How to Clean a Coffee Maker
I’ve always been a morning person, but I have my trusty coffee maker to thank for that. Without it, I’m pretty sure hellfire would come out of my ears and people would run away screaming. So “why,” I once asked myself, “do I always manage to forget to clean my coffee maker?”
You know the feeling...That first soothing breath of aromatic coffee percolating in the coffee machine. Hooray! Says your groggy mind, instant gratification coming soon! Then you take your first sip. Something is off.
A second sip to be sure. Now it’s just not right, like coffee..but more bitter and something almost...rancid.
After wondering what is wrong with your coffee, maybe switching brands, the answer is really simple....cleaning and the technique you use are key.
Cleaning the Filter
Ever forgotten to empty your coffee filter? Its like little micro-men have started their own herb garden in your maker. If that’s the case, here’s what to do.
- Empty out the ill-gotten contents
- Wash the residue off your filter with hot soapy water
- Use a soft plastic brush or old toothbrush for maximum cleaning power
- Soak that filter in a bowl – half water, half vinegar
- After 20mins wash it again in soapy hot water
- Rinse it completely
Cleaning the Coffee Machine
Whether your coffee maker is an older model or newer machine use this method to get rid of less than appealing oily deposits (that can turn rancid) and coffee residue inside your machine. It is easy and inexpensive, and all you need is plain white vinegar. Just follow these steps:
- In a measuring cup fill with half water, half vinegar.
- Pour the mixture into your water reservoir.
- Switch your coffee maker on and let it run a full cycle. Just look at what comes out as it cleans itself!
- If the water is cloudy and murky, repeat the process until your water is clear. Two water-vinegar cycles usually do the trick.
- Run clear water through the machine 3 or 4 times. Try your best not to cut corners and make coffee before you've done this; coffee and vinegar is not delicious.
Cleaning the Glass Coffee Pot or Carafe
Now that you have the inside clean an ready to go, you will want to clean the glass carafe. Some people use commercial products that are expensive and contain chemicals. Other suggestions include denture tablets. If you do not want chemicals and don't have dentures but want a really efficient and inexpensive method, do the following:
- Fill the glass carafe with ice cubes.
- Pour in about 2 Tablespoons of salt.
- Put the lid on the carafe.
- Swirl the ice cubes and salt vigorously. The cubes should go in a circular motion against the sides of the glass. You will need to do this for a few minutes.
- Watch as the coffee stains and water spots disappear.
- Rinse and dry.
I was amazed the first time that I saw this trick in action at a restaurant. It is actually kind of fun to do and watch and it will give your arm a little exercise. Best thing is that there are no chemicals and you are always likely to have ice and salt on hand.
Cleaning Outside the Machine:
Now for the finishing touches:
- Clean your coffee maker's housing with nice warm soapy water and a soft sponge or cloth.
- Dry with a clean cloth to avoid water spots.
- For burnt coffee on the warming plate, use a little dish washing liquid and baking soda on a damp sponge to remove.
Viola! A clean, coffee maker inside and out. Now you can sit back, relax and take a long well deserved sip of that rich, delicious coffee you love so much.
Just be sure to put it on a "to do" list monthly, so you will never have to wonder what is in your cup.