how to clean coffee maker with vinegar

5 Easy Ways on How to Clean a Coffee Maker with Vinegar

Well, it’s okay to have that healthy and tasty cup of coffee but keep in mind, for the brewer to keep delivering the same, proper maintenance is required.

The first requirement for coffee maker maintenance is handling. Place the pot on the correct surface, follow manual instructions for operation, adjust the right setting; running it well will ensure the machine offers longer service delivery.

Next is hygiene and cleaning. Cleaning involves using vinegar solutions and mixtures, soap and water and steeping. How to clean a coffee maker with vinegar requires following some simple steps.

Before we get to the instructions on how to clean a coffee maker with vinegar, let’s check the available coffee maker types.

Coffee makers come in different shapes, sizes, and use other mechanisms for brewing all resulting in that most needed cup. While brewing, a coffee maker may leave residue on the base areas, on the sucking tubes and other compartments.

These leftover residues can build up to creating mould and yeast bacteria that if not removed in time, can be transferred into your cup. Ingesting such bacteria may cause severe allergies and infections. Care should be taken.

The Types of Coffee Makers

Types Of Coffee Makers We Know

Coffee is a loved beverage by many worldwide, and we pride in it. Due to this, the inventions around brewing a coffee cup supersede any other beverage in the world.

Pressure Coffee Brewers

Within pressure coffee brewers, we have the famous Espresso maker. Espresso is viewed as the highest quality class of coffee, and you haven’t taken coffee yet if you’ve never had an espresso.

Espresso machines are either manual or automated. Automated has two varieties, partial automation that requires one to place in the grinds then attach it to the device for brewing or fully automated that starts brewing with a push of a button. Both espresso machines use very fine coffee, brew for about 2 minutes and give you a robust and rich coffee cup.

Espresso machines can be bulky, and cleaning them can be quite a task. Using vinegar to clean the coffee maker can ease the job and help significantly in undoing all the debris.

Moka Pots and Aeropress

Moka Pot Coffee Maker

Also, a pressure coffee brewer is the Moka pot. It uses steam pressure for brewing. Aeropress, on the other hand, are like big hand pumps that push water through the grounds to produce espresso.

Filtration Coffee Makers

Filtration coffee makers, we have the automatic drip brewers, and the single-serve coffee makers.

For regular automatic drip coffee makers, the process is relatively simple. Fill in the pot with water and place on the plate for heating. Heated water is pumped up on the grinds then drips/ filtered down as coffee. Some versions of drip coffee maker are computerized to offer various functions while others are a simple mechanism to operate.


Single-serve coffee makers as the name describes it brews cups at a time. The most famous of them is the K-cup invented by John Sylvan. Next is the Nespresso, though its coffee isn’t as strong, it brews coffee with foam, and that’s all the excitement.

Then there is Tassimo disc machine single-serve coffee maker, which the disc comes with a barcode containing information on how the coffee should be made and does so under a minute.

Chemex Drip

Chemex style manual drip brewer works best for purists who want total control over how their drink is made. It requires keen monitoring and pouring of hot water on the grounds to ensure you get your desired strength and amount of coffee.

Chemex Drip Coffee Maker

Vietnamese Coffee Maker

The Vietnamese coffee maker is one of a kind coffee maker, in its league and very personal. To brew, you place your coffee ground on a small steel filter and pour hot water over it and the water filters down to the glass as coffee. For best results have condensed milk on the glass mix with the brewed coffee and add ice. You’ll Love it!

Percolators are the best option for brewing coffee for many people. They brew in cups about 10- 12 cups per brew. Here heated water is pushed up a tube, splashes on coffee grounds on a top chamber which percolates to make coffee. Results to a strong, rich cup of coffee but can be regulated to desired strength. Percolators are either electric or stove-tops.

Cold brew coffee maker is designed to make iced coffee. It works slowly with a timeline of between 6 to 24 hrs. While this is a long time, planning is required, and you also get to enjoy a different kind of coffee.

Steep Brewers

French press coffee makers are quite popular steep brewers. They apply a simple coffee-making process where you mix all your ingredients; coffee grinds and hot water and sugar, allow steeping for 4 minutes then push the screen downwards to separate the grounds from the coffee. Often results in a grainy textured coffee enjoyed by many.

