Cleaning a coffee maker became the hustle to me when I got away from home a few years back.
Coffee Makers are simple, super automatic best home espresso latte machine that performs the entire process of brewing a fresh cup of coffee from the coarsely grounded beans within a fraction of seconds.
An espresso machine puts technology to best of its use for the caffeine fans; it brews coffee coupled with the help of dual or single boilers.
The machine extracts a predefined amount of coffee and milk every time to give a consistent mesmerizing taste that tickles your taste buds as well as energizes you. The machine makes frothing simple with the help of adaptors that help in aeration of milk.
Best quality espresso machines are a quick way to stay caffeinated with little efforts and precise taste for every single serving.
But, little did I know about how to clean a coffee maker, when I was shifted to this new place. When I arrived, my would be roommates were having their final rounds of coffee that evening ( as I could get to know much later).
A new border back then, who was completely unaware of the hostel life, I had arrived just to discover the nonchalant yet shirty way of my roommates.
After so many years, it seems quite funny though.
But, six years back, when they entrusted me with the job to clean a coffee pot ( sort of ragging you know), I was distraught. First of all, I had no idea of cleaning a coffee maker, secondly, their coffee-guzzling eyes stating discontent in every bit seemed quite scary.
But, I believe that’s a turning point in my life and they helped me a lot to become what I am today. My roommates were the ones who became my family for those days when I used to miss those warm family moments. And yes, they made me learn cleaning coffee makers and a lot of things.
Well, Jane was a coffee snob and she was the one who taught me a lot of things. Today, when I have got the perfect occasion to account my learning sessions six years back, why not start with this?
When Your Coffee Maker Deserves a Thorough Cleaning?
“Of course, when your coffee tastes like a foot”- Jane replied to my crazy question as I was all suppressed with my project of cleaning coffee maker.
We all know that coffee naturally tastes a slightly bitter, but then there are times when it tastes too bitter to gulp it down. That’s the time, you need to show your coffee machine a little extra love. Cleaning will help remove hard water spots from the carafe and prevent bad staining, thus help maintain a freshness next time when you brew it.
While eliminating the mineral buildup, it also cleans up the coffee oils that are often left behind to turn rancid over time.
The best news? It’s so easy that you can do it yourself at home without too much effort. So, let’s just get into the point.
Best Way to Clean
Clean with Vinegar
Vinegar is widely used as well as a wonderful cleaning agent when it comes to clean coffee tables. Its acidic nature not only helps in cleaning out the excess mineral oil but also help you take out the bad stains easily. In fact, for the basic level of cleaning at home on a regular basis, there’s no better option than vinegar.
- White vinegar (enough to fill up half your carafe)
- Hot soapy water
- Damp dish towel
- Dry dish towel
Carafe Must Be Unfilled: Unless you detach the carafe from the coffee maker, you can’t clean it thoroughly. Take out the left out coffee grounds in the filter and rinse the carafe with plain water first of all.
Make a solution of water and vinegar: Once you are done with water cleaning, fill the water chamber with the solution made of water and vinegar ( makes sure that each of the ingredients is equally proportioned before mixing). We made the solution before we start the cleaning.
Get a half brew cycle: In that condition, start a brew cycle. Midway through the cycle, simply turn it off and run the coffee maker and let it sit for an hour.
Finish off the brew cycle: After an hour passed, it’s time to start off the machine once again to finish off the brew cycle.
Dispose of the solution: After the brewing is over, dispose of the vinegar-water solution and fill the water chamber with fresh water. Make sure that no vinegar remains in the water at this phase. Once done, run a fresh brew cycle once again. Repeat it twice, but allow some time in between for cooling off. Don’t run the brew cycle repeatedly when the water inside is hot.
Wipe off the dirt: A complete cleaning is done when you clean coffee maker inside out. After cleaning inside, wipe off the dirt and grime that usually deposit over the coffee maker over a period of using it. Also, wash the carafe and filter the basket in hot, soapy water.
Reassemble the Pieces: Once done, reassemble and brew a great cup of coffee.
And, this time, it won’t taste like a “foot”, as Jane said.
But, this is a pretty basic coffee maker cleaning technique that you can perform at home on a regular basis. There are other types of coffee makers with completely different methods of cleaning and this tutorial will remain simply incomplete unless we talk about these.
