How should I clean my coffeemaker?
How to Clean a Coffee Maker
The cleaning and maintenance of your coffee maker really should not be overlooked, even if you are just brewing with a simple drip coffee maker. Over a period of time, mineral build-up and coffee residue can cause your coffee machine to brew slower and may even alter the taste of your coffee. Regular maintenance and care should begin after each use, like wiping off the heating plate (after it's cooled, of course) to remove any coffee that may have dripped or spilled during use and dried there.
Too much accumulation can keep the warmer plate from reaching its designated optimal temperature, and the burnt coffee drippings can also create a burnt odor next time you start up the coffee machine. Some of the more high-quality machines may have its own water filter installed inside the reservoir to clean the water supply inside the coffee brewer. Always take note of when you installed the last filter cartridge in your coffee maker, so you can replace it according to the manufacturers instructions. If the filter is left too long it may clog up the water supply, slow down the water flow, and give you a poor brew. If your coffee doesn't brew hot enough, you may need a new heating element for your coffee maker (the one that heats the water inside, not the warming plate). Depending on the make of your coffee pot, you may be able to replace it yourself if you are a mechanically inclined person who is good with tools. However, it's probably not worth the effort if you have an inexpensive machine, since the element and the trouble would outweigh the cost of a new coffee maker. Turn the coffee machine off when not in use, or at least turn off the warming plate (if it has a separate power switch). The life of the warming plate element will last much longer if it's not used excessively, or left on when not in use. Besides, any coffee that has been sitting out in the coffee pot for too long is going to be bitter anyway so why bother keeping it warm.
The Best Way to Clean a Coffee Pot ( Residential Use)
Cleaning your coffee brewer once every 2 months or so is a good idea. You should also plan on giving the inside of your coffee maker a good thorough cleaning. The classic, time honored way of doing this is using vinegar. It really does work! The acid in the vinegar naturally dissolves and eats away any minerals that have left a crusty built-up inside. Vinegar is ideal for this job. If your area has very hard water, you may want to run a vinegar mixture through the coffee brewer every month rather than 2 months. To make your own cleaning mixture, use 1 part vinegar and 2 parts water (a 12 cup machine would have 8 cups water and 4 cups vinegar) and fill the coffee maker to its capacity. Turn on your coffee maker and let it run through a complete brewing cycle, without any coffee or filters in place (including the internal water filter, if your machine has one). When the vinegar brew cycle is finished, dump the vinegar water and then cycle your coffee brewer two more times using only clean water to clear out any remaining vinegar.
Tip: For cleaning any coffee stains from a glass pot, silverware, or carafe use a little baking soda and a tiny bit of water to rub out the stains without scratching the surface. Baking soda works like magic removing coffee stains! These suggestions are not particularly time-consuming or expensive, so cleaning and maintenance of your coffee maker should be part of your regular cleaning routine. It would be a shame to brew up a pot of good coffee, for some guests in your home, only to have it taste bad because the inside of your coffee machine was dirty or clogged.