Learn How to Clean Your Coffee Machine for the Best-Tasting Brew

Is your morning coffee starting to taste funny? There’s a good chance that your coffee machine might be in need of a thorough cleaning. Knowing how to clean a coffee machine is essential to ensure that your brew maintains its rich and delicious flavour profile. 

Over time, coffee machines can accumulate mineral deposits, coffee oils, and other residue that not only affect the flavour of your brew but also the overall performance of the machine. But don’t worry, going from a dirty to clean coffee machine is easier than you might think. We’ll guide you through the step-by-step process of cleaning your coffee machine to ensure that every cup of coffee you brew is as delicious as it should be.

clean coffee machine

Why Regular Cleaning Matters

Before we delve into the nitty-gritty of coffee machine cleaning, let’s underscore why it’s absolutely crucial. Regularly cleaning your coffee machine is essential for several important reasons:

  • Maintaining Flavour: Whereas every cup is flavourful and enjoyable with a clean coffee machine, over time, mineral deposits, coffee oils, and residue accumulate, negatively affecting flavour and causing bitterness. 
  • Preventing Clogs: Residue buildup can clog the internal pathways and components of your coffee machine, leading to slower brewing times or even complete malfunctions. A clean coffee machine ensures that the brewing process remains consistent, resulting in coffee that meets your taste expectations each time.
  • Extending Lifespan: Coffee machines are an investment, and you want them to last as long as possible. Regular cleaning reduces the wear and tear caused by mineral deposits and other contaminants, extending the lifespan of your machine and saving you money in the long run.

  • Hygiene and Health: A NSF study found coffee reservoirs among the home’s top 10 germiest spots, with 50% having mould or yeast. Moist coffee machine interiors foster mould and bacteria growth. Regular cleaning prevents these harmful microorganisms, ensuring safe, delicious coffee.

How Frequently Should You Clean Your Coffee Machine?

For daily coffee drinkers, aim to clean the machine approximately once a month. However, if you’re an occasional coffee drinker, a cleaning interval of every three to six months should suffice. However, if you spot noticeable residue around the pot or filter basket, or if your coffee’s flavour seems compromised, it’s an indicator that your coffee maker is due for a cleaning session.

coffee machine cleaning

Supplies You’ll Need

Before you begin the cleaning process, make sure you have all the necessary supplies on hand. Fortunately, most of these items can be found in your kitchen or are easily available at your local grocery store:

  • Warm water
  • White vinegar
  • Dish soap
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Soft-bristle brush
  • Toothpick
  • Toothbrush (for hard-to-reach areas)

How to Clean a Coffee Machine

Now that we’ve gathered the necessary supplies, it’s time to start cleaning. Remember, always consult your coffee machine’s manual for specific cleaning and maintenance instructions, as different models may have slightly different requirements.

1. Empty and Rinse

Start by turning off and unplugging your coffee machine. If your machine has a removable water reservoir, take it out and empty any remaining water. Remove the coffee grounds or pods from the filter basket and discard them. Rinse both the water reservoir and the filter basket with warm water.

2. Clean Removable Parts

If your coffee machine has removable parts like the water reservoir, filter basket, and drip tray, gently wash them with warm soapy water. Use a soft cloth or a non-abrasive brush to remove any coffee stains or residue. Use a toothbrush or small cleaning brush to scrub any hard-to-reach areas, such as crevices or the coffee spout. Rinse thoroughly and allow the parts to air dry.

3. Prepare a Cleaning Solution

Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a container. The amount you’ll need depends on the size of your coffee machine, so make sure you have enough to fill the water reservoir.

4. Run a Cleaning Cycle

Pour the vinegar and water mixture into the water reservoir of your coffee machine. Place an empty coffee pot or carafe on the warming plate or drip tray. Start a brew cycle as if you were making coffee, but let the machine run only until half of the vinegar solution has brewed. Then, turn off the machine and let it sit for about 15-20 minutes to allow the vinegar solution to work its magic in dissolving mineral deposits and coffee oils.

5. Finish the Cycle

After the waiting period, turn the machine back on and let it complete the brewing cycle. The vinegar solution will pass through the internal components, helping to clean them thoroughly. Once the cycle is done, discard the vinegar solution.

6. Rinse and Brew

Fill the water reservoir with clean water and run a few cycles with just water to rinse out any remaining vinegar residue. This step is crucial to ensure that your coffee won’t taste like vinegar. You might need to repeat the rinsing process a couple of times to ensure all traces of vinegar are gone and you have a clean coffee machine. 

7. Wipe Down and Reassemble

Wipe down the exterior of your coffee machine with a damp cloth to remove any spills or splatters. Pay special attention to buttons, knobs, and the warming plate. For stainless steel exteriors, use a cloth dampened with soapy water and dry thoroughly.

Use a microfibre towel to dry the machine thoroughly, both inside and out. Ensure all parts are dry before reassembling your coffee machine.

Pro Tip: Once the machine has been cleaned, brew a coffee and then discard it to ensure there is no impact of the taste of future brews. 

Tips to Maintain a Clean Coffee Machine

Like any other kitchen equipment, coffee machines require regular maintenance to ensure the quality of the brew and the longevity of the machine. Here are some essential maintenance tips to keep your coffee machine in top shape:

coffee machine descaling

1. Clean Removable Parts

Regularly remove and wash removable parts like the water reservoir, filter basket, and drip tray. Use warm, soapy water to clean them thoroughly, removing coffee oils and residue.

2. Regularly Descale with Vinegar

To maintain your coffee machine’s performance, consider performing a vinegar cleaning cycle every 1-2 months, or as recommended by the manufacturer. Additionally, follow any specific descaling instructions provided in your coffee machine’s manual. Descale your machine by running a vinegar-water mixture through a brewing cycle. Follow with clean water to rinse. Please note that vinegar can be supplemented with a commercial descaling solution or citric acid.

3. Wipe Exterior Surfaces

Regularly wipe down the exterior of the machine with a damp cloth to remove spills and stains. Dry with a microfiber towel to prevent water spots.

4. Replace Filters

If your coffee machine uses water filters, replace them according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. This ensures that impurities in your water don’t affect the taste of your coffee.

5. Empty Reservoir and Basket

After each use, empty the water reservoir and remove used coffee grounds or pods promptly to prevent mould growth and residue buildup.

By following these maintenance tips, you can ensure that your coffee machine consistently delivers the best-tasting coffee and stays in great condition for years to come.

Coffee machines are essential appliances for many households, producing that much-needed cup of coffee to kickstart your day. However, like any other kitchen equipment, coffee machines require regular maintenance to ensure the quality of the brew and the longevity of the machine. 

Fortunately, a clean coffee machine is just a few minutes away if you follow our comprehensive cleaning guide above. With proper care, your coffee machine will continue to serve you delightful cups of java for years to come.

While keeping your coffee machine clean seems like a simple task, we understand that your busy life can sometimes make it challenging to tackle cleaning projects around the house.

That’s where we come in to offer a solution. If you’re in need of help with cleaning your kitchen, including those appliances, or if you’re planning an end-of-lease clean for an upcoming move, the dedicated cleaners at Simply Spotless are here to make things easier for you.

Don’t let cleaning tasks overwhelm you. Take the first step to a cleaner and more organised home by booking our professional home cleaning services today. With Simply Spotless, you can enjoy a sparkling clean home without the hassle.

Book a home cleaning service or end of lease cleaner online instantly!

Book a home cleaning service or end of lease cleaner online instantly!

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