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How to Clean a Coffee Pot the Right Way (7 Simple Steps)

woman cleaning coffee pot

Your coffee pot can have a huge impact on the flavor of your coffee, and if you don’t clean it frequently, it can hurt the flavor of your favorite beverage. If you need help cleaning your coffee pot, keep reading as we provide you with a step-by-step guide.

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Before You Begin

First, gather all your supplies. For this project, you will need white vinegar, a scrubbing sponge, coffee filters, a clean rag, and water, all of which you might already have in your home.

Tools and Materials

  • White vinegar
  • Clean rag
  • Coffee filters
  • Water
  • Scrubbing sponge

The 7 Simple Steps to Clean a Coffee Pot Properly

1. Fill the Pot With a White Vinegar Solution

Fill your coffee pot with a solution of equal parts water and distilled white vinegar. The acidic vinegar will help kill bacteria and break up stains created by coffee and calcium buildups. Other types of vinegar are also effective but are more likely to leave a lingering flavor.

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2. Let It Sit

Allow the vinegar solution to remain in the pot for at least 5 minutes to do its work. While most stains will lift quickly, letting the solution sit will help dissolve stubborn calcium deposits and give it more time to kill bacteria.

pouring white vinegar
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3. Fill the Reservoir

After the vinegar solution sits in the pot for a few minutes, fill the reservoir in your coffee maker with it.

automatic drip coffee maker with glass pot
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4. Turn On the Coffee Maker

Place a new filter into your coffee maker, and turn it on to start brewing the vinegar solution, but turn it off again when the pot is about halfway full. Starting the brewing process will increase the temperature of the white vinegar, which will help improve its cleaning and sanitizing capabilities.

woman using coffee maker
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5. Let It Work

Now, let the pot sit for at least 30 minutes to let the high-temperature solution work on the components inside the coffee maker. Once the time passes, you can brew the rest of the pot.

man using coffee maker
Image By: Pixel-Shot, Shutterstock

6. Brew Clean Water

Remove the pot from your coffee maker, and dump the hot cleaning solution down the sink drain. Then, fill the pot with clean water, pour it into the reservoir, and turn the pot on to run the clean water through the system to rinse it out. We also recommend running a second pot of clean water through the system to make sure no vinegar is still in the machine.

woman pouring water in coffee maker
Image Credit: Dasha Trofimova, Shutterstock

7. Scrub the Pot

Wipe down the inside of your pot with a clean washcloth to remove any contaminants that remain. Wipe down the outside of the pot, using a scrubbing sponge if necessary, to remove any caked-on debris. It’s also a good opportunity to carefully look over your pot for chips or cracks and signs of wear and tear.

Scrubbing burned pot_Purino_Shutterstock
Image Credit: Purino, Shutterstock

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How Often Should I Clean My Coffee Pot?

To keep your pot looking new and prevent stains from building up, we recommend giving the pot a quick wipe-down after every use. Clean the entire system with a vinegar solution every 6–8 weeks.

Should I Use a Commercial Cleaner to Clean My Coffee Pot?

While a commercial cleaner, like bleach, is fine to use on the pot if you rinse it well, you shouldn’t use harsh chemicals in your coffee maker.

How Long Will My Coffee Maker Last?

The average lifespan for most modern drip coffee makers is about 5 years, but it will depend on how much you use it and what brand you buy.

woman drinking coffee
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Other Tips and Tricks

  • Don’t let coffee grounds sit in your filter because the humidity can increase the risk of bacteria or mold growth.
  • Rinse off any removable parts each time you use the machine.
  • Don’t let coffee sit in the pot too long, or it will stain the glass.
  • Keep the reservoir open for 1–2 hours after you clean the pot each day to let excess humidity escape.

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Cleaning your coffee pot is easy when using white vinegar and water. The vinegar is slightly acidic, so it’s perfect for breaking up stains and sanitizing the glass. Running the solution through your coffee maker will help clean and sanitize the internal components without requiring manual scrubbing. After a few cycles through the machine, you can wipe the pot with a clean cloth to make it look new again. Quickly rinsing and wiping out the pot after each use, removing used grounds from the filter, and leaving the reservoir lid open for a short time to enable moisture to escape can help keep the equipment clean and running properly. Repeat the vinegar treatment every 6–8 weeks to keep your morning coffee tasting great.

Featured Image Credit: Kamil Macniak, Shutterstock


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