Cleaning a Coffee Maker Basic Advice For the Beginner

cleaning a coffee maker

What does it really mean to describe a coffee maker? A quality cup of coffee made with a high-quality machine is more than 99% water content, which makes it one of the key ingredients in producing a fantastic cup of Joe. And since the heating elements within a coffee machine are located right underneath the filter basket, years of mineral build-up can often exist without your realizing it. Often you may notice coffee coming out with a bitter taste, or sometimes with a gritty texture. It can also leave your coffee with an unpleasant aroma. If this has happened to you, and you have run out of water to the point where the machine will not make a cup, then here are some steps to take to help clean the coffee brewer.

Cleaning a Coffee Maker

A close up of cup

For best results, when cleaning your coffee maker, use only distilled vinegar. Any other type of vinegar will only introduce contaminants into the coffee maker and could potentially damage its internal components. To obtain the best results, pour a small amount of distilled vinegar into a container with clear, cool water. Use a long-handled rubber glove to dip it into the reservoir, and then gently swirl the container’s contents around inside the coffee maker’s reservoir until all the sediment is dissolved.

The stainless steel carafe is one of the trickiest areas in many coffee machines. Its constantly moving metallic surface can easily be etched with acidic substances, such as fruit juice. To maintain its original lustre, always place a glass of water inside the coffee machine and fill it halfway with tap water. Then, remove the lid and gently wipe the exterior of the carafe with a damp cloth. This cleaning tip should be done once every year or so to ensure that the exterior does not discolor.

Importance Of Cleaning Drip Tray

a coffee brewer

Cleaning your drip tray is also an important part of cleaning a coffee maker. Although most makers have a drip tray that can be washed with just water and a gentle detergent, some manufacturers recommend an additional vinegar solution. Simply follow the manufacturer’s instructions for washing the trays, which may require you to gently scrub them down using a soft cloth. If you notice any discoloration on the surface of your drip trays, you can gently scrub it down again using a different cloth. This cleaning tip should be performed once a month or so, depending upon how often you use the coffee maker.

The glass carafe is where the majority of deposits are formed, and this can cause it to become cracked or cloudy over time. To clean a coffee maker’s glass carafe, simply pour a half or full cup of white distilled vinegar into the reservoir. Allow the vinegar to sit for at least half an hour, then remove the vinegar and rinse the carafe with clean water. This cleaning tip should be performed every six months or so.

Things To Consider

Most coffee machines include a metal plate that traps the heat created by the brewing process, which can cause mineral buildup. To clean a coffee machine’s metallic plate, simply place it inside of the machine and turn it on. The metal will immediately begin to warm up, which will remove any excess minerals. Repeat this step regularly to maintain your coffee maker’s heat.

If your coffee machine has a glass carafe, you should also take care of it according to the manufacturer’s instructions when cleaning a coffee maker. The only tools you need for cleaning are a wire cutter and a slightly damp rag. Be sure to follow all manufacturer instructions when preparing the cleaning solution, which may vary from model to model. If you don’t follow these directions, the end result could be cloudy coffee!

Bottom Line

Determining when to descale your coffee maker can be difficult. However, most manufacturers recommend that you descale after every two months or so. This helps prevent mineral build-up, which can dramatically reduce the overall quality of your cup of Joe. Just make sure you follow all of the manufacturer’s instructions and give your machine a good cleaning every few months.

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