The coffee maker gets a lot of use, especially in households where coffee gets brewed twice a day or more. But unless there is a water softener system installed, the water that is being used is probably hard. That means, it will cause mineral deposits to build up in the coffee machine over time. The deposits accumulate the most in the tube that carries the water below to heat it before sending it back up and into the coffee grounds.
If it builds up too much, the tube will become completely clogged. And since there is no way to disassemble the lower part of the coffee maker without damaging it, it will have to be thrown away. According to Good Housekeeping, if it is cleaned regularly using a few inexpensive household supplies, this won’t happen though.
How Can You Clean Your Coffee Maker With Vinegar?
One of the most popular methods of cleaning a coffee maker is with vinegar. It contains acetic acid that weakens the molecular bond of the mineral build-up, so it will loosen up and get flushed out. According to Consumer Reports, the best way to clean the coffee maker is with organic apple cider vinegar or white distilled vinegar.
Either type of vinegar can be diluted when it is used. It doesn’t have to be kept at full strength. However, there is a trick to getting it to be the most effective.
After running the vinegar and water solution halfway through, shut the machine off. Let the solution sit for about 30 minutes or so. Then, turn the coffee maker back on. Run plain water through it afterwards.
Are There Any Other Ways to Clean a Coffee Maker Without Vinegar?
Since vinegar has such a strong smell, some people prefer not to use it in their coffee maker. So two alternatives to the common salad dressing ingredient are citric acid powder and lemon or lime juice. They are both acidic, so they work the same way as vinegar does to loosen up the mineral build-up.
Citric acid powder is used to preserve the color and flavor of fruits and vegetables before they are served. It is also added to canned items to increase their acidity. So the best place to find it is in the canning section.
About two tablespoons of citric acid should be dissolved in two cups of hot water before it is poured into the coffee maker. Let it run its course. Then, run plain water through. Large pieces of mineral deposits might come out with this method, so be sure to have a paper coffee liner in the basket to catch them in.
According to Creative Homemaking, lemon or lime juice will work the same way as the citric acid powder does, but it is already in a liquid form, so it doesn’t have to be dissolved first. Just squirt the juice of three or four lemons or limes into two cups of water. Then, run the solution through. The smell will dissipate quickly when using this method. There is no need to run extra water through.
Will Baking Soda Work for Cleaning a Coffee Maker?
Baking soda works great for scrubbing away dirt, and it also kills tough odors. Because of this, some people think that it will work great for cleaning a coffee maker too. But even when baking soda is dissolved in water, it won’t pass through the intricate parts of a coffee maker very well.
So it is best to reserve this cleaning agent for the outside of the machine only. It works great to scrub away burnt spots on the heating element. Baking soda will also remove any grease that was splattered on the coffee maker during cooking.
Is Bleach Safe to Clean a Coffee Maker With?
Bleach kills germs very effectively, but it should never be used to clean a coffee maker with. The liquid is toxic to humans, so if any of its residue were to stay inside the coffee maker, a person could get very sick from it. It shouldn’t be used on the outside of the coffee maker either because cross contamination could occur.
Another reason not to use bleach in a coffee pot is that it is very corrosive. It could degrade the integrity of the plastic and rubber pieces that are inside. And on top of this, it doesn’t remove mineral deposits well anyways.
Can You Clean a Coffee Maker With Dish Soap?
Mild dishwashing liquid works great to wash out the coffee pot and basket. It can also be used for hand washing any other removable parts that are in the top of the machine. But it doesn’t work well when it is ran through the coffee maker unless it is combined with lemon juice or a citric acid solution.
Be sure to only use one drop of dishwashing liquid to clean the coffee maker. Any more than this will make it difficult to flush all the suds through. This cleaning method works well for removing any insects that have gotten into the coffee maker.
Are There Any Videos That Show How to Clean a Coffee Maker?
There are lots of videos online that demonstrate how to properly clean a coffee maker using natural items found in the house. This video below is one of the best of them. Be sure to check it out if you need further instructions on how to complete the process, so your coffee maker won’t be damaged when you clean it.