How to Clean a Drip Coffee Maker

Brewing good coffee takes more than great coffee beans grinded right before use and filtered water. Drip coffee makers needs to be running at their best.

When the coffee you’re brewing doesn’t taste right or if it’s coming out slowly (taking forever to brew a pot of coffee), then it may be time not to just clean your coffee pot but clean your drip coffee maker. A drip coffee maker should be cleaned once a month. Cleaning your drip coffee maker removes hard water mineral deposits, oils from previously brewed pots and other impurities.

Don’t ever use any type of soap to clean the inside of your coffee maker. Soap will create suds when going through the cycle, causing a big mess. Ssoaps and detergents will also leave a residue behind that can damage your automatic drip coffee maker and really make your coffee taste terrible. Yuck.

Below, well explain how to clean a drip coffee maker with vinegar and also give you some other alternatives to vingar as well. We’ll even explain how to clean your coffee pot, so that your coffee can be the best it can be.

How to Clean a Coffee Maker with Vinegar

Remove your used coffee filter. Create a mixture of 1 part vinegar to 2 parts water – filling the whole pot. So for a 12 cup pot, you’d fill the pot with vinegar to the 4 cup line and then fill the rest of the pot with water. Here’s a hand reference guide, so that you don’t have to think about it:

Coffee Maker Pot Size Cups Vinegar Cups Water
14-cup Drip Coffee Maker 4 and 2/3 cups 9 and 1/3 cups
12-cup Drip Coffee Maker 4 cups 8 cups
10-cup Drip Coffee Maker 3 and 1/3 cups 6 and 2/3 cups
8-cup Drip Coffee Maker 2 and 2/3 cups 5 and 1/3 cups
6-cup Drip Coffee Maker 2 cups 4 cups

Pour the vinegar and water solution it in your water reservoir and turn the coffee maker on. Let this mixture run through a brew cycle then let your drip coffee maker cool for about 20 minutes. If your coffee maker hasn’t been cleaned in a while, then do this again by creating a new mixture of vinegar and water and run it through again.

Fill the water reservoir with a pot of clean water and run that through a brewing cycle. Once that has run through, run another pot of clean water through one more time – just to make sure all of the vinegar has been run through completely. Let the drip coffee maker cool for 20 minutes.

How to Clean a Coffee Maker Without Vinegar

To clean it without vinegar, you have a few options:

  • Use lemon juice instead of vinegar.
  • Drop two denture cleaning tablets in a pot of water. Make sure the tablets fully dissolve.
  • Mix 1 oz oc citric acid into 4 cups of hot water, then add 4 cups cold water.
  • Mix 1 part baking soda to 4 parts warm water. Mix it well.
  • Use coffee maker cleaning solution that you find at the store.

Be sure to not mix baking soda and vinegar.

In addition to cleaning the inside of your coffee maker, now is a good time to wipe down the outside of it and also wash any parts that easily come off in hot, soapy water.

How to Clean a Coffee Pot

Often, a coffee pot will get coffee stains on it from baked on coffee. Here are a few ways to clean your coffee pot.

  • Put about a half a cup of bleach into the coffee pot and mix it around. Be sure to rinse it well and never mix bleach and vinegar as it makes a poisonous gas.
  • Mix luke warm water, some ice and table salt into the pot. Swirl it around in the pot so that the mixture moves rapidly along the inside edges of the pot. The salt will create the abrasive edge to help remove coffee stains. Some people even toss in a small green scrub pad.
  • Run the carafe or pot through a wash in the dishwasher or just try some hot, soapy water and elbow grease!

Then be sure to rinse your coffee pot several times and let it dry (especially if you use bleach).

Now it’s time to brew a fresh pot of coffee and enjoy it!

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