September 2, 2022
Does your favorite cup of coffee taste a little bitter lately? Then it might be time to remove the gritty, grimy buildup inside your coffee machine. We’re focusing on how to clean the classic drip coffee pot and the popular Keurig.
Before you brew the perfect cup of caffeine, you want to ensure that the coffee maker responsible for your morning cup of Joe is clean. Think for a moment; when was the last time you properly cleaned your coffee maker?
Some of the tell-tale signs of a dirty coffee maker are mineral buildup and oily sludge that form on the inner workings of the coffee maker and inside the pot. You may notice stains and grinds gumming up during the brewing process, producing a bitter (and even gritty) taste.
But aside from the flavor, the germs and bacteria you cannot taste (or see) may pose a bigger problem for your health. Per a study by NSF International, coffee makers are among the top ten germiest places in your home.
Filled water reservoirs that are left sitting (standing water) may grow yeast and mold, which can cause infections or illness. So, as you can imagine, a dirty coffee maker could cause more damage than you think. Thankfully, you can learn how to clean your coffee pot to look brand new.
If you brew a pot of coffee every day, then plan on cleaning your coffee maker at least once a month. You may only need to give it a scrub every few months if you are an occasional caffeine consumer.
Regardless of timelines and frequency of use, any visible buildup, grime, or funky taste should be a red flag that it’s time to clean your coffee maker.
Let’s walk through the process behind cleaning a classic drip coffee pot and a Keurig. Keep in mind that no matter what type of coffee maker you use, you’ll need to allow time for the solution to work, so don’t try to do this right before you need to brew a fresh cup.
To clean your drip coffee maker, start filling the water reservoir with water and vinegar solution. Create a 50/50 ratio of clean water and distilled white vinegar, adjusting the ratio as needed. The vinegar works to sanitize the coffee maker and carafe, dissolving any mineral deposits as well.
Place an empty filter in the basket and turn on the brewer. Halfway through the brewing cycle, turn off the coffee maker to let the vinegar solution soak in the carafe and reservoir for at least 30 minutes. The longer you let it soak, the more time it has to cut through minerals and buildup.
After the soaking time has passed, complete the brewing cycle, toss the filter, and pour out the rest of the vinegar solution. Refill the reservoir with clean water only and then run at least two more brewing cycles to flush the vinegar scent.
Wash the pot with soap and water.
Cleaning a Keurig follows a similar procedure as the drip maker. Start by scrubbing any exterior pieces. The removable reservoir, drip tray, drip tray cover, and the K-cup piece can be removed and hand washed.
Take an old toothbrush or scrubber and remove any stuck coffee grounds from the K-cup holder. If you notice any crusty white spots, that indicates limescale, so you should dab it with white vinegar and then wipe it clean.
Reassemble the Keurig and then begin the descaling process. Do NOT insert any pods, and DO put a large mug or container on the tray to catch the drip. If using vinegar and water, create a 50/50 mixture and fill the water reservoir to the max fill line.
Turn on the Keurig machine and select the largest cup setting, allowing the solution to run through the machine until you see a message to add more water.
Dump out the reservoir and refill it with clean water. Run at least two more cycles with clean water only to ensure any vinegar is flushed out of the Keurig.
Follow the same steps if using a descaling solution.
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