Cleaning Coffee Machines

by April Reinhardt
(last updated September 14, 2015)

Coffee machines, commonly known as coffeemakers, adorn many kitchen countertops in private homes. Introduced in 1972 under the name Mr. Coffee, the first automatic drip-brew coffeemaker for home use combined the drip-brew and percolating processes, with a separate electric element to heat water. Since then, many manufacturers have marketed their own versions of home coffeemakers, making it a very affordable kitchen appliance.

To remove hard water deposits, leftover rancid coffee oils, and other impurities, drip filter coffeemakers need to be cleaned. Washing the coffee pot will not remove impurities from the internal components of the machine. You should clean your coffeemaker at least every two-to-three months. If you use your machine every day, you need to clean it at least once a month. If you find that your machine will not make a full pot of coffee, or if your coffee is as weak as tea, then those are signs that the internal components of your machine are clogged.

You can clean your coffee maker simply with either vinegar or baking soda. To clean with vinegar, follow these steps:

  1. Fill the machine water reservoir with one quart of white vinegar.
  2. Insert a new filter into the filter basket.
  3. Place the carafe onto the heating plate, turn on the brew switch and allow the vinegar to drip through completely.
  4. Turn the machine off and allow the vinegar to stand in the carafe for thirty minutes.
  5. Empty the carafe, rinse it thoroughly, fill it entirely with cold water, pour the water into the water reservoir, and then place the empty carafe onto the heating plate.
  6. Throw away the used filter and replace it with a new one.
  7. Brew the full pot of clean water through the machine, wash the filter holder and carafe with soapy water, rinse, and then allow to air dry.

To clean your coffeemaker with baking soda, follow the same steps above, except combine two heaping tablespoons of baking soda with the quart of water when you initially fill the water reservoir.

After cleaning your coffeemaker, if you find that it takes a long time to complete a brewed pot of coffee, or if your coffee is weak despite using a large amount of coffee, repeat the cleaning process above. If you continue to have problems, consult the manufacturer's directions or have the unit repaired. Be aware that the cost of repairing a coffeemaker may cost more than buying a new unit.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...

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