Cleaning Different Types of Coffee Makers
So let’s take a quick look at the types of Coffee Makers
- Drip Coffee Maker
- Coffee Percolator
- French Press
- Glass Pour Over (i.e. Chemex)
1) Clean a Drip Coffee Make – The Process
In spite of the growing popularity of single serve coffee makers, a drip coffee makers still serve as an antique piece in many households. Even my in-laws have one in their possession and my mom-in-law uses the following technique of cleaning it. Here’s what she does to clean drip coffee maker:
- A wet cloth
- A little amount of Water
- High-quality white vinegar
- Paper coffee filters
- Dish soap (choose something with a de-greasing effect)
- Dish or bottle brush, which is often called Chemex Brush (accumulate everything from the hardware store)
- Small grout brush
Wipe Off the Dirt & Grime: Over a period of using the coffee maker can deposit dirt and grime inside the coffee maker. Also, there are coffee stains and deposited coffee and other debris, which I managed to clean with a damp cloth.
This way, you will be able to do away with loose grounds that got deposited there. Scrub away the coffee debris from the corners with a brush. For the hard to reach spaces, use a small grout brush.
Use the proportionate amount of vinegar and water solution: Pour in water-vinegar solution in the coffee maker’s water chamber.
Use a Paper Filter: Place a paper filter inside the coffee maker, so that it can properly soak the hard water deposits and the deposits that might get loosened after the water-vinegar solution is poured into it.
Run a half brew cycle: After pouring the vinegar, simply run a half brewing cycle and leave it that way. Keep it that way for an hour minimum.
Run the rest of the cycle: Switch on the coffee maker and allow it to finish off the brewing with a water-vinegar solution.
Change the filter: After the brewing is over, make sure to refill the water chamber with fresh water. Change the paper filter to finish off the brewing. It lets you rinse the system thoroughly.
Eliminate the leftover vinegar stain: Vinegar, being acidic in nature can end up leaving stains. So, when you are cleaning it, make sure to rinse it a second time, so that there’s no persistent vinegar scent or taste.
Use warm water & dish soap: To scrub inside the carafe, you have to use warm water and dish soap. Also, avoid using anything abrasive outside the coffee maker as it would tarnish the smooth surface affecting its look.
You can use a dampened cotton cloth or a sponge to clean the outside. Check out if there are any markings on the outside of the carafe. In case, there’s something like that do follow it properly. Markings always appear as an instruction.
Wipe down the outside: Remove dust and mineral oils with a damp cloth. A wet cloth helps to take out the dirt build-up of your coffee maker to remove dust and oils.
Get rid of the Calcium Deposit: There might be calcium deposit on the surface when you are likely to wipe off the water inside. Make sure to descale the product to avoid troubles in the long run.
2) Clean a Coffee Percolator- The Process
A coffee percolator is one of the most eco-friendly coffee makers that hardly needs any high-level maintenance. Also, it’s quite handy and occupies a little amount of space in your kitchen. And, the best part is, you can clean it right at home with easy and effortless techniques.
Percolators usually last for years,if you take proper care of it. All it needs is a quick hand washing after each use. But, like any other type of coffee makers, it will also start getting tough stains inside the percolator that just won’t go. Well, a few powerful tools can help you get rid of these. Here’s what I usually do with the coffee percolators at my place.
- Preferably a coffee maker cleaning brush or an all-purpose brush. Make sure that it reaches the difficult ends.
- Baking Soda
- White vinegar
Make use of water: Fill your percolator properly with water. Get fresh tap water for this purpose.
Get Baking Soda: Add three tablespoons of baking soda in the percolators filled with water.
Run a Cycle: Turn on the switch to run a brew cycle. This will loosen the dirt, grime and the tough stain sitting on the walls of the percolators. Once loosened you can easily take it off.
Allow some cooling time: After an hour when the water inside will be cooled off, fetch a brush and scrub it inside the coffee maker to remove the coffee stains and the debris.
Dispose of the water: Once done, discard the water and rinse well. Make sure that no dirt or grime is left inside it.
Pour the water-vinegar solution: After you rinse out the dirt and grime, pour in vinegar-water solution. In case there’s any residue left out even after cleaning it with fresh water, this solution will remove it.
Run the third Brewing cycle: Run the third cycle of fresh cycle if brewing with the solution inside it. Once done, rinse the residue with clean water.
As mentioned already, percolators are easy to clean and they are quite a breeze to handle. Such a deep cleansing once a month will keep your percolators working finely for years. Simply make sure that you don’t neglect cleaning the build-up regularly.
3) How to Clean a French Press
Well, a French Press Coffee maker can give you the perfect coffee every time you brew one, but cleaning it is a real drag and demands a lot of toiling. The worst part is simply rinsing won’t take out the dirt and debris from a French Press Coffee maker. You have to use a spoon to take the coffee grounds deposited inside. Here’s an experts’ way of cleaning coffee makers.
