Coffee machines are used daily in many homes, offices and other establishments. Over time, coffee residues accumulate inside the machine, slowly building up residue deposits. Depending on the frequency of use of your machine, this can happen faster or slower but eventually, hard scale will develop on these deposits, preventing the proper functioning of your machine. When this happens, you’ll need to clean your machine in order to restore its optimal functions. Knowing how to clean a coffee maker might seem difficult, but it’s actually pretty straight forward.
Cleaning a coffee maker is an easy process that only takes 5-10 minutes. There are few products that you will need, and the removal of the residue is a straightforward procedure. You might have to repeat it several times in order to ensure complete removal of all deposits, but in the end, your machine will be as good as new.
This article aims to show you how to clean your coffee machine and we have covered the main types of machines in this guide.
When & How To Clean Your Coffee Maker
The best time to clean the coffee maker is once per month when you’re performing your regular cleaning regimen. If you do so, you won’t feel any inconvenience and it will be done in less than 5 minutes: not a big deal at all.
For general coffee makers the following cleaning process can be followed:
Step 1: Fill sink to about an inch with white vinegar
Step 2: plug appliance in and turn it on so water runs through maker
Step 3: leave running until vinegar is gone, this should take about 3-5 minutes depending on the model
Step 4: turn off machine and unplug it to let parts dry completely before using again
The vinegar, which is a typical home remedy for cleaning, is one of the best solutions to remove stains and residue from coffee makers. It is inexpensive and easy to locate. One of the main reasons why cleaning with vinegar works so well is that it’s able to break down calcium deposits, which are often responsible for these accumulations and over time will cause your coffee machine to stop working properly.
Coffee maker cleaners are also a good option for this task. They are normally liquid based and can be poured directly into the water container of your machine. However, you should always follow instructions as indicated on the product label to ensure that it will work as expected and without having any negative effects on your appliance.
Another good option is to use dishwasher tablets for cleaning coffee makers. You’ll need to insert the tablet into the compartment for ground coffee. Leave it there for at least an hour and then run a complete cycle as you would normally do after using the machine. This will help restore its functions completely, but to ensure that all deposits and residue are removed, you will need to repeat the procedure one more time.
In order to maintain your coffee maker, you should regularly descale it. This process won’t take more than 10 minutes once every several months. However, if despite your best efforts deposits keep accumulating on the appliance, you may want to consider replacing it with a new model.
Cleaning A Single Serve Coffee Maker
An easy way to remember how to clean a single serve coffee maker is by following the four R’s:
Remove Excess Residue: When you make coffee, some of the liquid passes through and is left behind as a residue. This is normal and can be removed with vinegar and water.
Residue Remains: If your machine isn’t cleaned regularly (at least once per month), you’ll need to use additional tools. How often you need to clean it depends on its frequency of usage; the more you use it, the quicker it will accumulate residue.
Reach Difficult Spots: The best way to remove deposits from difficult spots is with a non-abrasive sponge and a toothbrush. You can also use bottled water if your machine was not designed for vinegar usage.
Reassemble Machine: Once all the residue has been removed, it’s time to put everything back together. Make sure you dry all parts before putting them back in place and using the appliance again.
Cleaning A Drip Coffee Machine
Cleaning a drip coffee maker is very simple and doesn’t take much time either. In fact, because the machine isn’t turned on for this process, there’s no chance of getting burned or electrocuted in any way.
A common cause of malfunctioning with drip machines is that hard scale becomes stuck to the inner walls of the coffee maker, preventing water from passing through the machine. Without water, you can’t make any coffee at all!
You’ll need some paper towels, white vinegar and a toothbrush for cleaning a drip machine.
Step 1: Fill sink with hot water up to an inch so that it doesn’t overflow when filled with vinegar
Step 2: Add one cup of vinegar to water in sink
Step 3: Soak paper towels in vinegar/water mixture
Step 4: Fold towels and place them on the heating plate, the part that closes when you put your coffee mug under it to collect brewed coffee
Step 5: Place another two layers of paper towel on top of the heating plate so they completely cover it.
Step 6: Place the mug on top of the towels so it holds them down
Step 7: Wait 10 minutes, then remove mug and paper towels
Step 8: Unplug appliance to let parts dry out completely before using again
Cleaning A Pod Coffee Machine
Pod machines are very easy to clean. With pod coffee makers, you have very few parts that get clogged with residue or require scrubbing.
All you need to do is pop the used pod out of your machine and discard it. You can then wipe down the area where you place the pod with a damp cloth before putting in another pod.
