How to Descale a Coffee Maker

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Is there anything better than the smell of a freshly-brewed pot of coffee at home, right when you're ready to tackle what's ahead in the day? While home brewed coffee is a convenient and delicious way of preparing coffee, a filthy coffee maker can completely ruin your morning.

Coffee makers are often overlooked in cleaning as nothing goes through its tubes and pipes except for water. After all, the filter basket and the glass pot are both removable parts, which can be washed separately with soapy water. But what about the water reservoir and the internal parts of the machine?

What You'll Need

Hard water can leave mineral deposits in your coffee maker, making for a stale, gritty-tasting brew. You'll need an acidic descaling solution to dissolve the mineral deposits, and a gentle abrasive to scrub the inside of your coffee machine. Here's what you'll need:

  • White vinegar and Baking soda OR
  • Descaling solution - found through your coffee machine's manual
  • Paper filter
  • Fresh water - preferably not tap water

How to Descale a Coffee Maker: A Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Start with a Clean Coffee Maker

Still got some coffee grounds in your machine? Clean your coffee maker with soap and water by removing the filter basket and the pot. Wash these as you normally would, and dry them before placing them back into the machine. Make sure your water reservoir is empty as well.

Step 2.1: Place a Filter in the Basket without Coffee Grounds OR

Place a paper filter in the basket, but don't add any coffee grounds. The paper filter is meant to catch any large debris and muck before it passes through the basket into the glass coffee pot. This will help keep your coffee pot and basket clean.

Step 2.2: Run Your Keurig Coffee Maker without Coffee Pods

Alternatively, you can run your Keurig without coffee pods. Simply place a large cup or basin below the nozzles to catch the water draining out of your coffee maker. Most machines that use pods would have cleaning instructions in the manual, so be sure to read up before you start descaling.

Step 3: Add Baking Soda and Vinegar Solution in Water Reservoir

Add baking soda and white vinegar in the water reservoir in a 1:3 ratio. The solution should fill up the water chamber up to half the maximum amount of liquid allowed in one brew cycle. For mildly stained machines, or for general descaling, dilute the cleaning solution with some clean water.

Step 4: Run a Brew Cycle

Run the coffee machine until all the cleaning solution has been brewed. As the solution is heated, it lifts, dissolves, and scrubs out the stains from the inside of your coffee maker. You may notice gunk in your filter, which is made up of mineral buildup and mold.

Step 5: Dump Out Cleaning Solution, and Run a Rinse Cycle

Dump out the cleaning solution from the coffee pot, and fill the reservoir with clean water to rinse out the machine. Run a rinse cycle to remove any residue from the vinegar solution, which may take 1-2 rinse cycles to fully remove. The hot water in your coffee pot should be clear, and have no strange odors.

Step 6: Let Coffee Maker Dry

Dry your coffee maker by wiping down any parts you can reach, then letting the remaining moisture evaporate before you use your coffee machine again. This will prevent mold buildup in your machine.

Coffee Maker Storage and Care Tips

Coffee makers make mornings convenient by brewing your morning cup of joe for you, which is why it is important to keep your machine clean for a better-tasting cup of coffee. Here are a few tips and tricks to keep your coffee machine lasting longer, and stay clean throughout usage:

  • Use bottled or spring water to fill your coffee maker. Hard water from the tap, and mineral water leaves deposits of calcium, sodium, and other mineral buildup in your coffee maker. Look for a soft water source instead.
  • Dry your coffee maker between uses. Keeping your coffee machine wet all the time will make the machine susceptible to mold, which you won't see until it starts to cloud your coffee!
  • Clean your coffee maker daily. Even a simple wipe down of the nozzles, warming pan, and exterior of your machine will help prevent dust from flying into the interior of your coffee maker.
  • Use only water in the reservoir. Adding any sugary syrups, salts, or additives into the water reservoir will cause your machine to eventually break down.

Wake Up to a Clean Kitchen

Feel more energized when you wake up in a cozy, clean home with Luce Home cleaning services. We make cleaning convenient and hassle-free for you, as our expert cleaners tackle the dirt, dust, and grime throughout your home and in your kitchen!

Looking for more kitchen cleanup tips? Check out our other blog articles on cleaning different appliances in the kitchen!

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