How To Clean A Coffee Maker With Vinegar – (Step by Step Guide)

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Better use a coffee maker than stop by some cafe and grab a cuppa every time, right? While this saves you a whole lotta time and money, the coffee maker must be cleaned frequently to keep it in the appropriate condition to operate.

Now the question is how to clean a coffee maker with vinegar? and Are you cleaning yours properly?

We say this because a coffee maker is a favorite habitat of yeast and mold. So, not knowing the correct ways to clean a coffee maker means you risk getting sick by using it.

So far, cleaning with vinegar is considered to be one of the easiest and most effective ways. We’ll get to that.

How To Clean A Coffee Maker With Vinegar
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Cleaning a coffee maker

If you have a drip filter coffee maker, you will, of course, get rid of the grounds, wash the removable parts, towel, and air dry them after rinsing and give the coffee maker a damp wipe after daily use. But the process with vinegar is used for descaling.

Typically, it needs to be done at least once in 3 to 6 months. However, if you have hard water, do it once a month. It takes a while to descale a coffee maker, but not much manual work is required. Let’s see how it’s done.


  • Water
  • A microfiber cloth
  • A cotton cloth (optional)
  • A timer
  • Some dishwashing soap
  • A dish sponge
  • White vinegar
  • A spray bottle (optional)
How To Clean A Coffee Maker With Vinegar
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  1. First off, remove all coffee grounds from the carafe and get rid of the used filter. If there is any water from previous use, dump it.
  2. Use warm water to rinse out the basket so that there is no coffee ground. If you still see grounds, clean it with soap. Here you need to rinse it out again with water unless the removal of all grounds. Only when the basket is free of dirt, put it back in its place in the coffee maker.
  3. Now you need to make a solution of water and distill it into white vinegar. For the ratio of these, check the user’s guide. Usually, 1-part water and 1-part vinegar are used. 
  4. Make as much of the solution as needed to fill the entire water chamber. You can use the carafe to measure equal parts of water and vinegar, then pour the solution into the reservoir. 
  5. Now let the machine do some work. Some coffee makers have a ‘clean cycle’ option; using it enables the machine to start and stop automatically and steep various parts in the solution. If your coffee maker does not have this option, turn the brew button on with the solution inside. The machine will continue brewing, but you do not want it to complete a full cycle. As soon as it completes half of a cycle, turn it off. 
  6. It’s time for a break. Let the machine sit for an hour. If you didn’t wait for so long, half an hour would be excellent. But it’s better to give it time to get rid of the residue.
  7. Good, now we are halfway through. Press the brew button again to complete the rest. It will brew the remaining solution. Let the vinegar do its job and wait until the process is finished.
  8. At this stage, it is ready to be rinsed. Dump the water and vinegar solution from the coffee maker. There might still be some residue, but it’s okay, we can take care of that later.
  9. The carafe has to be cleaned now. Make sure you give it a thorough wash of warm soapy water by stirring it and scrubbing with a sponge; this will help clean all areas of the carafe. After that, rinse it with clean water to remove soap.
  10. Now we have to fill the water reservoir again. You would want to fill your carafe with water and pour it out on the coffee maker up to its full capacity. No vinegar is needed this time; only water.
  11. This step requires a bit of patience. Turn on the button with a water-filled reservoir. Wait until the whole cycle is finished and then empty the water chamber. Now, wait for the coffee maker to chill, about 3 to 5 minutes. Refill the reservoir. Perform this step two more times, meaning there would be three cycles in total. 
  12. The smell of vinegar should be gone by now. If it doesn’t, repeat the step.11 once or twice using warm water.
  13. Take the water out when you are done with the brew cycles. Set the basket and carafe aside, removing them from the machine. 
  14. Use a microfiber cloth to scrub the whole coffee maker clean with some liquid soap. There can be some stains on the surface; now is the time to remove them. After that, you are to rinse the whole thing with fresh water.
  15. You can use a vinegar spray for step.14 instead of soap and water. For this, you will only need a spray bottle and some more white vinegar. Put the vinegar inside the spray bottle, but do not mix water with it. Now spray some on a rag of cotton and rub it on the coffee maker. Use as much vinegar as needed to clean the surface and rinse with clean water.
  16. The basket and coffee pot can be washed now. You can do this by hand or by placing it in a dishwasher. To hand-wash, get some dishwashing soap in a sponge and thoroughly clean the surfaces. Remember to use clean water for rinsing them. Make sure that the gentle cycle is chosen if you have put them in a dishwasher. 
  17. Now check if all the moldy stuff and minerals are gone. If you are sure they are, dry the machine and the parts using a towel. 
  18. The last stop is reassembling the product. Put a new paper filter in the basket and place everything back in their positions. 

Well done! Now your coffee maker is in good shape to make a delicious cup of coffee without losing flavor.

You can check this for better understanding how to clean a coffee maker with vinegar


Why a clean coffee maker works

Greasy coffee residue build-up over time can not be removed with just a rinse with water. This is where white vinegar comes in. It’s great for decalcifying. It can get rid of mineral build-up and natural oils from coffee; thus, discard the germs from your coffee maker. It’s better not to use any other type of vinegar such as apple cider, red wine etc. as they tend to have more particles and do not work as well as the white.

Read More: Café Du Chateau French Press Review


  • Used, moist coffee grounds should not be left on the machine
  • Some spots in a coffee-maker may be hard to reach, but using Q-tip will help clean those areas too.
  • Don’t forget to clean the carafe every time after making coffee, mainly if it is used for filling up the water chamber.
  • Try not to use hard water for brewing coffee.

To conclude

Although a thorough cleansing of your coffee maker is not needed every day, remember to wash the brew basket, carafe and lid after each use. 

Now that you know how to clean a coffee maker with vinegar make sure you do it regularly. For specifics, follow the instruction manual of your machine. 

This will help keep your coffee maker last longer and prevent potential health risks such as allergic reactions and infections. Also, you will have a stronger and tastier brew. 

So, here’s to starting mornings off with a dose of joy in a cup and happy cleaning!

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