How to clean coffee maker with vinegar

Step-by-step guide for using vinegar to clean your coffee maker
  Reading time 6 minutes

Cleaning your coffee maker with vinegar is a simple, cost-effective way to ensure a fresh-tasting cup of coffee every time. The process involves a few straightforward steps that help remove mineral buildup and coffee oils that can affect the flavor of your coffee. In this article, we’ll walk you through the complete process of cleaning your coffee maker with vinegar and answer some frequently asked questions.

Why Clean Your Coffee Maker?

Regular cleaning of your coffee maker is crucial for several reasons. First, mineral deposits from water can build up over time, affecting the performance of your coffee maker. Second, leftover coffee oils can become rancid, negatively impacting the taste of your coffee. Third, routine cleaning helps ensure the longevity of your machine.

Neglecting your coffee maker can lead to unpleasant flavors, poor performance, and even potential health risks due to mold and bacteria buildup. By following simple cleaning steps, you can avoid these issues and enjoy delicious coffee every day.

Gathering Your Supplies

Before you start the cleaning process, it’s important to gather all necessary supplies. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • White vinegar
  • Water
  • A clean, lint-free cloth
  • A sponge or brush
  • Dish soap

Having these items on hand will make the cleaning process easier and more efficient.

Step-by-Step Cleaning Process

Cleaning your coffee maker with vinegar is straightforward. Follow these steps for a thorough cleaning:

  1. Empty the coffee maker: Remove any remaining coffee and filters from the machine.
  2. Prepare the vinegar solution: Mix one part white vinegar with one part water. For most machines, you’ll need about 4 cups of the solution.
  3. Fill the reservoir: Pour the vinegar solution into the coffee maker’s water reservoir.
  4. Run the brew cycle: Turn on the coffee maker and allow it to run a brewing cycle. This helps the vinegar solution pass through the internal components, breaking down mineral deposits and coffee oils.
  5. Pause mid-cycle: Halfway through the brewing process, turn off the coffee maker and let it sit for about 30 minutes. This allows the vinegar to work its magic on the stubborn buildup.
  6. Complete the cycle: After the 30-minute pause, turn the coffee maker back on and let the cycle finish.
  7. Rinse: Empty the vinegar solution from the carafe and rinse it thoroughly. Refill the reservoir with fresh water and run two or three more cycles to ensure all the vinegar is completely flushed out.
  8. Clean external parts: Wipe down the exterior of the coffee maker and clean the carafe, filter basket, and any other removable parts with a sponge, dish soap, and water.

Following these steps will help you maintain a clean coffee maker, leading to better taste and longer machine lifespan.

Effective method to descale your coffee machine with vinegar

Additional Tips for Maintaining Your Coffee Maker

In addition to regular vinegar cleanings, there are other steps you can take to keep your coffee maker in top condition:

  • Use filtered water: This reduces mineral buildup in your coffee maker.
  • Clean removable parts regularly: Rinse and wash the carafe, filter basket, and lids after each use to prevent coffee and oil buildup.
  • Descale every 1-3 months: Depending on your usage and water hardness, perform a deep cleaning with vinegar every 1-3 months.
  • Replace the water filter: If your coffee maker has a built-in water filter, replace it as recommended by the manufacturer.

By incorporating these practices, you can ensure your coffee maker remains clean and functional for years to come.


Cleaning your coffee maker with vinegar is a simple yet effective way to maintain both the taste of your coffee and the longevity of your machine. Following these steps and additional maintenance tips will help you enjoy fresh, flavorful coffee every day. Regular cleaning doesn’t take much time but offers significant benefits, making it a worthwhile routine to adopt.


1. How often should I clean my coffee maker with vinegar?

It’s recommended to clean your coffee maker with vinegar every 1-3 months, depending on your usage and the hardness of your water.

2. Can I use other types of vinegar to clean my coffee maker?

White vinegar is the best option, as it’s both effective and food-safe. Avoid using other types of vinegar, as they may leave unwanted flavors or residues.

3. Is it safe to run vinegar through my coffee maker?

Yes, running diluted vinegar through your coffee maker is safe and helps remove mineral deposits and coffee oils. Just ensure you rinse the machine thoroughly afterward.

4. Can vinegar damage my coffee maker?

When used properly, vinegar will not damage your coffee maker. Be sure to follow the proper dilution and rinsing steps to avoid any potential issues.

5. What if my coffee still tastes odd after cleaning?

If your coffee still tastes odd after cleaning, try running additional fresh water cycles to ensure all vinegar residue is completely removed. If the issue persists, consider cleaning the removable parts more thoroughly or using filtered water.