Siphon coffee makers have two compartments with each holding water and grounds. Water is heated, and the generated pressure pushes it into the coffee grinds chamber extracting flavors. It then filtered and dripped back to the lower section.

Boiling Coffee Makers

Ibrik is a Turkish coffee pot maker that brews strong coffee just by boiling. Heat your water to a near boil, add your finely ground coffee to the water, add your sweeteners then stir.

When stirring foam rises to the surface, remove from heat. Place it back again and do this about three to four times as the foam rises and on the last round serve and enjoy!

Combo Coffee Makers

Combo coffee makers, combine two or more methods of brewing coffee into a single appliance that can do both. Some combine the drip concept with the K-cup method of brewing. Here you can brew either with a pot for a broader audience or a K-Cup for one or two cups.

Another all in one combo maker is the breakfast station which comes with a drip coffee brewer, griddle and an oven toaster.

With the various, different brewing methods used by coffee makers, most of them come with detachable compartments that mean cleaning can be quite a nuisance.

Actually for these coffee makers cleaning it is a skill on its own! Vinegar is among the most used ingredients for the best cleanest outcome.

So Why Should You do a Coffee Maker Cleaning?

Simple! It’s because you don’t want to be drinking germs. After some time of constant brewing, the machines can develop mould and yeast. Coliform bacteria or germ generated by these brewers can cause illness. Also leaving it without proper cleaning is the reason your coffee loses its good taste and has some weird taste.

Here are the 5 Easy Ways on How To Clean a Coffee Maker with Vinegar

How to Clean a Coffee Maker With Vinegar

1. Cleaning Coffee Maker with Vinegar Solution

Vinegar is made of acetic acid and trace chemicals, making it an aqueous solution that can be used in various ways. Vinegar can be consumed, but it is also a good cleaner and disinfectant.

These attributes make it a powerful component able to dissolve dirt, mineral deposits, grease and grime. Mix vinegar and water and use the solution at a ratio of 1:2. Vinegar cleaning for coffee makers has proven to remove all accumulated dirt that buildup on either the interiors or exteriors of coffee makers.

Running this solution through your brewer does the magic with a little scrubbing, and you get your pot back in good status.

2. How to Clean a Coffee Maker with Vinegar and Water

Vinegar helps a lot in decalcifying your brewer. This process removes water minerals buildup from the inner working of your machines. To clean and decalcify, mix water and vinegar, depending on the amount of buildup on your coffee maker, you may need to reverse the ratio of water to vinegar as 2:1.

Place a water filter on the basket then brew halfway. Turn off your machine or remove from heat, let it sit for 30 minutes and turn it back on to complete the brewing process.

Dump out the entire brewed mixture. Rinse your pot by brewing fresh, clean water and place in a new paper filter. Any residues of minerals will be removed.

How to clean a coffee maker with vinegar if using a Keurig coffee maker is similar to a traditional coffee drip pot. You will need white distilled vinegar, water, dish liquid detergent and an empty mug.

You start by cleaning the exteriors with liquid detergent, which are the reservoirs, cover and drip tray. Use a dishwasher or hand wash on a sink. For the interiors, use a brush to remove stuck grinds gently, you may notice some limescale deposits on the k-cup holder.

Soak a piece of cloth in vinegar and apply to the white crusty buildup, let it soak for a few minutes then wipe out.

Ensure no pods are in the machine and empty the reservoir and the water filter. Re-assemble the device and run the vinegar solution through the machine, not forgetting to fill in the reservoir with water.

Here too you will dump the brewed hot liquid. Repeat the vinegar solution brewing process severally-4 times. After it’s done with the brewing, let it sit for 30 minutes then remove the reservoir and rinse out with water.

For better cleansing, run water through the machine to rinse out all the vinegar solution and your appliance is set for your next brew!

How to Clean a Coffeemaker with vinegar and water

3. How to Clean a Coffee Maker with Apple Cider Vinegar?

Using apple cider vinegar follows the same procedure of cleaning the coffee pot. That is creating a solution of water with the apple cider vinegar, add to your pot and brew.

Alternatively, you could fill your coffee maker with two parts one with water the other with apple cider vinegar. The process will remove built-up oils, muck and grounds from the pot and its compartments.

