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The ultimate coffee machine cleaning guide

If a good cup of coffee is how you start your morning, it’s not only important to have a great coffee maker, but it’s just as important to deep-clean it regularly, especially if you use it daily. Without proper cleaning, coffee oils can build up in the carafe, the basket and elsewhere and cause your brew to taste bitter. Or, let it go long enough and there could be yeast and mould hiding in the reservoir. Following a regular coffee maker cleaning ritual is easy to do and provides a big payoff when it comes to taste.

Signs It’s Time to Clean Your Coffee Maker

If you’re like most of us, you’re most opt to clean your coffee maker when you notice that the carafe is looking a little grungy. You can be diligent about giving things a rinse after use, but the swirl-and-pour method only goes so far.

So, if your coffee maker is visibly dirty — think water spots, coffee stains, or loose grounds scattered around — it’s time for a cleaning, and doubly so if you can’t remember the last time you gave it a good scrub.

How Often Should You Clean the Coffee Machine?

You should empty the grinds and wash your coffee machine’s brew basket, lid, and carafe at the end of each day. Give your coffee machine a thorough cleaning at least once every month to get rid of mineral deposits.
Some coffee makers feature a warning beep or a flashing light when it’s time to clean them out. You can also prevent your coffee machine from temporarily being out of service if you’re proactive in cleaning it. You can find information on how to set up a cleaning cycle for most types of brewers in the machine’s user manual.

Daily Cleaning Steps

  1. Dump the grounds or use in the garden.
  2. Wash the carafe and other removable parts, such as the lid and filter basket, in the sink with warm, soapy water or in the dishwasher if marked dishwasher safe.
  3. Rinse and towel dry, or set aside to air dry before assembling.
  4. Wipe down the machine with a damp towel.

Monthly Cleaning With Vinegar

  1. Add up to 2 cups of undiluted vinegar to the reservoir.
  2. Let stand 30 minutes.
  3. Run the vinegar through a brewing cycle.
  4. Follow with two to three cycles of fresh water until the vinegar smell is gone.

And since mould, bacteria and yeast grow in moisture, empty any unused water and leave the lid to the coffee reservoir open to air dry between uses.

Keeping Your Coffee Maker Cleaner for Longer

It sounds easy, but it’s true: Rinsing your coffee maker every day — or at least each time you use it — will keep it cleaner for longer and help ensure the best-tasting coffee. 

Not only will your coffee maker stay cleaner, it will last longer overall. Regular maintenance is critical for coffee makers and takes mere minutes to perform. Monthly deep cleanings will prevent stubborn build up and keep your machine looking new for years to come.

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