The ads on this page help pay for tea, coffee, and the odd fancy ingredient

Sunday, May 19, 2013

How to Clean A Coffee Maker, Naturally and on the Cheap

Did you know that coffee makers can get gunk and mold inside their pipes?  Not only is this nasty, but even a little bit of build-up can leave your coffee tasting off.

And did you know that you can clean your coffee pot really simply using just one natural ingredient you probably already have in your kitchen?

This week I'm in Winnipeg, Manitoba visiting family so I decided to share this post that I had guest posted over on Rolling Out Dough a couple of months ago.

This is a nifty cleaning tip passed down from my grandmother, who actually worked as a cleaning lady for several years when my grandparents first immigrated to Canada from Germany in the early 1950s.

Why should you bother cleaning your coffee maker?


Well let me tell you a quick story.  After high school I spent a summer working in the restaurant of a super fancy schmancy lodge in a resort town in the Rocky Mountains. One slow day the kitchen staff decided to clean out the insides of the coffee and hot chocolate machines.

The green, black and furry stuff they found in that coffee and hot chocolate maker made me decide to never order hot chocolate made by a machine again.

See sometimes things build up in the tubes and pot itself, and without regular cleaning they can continue to cling inside, as well as stain your machine and pot. And let’s be honest, we’ve probably all left coffee grounds sitting in the pot from time to time.  So what happened in that fancy lodge can happen in your home, too!

So here’s a really simple way to cheaply and naturally clean your entire machine, from the tubes all the way through to the pot.  My pot always looks brand spankin’ new after this and it’s incredibly simple to do.


1 cup plain white vinegar
1 cup water


1. Fill the water tank of your coffee maker with the vinegar and water.  Run your coffee maker as if making a pot of coffee. Allow the vinegar mix to sit in the pot for 5-10 minutes, allowing the steam to work its magic on the inside of the pot.

2. Turn off the maker and let the water cool, swishing it around and wiping down the sides of the pot.  If you have a detachable holder for coffee grounds, remove that and wipe it down. Dump the vinegar mix.  Swish water around inside the pot to remove any vinegar residue.

3. Fill the water tank full of water and run again to rinse out any remaining vinegar and build-up.

4.  If it's been a few months since your last cleaning, repeat again.

And there you have it!  I use plain vinegar to clean most things in my house.  It’s a great disinfectant and, especially when warm, seems to have magical cleaning powers!

Do you use vinegar for cleaning? What do you use it for? 

This post was shared on the following great link parties: Frugal Days Sustainable Ways, Fabulously Frugal Thursdays, Simple Lives Thursday, From the Farm Blog Hop,      


  1. I love this simple trick! White vinegar is amazing at cleaning the kitchen, but I never thought to extend it to the coffee pot.

    Thanks for sharing. :)

    1. Glad you like it! White vinegar is so versatile :)

    2. I even put about 1/4c. of white vinegar in the last rinse cycle of my dish machine instead of the chemical rinse. Does away with the hard water stains and spots. I am new to your site and am glad I found it. Keep up the good work.

    3. That's a great tip, Gma Pat! Thanks for sharing

  2. Thank you for sharing this post on our From the Farm Blog Hop. I love using vinegar to clean everything around our farmhouse. I can't wait to try this on the coffee pot tomorrow.

    I just pinned this post to a few of my Pinterest boards. I know that my followers will love this post as much as I did. I hope that you'll come back and link up again next week!

    Jennifer @1840Farm

    1. Thanks so much, Jennifer, I'm so glad you liked it :) I will definitely be back next week!

  3. Wow, nice tips! Very easy. Thanks for sharing this tips. I would like to try it personally! Happy Holidays!

  4. I usually hate cleaning my coffee maker, but you make it sound so easy that I'll have to give it a try.

  5. I love coffee and this post guide me for something, thank for sharing this useful information!
    Coffee Maker

  6. To clean standard coffee makers, pour ½ cup plain white vinegar and ½ cup cold water into the water reservoir. Press the ON or BREW button. After 30 seconds, press OFF to stop the brewing process. Wait 30 minutes. Press ON again and complete the brewing process with the vinegar and water mixture. Press OFF when finished. Run 2-3 more brew cycles with clean water only, allowing the machine to cool between cycles.

  7. I have one of the new k-cup machines, can I do the same thing?, only removing my water filter first.

    1. Hi Minolia,I don't use those machines so I can't say for sure, but I suspect you could. If you're able to just run water through it, you should also be able to run vinegar and water through it, then just run a couple cycles of water afterwards to clear out any vinegar residue. Hope that helps.


I'd love to hear from you so go ahead, leave a comment!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...