How to clean an automatic coffee maker

Even the best-kept coffee maker can turn out to be the most dangerous appliance in your home. Not only does it provide a perfect breeding ground for coliform bacteria and mold, but it’s also prone to malfunctioning. Keeping this in mind, we talk about how to clean an automatic coffee maker.

Why It Is Important To Clean Your Coffee Maker

automatic coffee makerEven the most advanced coffee maker needs to be cleaned regularly in order to remove leftover coffee oils and water deposits. However, a 2011 NSF study found that most people still don’t consider their favorite machine a breeding ground for dangerous microorganisms. But studies prove otherwise.

By being moist and generally warm, these all-important machines can house colonies of dangerous microorganisms which can cause sickness if left unchecked Yet according to the National Coffee Association, a good number of single-serve coffee brewers forget to clean their appliances on a regular basis.

But much as it is important to keep your coffee maker clean, the question you should ask yourself at this point is if you’re doing it correctly or not. Take a look at the following steps and make necessary improvement.

Get the Systems Running For a Thorough Job


  • Rag
  • Bleach
  • White vinegar
  • Water

Begin by removing your old coffee filter and any coffee grounds that may be stuck in your machine. To ensure the machine is free from any remnants, brew some fresh water and collect it in the jar. Dispose this water and don’t use it for the next step.

In a separate jar, prepare a mixture of cold water with vinegar. Ideally, you should combine 2/3 water and 1/3 vinegar – this is just strong enough to kill resilient bacteria that may inhabit your machine. Mix the two (avoid using baking soda as it may clog your machine).

Time to Run the Water-Vinegar Solution through the System

Put a fresh coffee filter as usual then pour your vinegar solution, as you would add water when preparing a cup of coffee. Once again, turn the coffee maker on and brew the mixture until it completely runs through. Discard this mixture along with the filter and leave the machine to cool for about 20 minutes (by turning it off).

Giving the Third and Final Session

Your machine should be free from all sorts of dangerous microorganism by this time. However, we need to make sure it is safe for your family to use once again. So in that case, you will need to run two more rounds of fresh water (pure water, not mixed with any other solution).

This can be done through the usual process of adding a new filter and pouring water just the same way you would do when preparing a cup of coffee. Check the water in the jar for any deposits and if clean proceed to the final step.

Apart from cleaning the interior of your system, it is also a good idea to wipe the outside. The best way to go about this is by dipping a clean cloth in damp water and carefully wiping the surface(s) of the brewing element.


Just like any other appliance in your house, your coffee maker is not immortal – it requires a regular bath. A once per month clean-up is recommended for the entire machine while a per-use schedule is encouraged for the removable parts.