When you don’t clean your coffee maker properly, residue and mineral deposits accumulate. Over time, this buildup can make the machine less efficient, and the coffee tastes bitter and stale.

Moreover, a coffee maker’s warm, moist environment allows germs to thrive. As a result, without proper and frequent cleaning, coffee makers can cause allergic reactions, infections, and gastrointestinal issues.

That’s why it’s crucial to develop a cleaning routine so that the machine continues to brew fresh-tasting coffee and doesn’t become a breeding ground for germs. In this post, our expert Ealing end of tenancy cleaners will walk you through our step-by-step guide on how to clean a coffee maker. So, let’s get started!

How to Clean a Coffee Maker

Many coffee maker owners don’t clean their machines as often as they should. In fact, according to an NSF International study, 50% of coffee maker reservoirs tested contained mould and yeast, making them the fifth germiest place in the house.

There’s no reason for your coffee maker to become a germ breeding ground, though. Cleaning a coffee maker is a simple process that only requires rinsing the machine’s components after each use.

In addition, while deep cleaning may require a few extra steps, it’s only necessary once every one to three months.

Here’s how to thoroughly clean your coffee maker:

Step 1: Prepare the Cleaning Supplies

Whether doing a quick wipe-down or thoroughly cleaning your coffee maker, you’ll only need a few cleaning supplies. Most of these supplies are traditional household cleaning products that you most likely already have in your cleaning cupboard.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Step 2: Clean the Coffee Maker’s Detachable Components

Begin cleaning the coffee maker by disassembling it and removing any detachable components. You should also clean out the coffee grounds from your machine, which you can discard in the bin or compost.

Next, fill the sink with warm water and mild washing-up liquid. Place the detachable components in the soapy, warm water and lightly scrub them with a non-abrasive sponge. Pay extra attention to where coffee grounds, drips, and oils can accumulate.

You can also put the dishwasher-safe components in the dishwasher to save time and effort.

After rinsing all components, place them on a dish rack to air dry. While they dry, wipe the warming plate with a damp cloth to remove any old coffee spills.

Once the detachable components have dried completely, reattach them and plug in the coffee maker.

You can do this step every day for quick and easy cleaning of your coffee maker.


Check the machine’s instruction manual for any cleaning or safety precautions. While the cleaning process won’t differ much from the standard, it’s always best to double-check.

Manufacturers typically specify which parts of the coffee maker are detachable, which are dishwasher-safe, and which cleaning products are safe to use.

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Step 3: Fill the Coffee Maker With a Cleaning Solution

Even using filtered water, you should descale your coffee maker to prevent mineral buildup inside the machine.

You’ll need to do this process every three months if you’re an occasional coffee drinker. However, if you drink coffee daily, plan to describe your machine once a month.

The first step to descaling is draining water from the machine’s reservoir and emptying the filter basket.

Then, pour half of the descaling solution, or as directed by the product, into the reservoir and fill the rest with water.

You can make your own at home if you don’t have a descaling solution. Mix equal parts white vinegar and water, and pour the solution into the machine’s reservoir.

If your coffee maker has a lot of buildup, you can increase the vinegar-to-water ratio. The vinegar’s acidity should dissolve any stubborn mineral deposits.

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Step 4: Run a Brew Cycle

Turn on your coffee maker to run the brew cycle with the descaling solution. Then, about halfway through, turn off the machine for 20 to 30 minutes. This allows the descaler or the vinegar to settle in the reservoir, water channel, and carafe.

If your coffee maker is heavily clogged, let it rest longer to allow the cleaning solution to break down the mineral buildup.

When the time is up, turn on the coffee maker so that it resumes the brew cycle.

Step 5: Rinse and Repeat

Pour out the cleaning solution and rinse the carafe and reservoir with clean water after the brew cycle ends. Ideally, your coffee maker should be free of scale and residue after this step. However, repeat the previous step if there are any remaining stubborn deposits.

Once your coffee maker is scale-free, allow the machine to cool down. Then, run 2–3 more brew cycles with clean water each time to clear the machine of the descaler/vinegar scent.

Step 6: Clean and Dry the Outside of the Coffee Maker

After the last brew cycle, pour out the water if you won’t use the coffee maker immediately. Leave the lid open to allow the reservoir to air dry.

As the reservoir and carafe dry, dampen a cleaning cloth with soapy water and wipe the exterior of the coffee maker, including any non-detachable components. Then, wet another cleaning cloth in clean water and wipe away the soap residue.

The last step is to allow your coffee maker to air dry completely before closing the reservoir lid and placing the carafe in the machine.

Do this daily to clean away any coffee splatters, oils, or dust accumulated during the day.


Neglecting to clean your coffee maker can affect more than just the taste of your morning coffee. Coffee residue and mineral deposits can clog the machine, causing it to slow down and become less efficient.

That’s why knowing how to clean a coffee maker is as crucial as cleaning any other kitchen appliance. Luckily, cleaning a coffee maker is a pretty straightforward process.

By following the above-listed steps, you can keep your coffee maker germ-free and ensure that every cup of coffee tastes fresh and delicious. The daily upkeep and deep cleaning can also help your coffee maker work more efficiently and last longer.