If you’re a pod coffee drinker who prefers a strong flavor, consider changing brands or types of pods you use. I know it sounds counter-intuitive but the deeper the taste, the more residue it will leave behind in your machine. If that happens, follow these steps to clean your machine thoroughly:
Remove Pod Holder: Unscrew the pod holder from its place and remove with a damp cloth to wipe down excess residue
Fill Sink With Hot Water: Place a sink full of hot water in front of your coffee maker, with enough room for your pod holder. You’ll want to use boiling water if possible or at least very hot tap water.
Add Vinegar: Pour a generous amount of vinegar into the hot water. How much you use really depends on your machine’s model and specifications, so follow specific manufacturer instructions if you have them. For most pod coffee makers, adding half a cup of white vinegar is more than enough to do the job
Wait Time & Clean: Wait 5-10 minutes for the vinegar and residue to do their thing, then use your brush or sponge to scrub all parts in the sink. Make sure you wipe down everything in between each part.
Dry & Reassemble: Dry every piece with a clean dish towel and put them back together in the machine. How you put it back together will depend on your specific model, so follow the instructions that came with your coffee maker if you can’t figure it out on your own.
How To Clean A Keurig Coffee Maker
Keurig coffee makers are also relatively easy to clean, but do require a little more work. The single cup brewing system uses small plastic carriers known as K-Cups, which are filled with either ground beans or coffee pods. In order to avoid issues such as clogged parts or poor tasting coffee, you’ll need to properly clean your Keurig.
To clean your Keurig you should first remove the K-Cup holder, which can be done by holding down a small latch on one side of the machine. Once you’ve lifted it out, use either your brush or sponge to wipe away excess residue. How much residue there is will determine how long you need to scrub for.
Empty Your Water Reservoir: When trying to clean your reservoir, the first thing to do is empty it. If you don’t, residual water can dilute cleaning agents and will make it harder for them to work their way through your machine. Once emptied, use a damp cloth or paper towel to wipe down anything that might have gotten wet. How much you clean is up to you – some people prefer to simply wipe the reservoir clean while others may want to give it a good scrub.
Clean K-Cup Reservoir: How much residue is in your K-Cup holder will determine how thoroughly you have to clean it. If there’s not much, try using vinegar and water solution or warm soapy water. However, for more stubborn residue you might need to use a scrubbing brush or sponge.
Rinse & Dry: Once your K-Cup holder is clean, thoroughly rinse it with warm water and dry before placing it back in the machine. How you dry will depend on if you used vinegar and water solution or not–if so, wipe the excess liquid off with paper towels. How you replace the K-Cup holder will depend on your specific model, so follow the instructions that came with your coffee maker if you can’t figure it out on your own.
Reassemble & Run Cycle: Put all your clean parts back together and run a short washing cycle to allow them to dry thoroughly. How you go about doing this will again depend on your specific machine, so follow the instructions that came with yours if you can’t figure it out on your own.
How To Clean A French Press
Cleaning a french press is also fairly straightforward, but does require some elbow grease to get all the coffee residue out. Obviously, you should begin by removing the plunger from the carafe. How you do this will depend on the particular machine, but they usually have a small notch or tab that you can press to release it.
Once removed, use your brush or sponge to scrub all parts in warm soapy water – especially where any coffee grounds may have gotten lodged. How much residue there is will determine how long you need to scrub and if any scouring is needed.
Rinse & Dry: Rinse all parts with warm water and dry thoroughly using a dish cloth or paper towel. How you put your french press back together will depend on your specific model, so follow the instructions that came with it if you can’t figure it out on your own.
Reassemble and Run Cycle: How you go about doing this will again depend on your specific machine, so follow the instructions that came with yours if you can’t figure it out on your own.
Cleaning Old Coffee Pots
Cleaning an old coffee pot is pretty simple. Insert a dishwasher tablet in the compartment for ground coffee, start it up on a normal cycle, and presto! Cleaning an old coffee pot will be no longer an issue! You can use this to clean out your “old” coffeemaker too. Just let it run through your regular cycle, put in a dishwasher tablet, and you’re good to go. Cleaning an old coffee maker just got easier!
If you don’t have a dishwasher tablet but still want to give it a try with the bottle of vinegar in your cupboard, pour it into the water compartment before filling with hot water. Let it sit for about 30 minutes, pour out the vinegar, then run it through a regular cycle.
Hopefully, this quick and simple guide will make your life easier when it comes to cleaning out your coffee machine. The key point to take away is that regular maintenance will prolong the life of your machine and save you money in the long run. It will also ensure your coffee tastes as good as possible!