You Should Be Cleaning Your Coffee Maker More Often Than You Think

Has your coffee maker started taking longer than usual to brew a pot of coffee? Does your coffee taste oddly burnt, bitter, and not like it's supposed to? Is there a suspiciously sour and moldy smell coming from somewhere in your kitchen? It may be time to clean your coffee maker! If you typically dump used coffee grounds in the bin, then give the brew basket and the coffee pot a quick rinse and call it a day, it's time to reconsider. The Spruce explains that you need to clean your coffee maker more thoroughly and more often than you think.

Coffee grounds contain natural oils that water by itself can't remove, and washing the coffee pot and the brew basket with water does not necessarily mean that they are clean. As a result, The Spruce reports that the coffee residue and mineral deposits leftover from the water will gradually build up causing the coffee maker to clog up and brew bitter coffee.

All of this not only means that you'll be spending big bucks on a new coffee maker sooner than you need to, but you also won't be making the best tasting coffee every day. The Spruce suggests descaling your machine every three months to get rid of mineral deposits in order to keep it clean and working at its best. Or, once a month, if you use hard water and don't wash your coffee pot with soap after each use.

How to clean your coffee maker

When deep cleaning, running a cycle of vinegar will usually do the trick of descaling your coffee maker. Jennifer Rodriguez, the chief hygiene officer at Pro Housekeepers recommended to Martha Stewart that you should be descaling at least once a week. She said to fill the coffee maker's water tank with one part of white distilled vinegar and two parts water. Run the vinegar cycle twice and then fill up the tank with fresh water and run it as many times as it takes to get rid of the taste of vinegar.

In addition to this, washing your brew basket, filter, and coffee pot after each use goes a long way. Wash them with warm water, sponge, and dishwashing liquid, preferably one that is meant to remove oil in particular, suggests The Spruce. If you find that the coffee pot has stubborn coffee stains that refuse to go, Good Housekeeping says to toss in a handful of rice with warm, soapy water and give the pot a good swirl. The rice will scrub out all the gunk from your pot. 

Alternatively, you can also use a tablespoon of baking soda to make your coffee pot sparkle. Sprinkle the baking soda in your pot while it's damp and give it a light sponge scrub. This will also get rid of any leftover vinegar in your pot leftover from the descaling process (via HomeGrounds). All this advice makes it pretty clear that you don't have to wait for your coffee maker to give you a sign for you to clean it!