43 authors | 171 revisions | Last updated: December 20, 2012
Drip filter coffee makers need to be cleaned monthly to remove hard water deposits (scale), leftover coffee oils that become rancid, and other impurities. Washing the pot just isn't going to cut it: what about the internal components? Follow these steps to clean your coffee maker through and through and you'll taste the difference.
- 1Make a mixture of 1 part white vinegar to 2 parts water-- enough to fill the pot. For a stronger solution (which might be necessary if this is the first time you've cleaned your coffee maker since you got it three years ago) make a mixture that is half vinegar and half water instead.
Here are some alternative mixtures:
- a pot's worth of water and two denture tablets. Remember to dissolve the tablets in a separate container of water and not the coffee maker water reservoir. Undissolved tablets can make the rinsing process lengthy. 
- dissolve 1 oz of citric acid in 4 cups of hot water, then add 4 cups of cold water to the mixture.
- store-bought coffee maker cleaners
- straight bleach (for the glass carafe only) will instantly dissolve baked-on coffee. Never mix bleach and vinegar or any acid; the fumes are poisonous.
- Do not use baking soda and warm water; this mixture can clog and ruin your coffee maker! You can resolve this issue by running white vinegar through the coffee maker with 75% success rate
- 2Put a filter in your coffee maker, as usual.
- 3Pour the mixture into the coffee maker where you would normally add water.
- 4Turn the coffee maker on and let the mixture run completely through.
- 5Discard the filter and mixture.
- 6Let the coffee maker sit and cool for 15 minutes while it's off.
- 7Rinse the coffee pot.
- 8Repeat all of the above a second time, but this time with plain cold water. This will make sure all of the vinegar and water solution is completely gone. If short on time, smell the coffee pot and maker after the first rinse. If there is no smell of vinegar left, you can skip the second rinse.
- Instead of a pitcher, you can use the sprayer from your sink to fill the coffee maker without spilling!
- To clean just the pot, do what many restaurants do. Put about two cups of ice, 1/4 cup of rock or table salt, and 1/4 cup of lemon juice (bottled or fresh is fine) and swirl around the pot. Measurements are not that important, just guesstimate. Be sure that the pot is cold before you try this, or you may break the glass pot.
- Never use the coffee pot to pour water into the reservoir. This will transfer oils and impurities from the pot, and eventually give the coffee a nasty taste. Instead, use a pitcher that is reserved for water only.
- A microfiber towel (found in automotive departments) will clean better than paper towels.
- To keep the inside area around basket, filter, lid area clean (from coffee ground spatter) simply place a second filter over the top of the grounds in the first filter. Push second filter down so that spout will clear top of second filter (on many makes of coffee makers) as lid is closed. This keeps interior in pristine condition and doesn't take much time or expense.
- Mr. Clean Magic Rub Eraser (not the bathroom one) is a handy item to use to clean coffee residue off the inside of a glass coffee carafe.
- You can put ice cubes and a little water(enough so you can swirl it around) in pot and swirl them around, for harder stains put some table salt in pot and swirl it around for a few minutes and then rinse.
- Does your pot have hard to reach areas? Use a wooden chopstick with a paper towel to get in there.
- For tough stains, scrub the pot using a paper towel or clean (not soapy) dish towel. Rinse thoroughly.
- Clean a brand new coffee pot prior to using it for the first time.
- Put a glass marble in the water chamber to attract mineral deposits from hard water. Wash it once a week. 
- Never wash the coffee pot with soap. This will bind with the oils deposited by the coffee and will leave a taste behind. Do not wash in the dishwasher for the same reason.
- Some coffee pots are made of tempered glass (i.e. Pyrex brand). This type of glass is stronger than regular glass but can still shatter and cause injury from the pieces. Never move any glass directly from heat to cold.
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In other languages
Deutsch: Wie man eine Kaffeemaschine entkalkt, Español: Como limpiar la cafetera, Italiano: Come Pulire una Macchina da Caffè, Português: Como Limpar uma Cafeteira, Français: Comment nettoyer une cafetière électrique
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