How to Clean a Coffee Maker: Expert Tips for a Fresh Brew Daily

Are you experiencing mineral buildup and reduced performance in your commercial coffee maker? It’s time to give your coffee equipment the proper cleaning it deserves. Regular cleaning prolongs your coffee maker’s lifespan and enhances your coffee’s flavor.

Our comprehensive guide, “How to Clean Coffee Maker,” will help to restore your machine’s top shape. And for long-term prevention, remember to consider installing a water filtration system to minimize mineral buildup in the future. Say goodbye to calcification and enjoy optimal coffee brewing with our expert cleaning tips!


How to Clean Coffee Maker: Materials Needed

How to Clean Coffee Maker: Materials Needed
Cre: The Kitchn

When maintaining a well-functioning coffee maker, you’ll need a few essential materials to ensure an effective and thorough cleaning process. To effectively clean your coffee maker, gather the following materials and understand why each item is necessary:

  • Vinegar: Vinegar is a versatile and powerful natural cleaner that helps remove mineral deposits, coffee oils, and residue that can accumulate within the internal components of your coffee maker. It’s especially effective for descaling and sanitizing.
  • Water: Fresh water is crucial for rinsing and flushing out the cleaning solutions and residue from the coffee maker. It helps ensure that no cleaning agents are left behind that could affect the taste or functionality of your coffee maker.
  • Cleaning brush: A brush with soft bristles is essential for reaching and scrubbing hard-to-reach areas of your coffee maker, such as the brew basket, filter basket, and carafe. It helps remove coffee grounds, stains, and buildup effectively.
  • Dish soap: Mild dish soap can be used to clean the carafe, filter basket, and other removable parts of your coffee maker. It helps to remove oils and stains, leaving them fresh and ready for use.
  • Cloth: A soft, lint-free cloth is useful for wiping down the exterior surfaces of your coffee maker. It helps remove fingerprints, watermarks, and other marks, giving your coffee maker a clean and polished appearance.

With these materials, you’ll be well-equipped to clean your coffee maker thoroughly. They play vital roles in removing residue, descaling, and maintaining your machine’s cleanliness, ensuring that every cup of coffee you brew is fresh and delicious.


Step-by-Step Instructions on How to Clean Coffee Maker

Cleaning the Carafe

Cleaning the Carafe
Cre: The Spruce
  • Empty the carafe: Begin by emptying any leftover coffee or liquid from the carafe. Discard any used coffee grounds as well.
  • Prepare a cleaning solution: Create a solution by combining warm water and mild dish soap in the sink or a basin. Ensure the water is warm but not scalding hot.
  • Scrub the carafe interior: Dip a soft sponge or cleaning brush into the soapy water solution. Gently scrub the interior of the carafe, paying attention to any stains or residue. Give extra attention to the bottom and sides of the carafe, where coffee oils accumulate.
  • Rinse thoroughly: Rinse the carafe thoroughly with clean water to remove any soap residue. Ensure that no soap or suds remain inside the carafe.
  • Clean the exterior: Gently wipe the carafe with a damp cloth or sponge. This will remove any fingerprints, stains, or watermarks, leaving it clean and shiny.

Tips for Removing Stubborn Stains:

  • For stubborn coffee stains, mix a paste of baking soda and water. Carefully spread the paste onto the affected areas, ensuring thorough coverage, and let it sit undisturbed for a few minutes. Afterward, use a sponge or brush to scrub the treated areas and remove the stains effectively.
  • If the carafe has stubborn mineral deposits or limescale, fill it with a mixture of equal parts water and white vinegar. Allow it to sit for a few hours or overnight, then scrub and rinse thoroughly.
  • Consider using a specialized coffee cleaner or descaler for tough stains or buildup. For optimal results, follow the manufacturer’s instructions provided by the coffee maker.

Cleaning the Water Reservoir

Cleaning the Water Reservoir
Cre: KitchenAid
  • Unplug the coffee maker: Before cleaning the water reservoir, ensure that the coffee maker is unplugged and turned off. This is essential for safety purposes.
  • Empty and discard any remaining water: Remove the water reservoir from the coffee maker if it is detachable. Pour out any water that may be present in the reservoir and dispose of it.
  • Prepare a cleaning solution: Mix a solution of equal parts water and white vinegar. The vinegar’s acidity helps to dissolve mineral buildup and remove any residue.
  • Fill the reservoir with the cleaning solution: Pour the vinegar and water solution into the reservoir until it reaches the maximum fill line. If the reservoir has a removable lid, ensure it is securely closed.
  • Let the solution sit: Allow the cleaning solution to sit in the water reservoir for approximately 15-20 minutes. This will give the vinegar enough time to break down mineral deposits or buildup.
  • Rinse the reservoir: Discard the vinegar and water solution from the reservoir once the designated time has passed. Rinse the reservoir thoroughly with clean water to remove any vinegar residue.
  • Wipe the exterior: Use a damp cloth to wipe the exterior of the water reservoir, removing any dirt, stains, or water spots. Dry the reservoir thoroughly before reattaching it to the coffee maker.

