How to Clean and Care for a Coffee Maker

You can keep your Mr. Coffee looking like new, even after years and years of daily use. Here's the scoop on how to clean a coffee maker.

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Coffee pots are arguably the most important appliance in some homes; the coffee they brew helps to wake us up and keep us motivated throughout the day. (Here’s when to drink your first cup, by the way.) It’s only fair that we give them love, too.

Have you ever wondered how to clean a coffee maker? Coffee pots can take a beating in the kitchen and after a decade of daily use even the sturdiest of machines can falter. We’ve got the secret to keeping everybody’s favorite appliance looking fresh, clean and brand new.

Learn how to make your own coffee maker here. Speaking of coffee makers, we recommend the AeroPress Go. Oh, and also check out the Brumate Toddy XL to enjoy your coffee on the go.

What to Clean After Each Use

It may be surprising to learn that coffee pots can be a hotbed of bacteria and mold, so it’s important to clean them out as often as possible. Not sure what parts to clean? To avoid built-up residue and the development of any unpleasant flavors, wash the following parts after every use:

  • Carafe
  • Brew basket
  • Lids

Most pieces of drip coffee makers are dishwasher safe. If they’re not (or you’re not sure), clean them out by hand in warm, soapy water. Keeping a clean coffee maker ensures tasty coffee, so get ready to reveal your inner barista by making specialty coffee drinks at home.

What to Clean Occasionally

Like most appliances, coffee makers require regular maintenance. Minerals in your drinking water can build up in the machine, clogging tubes and making it hard to brew coffee. You’ll want to clean out the inside of the coffee maker once a month. Here’s how:

  • Make a natural cleaning solution with 50 percent white vinegar and 50 percent water.
  • Place a coffee filter in the brewing reservoir, and pour in the water and vinegar solution.
  • Brew a pot of coffee as usual. The acids in the vinegar solution will break down any leftover coffee oils and flush out any built up bacteria.
  • After the brewing process is complete, turn off the machine and let the vinegar and water sit in the coffee pot for 10-15 minutes.
  • Dump out the solution, then run clean, fresh water through the brewing process once or twice to flush out any taste of vinegar.

Making a fresher pot means you’re brewing coffee that’s good enough to eat!

Deep Cleaning Tips

For a weekly deep clean, be sure to remove all the parts of your coffee maker and soak them in a bucket of hot water and dish soap. This process will help to remove any set-in stains, grime and built-up coffee residue that can lead to that old, burnt taste we all associate with (shudder) gas station coffee.

Having a clean coffee maker is only the beginning. For a fresh-tasting cup of coffee, avoid these 10 mistakes.