The Best Way to Clean Your Coffee Maker

Are you one of the 85% of Americans that are brewing coffee at home? If so, each cup of joe you brew leaves a little bit of residue on your machine. Clean your coffee machine to remove old coffee grounds, oils and hard water deposits that are ruining the taste of your coffee.

1. Empty your coffee pot. Dump out any leftover coffee from the pot and empty the filter of used grounds.

2. Add vinegar and water. Fill the coffee pot with 3 cups white vinegar and 6 cups cold water. Pour the mixture into the coffee maker’s reservoir. Tip: If your coffee maker is small, adjust the white vinegar to water using a 1:2 ratio.

3. Turn on the coffee maker to brew a pot. Once the brewing cycle is complete, shut off the machine and allow the vinegar solution to sit for 15 minutes.

4. Brew water-only for two cycles. This will get rid of any remaining vinegar taste. Turn off the coffee maker for 15 minutes between each brewing cycle.

2FOR SINGLE-CUP COFFEE MAKERS

1 Empty the machine. Make sure there isn’t a pod in the machine.

2. Add vinegar and water. Fill the coffee pot with 1/2 cup white vinegar and one cup cold water. Pour the mixture into the coffee maker’s reservoir. Keep the pod area empty.

3. Turn on the coffee maker to brew a cup. Once the brewing cycle is complete, shut off the machine and allow the vinegar solution to sit for 15 minutes.

4. Brew water-only for two cycles. This will get rid of any remaining vinegar taste. Turn off the coffee maker for 15 minutes between each brewing cycle.

3. Wash removable parts with dish soap after every use.

“This is important because it helps remove coffee, grinds, and oil that are left behind,” says Forte. “You can hand wash at the sink with warm and soapy water, but usually the pieces are dishwasher-safe. And don’t forget to wipe down the outside and the warming plate where spills can burn on.” She also recommends leaving the reservoir’s lid open use so it can dry out completely after each use — germs love moisture!

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4. Decalcify your machine every month with vinegar.

Over time, hard water minerals can build up in your machine’s inner workings, and you may notice that your coffee takes longer to drip. To get things back in tip-top shape, you need to cleanse and decalcify the machine. Forte’s trick: good ol’ reliable white vinegar.

Fill the reservoir with equal parts vinegar and water, and place a paper filter into the machine’s empty basket. Position the pot in place, and “brew” the solution halfway. Turn off the machine, and let it sit for 30 minutes. Then, turn the coffee maker back on, finish the brewing, and dump the full pot of vinegar and water. Rinse everything out by putting in a new paper filter and brewing a full pot of clean water. Repeat once.

5. Make your carafe sparkle again with rice.

You should always wash your carafe after each use, but if it’s looking dingy over time, fill it with warm, sudsy water, and a little rice. Swirl the mixture to loosen any gunk. Use a scrub sponge to remove debris and rinse well.

Wondering how to sanitize a K-cup machine? We’ve got you covered. Follow these tips for cleaning Keurig coffee makers from the Good Housekeeping Institute, and don’t forget about your travel mugs too!

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