Tips for Removing Mineral Buildup:

  • You can soak the reservoir in warm water and a few tablespoons of citric acid for stubborn mineral buildup. Let it sit for a few hours or overnight before rinsing thoroughly.
  • Regular descaling with a commercial agent designed for coffee makers can help prevent and remove mineral buildup. Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for proper and appropriate usage guidelines.
  • Consider using filtered or distilled water in your coffee maker to reduce mineral buildup over time.

Cleaning the Filter Basket

Cleaning the Filter Basket
Cre: The Spruce
  • Remove the filter basket: Depending on the design of your coffee maker, the filter basket may be detachable or built-in. If it is removable, carefully remove the filter basket from the coffee maker.
  • Discard used coffee grounds: Empty any used coffee grounds from the filter basket into a compost bin or trash receptacle. Dispose of them properly.
  • Rinse the filter basket: Hold the filter basket under running water to remove loose coffee residue. Gently shake or tap the basket to dislodge any stubborn grounds.
  • Prepare a cleaning solution: Prepare a basin or sink by filling it with warm water and adding a small quantity of gentle dish soap. Mix the water and soap to create a soapy solution.
  • Scrub the filter basket: Dip a soft brush or sponge into the soapy water solution. Thoroughly scrub the interior and exterior surfaces of the filter basket, paying attention to any coffee residue or stains. Ensure that all surfaces are thoroughly cleaned.
  • Rinse thoroughly: Rinse the filter basket under clean water to remove any soap residue. Ensure to thoroughly rinse the filter basket to eliminate any lingering traces of soap, guaranteeing a fresh and pristine filter basket.
  • Dry the filter basket: Use a clean towel or allow the filter basket to air dry completely before placing it back into the coffee maker.

Tips for Removing Coffee Residue:

  • To tackle stubborn coffee stains or buildup, you should immerse the filter basket in warm water and baking soda. Allow the solution to sit for a brief period, typically a few minutes, before using a brush or sponge to scrub the affected area gently.
  • Regularly inspect the filter basket for any signs of wear or damage. If necessary, replace the filter basket to ensure optimal brewing performance.
  • Consider using coffee filter papers or reusable metal filters to minimize residue buildup in the filter basket. These filters are easier to clean and can help prevent coffee grounds from accumulating.

Cleaning the Exterior of the Coffee Maker

Cleaning the Exterior of the Coffee Maker
Cre: The Kitchn

Now it’s time to take care of the outside appearance of your coffee maker. Before cleaning your coffee maker’s exterior, ensure it is unplugged and turned off for safety.

  • Prepare a cleaning solution: Prepare a basin or sink by filling it with warm water and adding a small quantity of gentle dish soap. Mix the water and soap to create a soapy solution.
  • Dampen a cloth: Take a soft cloth or sponge and dampen it in the soapy water solution. Wring out any excess liquid to avoid dripping.
  • Wipe the exterior surfaces: Gently wipe the exterior surfaces of the coffee maker with a damp cloth. Be mindful of areas susceptible to fingerprints, spills, or other marks that can accumulate on the surface. Be careful around buttons, displays, and electrical components.
  • Clean hard-to-reach areas: For corners, crevices, or areas requiring alternative cleaning methods, use a soft brush or a cotton swab dipped in the soapy water solution to remove dirt or grime.
  • Dry with a clean cloth: After cleaning the exterior surfaces, use a dry cloth to wipe away any remaining moisture. Ensure the coffee maker is completely dry before plugging it back in or using it.

Tips for Removing Fingerprints and Other Marks:

  • You can use a specialized stainless steel cleaner to remove fingerprints and restore shine to stainless steel exteriors.
  • If the coffee maker has stubborn marks or stains, you can create a paste by combining baking soda and water. Apply the prepared paste onto the affected areas and use a soft cloth or sponge to scrub the surface delicately.
  • Regularly wipe down the exterior of the coffee maker after each use to prevent the buildup of fingerprints and other marks. This will help maintain its appearance and keep it looking clean.

