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How To Clean Your Coffee Maker With Apple Cider Vinegar (Plus Alternative Methods)

Will Beck
Last Updated: February 28th, 2023

Have you noticed that your usual coffee tastes different, or even bad? Well, as much as we hate to admit it, it could be poor hygiene that’s to blame. 

You see, when you don’t clean out your coffee maker regularly, you can wind up making a pretty foul-tasting brew. 

The good news is that you can put all your problems behind you with some apple cider vinegar. By flushing out the machine with an apple cider vinegar rinse, you can start preparing edible coffee again. 

Ready to learn? Here’s a guide on how to clean your coffee maker with apple cider vinegar. 

Methods for Cleaning Your Coffee Maker

coffee maker

Remember, this is super important because there could be mold, yeast, and bacteria hiding in your coffee maker’s machinery. Yuck!

When it comes to cleaning out your coffee maker, there are a couple of ways that you can go about it. 

Although apple cider vinegar is typically the best cleaning agent, a few other household items will do the trick too. Here are a few tried and true methods for cleaning your coffee maker. 

Cleaning With Distilled White Vinegar

Vinegar is known as being the best kitchen ingredient to clean, as it can remove bacteria and mold from surfaces. To use it to clean your coffee maker you should follow these steps:

  1. Start by removing the coffee and water filters from the machine. 
  2. Rinse the coffee filters and water filters with warm water and dish soap. 
  3. Next, fill the water hold with equal parts vinegar and water. About one cup of each should do the trick. 
  4. Run the coffee maker twice as if you were brewing a pot of coffee. 
  5. Once the brew cycle is complete, allow the vinegar mixture to sit in the coffee pot.
  6. Then, fill the water hold with fresh water.
  7. Run the coffee maker again. You may need to repeat steps 6 and 7 two or three times.
  8. If there are coffee stains on the pot, add a teaspoon of baking soda and allow it to sit for at least two hours. 
  9. When the time is up, rinse the pot out with water. 

There you have it! You’ve just successfully cleaned your coffee maker using distilled white vinegar. 

Cleaning With Lemon Juice

Another method for cleaning your coffee maker is to use lemon juice. This is a popular pick because it has a nice aroma and isn’t as likely to leave a bitter taste in your machine. To clean the coffee maker with lemon juice:

  1. Add equal parts of lemon juice and water to the coffee maker. 
  2. Run the coffee maker twice using the lemon water solution. 
  3. Allow the lemon water to soak in the coffee pot for up to an hour. 
  4. Then, dump out the lemon water. 
  5. Fill the water reservoir with fresh water.
  6. Run the coffee machine on two to three cycles. 

The lemon juice method isn’t as harsh as the vinegar method. As such, it may not do as good of a job cleaning your machinery as using apple cider vinegar. 

Cleaning With Baking Soda

baking soda

Baking soda is really effective when it comes to cleaning and eliminating odors. It works great for getting coffee stains off your machinery. For this method:

  1. Add a quarter cup of baking soda to the coffee maker.
  2. Add enough warm water to make sure to dissolve the baking soda.
  3. Run the coffee maker and let the baking soda-water let in the pot for one hour.
  4. Run the machine with fresh water twice.

Just like the vinegar method, this method can leave behind some unpleasant tastes if you don’t rinse it out properly. Be sure to rinse your machine at least twice to get rid of any lingering baking soda. 

Cleaning With Dish Soap

You can use dish soap to clean your machine. However, some people say it leaves a soapy flavor to your coffee. But, if you’re willing to risk it, all you have to do is: 

  1. Disassemble all the components of the machine.
  2. Wash the parts thoroughly with soap and water.
  3. Rinse them and let them fully dry.
  4. Put the machine parts back together.
  5. Run the machine with fresh water to make sure all the soap has been removed.

With this method, you may need to run the machine up to three times. Otherwise, you may wind up with a soapy flavor in your drink.

