When was the last time you cleaned your coffee maker? If you’re anything like me, it’s probably been a long time. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to do and doesn’t take up too much time.
Let me answer this really important question:
Does My Coffee Maker Really Need Cleaning?
Yes, yes it does. Coffee makers are one of the most used appliances in your kitchen and require a periodic scrubbing. The heat and water can produce plenty of bacteria that can make your cup of Joe an unhealthy morning delight.
Not only that, but a clean coffee maker will last longer and run more efficiently. Any buildup can affect the temperature of the water and the taste.
So put aside that cup of coffee for the moment and let’s figure out how to make your machine run better.
Steps to a Cleaner Coffee Maker
1. Get Yourself Some Apple Cider Vinegar
Vinegar is a versatile cleaning agent. It’s non-toxic and will both clean and disinfect the coffee machine. The acetic acid can kill bacteria and mold and prevent more from growing.
It also doesn’t pose any risks if ingested – an important thing to know when you’re disinfecting anything that touches your food.
It’s also inexpensive. Gallon jugs can be purchased for under $5. This makes it great to use for disinfecting coffee pots and cleaning your entire house.
You’ll be able to save tons of money by using one product instead of a variety of cleaners.
2. Start With The Outside
Whether you opt to wipe the outside with a solution of 1 part apple cider vinegar and 1 part water, or just wipe it down with a wet cloth, the outside should be first.
Be sure to remove the coffee filter and remove any grounds left behind. Place the entire basket into a sink full of warm soapy water.
Consider changing the filter. Check the manufacturer’s instructions and go from there. If it’s still good, keep it. No sense throwing away money.
3. Mix Solution
Pour a mixture of 2 parts water to 1 part vinegar into the water reserve.
At this point, you need to run the machine as if you were brewing coffee. If you have the ability to pause it halfway then do that as well. Let the vinegar sit for approximately 20-30 minutes.
This is where the magic happens – be patient, let it sit!
5. Don’t Forget the Carafe
While the machine has the vinegar mixture in it be sure to clean the carafe. It should be rinsed after every use but this is the chance to really give it a good scrubbing. Add some detergent and warm water and scrub away.
If it still looks pretty grimy than add a bit of rice along with warm soapy water. After you swirl it you’ll notice that the rice was able to remove all the gritty pieces. Rinse and admire your hard work.
6. Finish the Cycle
When time is up, complete the cycle. The apple cider vinegar is descaling the insides and prepping your machine to be at its best.
Once finished, rinse with water. It will still have a vinegar smell but that’s normal at this point.
If it’s been a while since you’ve last cleaned your coffee maker then you may need to repeat the vinegar cycle. One brew may not have been sufficient enough to clean everything out. If you need to repeat, fill the reserve up with the apple cider mixture and brew again.
9. Cycle Through With Water
Once you’re satisfied that the inside is cleaned you need to flush with clean water. Add water to the reserve and brew. It may be necessary to run 2 or 3 cycles of water to flush out the vinegar.
Now it should be free from bacteria and ready to keep up with all your caffeine needs. Brew up a cup and enjoy!
Let’s Talk About Water
While a simple run-through of apple cider vinegar may make your coffee machine run like new, the water you use also has an effect. Minerals included in hard water can build up over time and make your machine run less efficiently. It’s easy to notice this straight away if it takes longer to drip.
Most people use tap water for their morning brew but it’s actually a better idea to go with filtered water. It has fewer impurities in it which will lead to less mineral buildup and provide a better taste.
If you stick with regular tap water, be aware that your coffee maker may have more buildup and need regular cleanings. Once a month cleanings are needed to keep everything running smoothly.
1. Remember to remove the coffee filter after every use. Don’t let it sit there until the next morning – it can be a breeding ground for bacteria and mold.
2. Don’t use the carafe to fill up the water reserve – especially if you don’t clean it after each use.
3. If you use K-cups, be sure to remove those after each use. There may be additional cleaning needed around the K-cup area to remove excess grounds. A toothbrush may work well for those hard to reach areas.
4. Read up on filter life, for optimal performance you may need to change the filter more often than you think.
5. Set a reminder. Use your phone, put it on a calendar or do it every first of the month. It’s important to have a routine.
An Apple A Day Keeps The Bacteria Away
It’s not just another chore on your to-do list. Regular cleanings will make your brew taste better. If you’re looking for a morning jolt that’ll knock your socks off, grab your vinegar and start cleaning!
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What other things do you clean with this amazing product?