- Dish soap
- Long brush
- Soft cloth
- Baking soda
Dismantle the Coffee Maker: Detach the plunger and the French press and fill it with sufficient warm water. Slowly shake the coffee maker to loosen the coffee grounds. Use a spoon to take out the debris carefully.
Use the Mesh Strainer: Fetch the mesh strainer and place it on the kitchen sink. Quickly pour the water and the loosened grounds into it. While the water drains into the sink, the coffee grounds will drain into your strainer. Perform this task to make sure that the French Press gets absolutely empty.
Compost the grounds: Make sure that the coffee grounds do not end up clogging your kitchen pores.
Scrub the oils and stains: Once you take out the coffee grounds from the hard to reach ends of your French Press, it’s time to clean off the oils and stains. Use a brush, dish soap, and some warm water to scrub it away. To deal with the persistent coffee stains and residue, dab a little baking soda on the brush while cleaning it.
Rinse thoroughly: Once you successfully remove the oils and stains, it’s time to rinse it properly with fresh water. For better cleaning, you can resort to warm water as well as it better cleans off the soap than cold water. Make sure that the next cup of coffee doesn’t have a soapy fragrance.
Wipe it Off: Dry the surface of the coffee maker with a soft dry or damp cloth. If you are using a damp cloth make sure to dry the coffee maker before using it.
While such a deep cleaning is recommended at least twice a month for a French Press Coffee maker, you can also perform it each time after using it. But if you are pressed with time, fetch a damp cloth to wipe off the interior. Simply make sure to give it a proper cleaning when needed and dry it well.
4) Clean a Pour Over Coffee Maker – The Process
The most challenging part of cleaning a pour over coffee maker is that your hands won’t go inside. But, those persistent coffee stains are a pain to see. However, my roommate Jane had a painless yet effective cleaning technique. That’s why I love her so much.
- Ice cubes or some crushed ice ( whatever you can arrange)
- Lemon juice ( It’s optional but can work wonders if used)
- Table salt
- Dish soap
- A coffee maker cleaning brush, popularly called Chemex. Otherwise, you can use a sponge as well.
Fill the Ice Cubes: Before filling the bottom of the pour over coffee machine with some ice cubes, start the coffee maker at room temperature.
Add the cleaning agents: Make a solution with four teaspoons of table salt and mix it with one tablespoon of lemon juice and water respectively.
Toss the mixture: Slowly whirl the mixture as it will scrub off the dirt as well as the dried up coffee debris inside. Do it slowly as the salt become coarse and leave scratches on the surface. Once cleaned you can see it from outside if the glass is not too frosty.
Rinse the coffee maker: Rinse off the coffee maker with plain cold water after disposing of the salt water solution. Avoid pouring hot water in the glass as it might break it.
Use Chemex brush: Though quite unlikely, coffee residue might sit in there even after cleaning. That’s when you need a Chemex brush or any long handle brush to scrub off the coffee maker.
Pour over coffee makers are easy to clean and if you do some normal cleaning after every use, you can easily do away with the coffee build up inside. Otherwise, stick to cleaning coffee makers twice or thrice a month.
5) Clean an Aeropress Coffee Maker – The Process
Aeropress coffee makers are quite popular these days because the brew time is quite low and cleaning it is such a breeze. The design of Aeropress coffee makers also makes the cleaning process a lot easier. The rubber seal that tightly squeezes the actually prevents coffee debris building up at the edge.
Materials that Come Handy During Cleaning
- A little dish soap
- Adequate supply of water
- An all-purpose brush
Dismantle the coffee maker: At the time of cleaning unfix the cap and keep pressing the Aeropress as long as the filter and coffee grounds come out.
Rinse it carefully: Rinse the coffee maker with cold water and wipe off the rubber seal with a soft dry cotton cloth.
Scrub off the residue: A proper rinsing can loosen the coffee grounds as well as the residue, which you can easily scrub off with a gentle brush and a little amount dish soap. You can also put the Aeropress on the top shelf of the dishwasher as it is dishwasher safe.
Carefully handle the rubber gasket: Make sure that the rubber gasket does not get any water build up inside it. This way dirt will build up in the gasket within a short time, which will make it even more difficult to clean.
6) How to Clean an Automatic Coffee Maker
When it comes to cleaning automatic coffee makers, there are plenty of coffee maker cleaners available commercially. There are a number of commercial automatic coffee maker cleaning products on the market.
However, many people refrain from using these products due to the overuse of chemical substances in such cleaners. Most importantly, you will be brewing coffee after cleaning and a chemical based cleaning might affect your health.
