How to Clean Your Coffee Maker and Not Die Trying

Are you one of those who can’t start the day without coffee? Or are you one of those who need several cups of coffee a day? Regardless, if you’re here it’s because you love coffee and want to know how to clean your coffee maker. 

It doesn’t matter if you have a Chemex, a Moka pot, a cold brew machine, an espresso machine, or some other. Here you will learn how to do it!

Cleaning your coffee maker is essential so that the flavor of your coffee is not altered by the residues of previous brews. On top of that, cleaning your coffee maker regularly will extend its shelf life.  That’s why here are some practical tips so that cleaning your coffee maker is not a problem.

How to clean your coffee maker? 

You probably see your coffee maker as what gives you a coffee full of flavor and aroma. But, cleaning is perhaps something that we leave aside or do not think much about its importance. That’s probably why we never do a deep cleaning.  However, coffee makers require special cleaning.

When you forget to deep clean your coffee maker for a long time, there may be coffee or water stains that are very difficult to remove and can generate permanent marks. Your machine could even break down!

If you have an espresso machine and it has its own cleaning cycle, this won’t be a problem. The coffee maker itself will tell you when you need to decalcify it and you won’t have to do much. Just follow the instructions of the brand, as the cleaning cycle may vary depending on the machine.

However, many coffee makers do not have a cleaning cycle. Therefore, it is important that apart from the daily cleaning, we do a much thorough cleaning from time to time to prevent coffee makers from storing grease, lime, and coffee residues. Let’s see in detail how you should do the quick and deep cleaning.

Quick cleaning of your coffee maker (Every time you use it)

1. Clean the filter

Be sure to clean the ground coffee filter or the tank where you add it very well. If you make coffee all day because you have a coffee shop or just make several cups, you can do it at the end of the day.

You can wash the filter with water and liquid soap. To improve this cleaning process, it is best to use a special brush kit for coffee makers. We’ll see how it works later.

Finally, rinse it very well with enough water and dry it completely so that no water remains to stain the stainless steel.

2. Remove the grounds

If you have an espresso machine, a drip coffee maker, or a hydro pressure machine, these coffee makers have a tray or container to collect the coffee grounds and remains of water. Therefore, it is important that after each use you wash this container very well so that no residues accumulate.

3. Cleaning the jug

You should clean the jug or carafe where the filtered coffee is stored. Whether you have a Moka pot, Chemex, or an espresso machine, you should clean this jug with soap and water after each use. This will prevent it from staining and grease from accumulating in the jug.

4. General cleaning

Constantly clean the external dust of your machine with a damp soft cloth. This will prevent dust from seeping into other smaller parts of the coffee maker and making it more complex to clean.

Deep cleaning of your coffee maker, naturally!

For this deep and more natural cleaning, you will not need to buy many products because you probably already have them at home. This cleaning works great for an espresso machine as well as for any other type of coffee maker. We recommend that you do this cleaning at least once a month.

You will need:

  • Water
  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Liquid dish soap
  • A sponge and/or brushes
  • A soft cloth

Step by step to clean your coffee maker naturally

1. Remove the filter

In some coffee machines such as drip coffee makers, Moka pots, or hydro pressure machines, there is a reusable filter. If your coffee maker is a Chemex, French press, V6O, or other that does not have a reusable filter, skip this step.

Remove the filter and soak it in a mixture of water and liquid dish soap for 20 minutes. Once the time has passed, take it out of the mixture and wash it thoroughly under running water in your dishwasher. Then let it drain and dry completely.

2. Prepare the mixture for cleaning

In a bowl, mix a cup of white vinegar with a cup of water. This will be our cleaning solution. Now, you should add this mixture to the water tank of your coffee maker. For the case of Moka pots, pour this mixture both in the water and in the filtered coffee containers.

For Chemex, V60, or French press coffee makers, pour the mixture into the container where you brew the coffee.

