Every morning, your coffee maker brews a cup of joe strong enough to propel you out of the house and to work. But your morning java can over time become unbearably bitter—if, that is, you don’t know how to properly clean your coffee maker. Putting it off can lead to a buildup of coffee grounds and oil, mineral deposits from hard water (scale), and sometimes even bacteria and mold. Mornings are tough enough already, are we right?
Luckily, cleaning your coffee maker is a breeze.
How to clean a coffee maker
You should clean your coffee maker once a month. You’re also supposed to floss every night and walk 10,000 steps a day, but just like these inconvenient tasks, it probably won’t get done. So every couple of months will do fine. Here’s your wake-up call: It’s time to get the gunk out of your coffee machine now. Here’s how.
1. Clean the pot
Remove the pot from the coffee maker. Rub a paste of baking soda and water inside and outside the pot. Scrub to remove any stains, and rinse the pot thoroughly. You can also run it through the dishwasher.
2. Rinse the filter
Remove the filter from the coffee reservoir.
Open the inner cover and remove the filter. Scrub it with a paste of baking soda and water, and then rinse. Or run it through the dishwasher.
3. Clean the drip pan
Use a scrub brush or sponge with soap and water to clean the drip pan of the coffee maker (if there is one).
4. Pour white vinegar into the water reservoir
White vinegar will dissolve mineral buildup in the water reservoir.
Attack stains in the water reservoir with undiluted, distilled white vinegar. Pour about 3 to 4 cups into the area where you would typically pour water.
5. Turn on the coffee maker
Run a cycle on your coffee maker with the white vinegar.
Run the coffee maker so the white vinegar cycles through it.
6. Run three cycles of water to rinse out the vinegar
Once the vinegar cycle has ended, run water through the machine three times to ensure you’ve removed any vinegar and residue before brewing your first cup of coffee in your clean machine.
7. Wipe down the outside of the machine
Use a sponge or paper towel to clean the outside of the coffee maker.
For more information, watch this video courtesy of eHow Home.
How to clean a single-serve coffee maker
Single-serve machines are far easier to clean because there are so few parts that can get grimy in the first place, says Steve Perez, president and master cleaner at Alamo Steam Team, a San Antonio, TX, housecleaning company.
1. Clean the water tank
Wipe down the water tank with hot water and a soft cloth or sponge. Keep detergents away from the tank because they can contaminate the water you use for coffee. If the tank has a coffee filter, replace it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
2. Remove the pod holder, funnel, and drip tray
Disassemble the brewer by pulling out the pod holder (beware, it has a sharp needle) and removing the funnel and drip tray. Run these parts through the dishwasher (on the top rack) to disinfect.
Disassemble the pod holder.
3. Clean the pod holder area
Cover a butter knife with a paper towel and dig into crevices.
Carefully clean the needle and the area around the pod holder. Use a paper clip or butter knife wrapped with a paper towel to remove any gunk in hard-to-reach areas.
4. Reassemble the pod holder, funnel, and drip tray
For a closer look at how to clean a single-serve coffee maker, watch the video below courtesy of A Simply Simple Life.