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Ways to Clean a Coffee Maker Without Using Vinegar

Updated on May 6, 2021 by Jessica Parker
clean a coffee maker

Coffee makers today have become a part of everyday essentials that have made our lives easy and convenient. However, as necessary its requirement may seem, equally necessary is to clean a coffee maker on a regular basis. This is to make ensure its long-lasting function. Appliances are coffee makers that are used on a frequent basis and thus, cleaning them on a regular basis is important. 

Coffee beans tend to leave their stains when they are grounded. This is because, when the coffee beans are broken down, they release oil. With materials like stainless steel, these stains are bound to become stubborn with time, if not cleaned properly.  

This is the reason why vinegar is often used to clean the coffee maker. Vinegar is an active cleaning agent and gets rid of stubborn stains and smell easily. However, on the downside, vinegar can react with the rubber materials in your coffee maker and spoil them. It also tends to leave a strong smell and can overwhelm the smell and flavor of the beans. Besides, coffee offers many health benefits as well.

This blog will discuss the reasons why you need to clean your coffee maker along with the reasons to not go for vinegar while cleaning the coffee maker.  Before we begin the facts, another important point to remember is to grind the coffee beans to the required consistency. This will ensure a smoother cleaning process.

Reasons to Clean a Coffee Maker Regularly

Tastier Coffee 

Cleaning the coffee maker is essential as a cleaner appliance will result in a flavor-packed coffee. Although preparing the coffee is a simple process, the coffee beans tend to leave behind stains that may ruin the machine. Thus, it may cause the next batch of coffee beans to be bitter, ruining the coffee completely.  

Increase the Life of Your Coffee Maker 

Many times, coffee grinds often leave a residue. They could be in the form of oil or other larger debris that is stuck in corners. If we don’t clean them properly, they will not only spoil the next batch of beans but also invite rust. Also, the rubber areas might get spoilt as particles tend to get inside the lid crevices easily. Thus, cleaning the coffee makers thoroughly is recommended.  

Gets Rid of Germs 

Washing the coffee maker regularly will get rid of dust and germs easily. The coffee bean oil often attracts flies and insects. But if we wash them and store, it will safe from pests. This will also increase the life of your coffee maker.  

Shorter Brew Times 

Cleaning the coffee maker regularly will reduce the brew time significantly.  If you don’t clean your coffee maker, there might be calcium deposits inside the heater pipes due to hard water.  This will trigger the build-up of oil and debris to insulate them. Thus, a longer time is required to brew fresh coffee.  So, cleaning them regularly will keep the brew time shorter and your coffee tastier.  

Disadvantages of Using Vinegar to Clean a Coffee Maker

Vinegar is one of the most reactive cleaning agents, that can get rid of stubborn stains and smells effectively.  So strong are its ingredients, that even after washing, it tends to keep insects away for a long time.  However, using vinegar is not much encouraged as they tend to create a problem in two things.  

  • They might react with the rubber present in the coffee grinder and the lids, degrading their quality. Vinegar might also corrode the material if used frequently. 
  • Washing it frequently with vinegar will also overwhelm the smell of coffee beans. This will ruin the taste of the coffee for a long time.  

How to Clean A Coffee Maker Without Vinegar? 

There are 4 alternatives to clean a coffee maker effectively without using vinegar. 

Using the Descaling Solution 

Descaling solution is provided by the manufacturers of the machine and can be either bought separately or complimentary with the package.  To use it, fill the water tank with the descaling solution. Run the brew cycle twice for thoroughly cleaning the nook and crevices. Run fresh water twice to filter and clean the insides after using a descaling solution 

Use Citric Acid or Lemon Juice 

Use lemon juice and mix it well with appropriate water to create an effective solution. Put it in the filter and run two cycles using this acid. Citric acid gets rid of bacteria, smells, and also keep the grinder in good shape.   

Using Baking Soda 

Baking soda is a very effective cleaning agent. Mixing baking soda and water will remove all bad odor, build-ups and offer shine to your coffee maker.  Once you form a solution of baking soda and water, run the cycle twice and then run it again with clean water.  

Use Denture Tabs 

Denture Tabs are tablets that exhibit cleaning, as well as disinfecting properties. Once you drop the tabs into the filter, run it between 2 and 3 times to get rid of the odor and disinfect the container of germs. However, they might not be very effective against limescale. 


Coffee makers are easy to clean appliances. Although the acetic acid in the vinegar can successfully kill mold, germs, and build-up, they are not recommended considering the life of the appliance. As effective as the acid in the vinegar is to remove germs, equally harmful it can be towards materials like steel and aluminium. Thus, cleaning your coffee maker with vinegar just once in 6 months will work.

For other times, using a descaling solution or citric acid will be sufficient to clean a coffee maker.  Always remember to use freshly ground coffee from a coffee grinder for the best results. If you are a beginner in the kitchen, then learn how to make the perfect coffee.

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