You Need This Pantry Staple to Properly Clean Your Coffee Maker

Cleaning experts know the secret to perking up any coffee maker: Good, old-fashioned white vinegar.

Nothing’s more comforting than a cup of coffee in the morning, but here’s a not-so-comforting fact: Your coffee machine’s water reservoir is the fifth germiest item in your home, according to tests done by NSF International, formerly known as the National Sanitation Foundation. Because it’s warm and damp, a coffee reservoir is an ideal environment for coliform bacteria, yeast and mould to flourish. Below, we answer all your questions about cleaning your coffee machine.

How should I clean it?

To keep germs out of your morning cup of joe, it’s a good idea to give the reservoir a good cleaning once a month. Just fill it with vinegar, let it sit for about 30 minutes, then run the vinegar through the machine. You’ll want to run a couple of batches of water through after that to rinse away any lingering traces of vinegar.

How much vinegar should I use?

Pour in enough full-strength white vinegar to complete a typical brew cycle and then run the cycle as usual. Let the vinegar sit in the pot for 30 minutes before pouring it out. Follow with a couple plain-water brew cycles, to rid your coffee maker of the vinegar-like smell and taste. (Plus, here are some more ways to use vinegar around your home.)

I think my coffee is tasting weak. Is there something else I need to clean?

You probably need to unclog the plastic plate that sits above the basket. A toothpick should do the trick.

Great! But what about the carafe?

To clean burned-on stains inside the carafe, sprinkle the interior with baking soda and warm water. Allow it to soak for 10 to 15 minutes. Then, scrub well and wash thoroughly. Some coffee drinkers have reported great success with detergent dishwasher pods. They recommend putting one pod in your tannin-stained carafe, fill it with hot water and allow to soak. Follow with a thorough wash.

Next, learn how to make your coffee healthy by turning it into an adaptogen elixir.

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Originally Published on The Family Handyman