How to Clean Coffee Maker: Tips for Maintaining

How to Clean Coffee Maker: Tips for Maintaining
Cre: KitchenAid

Regular maintenance of your coffee maker is crucial to guaranteeing the highest quality and best-tasting coffee and prolonging the lifespan of your machine. To maintain a clean and well-functioning coffee maker, consider the following essential tips:

Cleaning after every use

It is crucial to clean your coffee maker after each use. Regular cleaning prevents the buildup of residue and oils, ensuring that your coffee always tastes fresh.

Descaling regularly

Over time, mineral deposits and limescale can accumulate inside your coffee maker, affecting the performance and flavor of your coffee. Descaling is the process of removing these deposits.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the recommended descaling method and frequency. You can utilize a commercial descaling solution or create a mixture of equal parts water and vinegar as an alternative.

Regular descaling helps maintain optimal brewing temperature and prevents clogs in the water lines.

Using high-quality water

The water you fill in your coffee maker can impact its performance and cleanliness. Hard water, high in mineral content, can lead to mineral buildup and limescale.

Opting for filtered or distilled water when brewing your coffee is advisable to enhance taste and minimize mineral deposits. Using filtered water also helps prevent the need for frequent descaling.

Cleaning the water reservoir

Empty and rinse the reservoir daily to prevent bacteria or mold growth. For coffee makers with a removable water reservoir, I recommend you clean it thoroughly every few weeks to eliminate any residue or impurities that may have accumulated.

Regularly replace filters

If your coffee maker uses a water filter, replace it according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. A clean and functioning filter helps remove impurities from the water, resulting in better-tasting coffee and reducing the likelihood of clogs.

Check for leaks and malfunctions

Periodically inspect your coffee maker for any signs of leaks or malfunctions. If you observe any issues, it is crucial to address them promptly to avoid exacerbating them and maintain a clean and well-functioning machine.



FAQs about cleaning coffee maker
Cre: KitchenAid
What are some coffee maker options that offer easy cleaning and maintenance?

Specific coffee maker models are specifically designed with user-friendly cleaning and maintenance features. Look for features like removable dishwasher-safe parts, self-cleaning cycles, or coffee makers with built-in cleaning programs.
You can check out our reviews of the best coffee makers in the Philippines, which highlight various available options that provide easy cleaning and maintenance.

What is the recommended frequency for cleaning a coffee maker?

To ensure your coffee maker remains in optimal condition, cleaning it after every use is generally recommended. This ensures that no coffee oils or residue accumulate over time.
Additionally, descaling the machine every three to six months, or as per the manufacturer’s guidelines, helps remove mineral buildup and maintain optimal performance.

What are the steps to effectively descale a coffee maker?

If your coffee maker still shows signs of hard water residue and limescale buildup after following our cleaning instructions, try adding a rest period.
Pause the brewing cycle by turning off the coffee pot and let a mixture of lemon juice solution sit inside the machine and carafe for one hour. Then, resume the brew cycle to complete the cleaning process.
This rest period allows the natural acids in the lemon juice to work on stubborn deposits, improving the effectiveness of your cleaning routine.

What is the appropriate method to clean a coffee maker that includes a grinder?

To clean a coffee maker with a grinder:
1. Unplug and remove the coffee beans from the grinder.
2. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to disassemble if necessary.
3. Clean grinder components with a brush or cloth.
4. Wipe the exterior with a damp cloth.
5. Reassemble the grinder.
6. Proceed with regular cleaning steps for the carafe, water reservoir, and filter basket.



A clean coffee maker ensures the best-tasting coffee and prolongs the life of your machine. By adhering to the detailed instructions in this article on “How to Clean Coffee Maker,” you can effortlessly maintain your coffee maker’s optimal performance.

Regular maintenance is vital to enjoying a fresh and flavorful brew every morning. Say goodbye to the residue and embrace a cleaner and more satisfying coffee experience. Cheers to a delightful cup of coffee from a well-maintained and clean coffee maker!


Karyn is an IIN Health Coach certified by the Institute for Integrative Nutrition since 2021, with a passion for cooking and exercise, especially yoga. She brings her expertise in Nutrition and Fitness to Hometoppicks, leading both the Kitchen and Home Gym sections to provide credible product recommendations. Karyn is committed to guiding readers on their healthy living journey with her expert tips and trusted product suggestions. You can find more about her here.

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