If you want to start your day by a piping hot cup of coffee but you are too lazy to go buy one, brewing coffee at home would be an ideal and economical solution. To do that, you must possess a coffee grinder and a coffee maker. However, these appliances, especially the coffee making machine, often get dirty after several uses. You might not clean it regularly as you should do, and the result is your coffee will taste bad over time.
Don’t worry, if you have encountered this situation, this article is for you. We will show you how to clean your coffee maker with one of the cheapest but effective ingredients, which is vinegar.
How to clean a coffee maker with vinegar?
Vinegar is an ideal ingredient to keep your coffee hygiene. Vinegar comes in different types but in general, they are natural and inexpensive. No matter what kind of vinegar you are gonna stick with, the following steps can be applied the same way.
Before starting your cleaning, you need to make sure that there is no used coffee grounds left in any place in the coffee maker. Then it’s time to prepare the vinegar solution. The proportion of vinegar to water is normally equal but can vary depending on the machine itself, and how unclean it is. You can do some search for your coffee maker brand to know if you can use vinegar to clean it and how much is enough.
Fill the water chamber with the prepared vinegar solution and turn the coffee maker on. You should keep an eye on your machine to switch it off when it has brewed for half cycle. Let the mixture sit for 30 to one hour to soften the stains and odors. After that, start running the machine again and let it finish the whole cycle. You can see the liquid poured over the carafe turning brown and more opaque.
Wash all the removable parts
All the removable parts of the coffee maker should be removed to wash with dish soap and warm water to completely clean.
Put everything back and replace the vinegar solution with clear water. Then you can choose to repeat the brewing process two to three times, or until you see the water dripped to the pot is as clear as possible. If you don’t rinse the machine carefully, your morning cup will taste sour.
Clean the exterior
You can clean the outside of your coffee maker with water, or salvage the rest of the vinegar solution. Gently wipe out the stains with a damp towel and your coffee machine will shine again.
What kind of vinegar to clean a coffee maker?
As mentioned, vinegar can come in different variants. They are interchangeable and used as helpful cleaning agents.
White vinegar seems to be the most popular type of vinegar used in cooking and cleaning. This natural acid will help you easily remove the stains and buildup with no harm. The usual ratio to have a vinegar solution is equal parts of lukewarm water and vinegar. However, as we already said, this proportion can be changeable depending on several factors.
Apple cider vinegar
When you have run out of white vinegar, you can replace it with apple cider vinegar because they both have the same effect on cooking and cleaning. Apple cider vinegar is even reputed to have a boost on your health if consuming a proper amount per day. In terms of washing, the cleaning solution should be about two parts water combines with one part cider vinegar.
Baking soda and vinegar
Using baking soda and vinegar to clean your coffee maker at the same time doesn’t mean you have to mix them up. It’s even not allowed to combine vinegar and baking soda because it will create a fizzing reaction that might be harmful to your machine. Therefore, you should only use the vinegar solution to clean the interior of the coffee maker and the baking soda solution to wipe out the outer and to wash the removable parts.
Alternatives to vinegar you can use at home
Vinegar supports you a lot in cleaning your appliances like a coffee machine, but if you can find any bottle in your house, below are some alternatives to vinegar that you can use to make the coffee maker hygiene.
Baking soda will help a lot in cleaning your coffee machine. Simply dilute it in lukewarm water and you have a mixture ready to do its job.
People have used salt as a cleaner for a long time. You can totally apply this ingredient to clean your coffee machine and the result might surprise you.
Citric acid or lemon juice
Even though its name contains acid, but citric acid is not that acidic and relatively safe to use to clean your coffee maker. If you prefer something more natural, lemon juice- known as homemade citric acid is a way to go.
Chemicals should only be the last resort when nothing works. We cannot deny how efficiently the chemicals clean your coffee maker, but it’s not long-term option because of harmful impact.
I am Ralph Mason and I am a passionate coffee drinker. I worked as a barista for a few years and since 2012 I have been trying to convince as many people as possible of good coffee.
I started writing on the barista blog on RepublikCoffeeBar in 2018. It was a pure hobby site and I tested coffee products like coffee machines, beans, mug, and other accessories. After the first year, my blog is becoming a well-known coffee site with about 100 thousand visits per month.
In 2019 I decided to focus on RepublikCoffeeBar only. I became a full-time coffee blogger and was declared crazy by many.