It’s essential to have a great espresso maker if you enjoy a cup of coffee every morning. Coffee oils can build up in the basket, carafe, and other areas, making your coffee bitter. A 2011 study from NSF International found that yeast and mold could lurk in the reservoir. These nasties won’t have serious health effects, but the mere thought of them in your coffee maker is unsettling. Setting up a coffee maker cleaning routine is easy, and it will pay off when it comes time to enjoy your coffee. These are the steps to clean standard drip coffee makers.

How to clean a coffee maker

It is straightforward to clean this countertop appliance. Carolyn Forte is the executive director of Good Housekeeping Institute Home Care & Cleaning Lab. She says you can wash this countertop appliance with water, soap, and vinegar. Forte said you should always check the instructions for cleaning your coffeemaker’s machine, as every device differs. These are the steps to follow:

What you’ll need

Step 1: Wash all removable parts with dish soap after every use.

Forte states that this is essential because it helps to remove coffee drips, grinds, and any oils left behind. You can wash the pieces in warm soapy water at the sink or use a dishwasher to make it easier. Remember to wipe down the outside of the warming plate and any spillages. She recommends leaving the reservoir’s lid unclosed so it can fully dry after each use.

Step 2: Every three months, decalcify your machine using vinegar.

Hard water minerals build up over time in the machine’s internal workings. This can cause your coffee to take longer to brew. You must clean and decalcify your device before it can brew. Coffee makers come with an indicator light that indicates when the machine needs to be cleaned. Forte suggests turning it on before the light is on. It could take several cleaning cycles before it is clear. Instead, remind yourself to clean it at least once a month and up to four times a year. It’s okay to do it more often, however. Here are the steps to decalcify your drip coffee maker

  • If there is a charcoal water filter, remove it from the reservoir.
  • It would help to fill the reservoir with equal amounts of white vinegar and water.
  • Place a paper filter in the empty basket of your machine.
  • Place the pot on the stove and let it “brew” until the light from the “add water” button is visible.
  • Let the machine sit for between 30 and 60 minutes.
  • Wash, empty, rinse, then fill the water reservoir with water. Fill it with water if it is not removable.
  • Use a paper filter to brew clean water.
  • Add more water to the brew until the vinegar is no longer detectable.
  • You can replace the charcoal filter with a new one you have soaked in water. Rinse it according to directions.

Step 3: Make your carafe sparkle again using rice.

Wash your carafe every time you use it. However, if it looks soiled or discolored over time, fill it with warm, soapy water and some uncooked rice. To loosen the gunk, swirl the mixture. Use a scrub sponge dipped in baking soda to remove any remaining debris. 

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