How to clean your coffee maker with vinegar, results in a better cleaner flow, a faster brew time and a better-tasting cup. All those flavors, you’ll get to taste them when your brewer is cleaned up.

4. Cleaning Coffee Maker with Vinegar and Lemon Juice

For this process, you will need the one cup vinegar, mix with one tablespoon of lemon juice. Place this mixture on the water reserve of the coffee maker and fill the rest of the pot with water and turn on the coffee maker to brew.

When the cycle completes, dump out the mixture. Rinse with clean water. Vinegar acts as a disinfectant while lemon juice contains antibacterial components. Combination of these two leaves your coffee maker fresh and sparkling.

5. How to Clean a Coffee Maker with Vinegar and Baking Soda

Normally running vinegar solution through the coffee maker does all the cleaning job, but one can use baking soda for cleaning the carafe. How to clean a coffee maker with vinegar and baking soda, for the exteriors must add baking soda and water to make a little scrub. Use this to scour out any coffee buildup on the glass then rinse with warm water.

5 Easy Ways on How to Clean Coffee Maker with Vinegar and Baking Soda

How Much Vinegar to Clean a Pot?

Depending on the size of your coffee maker, the amount of vinegar used to clean your coffee pot will vary. The ratio of the water-vinegar solution is 2 cups water to a cup of undiluted or distilled vinegar.

Generally, the recipe to clean a coffee maker with vinegar involve these steps;

Step 1. Have the right tools for cleaning; vinegar, some water, clean towel and some dish detergent.

Step 2. Empty the reservoirs, the carafe and grounds in the filter from your machine

Step 3. Wash exterior with detergent on a sink or a dishwasher

Step 4. Mix your water and vinegar, create your solution and pour it into the water chamber and brew.

Step 5. Brew halfway, stop, allow sitting /soaking then resume brewing after about 30- 1 hour to finish brewing.

Step 6. Discard the brewed water-vinegar solution and run fresh, clean water into the machine. The freshwater will cleanse the machine removing any vinegar residues.

Step 7. At this point both the exterior and interior of the coffee maker have been cleaned, disassembled, wiped down with a dry towel then reassembled all parts and it’s ready for a new tasty brew!

Read More:

How to Clean an Electric Coffee Percolator

Other Ways on How To Clean Your Coffee Maker Without Using Vinegar

We are done on how to clean a coffee maker with vinegar but there are also other ways on coffee maker cleaning without using vinegar.

Wash with Soap and Water

Depending on the type of coffee maker in use, how to clean a coffee maker without vinegar will require hand washing with warm water and soap.

The cleaning will help to reduce the buildup of moulds in the pot that result from coffee grinds and oil. While in the cleaning processes, don’t forget to wipe down the exteriors and the warming plate. Also, leave the reservoir lids open to allow proper drying and prevent moisture building.

Get your Pot to Sparkle with Rice and Water

While you are to wash your machine every time after use, over time, it may start looking dingy and old. Then it is time to make it sparkle again. Add water, a little rice and sudsy water into the pot then swirl the mixture. This process loosens any gunk, then scrub with a sponge, and all the debris will be removed. Rinse well. Viola, it’s back!

Use a descaling process

Descaling is the best cleaning option whenever the buildup is incredibly massive or when after cleaning with vinegar, the taste of coffee doesn’t improve. Use a manufactured, approved descaling solution and follow instructions .you can do this every 3 to six months for your coffee maker.

Signs That Your Coffee Maker Needs Cleaning And Decalcifying

If you notice some mildew smells either on your cup or while it brews, it is a sign of mould building up on the interiors.

When the brewing time takes longer than usual, then that is an indication of a miss that you need to check out. If it’s not anything technical, then it’s time for a thorough cleaning.

When the brew size reduces, if it usually brews a full cup but lately you only get half a cup, clean it out.

Sometimes you will see a whitish mineral buildup on the exteriors of your coffee maker.

Usually, your maker brews soft drink, but now you are getting extra grounds on your cup, cleaning is needed

As we enjoy every cup that our brewers can make, let’s also keep the brewers in good status. If possible, clean it daily or after every brew as this will improve its service delivery.

Aside from the daily wash, knowing how to clean a coffee maker with vinegar every three months will do it well too. It will clean out the mineral buildup, debris germs and bacteria. Happy caffeinating and keep safe!

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