How to Clean a Coffee Maker with CLR?

CLR is a widely used cleaning product for tackling a range of cleaning tasks. What does CLR stand for, and how can you use it to clean a coffee machine? This article will cover all the essentials you need to understand about cleaning your Coffee Maker with CLR.

CLR is basically a cleaning solution that means Calcium, Lime, and Rust remover. It is very effective in removing and dissolving the tough lime and calcium deposits from different types of surfaces. The cleaning solution is highly efficient to remove stubborn and tricky lime stains and calcium deposits. Usually, it is used in bathrooms, toilets, glass, sinks, etc. Nowadays, people also utilize it to clean washing machines, dishwashers, and coffee machines.

This article will let you know how safe the CLR is for cleaning the coffee maker devices. Furthermore, we will discuss how to utilize the CLR in the correct way to clean the coffee maker.

Is CLR safe for the Coffee Maker?

The ingredients of the CLR cleaning solution typically consist of propylene glycol, gluconic acid, lactic acid, luramine oxide, glycolic acid, sulfamic acid, surfactant, citric acid, water, etc. With these strong substances, the solution is highly effective in cleaning any surface. But how safe is it for the coffee maker machines?

The CLR cleaning solution is not safe and is recommended for cleaning some of the popular coffee machine brands. These include Keurig, Cuisinart, and Gevalia. Moreover, the solution is also not suitable for the coffee maker devices that hold the water permanently. Apart from these brands and machines, the CLR cleaning solution is suitable for almost all other brands.

It is also not recommended to use the solution for cleaning the expensive espresso machines at home. That’s because it can malfunction the machine and cause clogging, making the device unusable. It would be better if you go through the user manual of the machine. Some of the coffee maker user manual includes whether it is recommended or not and instruction on how to use it.

While using the CLR, make sure that you are removing the filters. That’s because the filters can catch some of the solutions which will be pretty hard to remove. Moreover, if your coffee machine uses a permanent carbon or charcoal filter, it is also recommended to not use the solution. These things can catch the solution and deposit it into the filter.

How to Clean Coffee Maker with CLR

Below, we will discuss the steps you need to follow to clean the coffee maker with the CLR solutions. Before you begin, make sure to pick a proper and safe CLR solution. You will also need clean water during the cleaning process. So, here is the procedure you need to follow:

Step 1

Begin with removing the internal filter of the coffee maker. Note that you cannot clean the filters with the CLR and they must be removed before you begin the cleaning. As we said earlier, the filters can get damaged and deposits of the CLR if you don’t remove them.

Step 2

Now we will prepare the cleaning solution. The ratio of the CLR and water will be 1:8. That means you need to add one part of the CLR to 8 parts of the water. Begin with pouring the water in the decanter first and then add the CLR. Make sure to use clean water only. Mix them well after adding.  Now pour the whole mixture into the water tank of the coffee machine.

Step 3

Once you have added the mixture into the machine, turn on it to begin the descaling process. You should allow the machine to run for around 20 minutes. Once the process is complete, remove and dump the dirty liquids in the sink. Now fill the machine’s pot with clean water and run the descaling again. You need to repeat the process at least 2 to 3 times or more completely clean the residue and smell.

Once you have completed the above steps, clean the coffee pot and decanter using the CLR or other ways. A dishwasher may be a great alternative if these components are dishwasher-safe.


How to Choose the CLR for Coffee Machine?

There are a good number of CLR cleaning solutions from various brands. Their capability and strength vary on a large scale. Some of them also include toxic and acidic substances and you shouldn’t pick them for the coffee maker. They can be harmful both for your body and the coffee maker. It would be better if you pick a mild CLR which is also non-toxic, and non-corrosive.

Is there any Health Risk of Using the CLR?

There can be health risks if you use the CLR that contains toxic and strong acids. Go for the brands that use non-corrosive and non-toxic substances. If you are concerned about the health risk, you may wear face masks and gloves during the cleaning. Also, make sure to descaling the coffee maker with clean water in multiple cycles to reduce the chance of consumption with the coffee.

What Happens if You Leave CLR on too long?

Never leave the CLR solution for too long during the cleaning procedure. As it is acidic, the solution can damage the surfaces inside the air fryer and even malfunction the device. Never ever think of leaving the CLR solution overnight. Also, do the cleaning in a single brew cycle for not more than 20 minutes and don’t repeat it.

Is CLR Better Than Vinegar?

Yes, CLR is better than vinegar. Based on the pH comparison, CLR is 15 times more effective compared to the usual household vinegar. It is like one gallon of vinegar is equivalent to one cup of CLR. That means CLR will provide you a better cleaning result.


CLR can be a great way to effectively clean the tough buildup inside the machine. But make sure to use the cleaning solution with precautions. Especially, try to know whether it is safe or not for your device. Also, don’t use CLR frequently as it can put an impact on the machine.