Coffee machines have been growing in global popularity for some time now. In fact, in the USA alone, more than 40% of people have a single-cup brewing system.
It saves money and time and yes, you can brew a great cup of joe that is just as good as your local barista.
Just like any other appliance, your coffee maker will get dirty over time. The more you use it, the dirtier it gets. Eventually, you get to the point where your coffee maker looks like it’s been through hell and back. And guess what? A dirty coffee maker will also make your once delicious coffee not so great anymore.
Hence; it’s important to perform regular cleaning to make sure your coffee maker performs at it’s best and continues to make rich and invigorating coffee.
Why Clean Your Coffee Maker?
Over time, your coffee maker will build up coffee residue and scale (mineral deposits from water) due to regular use. It’s easy to overlook this as a lot of it happens inside the machine, but there are still noticeable symptoms:
- Drip operation will become impaired due to the residue build-up.
- Coffee will begin to taste more bitter and weak. It’ll have an off-taste.
- Mold and bacteria can develop due to leftover coffee grounds that have not been removed. In fact, a study by the National Science Foundation found 50% of households with coffee makers had yeast and mold inside the coffee maker reservoir which holds water.
- Your coffee machine will have to work harder to make the same cup of coffee. It may be louder and make less brew. Over time, this can damage the machine.
Regularly cleaning your coffee maker will avoid these problems and ensure you have great tasting coffee everytime for a long time.
How to Clean Your Coffee Maker
If you use your coffee machine daily (and you probably do), it’s good to clean it that regularly as well. And it doesn’t take a much time as you think.
For a daily clean, make sure to bin the coffee grounds and filter (if applicable). Then wash the components with hot water and dishwashing liquid. You can even pop them in the dishwasher if they are dishwasher safe.
Despite this daily clean, the internal components will still get dirty. And so a deeper more complete monthly clean is required. Manuals may differ depending on the coffee maker, but you’ll need to perform descaling which will remove the build-up of minerals from water usage.
The best way to do this with home components is to use vinegar. The following method is universally acceptable:
- Remove coffee grounds, any water in the pot and if there is a used filter, replace it with a new one.
- Make a solution made of 1 part water to 1 – 2 parts white vinegar and fill the water chamber.
- Run the solution through the machine. Do this twice, however; you can do it more times if you wish. Let the solution sit between each cycle for about 15 mins.
- To get rid of the vinegar taste, run only water through the machine a couple of times.
- After this, rinse the water chamber and carafe.
And there you have it! You’ve just descaled your coffee maker! This method works great for coffee machines using the drip (as is the case for using pods) or the pressure method (typical when using coffee grounds).
If the French press method is your jam, you can simply soak the components in the vinegar and water solution for 15 minutes or so. As always, follow this up with a good rinse.
Combining a monthly descaling with a daily clean is the best way to keep your coffee machine in tip-top shape. If you can’t keep up with this routine, at least perform a full clean once a month.