Cleaning With Hydrogen Peroxide

If you need to do a deep clean of your machine, you can always use hydrogen peroxide. Just be careful as this is a strong chemical. For this method: 

  1. Mix one cup of hydrogen peroxide and two cups of water.
  2. Fill the water reservoir with the solution and let the machine run a full brew cycle.
  3. Rinse the equipment with fresh water for three cycles.

When working with hydrogen peroxide, it’s extra important to rinse the machine thoroughly. This substance can be toxic if you ingest it, which is why it’s not the preferred method for cleaning coffee makers. 

What You’ll Need to Clean With Apple Cider vinegar

apple cider vinegar

With those methods out of the way, it’s time to get down to business! You’ll need to start by gathering your supplies. 

To get started, you’re going to need: 

  • 1 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups of warm water
  • Dish soap
  • Time!

Armed with those things you’re ready to get to work!

How to Clean Your Coffee Maker With Apple Cider Vinegar

With your tools in hand, it’s time to start cleaning out your machine. Luckily, this is a pretty straightforward process.

Here’s a step-by-step look at how to clean out your coffee maker with apple cider vinegar. 

1. Prepare the Machine

First, remove the filter and throw away any coffee grounds that were left in the machine. Rinse the basket with warm water and soap if necessary. Then, rinse the filter basket again and put it back in the machine.

Remove the pot from the machine. Rinse this out with water and soap as well. Then, replace it in the machine. 

2. Prepare the Vinegar Solution

Next, it’s time to make your vinegar solution. Mix one cup of apple cider vinegar with two cups of warm water. 

Some machines specify the amount of vinegar you should use, so make sure to check the machine’s instructions. If you need to, you can double the amount of solution so that you fill up the reservoir.

3. Run Half a Brew Cycle

Turn on the coffee machine and allow it to run for half a brew cycle. Then, turn it off and leave the solution in the pot.

4. Let the Vinegar Solution Sit

Let the vinegar solution sit in the coffee pot for at least 30 minutes. This allows the vinegar solution to tackle any mineral and mold buildup. It will also help remove any lingering stains from the pot.

5. Finish the Brew Cycle

When the time is up, turn on the machine again to finish the brew cycle. You may see brown bits in the water. Don’t panic—this means the vinegar solution is working!

6. Pour the Vinegar Solution

When the brewing process has finished, pour the solution down the sink. There should be no solution left in the water reservoir, either.

7. Rinse the Pot

Use warm water and soap to rinse out the pot. Even though you did this in step one, it’s important to repeat the process. Otherwise, you run the risk of lingering vinegar getting into your coffee the next time you use it!

8. Put Fresh Water Into the Pot

After you’ve fully rinsed out the coffee pot, fill it with fresh water. Pour the water into the reservoir on the coffee machine. 

9. Run the Brew Cycle a Few Times

Turn on the coffee machine again and allow it to run a full brew cycle. Dump out the water in the coffee pot. Repeat this process two to three times. Let your coffee maker cool down for a few minutes between the cycles.

10. Wash the Coffee Maker With Water

Once you’ve finished running the brew cycle a few times, remove both the pot and basket from your coffee maker. Wipe down the surface of the coffee maker with soap and water. 

Alternatively, you can spray some vinegar on a cloth and use it to wipe down the machine. Then, replace the pot and basket and you’re done!

Now You Don’t Have Any Excuse to Clean Your Coffee Maker Machine

Now that you know how to clean your coffee maker with apple cider vinegar, it’s time to get to work. You don’t have any more excuses left to not stand up right now and deep clean your machine!

As a coffee lover, I love having this handy trick up my sleeve. It lets me keep my coffee machinery clean so I can keep brewing up delicious cups of coffee. And, if you want to keep enjoying coffee yourself, you should keep this guide in mind too!

About The Author

Will Beck

Will is a true digital nomad, taking his work on the road at every opportunity. His first love is coffee, with whiskey a close 2nd. He loves nothing more than enjoying a perfectly brewed coffee with spectacular scenery whilst he coordinates behind the scenes of the Drink Stack blog!

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