By Melanie Fincher

Keep your machine clean and your coffee tasting as it should.

Coffee makers are the perfect place for germs to thrive. In a study by NSF International, coffee reservoirs were listed among the top 10 germiest places in the home. In fact, 50 percent of households were found to have yeast and mold present in the reservoir of their coffee maker. Not only is this a health hazard, but it can also affect the taste of your coffee and impair your brewer's function. What's the fix? Read on to learn the best method for cleaning your coffee maker with vinegar.

Own a Keurig? Here's how you keep it clean.

Photo by Getty Images

How Often Should You Clean a Coffee Maker?

One of the best things you can do for your coffee maker is clean it regularly. Any removable parts should be cleaned using dish soap and warm water after each use, including the filter basket, lid, and carafe. A deep clean can be kept to just once a month, in order to remove mineral deposits and built up coffee residue. If you're coffee begins to take longer to drip, it's likely because minerals have built up in your machine.

Here's What You'll Need

  • Water
  • White vinegar
  • Dish Soap
  • Sponge
  • Damp dish towel
  • Dry dish towel

How to Clean a Coffee Maker with Vinegar:

1. Empty Your Coffee Maker

Start by emptying the carafe and giving it a good rinse. Be sure to dump out any grounds that may still be left in the filter.

2. Fill the Reservoir with Cleaning Solution

For your cleaning solution, mix equal parts water and white vinegar. You may want to do this by filling your reservoir halfway with vinegar, and then fill the rest with water. Make sure the reservoir is all the way full. If you use paper filters in your coffee maker, go ahead and replace it with a new one.

3. Run a Half Brew Cycle

Once your reservoir is filled with the cleaning solution, you can go ahead and begin a new brew cycle. Midway through, stop the cycle and let the solution sit in the coffee maker for one hour.

4. Finish Brew Cycle

When an hour is up, go ahead and resume the brew cycle and allow the cleaning solution to finish brewing completely. Pour out the solution from the carafe and replace the filter again if necessary.

5. Run a Brew Cycle Using Fresh Water

Refill the reservoir with plain water, and run it through the coffee maker for a full brew cycle. Once again, dump out the water and replace the filter. Repeat this step one or two more times to make sure your coffee maker has rinsed out all of the cleaning solution.

6. Clean Removable Parts and Wipe Down Coffee Maker

Now that you've deep cleaned the interior of your coffee maker, it's time to make it look shiny and new on the outside too. Wipe down the exterior of your coffee maker using the damp dish towel. Clean any removable parts such as the filter basket, permanent filter, and carafe with warm water and dish soap. Dry it all with a dry dish towel and keep the lid to the reservoir open to avoid moisture collecting inside. Enjoy the results of your clean coffee maker!

Related: How to Make Coffee

Advertisement