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The Home Depot

Coffee Maker Cleaning Guide

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Cleaning > Coffee Maker Cleaning Guide
Coffee Maker Cleaning Guide

The coffee maker is often one of the most used appliances in the home. Most of us clean the carafe regularly and the reservoir once in a while. That is because the sediment that has collected there is visible and we know that it will affect the taste. But the inside of the unit, which we do not see, is often ignored. And this is where sediment, calcium, lime, and mold can build up. Not only can this ruin the taste of the coffee, it can cause diarrhea, bloating, gas, and other gastric problems. Cleaning a coffee maker regularly will not only give you a great tasting cup of the brew, it will protect the appliance from damage.


Below, you'll learn how to clean a coffee maker as well as learn a few tips on things you can do to prevent or at least reduce the buildup of sediment in the machine.

  1. 1.How to Clean a Coffee Maker

    Cleaning a coffee maker is a simple process. There are various materials you can use but the proper procedure must be followed in each case to obtain the best results.

    1. 1. Vinegar. The most common way is to fill up the water chamber with full strength white vinegar. Turn on the machine so that the vinegar heats and passes through the system into the carafe. The action of the vinegar will clear away the buildup. Turn off the machine and run plain water through it several times to remove the smell and taste of the vinegar from the appliance.
    2. 2. Baking Soda. Another popular option is to use baking sode. Fill the water chamber with warm water and stir in a quart cup of baking soda. Once the soda has dissolved (the warm water helps in this) repeat the same procedure as with the vinegar, including rinsing out the unit.
    3. 3. Bleach. Many people believe that bleach is the best cleaning agent. The danger is that bleach can be corrosive and damage the interior of the machine. If you do use bleach mix only a few tablespoons into the water to create a mild solution and follow the same steps as with vinegar.
  2. 2.Coffee Maker Buildup Prevention

    Regular faucet water is normally safe for drinking but it has impurities in it that can stick to the insides of the coffee maker, especially when the water is heated. Distilled and purified spring water is the cleanest water that you can obtain and using this in the machine will significantly reduce the buildup inside it. Another thing you can do is to use paper filters which are thrown away after each use. Permanent filters require a lot of cleaning and sediment often remains in them and slowly enters the inside of the coffee maker. Everyone has their own favorite brand of coffee but if you notice a regular buildup of waste from the coffee grinds, consider changing to another brand or blend. The improved performance of the appliance may make the change in taste worthwhile.


    No matter what you do, you can only reduce the frequency at which the unit must be cleaned. There is not any way to avoid cleaning it completely. Remember that the more buildup there is the more cleaning agent you will have to use to clean it and if you are not careful, the excessive use of the cleaning agent can leave a strong odor in the machine that takes some time to dissipate. And until it does your coffee will taste funny.

  4. 3.Coffee is Delicious at any Time

    Whether it is the first cup of the day or one to conclude a nice dinner, coffee is something that can be had at any time. Keeping your coffee maker clean will give you the perfect brew whenever you want it.

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