How to Clean a Coffee Pot with Vinegar
A coffee pot that’s not been cleaned makes coffee that doesn’t taste good.
Coffee will start to taste bitter, flat or "off" when mineral deposits build up and the oils naturally present in the coffee beans go bad. The oils get in the fresh water and ruins the coffee as it brews.
The minerals- called hard water deposits, make the machine work harder because they "gum up" the inside of the machine. Removing the build up will prolong the life of the coffee maker.
I have a terribly expensive coffee maker that I absolutely adore. It comes with instructions to buy their terribly expensive coffee pot cleaner and to use it frequently.
Good thing I'm Mrs. Clean! I know that I can use vinegar to clean the pot just as well as their commercial cleaner. I also know that vinegar will remove any mineral deposits.
You have to rinse the coffee machine well to remove the vinegar, but this is also true of commercial coffee pot cleaners.
I consider it a bonus to be able to tell that I have completely removed the vinegar from the coffee machine, because I can smell it if I haven't rinsed it out completely. You can't say the same of a commercial coffee pot cleaner.
So what’s a coffee lover to do? Get ready to clean the inside and outside of coffee pot using plain white vinegar!
Clean out the Leftovers:
Throw out any coffee that’s sitting around in the coffee carafe and throw out the old filter full of coffee grounds that’s in the basket. Then rinse the carafe with clean water. Put a clean filter in the basket and insert it into the machine.
Fill the Coffee Pot with the Vinegar Cleaning Solution:
Fill the pot with one part white vinegar to two parts water, pouring it through the filter. In a twelve cup coffee maker that would be vinegar up to the four cup line and the rest water. Pour the vinegar and water mixture into the coffee maker’s reservoir.
Run it Through the Brewing Cycle:
Turn the coffee maker on and brew the water and vinegar solution. Then shut off the coffee maker. Allow the vinegar and water to sit in the carafe for fifteen or twenty minutes. This will help loosen any hard deposits in the coffee maker.
Coffee makers should, ideally, be cleaned with vinegar and water about once a month. If it’s been longer than a month, run a vinegar and water solution through the coffee maker twice rather than once. Use a clean vinegar and water solution each time.
Rinse the Machine:
Throw out the vinegar and water, and the used filter. You may see residue in the filter. Rinse the pot, and put the coffee maker through its paces two more times with nothing but fresh, clean water. Let the coffee maker cool for about fifteen minutes between each cycle. This will rinse the vinegar out of the pot with anything else that might have been leftover from the vinegar cleaning.
Remove any Remaining Stains:
Wash thee carafe and filter basket with warm water and dish detergent to remove any residual staining. Wipe down the sides and base of the coffee maker with a paper towel dipped in vinegar and voila! The coffee maker will be all shiny and clean and your morning brew will taste delicious again!
Keeping your Coffee Pot Clean:
Once you’re done cleaning and have the coffee maker ready to put together again, put a glass marble into the water reservoir. The marble works to attract calcium, magnesium and other minerals as the water sits in the plastic reservoir. Check the marble every couple of weeks and clean it or replace it when it the hard water has made the marble opaque or cloudy looking.
And unless you rinse the pot with clean water daily, filling the coffee maker’s reservoir with water from a pitcher helps a lot to keep it cleaner, for longer. If you use a carafe that isn’t spotless, you’ll just be pouring oil and other residue back into the reservoir.
How easy was that? And you probably had white vinegar right in the house. It’s useful for so many things besides making salad dressing! So keep a big jug in the house and clean your coffee maker, inside and out, at least once a month, or if you’ve used it two dozen times or so. You’ll be ensured a delicious cup of coffee and an attractive small appliance in your kitchen.