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How to Clean a Coffee Maker

Person using an nice coffee machine. Mikolette/iStock
Person using an nice coffee machine. Mikolette/iStock

Although you can buy commercial products for cleaning your coffee maker, it's really not necessary. You can use plain old vinegar, which is all natural and acidic enough to get rid of lime scale and mineral buildup, as well as oils your coffee beans may have left behind. Here's how to clean your coffee maker:

  1. Wipe down all of your coffee maker's external surfaces with a damp sponge. (Make sure the coffeemaker is unplugged and cool.)
  2. Fill the coffee maker's water reservoir with a one-to-one solution of water and distilled white vinegar.
  3. Run the coffee maker. This will stink up your house, but it's worth it!Remove the coffee pot so the vinegar will collect in the filter and clean it [source: Hatch]. Rinse the filter. It may be full of oils, mineral build-up and residue. This step is optional, but is especially important if the filter basket is dirty.
  4. If you skipped step 4, let the filter sit in the pot for an hour [source: Martha Stewart].
  5. Pour the vinegar out of the coffee pot and rinse it thoroughly.
  6. Run the coffee maker once or twice more with vinegar to ensure that all the build-up is gone. If you cleaned the filter the first time, let the vinegar sit in the coffee pot for an hour the second time.
  7. Run the coffee maker with pure, de-ionized water. Do this until the vinegar smell is gone.
  8. Wash the coffee pot and filter basket in the top rack of your dishwasher. If you don't have a dishwasher, wash them by hand with dish soap.

Clean your coffee maker at least once a month to make sure your coffee always tastes great.