How to Clean Your Coffee Maker Efficiently

Coffee machine in a cafe

Your coffee maker has your back every morning. Imagine a day without your trusty coffee mug full of steaming hot strong brew? What would life be like? Scary.

To avoid this dreadful experience, first give your coffee maker a kind pat on the head (er...reservoir), then concoct a water and vinegar solution. White vinegar is the preferred choice to clean your coffee maker.

However, some soapy, warm water will also do for a good clean.

But as coffee lovers, a precise and optimal cleaning process is what we’re after.

Right?

We’ve got you covered.

Better yet, we’re here to break down how to clean three different coffee makers (Drip Coffee Makers, Glass Pour-Overs, and the French Press).

Why Is It Important to Clean Your Coffee Maker?

Person filling clear glass mug

Coffee makers develop gunk and residue over their lifetime of brewing. With every brew grows mold and bacteria.

Yes, your coffee maker’s water reservoir is a perfect home for germs if you don’t give it a good thorough bath once in a while.

If you live in an area with a hard water supply, the need to regularly clean your coffee maker ramps up. Hard water comes with mineral deposits — which eventually lead to mineral buildup. Has your coffee been tasting funky, musty, and bitter lately?

Well, mineral build-up is the culprit.

Boiled water may seem sufficient but never does the cleaning job properly. Coffee debris and other substances could remain if you skimp on the cleaning measures.

Below, we’ll get into the nitty-gritty of the required cleaning process, step by step — depending on your coffee maker type. While there are similarities between makers, there are also some noticeable differences.

Cleaning a Drip Coffee Maker

Any avid coffee drinker will attest to the drip coffee maker as the classic way to craft your hot morning brew.

At least half of all Americans own a drip coffee maker. Owing to this legendary player in the coffee brewing business — here’s how you clean your favorite morning bean water maker. 

The Magic Ingredients to Clean a Drip Coffee Maker

  • Paper coffee filter
  • White vinegar
  • Fragrance-free degreasing dish soap
  • A Chemex coffee maker brush (although a bottle or dish brush works fine)
  • A small grout brush if you like
  • Water
  • Damp cloth

How to Get Cleaning

  1. Using your damp cloth, wipe inside the coffee maker chamber to detach any coffee grounds and other debris lurking in the pot. For the corners, use a brush to scrub off any grime and dust buildup. The grout brush is an excellent tool for tight spaces in your coffee pot.
  2. Once the coffee maker chamber is clean, fill it up with equal parts vinegar and water.
  3. Place a paper filter into the basket to trap loosened mineral deposits or coffee debris.
  4. Turn on your coffee maker and let half of your vinegar and water mixture brew. Now turn off the brewer and let the mixture sit in the machine for at least an hour for maximum soaking.
  5. After an hour has passed, turn on your coffee maker again to brew the remaining half of the mixture.
  6. Replace the paper filter, refill your water chamber, and run a complete brew cycle for a final rinsing.
  7. To eliminate any vinegar flavor, give the machine a second rinse. Note that lemon provides a reasonable substitute if vinegar is your sworn enemy.
  8. Now with your warm water and dish soap (fragrance-free), give the carafe a good scrub on the inside. Be gentle on the outside to avoid rubbing off any markings. The damp cloth helps here. Don’t forget to wipe the coffee maker’s outer parts to remove oil and dust buildup.
  9. If your water reservoir still has some calcium or limescale, use a descaling cleaning solution specially made for coffee makers.

Glass Pour-Over (e.g., Chemex) Cleaning Procedure

Person pouring hot water on a cup

Elegant and sleek, the glass pour-over coffee maker presents a challenge to clean out any crusty coffee stain buildup at the bottom of the maker. The primary reason? The hourglass shape will not allow your hand through for a good scrubbing.

But Nomad Coffee Club is family — and family looks out for each other. So, here is our hassle-free pour-over cleaning routine for your convenience.

Glass-Pour Over — The Magic Ingredients to Clean Your Coffee Maker

Durol swiss espresso

(The fourth item might be a shocker!)

  • Dish soap (fragrance-free)
  • Table salt
  • Water
  • Ice cubes (crushed iced works best)
  • A Chemex coffee maker brush (a sponge works fine, too)
  • Lemon juice

How to Add the Sparkle Magic

  1. Your glass pour-over coffee maker should be at room temperature before you begin the cleaning process. Take a cup full of crushed ice or a handful of ice cubes. Place the ice carefully into the glass pour-over.
  2. To the ice cubes, add four tablespoons of salt, a tablespoon of water, and an optional tablespoon of lemon juice. 
  3. Give your mixture a confident swirl. At this point, the salty ice is abrasive enough to scrub off all dried coffee gunk. At the same time, the spoonful of water protects your glass from scratching.
  4. Pour out the mixture and rinse the glass with cold water. Avoid hot water to prevent the glass from breaking.
  5. If you notice any buildup that was missed during the cleaning process, use the Chemex brush or an ordinary long handle brush with a bit of dish soap for a proper cleaning job.

While the procedure may pose a hurdle for your daily routine, a thorough rinse off after every use should buy you some time and push the process down to twice a month or less.

How to Clean a French Press

Woman pouring a coffee on a cup

A French press makes a mean cup of coffee. But have you thought about how to thoroughly clean this coffee maker? No?

We thought so — and we’ve brewed a perfect plan on how to do just that.

Did we mention it’s super easy? 

French press beside footed rack cupcake

What You’ll Need 

  • Soft dry cloth
  • Long brush
  • Baking soda
  • Dish soap (fragrance-free)
  • Mesh strainer

How to Bring the Shine Back

  1. Detach the plunger from the French press and pour some water into the maker. Then swirl the water to release any loose coffee grounds from the carafe and pour out the water.
  2. Run some water over the mesh strainer.
  3. Add warm water to the pot and use the long brush with dish soap to scrub off any coffee oil residue. Certain stains can be stubborn but sprinkling some baking soda on the brush bristles usually does the trick.
  4. Give the French press a thorough rinse and use your soft cloth to dry it off.

We recommend repeating the above routine regularly. However, when short on time, your French press will forgive a quick wipedown using a damp cloth. But cleaning it properly is the more effective route.

A Clean Coffee Maker Is a Work of Art

The secret to a delicious, mind rocking cup of coffee starts with high-quality beans. But a clean coffee maker is the driving force that maintains a balanced taste.

Ensure to include all of your coffee maker’s accessories (such as grinders and filters) in the cleaning process as well. Our list is not exhaustive but covers the three most basic routines for cleaning your coffee maker depending on the model.

Brewing a steaming cup of joe is a fine art to jumpstart your day. Make cleaning your choice maker a ritual and maximize the benefits of our coffee drinkers club.

Subscribe today and enjoy fresh coffee delivered right to your doorstep.

That way, your coffee pot will love you back with every brew cycle.

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