Fortunately, there are quite a handful of products that are perfectly safe for human consumption even if the residue is left behind. Again with automatic coffee makers, you have limited chances to dismantle the parts of the coffee makers.
Though it’s nothing like that the commercial coffee maker cleaner should be discarded, but you can make it totally safe for cleaning with your common sense and adopting precautions whenever using it.
Among the natural agents, white vinegar and baking soda are widely common. They help to remove the sediments and coffee debris in a smooth and seamless manner without even causing any health threats.
Once done, you can easily rinse the coffee maker with cold fresh water to do away with the odor of vinegar or baking soda, whichever you are using. Neither do they leave their pungent taste in the machine after hours of rinsing off.
Avoid the Mildew Build Up
Keep in mind that water sits automatically on your coffee machine, so mildews and dirt are quite likely to build up. Moreover, the rubber gasket can attract the dirt from coffee grounds easily. Make sure to give your coffee maker some deep cleansing as soon as the mildews start building up.
In a recent study conducted by the food and beverages department, people don’t consider their coffee maker could be a breeding spot for mold and bacteria. However, the truth surprises them all, as it is recently revealed that some of the home appliances might have a higher germ cont that some of the corners of your toilet.
To ensure your family stays healthy and does not gulp down bacteria or yeast along with the brewing cup of coffee a weekly clean up is essential to keep the appliance in check.
The Pro Cleaning Tips
Usually, the parts of the coffee machine are dishwasher proof. It is best to clean the removable parts with a soapy solution post every use.
A scrub sponge works excellent with the delicate parts helping you get rid of debris. Moisture tends to be an excellent breeding spot for germs hence it is of equally essential to wipe the parts and dry them thoroughly to ensure it is entirely moisture free.
Don’t Get Your Coffee Right Like the Favorite Coffee Shop?
If your home brew isn’t as good as the coffee outlet chances are you are not making it right. Let your coffee maker satisfy your taste buds with the top tips that can help you make a perfect coffee. By following the below steps, you can bid farewell to the bitter cups of stale coffee and enjoy the energetic and creamy texture just like the ones offered in outlets.
- Use cold water every time you prep to prepare your mug of coffee
- Use freshly grounded coffee for the mesmerizing smell and a tasty brew. Old grounds give your coffee a stale taste that you oath to avoid.
- If you go by the coffee experts, you should be using 2 and a half spoon of coffee grounds for every 5 to 6 ounces of water.
- The oily residue left behind by your previous brew can quickly spoil the taste of the fresh one. Hence make sure you clean the exposed parts of the coffee maker well to avoid any mix up of flavors.
- However ardent fans of coffee you might be avoided stocking up the pods or capsules for longer intervals. The taste and aroma of coffee can degrade over a period of time however vacuum sealed the container might be hence stock up for not more than 3 to 4 months.
- Many people leave the leftover coffee in their carafe for too long which promotes deposition and leaves a grimy layer are difficult to remove and give a stale taste to the next brew.
- The recent models of coffee makers have a steam nozzle to prepare the picture perfect cappuccinos that are used to produce frothy milk. The nozzles can easily clog if left unclean and may even cause the milk to curdle up not giving you
- If the coffee maker has been out of use for more than a couple of days, run a few cycles to swirl and clean the internal tank from the leftover debris.
- If the machine is used for several times in a day chances are if not maintained well it could wear out sooner than expected. Hence it is more so crucial to provide proper maintenance to guarantee a supreme quality drink and a machine that performs well even after a year of usage, saving your hard earned money from buying a new one.
- Lastly take some time to read the manual, know your machine well.
The smell of a fresh brewing mug of coffee can surely make you jump out of your bed and give you a good head start to your mornings. Caffeine not only gives you boost of energy but also helps your skin regenerate and is zero calorie.
A good cup of espresso is an excellent fix to almost all your problems, and with an espresso machine, you can get it right every time so that you never have to be disappointed by a lousy cup of coffee.
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A coffee machine can deteriorate rapidly if not used with care. The delightful appliance can save you considerable time and money giving you a picture perfect coffee every morning. Cleaning it regularly can make a world of difference adding years to the machine. A Coffee machine is an expensive investment to make.
Hence it is vital to keep maintain it well so that you get the best out of your investments. You may as well check espresso maker reviews and make your decision to choose the best machine that will make everyday cleaning and maintenance easier.
Last but not the least, I must finish off this account thanking my roommate Jane. Hadn’t she helped me that day to learn how to clean a coffee maker, I wouldn’t be a pro today.