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How to Clean a Coffee
Maker Using Natural Ingredients

April 11, 2024

If your coffee pot looks worn and your coffee tastes stale, you may be drinking dirty coffee. While you could call in a professional appliance cleaner, learning how to clean a coffee maker is easier than you think. If you want that fresh, aromatic cup of coffee you love, it’s time to learn the basics.

Cleaning vs. Descaling A Coffee Maker

Cleaning a coffee maker removes residues that create buildup and only requires soap and water. On the other hand, descaling removes hard water buildup and stains caused by minerals like magnesium and calcium. Understanding how to descale your coffee machine is a handy DIY skill—so is learning how to remove hard water stains on glass, stainless steel, and other surfaces.

You should also decalcify your coffee maker monthly and clean it after each use. If you want to enjoy delicious coffee with every pot, it’s time to learn how to descale your coffee maker and clean it without the use of abrasive chemicals.

How to Clean Your Coffee Maker

Cleaning your coffee maker after each use may seem like overkill—especially if you’re an avid coffee drinker. But the inside of your coffee maker is dark, damp, and warm—the ideal environment for mold and bacteria to grow. To keep germs and buildup at bay, simply wash your coffee pot and rinse the water chamber. That’s it!

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However, to keep your coffee maker in prime condition, it will need a deep cleaning each week or so. Here’s how to do it:

  • Fill your kitchen sink with hot water and add liquid dish soap formulated to break down grease.
  • Wash the brew basket, carafe, and other pieces in the sink.
  • Rinse the coffee pot and other parts with warm water.
  • Put the pieces aside to air dry while you work on the coffee maker.
  • Unplug your coffee maker and wipe down the exterior, the lid, and the compartment for your brewing basket with a soapy cloth.
  • Wipe away the soapy residue with a clean, damp cloth.
  • Turn the coffee maker upside down over the sink and spray the reservoir with hot water until the water runs clear.
  • Use paper towels to dry the inside of the coffee maker and set it aside with the lid open to let it air dry.
  • Put your coffee maker back together and plug it in.

Follow this routine, and every cup will be as savory and healthy as possible. Now it’s time to learn how to descale a coffee maker naturally.

How to Descale Your Coffee Maker With Natural Ingredients

There are natural cleaning alternatives to nearly every commercial cleaning and disinfecting product, including descalers. You can avoid harsh chemicals when you make your own homemade cleaners for mold, stains, and so much more. To descale a coffee maker, you only need water, a nylon scrub brush, and your homemade descaling solution.

Baking Soda

When you clean a coffee maker and the coffee pot (or carafe) regularly, soap and water should be enough to do the job. But if your coffee pot hasn’t been cleaned in a while, you need more firepower. Baking soda is safe and natural and is a proven DIY descaling solution. The abrasive qualities help baking soda cut through the buildup, plus it’s a natural deodorizer. Here’s how to clean a coffee maker and make it shine again:

  • Pour ½ cup baking soda into your coffee pot and add enough water to create a paste.
  • Use a nylon scrubbing pad to scrub the bottom and sides, then rinse.
  • Pour in a cup of ice, ¼ cup of kosher salt, and about two tablespoons of lemon juice to combat stains.
  • Swirl the coffee carafe around vigorously to let the salt and ice scrub while the lemon juice cuts through oils and residue.
  • Use a nylon scrub pad for stubborn coffee stains to help your cleaning mixture work harder.
  • Rinse, then set it aside to air dry.


Distilled white vinegar removes the buildup in your coffee carafe and cleans and disinfects the water reservoir. Because distilled white vinegar is a natural cleaner, disinfectant, and degreaser, you can use it all over your home. Descaling with vinegar is straightforward when you follow these steps.

  • Fill the reservoir with equal parts vinegar and water and put in a filter.
  • Run a regular brewing cycle and let the hot vinegar and water sit in the coffee carafe for 30 minutes.
  • Pour enough of the descaling solution to cover the bottom of the coffee pot.
  • Use a nylon scrubber to scrub the inside, outside, and bottom of the carafe.
  • Dump everything out and rinse the filter basket and carafe.
  • Put the carafe back, put in a filter, and fill the reservoir with water.
  • Run a regular cycle and repeat until the water runs clear.

You’ve learned how to clean a coffee maker and remove hard water stains—what’s next? Why not get the rest of your small appliances clean and shiny with our handy cleaning guide?

Can You Prevent Scale Buildup in A Coffee Maker?

Knowing how to descale your coffee maker and keep it clean creates a tastier and healthier cup of coffee. But it doesn’t prevent the mineral deposits that build up in your coffee maker daily. Many easy-to-install water filters remove most of the minerals in hard water.

A kitchen sink filter will protect your coffee maker and help you enjoy a better-tasting cup of coffee. Consider a whole-house water filtration system to prevent hard water stains in your dishwasher, tub, and toilet.

The Maids®—Your Partner for Making Cleaning More Manageable

If you follow these coffee maker cleaning routines, you can enjoy a delicious cup of coffee anytime. Whether you use our housekeeping guides or healthy cleaning services, The Maids is your one-stop resource for a cleaner home. Discover a clean you can feel with all your senses—get your free personalized cleaning quote today.

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