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5 Simple Steps to Cleaning a Coffee Maker

For most Americans, a steaming cup of coffee marks the beautiful start to a day that has yet to be written. The one thing we know for sure at this early hour – our coffee needs to be hot, bold, and easy to brew in our home coffee machine. One of the key responsibilities of being a home barista is keeping your coffee game hot by keeping your coffee machine clean.

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It's no secret that a dirty coffee maker can make you sick. But for a coffee connoisseur, the bigger danger is in brewing an unsatisfactory cup. Taking the time to regularly clean your coffee machine pays off in time, taste, and even money saved.

To coffee bean experts and novices alike, the bitter taste of coffee brewed in a dirty machine is eye-opening, and not in a good way. When you don’t regularly clean a coffee machine, it will produce acrid-smelling coffee, and residue can cause blockages that render the machine unusable. There is no need to get overwhelmed thinking about how to clean your coffee maker – you can get it done in 5 simple steps. 

5 Steps to Cleaning a Coffee Maker

  1. Clean all the components
  2. Run white vinegar through the coffee maker
  3. Clean the coffee pot
  4. Wipe down the outside of the coffee maker
  5. Run a few cycles of fresh water through

1. If the part is removable, take it off and clean it.

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From the filter to the water reservoir, if it can be removed from the coffee maker, you should take it off and clean it. This cleaning goes beyond rinsing out the filter after daily use. You want to clean the coffee maker and all its parts thoroughly in the sink (or if they are dishwasher safe, toss them in the dishwasher with your next load of dishes). 

Removable Parts to Wash:

  • Coffee pot
  • Water reservoir
  • Filter basket
  • Coffee pot lid

2. Run a solution of white vinegar through when cleaning a coffee maker.

Unless you are consistently using bottled purified or spring water, your coffee machine will get a buildup from hard minerals. Mix equal parts white vinegar and water and put the solution in the water reservoir. Run half through, then turn off the coffee maker and let the solution sit for at least 30 minutes before brewing the rest through.

For example, if you make 8 cups of vinegar and water solution, run four cups through, let the machine rest, and then run the other four cups through. This is a great way to clean out the inner parts of the coffee machine with very little effort. When the solution is done brewing, you can dump it out and move on to a thorough cleaning of your coffee pot.

3. After the vinegar solution, thoroughly clean your coffee pot.

Like the filter, this cleaning is more than just a simple rinse. The vinegar solution is a good starting point, but if you want to give your coffee pot a little extra TLC, add warm water and a little bit of uncooked rice to the empty pot and give it a swirl! This loosens up any debris, and a final swipe of a sponge will get your coffee pot sparkling. (Don’t forget the lid!)

4. Give the outside of your machine a quick wipe-down.

Person cleaning around coffee maker at home

Do double duty while your vinegar solution brews and wipe down the outside of your coffee machine with a clean, damp cloth. The top and sides can get dusty, and coffee grounds can gather in cracks and crevices. Be aware of where you are putting your hands and fingers if you are wiping close to the area where the hot water is running into the coffee pot.

5. Finish off with a few freshwater cycles.

Finally, run a few freshwater cycles when you finish cleaning your coffee maker. You can use tap water or bottled water, whichever you prefer, to thoroughly rinse the white vinegar from the inside of your machine. After a few good rinses, you will be ready to brew the best Arabica beans without fear of a dirty machine changing the flavor of your coffee. 

How Often Should I be Cleaning My Coffee Maker?

Depending on how often you use it, you will want to clean your coffee machine every three to six months. Proper care keeps residue from building up and affecting the flavor of your brew and the ability of your maker to function. A clean coffee machine makes all the difference in brewing your perfect cup of coffee. 

Does My Roast Type Affect How Often I Clean My Coffee Maker?

If you primarily brew dark roast coffee, you may want to clean your coffee maker more often. Or at least pay attention to the filter, as the oils in dark roast coffee may clog the filter more frequently. Different roast types brew differently, but all will end up acrid and bitter in a dirty machine! 

Why is Cleaning My Coffee Maker Important?

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Beyond affecting the flavor of your favorite medium roast brew, a regular cleaning schedule for your coffee maker may save you time and money. A coffee machine suffering from hard mineral buildup takes longer to brew a cup, and the long-anticipated brew tends to be bitterly disappointing. Ultimately, a neglected coffee maker may need to be replaced when a little extra attention could have helped it work more effectively and longer.

Stone Street Coffee offers the best beans you can run through your home brewing machine. From light roast to dark, single origin to blends, our coffee beans are the ideal start to a perfect cup of coffee. Responsibly sourced and roasted over the bridge in Brooklyn, New York, our coffee brings a global experience to your cup, conveniently delivered in whole beans or the grind level of your choice.

Reward your consistent cleaning routine with a subscription service that saves you time and money. Discover a new favorite or order your signature flavor for delivery to your door and ensure you never run out of the beans that bring you life every morning. Stone Street Coffee is committed to bringing the freshest artisanal quality coffee to every coffee lover everywhere.

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