We have already covered the basics on how to clean a coffee maker here, but thought we would delve a little deeper with some simple tips on how to clean both new and used coffee makers. The humble coffee maker has become an essential appliance in most family kitchens. Helping busy parents prepare for a full day juggling work and family, and enabling unorganized teenagers to get their assignments completed on time. However, coffee makers are terribly difficult to clean, and they are actually extremely susceptible to mold.
In fact in 2011 NSF International conducted a study that found at least half of all the coffee makers tested showed evidence of yeast and mold growth in the reservoirs. A scarier statistic reported that one in ten of the coffee makers tested showed evidence of coliform bacteria, resulting in a higher germ count than the average toilet seat. Luckily this doesn’t mean that you need to say goodbye to the convenience of brewing great coffee at home, because there are plenty of innovative ways to give your top rated coffee makers a spring clean and make them fresh and shiny again.
3 Easy Ways to Clean a Coffee Maker
Below you will find some of the best ways to clean a coffee maker with basic ingredients you can find in your home.
1. Cleaning a Coffee Maker with Vinegar
- Open your coffee makers water chamber and fill it halfway with cold water. Fill the other half with white vinegar and stir slightly to mix the two liquids. Next you need to set your coffee maker to brew and leave it on until the chamber is half empty. Even if you have a built in filter it is a good idea to use a paper filter for this technique.
- Once the water chamber has dropped to the mid-level, turn the coffee maker off and leave it to sit for at least 30 minutes. Once you have done this, you can turn it back on and finish the brewing process.
- This process should have removed some of the really stubborn bacteria within your coffee machine, however you still need to rinse it out for it to be completely clean. Therefore, fill your water chamber again, but this time only use fresh cold water. Add a new paper filter and brew until the water chamber is empty in order to remove any last bits of grime and any vinegar residue.
- Now, your actual machine should be sparkling clean and ready to brew, however this still leaves the carafe. Simply, fill your carafe with warm soapy water and a small amount of un-cooked rice. The rice will act as a natural abrasive. Next, take a sponge and scrub the inside of the carafe, swirling the water as you go. Rinse the pot out thoroughly with warm water and dry.
- Your final step should be to use a warm and damp cloth to simply wipe the outside of your coffee maker as well as the warming plate.
2. Cleaning a Coffee Maker with Lemon Juice
Lemon juice has a very similar effect to vinegar but it can be slightly more convenient because the residue it leaves is minimal compared the strong smelling and oily residue of vinegar.
- Fill up your water chamber with the lemon juice cleaning solution. This is made by using 1 part water to 2 parts lemon juice. Fresh lemon juice will work best, but juice from concentrate is also fine. Set your coffee maker to brew, but this time, don’t stop half way through. Let the entire solution filter through the system.
- Once the water chamber is empty, leave the machine to sit for around 10 to 20 minutes so it can cool down. Fill your water chamber again with fresh water and turn the coffee maker back on. Let all the water filter through, and repeat the process if this is still evidence of lemon juice.
- Follow steps 4 and 5 of the vinegar technique.
3. Cleaning a Coffee Maker with Baking Soda
Baking soda is the best product to use to get rid of stains and coffee residue from the outside of the coffee maker. It is also useful to clean the inside of the machine, however if you suspect any build-up of lime-scale then it may cause more problems than it solves. Use baking soda to as an abrasive to get rid of grainy and stained build-up on the warming plate as well as the inside of the carafe. Add a small amount to a warm damp cloth and scrub away.