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How often do you clean your coffee maker? According to statistics, more than 50% of households hardly clean their coffee makers. If you are wondering why your coffee is always bitter with an ill taste, it is probably because you have never bothered to clean your coffee maker.
Months or years of using your coffee maker every day to brew your favorite cup of joe leaves the machine infested with mineral deposits and coffee residue. The minerals deposits from the water you use to brew your coffee will eventually affect your coffee machine’s functionality, and the taste of your coffee. Also, ground coffee has a lot of oil residue left in the coffee machine. This is the cause of the bitterness in your coffee.
When the residue and mineral deposits are left for long, they become the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and molds. This can cause serious health issues in your household. The only way to avoid such a problem is by properly cleaning your coffee machine.
How often should a coffee maker be cleaned?
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Ideally, it is advisable to clean your coffee maker after every brew. This process includes removing the used grounds and cleaning the lid, brew basket, and the carafe. For deeper cleaning, also referred to as descaling, it should be done once every three months. Descaling is the process of removing mineral deposits and coffee residue.
If you live in an area with hard water or prefer to rinse your carafe instead of washing it after each brew, residue and mineral deposits can build up faster. Under these circumstances, it is advisable to descale at least once a month.
If you have a fully programmable coffee maker, it probably comes with a visible cleaning signal. Ignoring this will cause your machine to go into downtime until you descale as expected. These cleaning reminder features work to ensure you are proactive in the cleaning and maintaining of the coffee machine.
The best ways to clean coffee machines
The best way to clean a coffee machine varies from one coffee machine type to the next. However, some basics are the same for all machines.
How to clean using soap and water
Remove filter and brew basket
Every time a brewing process completes, ensure you remove the brew basket to discard the used grounds. Also, get rid of the filter if it is the disposable type.
Run hot water
Fill your sink or a container with hot water and add soap. This can be dishwashing soap or any other brand with the ability to get rid of oil.
Clean the filter and brew basket
If your coffee machine comes with a permanent filter, you need to wash it thoroughly with the hot water and soap. This applies to the brew basket too. Use a soft cloth or sponge to get rid of any stuck coffee ground and oil residues.
Clean your carafe
At the end of each day, discard the remaining coffee to clean your carafe. You can use warm water with soap and a soft sponge to clean. Rinse your carafe using warm water. The same applies to the filter and brew basket. Wipe them with a soft cloth and leave to dry.
Wipe your coffee machine
After cleaning the removable parts, dip a paper towel or soft cloth in warm, soapy water and wipe your machine. Ensure you wipe the outer lid, inner lid, and brewing area. Wipe away any soap residue.
How to clean a drip coffee maker
Even with the popularity of single-serve coffee makes, most Americans still value a good drip coffee machine.
To clean a drip coffee machine, you will need:
- A damp cloth
- Paper coffee filters
- White vinegar
- Dish soap (a fragrance-free, degreasing variety is best)
- Small grout brush (optional)
- Dish brush or bottle brush
- Wipe the inside parts using a damp cloth. This will remove any loose dust, grounds, and debris. You can use the brush to scrub any stubborn stains.
- Fill the water reservoir to half capacity with white vinegar and fill it up with water. Ensure you place a water filter in the brew basket to catch any hard water deposits and loose debris.
- Brew half the water and vinegar mixture and turn the machine off, leaving the vinegar and water to soak for at least 60 seconds.
- Turn the coffee back on and allow it to brew the other half of water and vinegar.
- After the cleaning process, ensure you change the water filter and refill the water chamber before allowing the full brewing cycle to run. Rinse thoroughly to get rid of any vinegar taste or scent.
- Use the dish soap and warm water to wash your carafe. Use a soft sponge or cloth to avoid damaging the surface of the carafe.
Wipe the outer parts of the machine to remove oils and dust that build-up over time. If there is a presence of calcium deposits or limescale, the best way to clean a coffee machine, in this case, would be by using a descaling agent ideal for your type of coffee maker.
Permanent coffee filters
If your coffee machine comes with a permanent filter, ensure you remember to clean it when cleaning other parts. These filters gather oil residues and clog up, making it hard for water to penetrate during the brewing process. This will affect the taste and quality of your coffee.
Ensure you empty and rinse the filter after each brew. The longer you leave the used coffee grounds to sit in the filter, the higher the chances of clogging. When running the vinegar cycles, ensure you leave the filter in place to allow the vinegar to work on it. After this, handwash it using soap and water ensure you handle the filter with care to avoid damaging it.
If you have any accessories you use with your coffee maker, ensure you also clean them after every use.
Using a clean coffee machine to brew your favorite cup of coffee is one of the best ways to always enjoy the best homemade coffee. By following the tips above, you will have mastered the best way to clean a coffee machine. If you want to learn more, check out our nitro cold brew coffee machine.