How To: Clean Your Coffee Machine

5 steps to a cleaner coffee machine


If you haven’t cleaned your coffee machine in a while, chances are your coffee will taste rancid, or the machine will be sluggish. The moist environment of the coffee machine, too, can be a hotbed of bacteria and mold if not cleaned regularly. With a few simple ingredients that are probably lying around in your kitchen, you can get your coffee machine spick and span again to brew a fresh cup of Joe.

  1. Empty the carafe (the open-topped glass flask) to get rid of any coffee grounds or powder that may have been left behind in the filter. Rinse it well.

  2. To clean the water chamber/reservoir, make a potent cleaning solution with equal parts vinegar (the magic cleaning ingredient) and water, and fill the water chamber with this concoction. Place a paper filter into the machine’s empty basket.

  3. Turn on the coffee machine. Start brewing, but only finish half a cycle. Once about half the pot is full with the filtered vinegar/water mixture, turn off the coffee machine and let it sit for at least one hour. This will give the vinegar time to sit in the machine and clean out any mold. Once the time is up, start the coffee machine again to finish the remaining brew cycle.

  4. Empty the water chamber of the vinegar-water solution after the completion of the brew cycle. Then, fill the water chamber with only clean water. Add a new paper filter. Run a full new brew cycle. Repeat if required, but let the coffee machine cool down before you start again. We insist that you follow up with a few cycles of clean water, just to remove any traces of vinegar.

  5. Don’t forget to give the exteriors of your coffee machine a good cleaning up too, first with a damp dish towel, and then with a dry dish towel. With hot, soapy water, wash the carafe and filter basket. Use a sponge to do heavy-duty gunk cleaning.

    Tip: It’s best to wash the removable parts of your coffee machine—with warm and soapy water—after every use to remove coffee, grinds, and oil.


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