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How to Clean a Coffee Maker with and without Vinegar

Majority of the world loves their morning cup of coffee. The problem is that we often – due to our busy lifestyles and other priorities – don’t have time to properly clean our coffee makers like we should. In fact, many of us can admit the fact that we haven’t really given our coffee maker a deep clean since bringing it home.

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It’s definitely time to address that situation and take the time to properly clean your coffee maker. The good news is, this is something you can be done easily with household items that you can find any any convenience or grocery store. There are two ways to clean your coffee maker:

  • With vinegar
  • Without vinegar

Which one is better?

Cleaning your coffee maker with vinegar is great for those who remember the days when vinegar was a main cleaning ingredient for all household chores. It is sanitary and easily accessible. It gives a clean scent.

Cleaning your coffee maker without vinegar is a great option if you dislike the smell of vinegar.

Often, too, the smell lingers for a while after and requires you to do a little more work at the end of the cleaning process (as we will learn about).

Essentially, cleaning with or without vinegar is your personal choice. If you are unsure of which method will work for you, it’s recommended that you try both ways and then decide for yourself.

Cleaning your coffee maker with vinegar

Getting your coffee maker ready for cleaning is the first step. Clean out the carafe and the basket. Make sure all of the coffee grounds are cleaned out so that you have a clean slate. Then, arm yourself with these objects:

  • Water
  • Vinegar

It’s that simple. Fill the carafe with half parts vinegar and half parts water. Fill the coffee maker to the maximum setting and put a clean filter in the basket. Start the coffee maker and allow it to do half of a cycle before you stop it.

Without touching anything, let the coffee maker sit mid-cycle for about an hour. This will give the vinegar time to do its sanitizing magic. After the hour is up, start the cycle up again and let it

Once it cools, dump the solution out and fill the carafe with water again. This time only put water in, the vinegar has done it’s job. Start the coffee maker and let it do a whole cycle. When it has finished, get a fresh carafe full of water and do it again.

The key with this step is to make sure that you keep rinsing the coffee maker out until you get the vinegar smell to dissipate. It will take three or four cycles. Make sure you let the coffee maker sit for about fifteen minutes in between brew cycles so that it can cool properly.

Cleaning your coffee maker without vinegar

This is a method that those who dislike vinegar, or who are looking for a fresh way to clean, prefer. As with the previous method, make sure your coffee maker is clean of grounds and other debris. You will need:

  • Water
  • Lemon juice (either concentrate, or from freshly squeezed lemons)

You will follow the similar steps as the process above, excepting the fact that you don’t have to wait quite as long with the lemon juice as you would with the vinegar. This is a pro to many out there who don’t have time to do a cleaning like this.

Fill the carafe with half parts lemon juice and half parts water. Fill the coffee maker to the maximum setting and put a clean filter in the basket. Start the coffee maker and allow it to do half of a cycle before you stop it.

Without touching anything, let the coffee maker sit mid-cycle for about twenty to thirty minutes. The acid in the lemon juice will remove the build up in the inside of the coffee maker, so the lemon has to have some time to do its job. Start the coffee maker up and let the cycle finish after the correct amount of time has passed.

Once it cools, dump the solution out and fill the carafe with water again. This time only put water in. Start the coffee maker and let it do a whole cycle. When it has finished, get a fresh carafe full of water and do it again.

As discussed previously, the key with this step is to make sure that you keep rinsing the coffee maker out until you can no longer smell the lemon juice. Since this smell is not as strong as that of vinegar, it may only take 2 cycles for this to happen. Make sure you let the coffee maker sit for about fifteen minutes in between brew cycles so that it can cool properly.

Despite what you may have been led to believe, the coffee maker needs to be cleaned regularly to ensure that everything stays in working order. Moreover, having a coffee maker that is filled with mould and calcium build up can be very hazardous for your health. Lastly, having a cup of coffee from a coffee maker that hasn’t been cleaned properly is just disgusting. Here are three advantages of cleaning your coffee maker properly:

  •  Better tasting coffee
  •  Better health (the build up can lead to illness)
  •  A better working coffee machine (if not cleaned properly, it will break and wear down sooner than expected)

Conclusion

Cleaning your coffee maker is not something that takes lot of time or knowledge. It is interesting that many people do not clean the makers when they are such prominent parts of our lives.

The good news is that now you have all of the tips and instructions to make sure that you and your coffee maker stay healthy. The only question that remains now is: which method will you choose?

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