How to Clean Coffee Maker with Vinegar? Updated 2023

Coffee makers are the backbone of many homes. Everyone needs a coffee maker to have their morning cup of joe to start their day off on the right foot. But once you have used your coffee maker for a while, it will get dirty and gross-looking; that’s when people want to buy new ones! However, there is an easy way to clean your coffee maker with vinegar instead of replacing it altogether. Keep reading this blog post if you would like to know how!

how to clean coffee maker with vinegar

What is the Ratio of Vinegar to the Water to Clean a Coffee Maker?

What you need:

  • water
  • vinegar
  • a clean cloth or paper towels
  • a salt
  • a small bowl


What to do: Step by Step

Fill the coffee pot with equal parts water and vinegar. Turn the machine on and allow it to brew the mixture. Turn off the coffee maker, discard this solution (don’t pour down the sink unless you know your pipes can handle vinegar), and unplug or turn off power at the electrical outlet.

  • Wipe the interior of the carafe with a clean cloth or paper towels. Sprinkle coarse salt inside the inner pot if there are mineral deposits present.
  • Pour one cup of fresh water into the reservoir, followed by two cups of white distilled vinegar.
  • Run an entire cycle, as usual, using only water and no ground coffee. Discard both batches of brewing solution once complete before adding any coffee grounds for best taste results!
  • Repeat steps three more times until all traces of residue have been removed from the system for optimal flavor performance even after multiple uses without descaling.
  • Rinse thoroughly with clean water before making your next pot of coffee.
  • Store the vinegar mixture in a separate container for further use if desired rather than pouring down the sink.
  • Pour fresh water into the reservoir and run the brew cycle one more time to flush out any vinegar that may still be present.

Tips: It is important to note that cleaning a coffee maker with vinegar takes time. Clean coffee maker with vinegar ratio of 50/50 mix of cold tap water and distilled or filtered white vinegar after brewing cycle runs through once typically.

For the best result, let it sit overnight, then rerun the brew cycle without any pod or filter basket inside the brewer. Rinse thoroughly before making another pot of coffee!

Keep the coaster under the carafe during this period to avoid drips onto countertop surfaces because the rubber gasket will be wet from a solution that has been used to clean out all parts, including the metal holder were black/copper the metal holder where the coffee comes out of.

Once you do that, your coffee maker should be sparkling and clean like new! If, for some reason, the vinegar did not work to get rid of the stains in your machine, try using a special cleaner designed explicitly for this purpose.

how to clean coffee maker with vinegar

Coffee Maker Cleaning Tips

When you have your coffee maker ready, fill the tank with about half of an inch of regular white vinegar. Then plugin and turn on the machine just like normal. It will start making a brew with only vinegar (not coffee). Let it run through its cycle until it finishes brewing into one cup.

Now comes the cleaning part: Turn off the power to stop everything from running/brewing for now; then unplug it! Do not remove any parts yet but use this time to wipe down where particles might be lurking around certain areas while they are still wet, these include drip trays, carafes decanters, etc.

Rin out all parts under warm running water, if possible. If not, use a damp cloth to wipe them down until they are shiny and free of any particles/residue.

Carefully remove the top portion of the cover on your coffee maker for you to clean its inner works. This part has moving parts, so be extra careful when handling this section!

Use an old toothbrush with some rubbing alcohol mixed in water to rub away at residue inside where pieces attach gently; then rinse thoroughly under warm running water again. Allow all components (including ones covering mechanism) to dry completely before reassembling – do NOT put anything back together yet since we have one more step left.

Now carefully fill up with pure white vinegar once more without any coffee grounds put into the machine. Place the top back on securely and plug it in again to brew one more vinegar cycle only (not with any water or coffee).

Once this step is complete, turn off power at outlet/breaker box, then unplug unit AGAIN before removing parts once more for the last rinse under warm running water. Shake out excess moisture by hand after rinsing all surfaces down; leave the cover off until thoroughly dry inside – about 24 hours depending on humidity levels where you are located, etc.

Finally! You can now reassemble your new ‘clean’ maker without the worry of residue build-up interfering with smell or taste production since there were absolutely no particles left behind whatsoever from previous steps!

Let air dry entirely if possible, or use a clean lint-free cloth or paper towels to dry it thoroughly before running the first new brew cycle with fresh water only (no coffee ground). This step is crucial! If you don’t do this after cleaning your machine, all of that vinegar will leave a film on the inside (like how iron skillets become rusty if not dried properly after washing).


Be sure NOT to run any solution through the system anymore, including plain old tap water without pure white vinegar mixed in since particles/residue left behind can impact future taste results. Discard the initial two batches of brewed solution and carafe contents once per month for the best overall performance over time. Do NOT mix cleaner solutions simultaneously, as this can damage your system.

If you don’t have time to do the steps listed above, you can also just run a cycle of freshwater through your system after it has cooled down entirely without vinegar or coffee grounds present. This will help prevent residual flavors from previous brews from affecting future ones; however, no actual ‘deep’ cleaning action only takes place with this method, so be aware!


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