How to Clean Coffee Maker with Apple Cider Vinegar

When the time comes to clean the coffee maker, you might discover that you are out of white vinegar unless your kitchen pantry is well-stocked.

However, we are aware that many people go for what seems like an eternity without cleaning their coffee makers. So, when the need arises, you should seize the opportunity.

Of course, it would be wise to get some distilled vinegar to clean your coffee maker. But don’t worry, as apple cider vinegar works well too.

So, on that note, here are a few things you need if you’re thinking of cleaning your coffee maker with apple cider vinegar, and the steps involved in cleaning it.

The Things You Require

Here is a list of things you need before whipping out that bottle of apple cider vinegar:

  • A dry towel
  • A damp towel
  • A sponge
  • Hot soapy water
  • 4 cups of apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
  • Water
  • A dirty coffee maker (duh!)

The Steps Involved

  • First, remove all the content from your coffee maker and run it under warm water. Also, remove all the coffee grounds from the filter.
  • Combine equal amounts of apple cider vinegar and water. As a general rule, fill the carafe with half parts apple cider vinegar and half parts water.
  • Then, turn on your coffee maker for half a cycle. This means starting the cycle and stopping halfway.
  • Then, switch off your coffee maker and let the apple cider vinegar and water sit in it for about 45 to 60 minutes. This will release nasty coffee particles latched onto your coffee machine.
  • Then, turn on your coffee maker and finish the brew cycle.
  • Next, remove the water and apple cider vinegar solution from your coffee maker.
  • After that, turn on your coffee maker and run a completely fresh brew cycle after filling the coffee maker with nothing but warm water.
  • Repeat this process at least three to four times to remove the smell of the apple cider vinegar.
  • Once you’re done, detach the filter basket and carafe and wash them with water separately, typically in a tub of soapy water.
  • This will allow you to remove stains and spots left by apple cider vinegar.
  •  Finally, reassemble your coffee maker and make as many cups of coffee as you want!

Which Vinegar to Use for Cleaning Your Coffee Maker: Apple Cider or Distilled

According to DIYers and coffee lovers, white vinegar is the best way to clean your coffee maker. Doing so will allow you to keep your coffee maker in tip-top condition.

The same applies to cleaning your coffee maker with apple cider vinegar. In fact, both these types of vinegar have a PH of around 2.5 and five percent acetic acid content.

This acidic nature of vinegar cleans and removes grime, water stains, and calcified coffee grounds from your coffee maker.

However, the only difference between the two is that apple cider vinegar has a fruity smell and taste that gets left behind.

This smell can last for weeks and leaches into your coffee whenever you make a fresh cup. In contrast, white vinegar doesn’t leave any distinct smell or flavor inside your coffee maker.

Apple Cider Vinegar Results in Tannins

As mentioned before, you can clean your coffee maker with apple cider vinegar the same way you can with distilled vinegar. However, the former can lead to tannins.

The worst thing is that this will require repeatedly rinsing and cleaning your coffee maker with warm water. After all, this is the same as removing the aroma of coffee from your favorite mug. It will take some time and multiple cleaning sessions.

The trick here is to run a few brew cycles with nothing but water. It will help you quickly remove the apple cider vinegar smell and taste from your coffee maker!

Can I Clean a French Press with Apple Cider Vinegar?

If you own a coffee maker, you probably also own a French press. In fact, you will typically find it in a coffee lover’s arsenal of coffee-making equipment.

So, if your coffee maker requires cleaning, chances are your French press also needs it. But, the million-dollar question is, “can you use apple cider vinegar to clean your French press?”

The short answer to this question is a yes! All you have to do is soak your French press’s fine mesh plunger in a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water for 30 to 60 minutes.  

After that, the final step is to rinse it under cold water for a few minutes. You can also use a soft sponge and soap to remove the smell and taste left behind by the apple cider vinegar.

Tips to Ensure Your Coffee Maker Remains Clean

Taking good care of your coffee maker from time to time will prolong its life and allow you to enjoy a hot cup of Joe whenever you want.

So, on that note, here are a few tips to ensure your coffee maker remains in top-notch condition:

  • Rinse your coffee maker’s carafe in warm water right after using it. But, to take things to the next level, you can fill it up with a mixture of water and detergent and clean it with a soft-bristled brush.
  • Clean mineral build-up once or twice a month. Calcified coffee can impact the functioning of your coffee maker. Plus, it will also make your coffee taste sour.
  • After every coffee-making session, disassemble and thoroughly wash all parts. This means removing coffee grounds, as letting them sit for a long time leads to mold.

A Few Alternative Ways to Clean Your Coffee Maker

Listed below are a few ways to deep clean your coffee maker:

Use Denture Tablets

Denture pills, in the opinion of many coffee maker owners, are excellent cleansers. They aid in removing calcified material and cleaning your coffee maker to produce delicious coffee that tastes as if the equipment was new.

The first thing to do is add water to the carafe. Then, add two to three denture tablets to a separate glass of water.

Then, fill the water chamber with the denture tablet solution. After that, run your coffee maker for one complete brewing cycle. Then remove the denture tablet-water solution from the coffee maker.

Refill the water chamber and perform another complete brewing cycle. This will allow you to wash away any residue from the water-denture tablet solution.  

Use a Combination of White Vinegar and Salt

Combine water, vinegar, and salt. After all, salt has anti-bacterial properties that help eliminate germs and bacteria from your coffee maker.

The cleaning process with vinegar and salt is similar to the steps in cleaning your coffee maker with apple cider vinegar.

Use Baking Soda

When cleaning your coffee maker, you can also use baking soda. However, you do need to be extra cautious while doing so.

The steps involved are similar to when you use white vinegar or apple cider vinegar. Firstly, add a couple of teaspoons of baking soda to warm water.

But, ensure that it is completely dissolved and there are no clumps. Next, the baking soda solution should be poured into your coffee maker’s water tank.

Then, hit the brew button and run your coffee maker for one complete cycle. Once the cycle stops, remove the water from your coffee maker.

Then, run one complete brew cycle again, but only fill the machine with water this time. Repeat the process at least three or four times or until the water becomes clear.

Are Dedicated Coffee Maker Cleaners Worth the Investment?

The short answer to this question is a yes! Of course, these cleaners cost a lot more than a bottle of distilled white vinegar or apple cider vinegar.

However, these cleaners are purposefully manufactured to clean your coffee maker and its various parts. In fact, they are sometimes more effective than vinegar altogether.

But that depends on the product you use. Having said that, if you use water with a high mineral concentration, your coffee maker may become clogged with bigger particle debris.

But don’t panic; these coffee maker cleaners are made specifically to dissolve all the calcium and minerals deposited in your coffee maker.

For example, the market is full of products specifically designed for this purpose. CleanCaf is one well-known coffee maker cleaner you can purchase for very low cost.

It does a good job cleaning the oils left behind by ground coffee. On the other hand, vinegar, whether apple cider or the distilled kind, doesn’t do well when cleaning these oils.

Wrapping Up

You can clean your coffee maker with various cleaning detergents. But, utilizing a natural cleaner such as apple cider vinegar rather than a chemical will keep your coffee maker in tip-top condition.

Furthermore, using natural cleaning solutions like apple cider vinegar to clean household items is also more economical.

Moreover, most homeowners have a bottle of apple cider vinegar in their pantries, making it easily accessible.

Ultimately, it does a good job of removing tough coffee stains, mineral deposits, calcified coffee grounds, and water streaks.

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