 3 Add Boiling Water to Stainless Steel Carafe

Use an electric kettle or your stove to boil water like you would for a pot of coffee. Then, pour the boiling water into the stainless steel coffee pot. Agitate the water and let it sit for 30+ minutes.

STEP 4 Wipe the Outside of the Coffee Maker

Use a bottle brush or cloth to clean coffee grounds and stains from the exterior surfaces of your coffee maker. For stubborn stains, you may want to use white vinegar and salt.

STEP 5 Pour Water Out of Pot

Once your machine is free from coffee residue, you can pour the hot soapy water out of the pot. Be careful, because the contents will still be hot. Rinse the pot with clean water and towel dry.

STEP 6 Run the Coffee Maker and Rinse

Some experts recommend making a pot of cheap coffee to cover up a possible soap smell or taste in the stainless steel pot. Once you pour the coffee out, rinse the pot one more time. Now you should have a clean coffee maker and you can learn how to make tea in your coffee maker for a nice treat. Also remember, keeping your coffee maker clean is a great way to prevent your coffee from tasting burnt as well. For more useful ways, check out our article on how to stop a coffee maker from burning coffee.


Do not use any cleaning products on your stainless steel coffee pot while it is plugged in. If water interacts with a live appliance, it can cause electrical damage.


How to clean a stainless steel coffee pot with denture tablets?

Place denture cleaning balls or tabs in your coffee pot with boiling or warm water and let it sit for an hour or more. Then, rinse out the pot and let it dry.

How to Clean a Glass Coffee Pot?

To clean a glass coffee pot, you should use soap and warm water. You can also fill your coffee maker with vinegar and baking soda and scrub with a dish brush. Lastly, avoid using any abrasive scrubbing power, so you don’t scratch your glass container.

How Often Do I Really Need to Clean My Coffee Maker?

Since heat and moisture are critical components of using a coffee maker, you should clean them regularly. Doing so will ensure that your coffee maker remains clear of mold, yeast, and other bacteria.

STAT: A Gallup poll revealed that eleven percent of Americans drink four or more cups of coffee per day. (source)

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