Cleaning With Vinegar Coffee Maker

There’s a different kind of joy in making your cup of coffee in the comfort of your home. Sure, it’s less hassle to buy at your favorite coffee shop, but nothing beats the fun and experience of brewing your coffee just the way you like it.

However, as much as making your own coffee sounds fun, we can’t say the same once you clean your coffee machine. If it’s your first time cleaning your coffee maker, read on to learn a detailed guide you can follow on how to clean a coffee pot easier with the help of vinegar.

bottle of vinegar

Why Use a Vinegar When Cleaning Coffee Pot

You might wonder: why use vinegar in cleaning a coffee maker? Because of its acidic nature, vinegar makes a powerful and effective cleaning agent not just with your coffee maker but also in different parts of your home. You have probably heard of using vinegar in cleaning countertops, ovens, and even when doing laundry, making it an all-around cleaning product.

Using vinegar to clean your coffee maker deep is a surefire way to clean the machine’s insides that you couldn’t reach. It also helps alleviate calcium deposits and thoroughly disinfects to ensure that your coffee maker is free from all residue and bacteria. Since it’s free of harmful chemicals, it’s also a safe and cost-efficient way to keep your machine clean. (Read Are Coffee Beans And Espresso Beans The Same)

How to Clean Coffee Maker with Vinegar 

You don’t need to be a professional cleaner to clean your drip coffee maker properly. You can easily keep your machine in tip-top shape with suitable materials. Below is a step-by-step guide to cleaning your coffee pot with vinegar:

What You’ll Need

  • Water
  • Dish soap
  • White vinegar
  • Soft cloth or sponge
  • Paper filter (optional)


Check your manual first

Before you go descaling your coffee maker, make sure that you check your coffee maker’s manual first to know if it’s safe to use vinegar in cleaning it. Some manufacturers prohibit cleaning the machine with vinegar because of its metal parts that might have a bad reaction once they come in contact.

Remove and clean the parts

Now that you know you can use vinegar in your coffee maker, start removing its parts. Take out the carafe, brew basket, and coffee filter and clean them using dish soap and water. You can also use warm water when cleaning to sanitize the parts thoroughly. While waiting for them to dry, you can also wipe down the coffee maker for spills and other stains.

Make your vinegar solution

You can create a solution by mixing equal parts white vinegar and water. How much vinegar and water you should use depends on how much it takes to fill half of your coffee maker’s water reservoir.

Fill the reservoir with your cleaning solution

Place the carafe and brew basket back, then fill your water reservoir with your vinegar solution. You can also add a paper filter in the brew basket to filter out the dirt you may get once you run a drip cycle.

Run only HALF of a drip cycle

This step is the most crucial since this is where the deep cleaning happens. Run your coffee maker as if you’re making coffee but only half of its drip cycle. You must stop it halfway so the solution can sit in your reservoir and channel and disinfect it. Leave it for around 30 minutes to an hour to ensure it is thoroughly cleaned.

drip coffee maker

Resume the brew cycle

After leaving it for 30 to 60 minutes, you can resume the drip cycle and finish running it through your coffee maker. Remove the mixture from the carafe and the paper filter you used in the brew basket.

Run a water cycle TWICE

Your cleaning solution will likely leave a sour smell and taste in your coffee maker, so you must run a water cycle twice to remove it. It will also thoroughly rinse whatever scale or coffee residue is left in your machine. (Learn How Much Caffeine Is In A Pink Drink)

Clean the parts one last time

Take the carafe and brew basket out to clean them again and remove the foul taste and odor. Wipe it with a soft cloth and put it back, including the filter. Wipe down the coffee maker with a sponge dipped in soapy water, then dampen it with a soft wet cloth to wipe away the soap residue.

Why You Need to Clean a Coffee Maker

If you use your drip coffee maker daily, chances are there is already debris from coffee grounds and lime deposits that have built up inside your machine. You cannot clean it with simple water, which is why it’s vital that you deep clean it with vinegar from time to time.

Here are other reasons why you should clean your coffee maker regularly:

To prevent clogging

As mentioned, debris from beans, hard water, and lime deposits build up in your coffee maker every time you brew coffee. And when a buildup happens, it will only clog and affect your machine’s overall operation, such as leaking or completely stopping from working. Once you notice that the amount of coffee you get is already getting less, there’s already a buildup in your machine.

To avoid bacteria, mold, and mineral buildup

Anything that involves a small space and water is an ideal condition for mold and bacteria. They often grow in dark, damp, and warm areas, and cleaning your machine regularly can prevent it.

To keep your coffee fresh

You don’t want to drink coffee daily that already tastes bitter than it should because of all the residue stuck in your machine. That’s why you should make it a habit to clean your coffee maker from time to time!

How to Clean a Keurig Coffee Maker

coffee machine

Got a Keurig coffee maker instead of a drip maker? You can follow these steps to clean single-serve coffee maker at home thoroughly.

What You’ll Need

  • Water
  • Dish soap
  • White vinegar
  • Soft cloth or sponge
  • Toothbrush


  • Make sure your water reservoir is empty.
  • Take out your Keurig’s removable components and wash them with hot soapy water.
  • Once your machine is partially dissembled, get your toothbrush and dip it in vinegar. Use this to clean the base of the machine and the area where you place the pods.
  • Scrub the reusable filters, too, since the coffee grounds tend to be congested in the mesh. You can also soak it in a cup of vinegar for better cleaning and use your toothbrush to loosen any persistent residue.
  • Mix four cups of white vinegar and two cups of water to make a solution to clean the insides of your coffee maker. Reassemble your dry reservoir and fill it with your solution.
  • Remove the filter, then run your machine at least twice so the solution will thoroughly clean the insides of your Keurig. After running it for a few cycles, let the solution sit in the machine for about an hour or two to disinfect it.
  • Once done, remove your water reservoir and clean it with water to remove the foul taste and odor of the vinegar. 
  • Repeat the brewing cycle two to three times to remove any lingering vinegar residue. Once you notice no more foul odor in the machine, you’re all set, and your machine is clean as new!

How Often Should You Clean a Coffee Maker

Ideally, give your coffee maker a good cleaning at least once a month if you use your coffee maker every day. As mentioned, coffee grounds leave residue in the brew basket, and bacteria and mold can grow in your reservoir. (Learn How Much Creamer To Add To Coffee)

Here are also some cleaning reminders you should keep in mind when cleaning your coffee maker now and then:

  • Every after-coffee brewing: Throw out the grounds from the brew basket and wipe down any residue from the basket. Also, wipe down your water reservoir and let it dry by keeping the latch open.
  • Every end of the day: Make sure you wash all the detachable components daily at the end of the day. Clean it with water, dish liquid, and a sponge to remove germs and other residues that may linger at the corners of your machine.
  • Every month: Thoroughly clean your coffee maker using a vinegar solution once a month. You can refer to the step-by-step procedure above on how to do this.


A clean coffee maker will not only improve the taste of your freshly brewed coffee but also keep your coffee pot in tip-top shape. All you need to do is ensure that you clean it daily and do a thorough cleaning with vinegar coffee maker once a month. This way, you’re guaranteed to have your coffee maker for years!