Let the mixture sit for 20 minutes and then turn on your coffee maker so it can deeply clean the entire machine. Once the cycle is over, throw away the liquid solution from your coffee maker. In the case of other coffee machines that are not electric as the French press, the Moka pot, among others, you should do the process as if you were making a coffee but with the cleaning mixture instead.

In the case of an espresso machine, you can make a slight variation. Pour the mixture of water and vinegar and turn it on to pretend to make a coffee. However, do not let all the mixture come out, when it is half of the tank, stop it and let the mixture rest for 20 minutes. Then, turn the machine on again so that the rest of the mixture comes out.

Now, to remove the taste and smell of vinegar, make two cups of hot water. That is, do the process again as if you were going to make two cups of coffee, but only with water. Do it as many times as necessary until it no longer smells like vinegar.

3. External cleaning of your coffee maker

Prepare a mixture of water and baking soda to clean the outside of your coffee maker. With your sponge and/or soft brushes clean all the external parts of your machine. If it already has coffee stains or grease, add liquid soap to the mixture.

Once you have cleaned each part of your coffee maker, both internal and external, remove the mixture with a damp soft cloth. If you want, run another dry soft cloth again to finish drying each part. Or, if you prefer, let it dry completely outdoors.

Deep cleaning of your coffee maker with descaling tablets

This cleaning process is specially designed for espresso or hydro pressure coffee machines that have a cleaning cycle. Using them is very simple. Just add one tablet to the water tank and then select the cleaning cycle of your coffee maker. It’s done! The coffee maker will do the rest of the work.

However, as with natural cleaning, after decalcifying it, you can do another cleaning cycle with only water to remove the remains of the tablet.

Accessories to clean your coffee maker

There are a few accessories you can buy that can help make the cleaning process of your coffee maker easier:

Cleaning brushes

These brushes were designed so that you can clean the smallest and least accessible parts. These types of brushes are thinner and longer so that they reach all places. Typically, they are made of nylon bristles or natural materials that don’t damage your coffee maker.

Anyasen 5-brush set for coffee makers

This kit is perfect for any coffee maker. It includes 1 long handle brush with a spoon at the end, 1 short handle brush, 1 small brush, 1 set of 4 very thin brushes, and a pen for coffee stencils.

All brushes are made with nylon bristles that have the right hardness so they don’t damage or scratch your coffee maker. Its customers rate it with 4.6 stars out of 5 on Amazon.


These tablets are especially for removing lime, which is produced by the water that accumulates in the coffee maker. Normally you will find descaling tablets but they also can be found as a liquid solution.

Usually, for coffee machines that have a cleaning cycle, the brand itself has its own descalers.

Although in the market you can also find generic ones that work for any brand of coffee makers.

Oputec Descaling tablets x 50 units

These tablets are generic so they are compatible with any coffee maker brand. They are German and are recognized for being of excellent quality, with one of the best prices on the market.

They are easy to dissolve and very effective in removing the lime that has been in the coffee maker for a long time. Each tablet comes in individual packaging so that they are not damaged since you will not use them so constantly.

Their customers rate them with 4.5 stars out of 5 on Amazon.

Cleaning tips for your coffee maker

In addition to these quick and deep cleanings, here are some practical tips that will keep your coffee maker clean longer:

  • Store your coffee maker in a place free of moisture and mold. When you store it, it is preferable to remove the lids of the tanks and the filter so that each part is ventilated and does not store moisture.
  • Never store your coffee maker wet or damp. In humidity conditions, many bacteria and fungi are grown, which will not only affect your machine and your coffee, but also your health.
  • Avoid using strong liquids such as disinfectants, degreasers or bleaches to clean the coffee maker.
  • If you have the opportunity to use distilled water to clean your coffee maker, it will be a plus. This water will not leave any stain or impurity at the time of cleaning.


Cleaning your coffee maker is very easy and you won’t need a lot of items or money to do it. Natural cleaning has results almost on the same level as descaling tablets. So be sure to clean it daily and do a deeper cleaning each month. Don’t let lack of cleaning be something that ruins the taste of your coffee or, worse, that ends up spoiling your coffee maker completely.