Over time, you’ve probably noticed your coffee is starting to taste a bit different than when you first bought your coffee maker. All too often, I see people taking great care in making their coffee and preparing it right, but never really think about taking the time to put care into cleaning the coffee maker, itself.
Like all appliances, it doesn’t hurt to clean it up from time to time. One of the ways that people do this is by running vinegar through it.
Here at Gamble Bay Coffee, we want to make sure you are always getting the most out of your coffee and your coffee maker. There are a few ways you can do this besides using vinegar, but we find that to be one of the more effective methods.
You can use several types of vinegar to get different results, but regular white vinegar will work just fine.
Why Clean Your Coffee Maker?
There’s a lot of reasons you would want to clean your coffee maker. For starters, your coffee maker generally holds one of the highest concentrations of germs in your kitchen. This can make drinking from it significantly less healthy.
Cleaning it with vinegar helps get rid of that and build ups of grounds and oils. This will help you get a cleaner flow and you’ll waste fewer coffee grounds that way.
It will probably surprise you to know that mold can build up quickly on your coffee maker. It is recommended to take off the small, removable parts and hand wash them after every use. This makes sure that your coffee pot stays cleaner for longer, so you don’t need to fully clean it as often.
Overall, it is a very important part of keeping a clean kitchen. It is best to do a full cycle cleanse with vinegar once a month, so your coffee maker is always at peak efficiency.
The process is fairly simple, but you’ll need to watch it a little to make sure you don’t mess up.
For this method, I would recommend using HEINZ White Vinegar, it is one of the most widely used kinds of vinegar and it will do the job well.
To start off, you’re going to want to make a solution that is an equal amount of vinegar and water. If it is not equal, it will not be as effective.
For the next step, you’re going to want to “brew” the solution about halfway, then turn it off. Let it sit for 30 minutes. This ensures the vinegar has time to do its work on the pot and the machine, so you’re getting the most from it.
After you’ve let the first half sit for 30 minutes, you’ll need to turn the pot back on and let it finish the other half of the cycle. Let it sit for another 30 minutes, then dump it out.
The last portion is easy, just replace the filter and run a full cycle of clean water. After that, you should be good to go. If you still taste a bit of vinegar or an off-taste afterwards, It should help to run an extra water cycle.
Aside from regular vinegar, there are a few different ways you can clean it.
What other Methods can You use?
As I said, there are other ways you can clean your coffee maker. Some of these methods are better than others but they all get the job done.
- Apple Cider Vinegar
For the most part, using apple cider vinegar will have the same effect as using regular white vinegar. The only difference is that apple cider vinegar will leave much more of a taste behind than regular white vinegar will. If you don’t mind cleaning it out a few more times, or can live with the taste for a little while, then cider vinegar will be just fine. This is one of the older cleaning methods.
For apple cider vinegar choices, this Bragg Vinegar would work well.
2. Baking Soda
Using baking soda can be a pretty good alternative to white vinegar if you choose to use it, but it can be a little tricky to avoid drinking baking soda later on. You’ll need to make sure the baking soda is dissolved in warm water before pouring it into the chamber, and that, after cleaning, you thoroughly rinse the pot.
As far as baking soda goes, regular Arm & Hammer Baking soda will be optimal.
Descalers are one of the best things you can use to clean out your coffee pot. Descalers are designed to do this sort of work and can function well if you use the right one. Descalers like this Keurig Descaler or this one are cheap, effective and can save you some hassle in trying to clean.
I genuinely think if you feel like spending the extra cash on descalers, they will be a good way to go as they don’t leave behind the taste like the other options do. The only downside to descalers is they are more of a cost inefficient way to clean your coffee pot, rather than white vinegar, which is both cheap and most of us generally already have it on hand in our kitchens.
Keurig Descalers are some of the more widely used descalers because of how well they work.
How Cleaning Affects It
White vinegar is one of the most commonly used methods to clean coffee makers. Like apple cider vinegar, however, it generally leaves a taste behind.
The vinegar can help clean out the mold and other bacteria that sets in over time from the coffee maker being used. However, aside from using vinegar, you can also dry out your coffee maker every week to keep moisture buildup low. Bacteria and mold thrive in moisture, so this simple little step can really help combat the germs and spores that find their way into your coffee maker.
Another aspect that will affect matters is the kind of water you use to make your coffee. The purer the water is, the less of an issue with buildup you’ll have. Harder water has more minerals and such in it and will clog up the coffee maker worse over time than distilled or soft water will.
Overall, I think you’ll find white vinegar to be the most effective means of cleaning your coffee maker and it benefits your machine in so many ways. There are other options aside from white vinegar, but the most reliable alternative would be descalers. Descalers are cheap and effective at their task, but not as cheap as vinegar.
Considering that white vinegar is something kept in most kitchens, it will generally be more available than descalers, which you’ll have to special order.