Good coffee depends not only on the type of bean but also on how clean the coffee maker is. Limescale contained in drinking water is deposited in the coffee maker, as do coffee residues and other contaminants. These not only have a negative impact on the taste but also unnecessarily drive up electricity costs because the heat from the heating coil must first penetrate the thick layer of lime first.
Every coffee maker should be cleaned once a month. With these tips, you can clean your coffee maker in next to no time and get the coffee you can enjoy every time.
How to clean a coffee maker daily
Even if you plan to thoroughly clean the coffee maker every 1-2 weeks, you should also pay attention to certain things during daily use. The following routines help to keep the coffee maker in good condition and to continue enjoying coffee:
Water tank (regardless of the device type)
Fill up the water tank fresh every day! Very important: pour out old water beforehand and rinse the container briefly with fresh water.
Always fill the water tank of your coffee maker directly from the tap or with a tank that has only been filled with water. If you use the coffee pot to fill it yourself, coffee residues get into the coffee maker and contaminate it.
If you use a filter coffee maker, you should make sure to remove the coffee filter from the coffee maker immediately after the brewing process and dispose of it so mold spores don’t stand a chance!
Coffee grounds container
The coffee grounds container in a fully automatic coffee maker should be completely emptied, cleaned, and, above all, dried off every day. The moist and warm environment in connection with the coffee residues otherwise provides the perfect breeding ground for mold and germs.
And since the collecting container is located inside the machine, mold spores and the like can spread throughout the entire coffee maker machine. So please always keep the container empty!
Drip tray/overflow container
This bowl under the drip grid, which not only catches water from washing processes but also coffee drops, is also a magnet for bacteria. Daily emptying and rinsing with clear water should be part of the daily routine!
How to clean the filter coffee maker
Filter coffee makers are usually easy to clean due to their simple technology. Items to clean include:
- Filter holder
- Coffee pot
- Water tank
- Hot water pipe
Many of the components can simply be put in the dishwasher for cleaning. Alternatively, you can rinse the filter holder, the coffee pot, and the water tank – if they are removable – remove any cleaning agent residues with running water and then dry them off before you put the coffee machine back together.
If, on the other hand, the water tank is permanently fixed, you should wipe it out with a clean, damp cloth to remove any deposits. You can then dry it off with a lint-free cloth.
Many devices have drip protection on the filter holder. Nonetheless, dripping coffee can contaminate the heating plate and burn itself into it. As a rule, the brown stains can be removed with a damp, soft cloth and a little washing-up liquid.
Tip: Be careful not to use too much moisture and then rub the plate dry. Otherwise, water and cleaning agent can run under the heating plate and damage the coffee maker.
The area around the hot water outlet, from which the heated water enters the filter, can also become very dirty. This is where coffee powder is deposited that splashes up during preparation due to the dripping water.
Finally, you should wipe the outside of the coffee maker case with a damp cloth to remove dust and coffee stains.
How to clean a capsule coffee maker
Cleaning a Nespresso and other capsule coffee makers is usually simple:
- Clean the capsule cage (the opening in which the coffee capsule is placed) regularly.
- Do not leave used capsules in the coffee machine for a long period of time.
- A collecting container for coffee capsules should also be emptied and cleaned daily. Otherwise, mold may form in it.
If your Nespresso has a milk system, use the cleaning program to clean the relevant lines. In addition, a separate milk container should always be kept in the refrigerator and only be removed for a short time for preparation.
Descaling regularly increases the service life of the coffee maker
Yes – it’s annoying. Nobody is happy when the display on the fully automatic machine calls for a descaling process again. But at least you are automatically reminded here. The simpler filter coffee makers rely on us to think about this cleaning process by ourselves!
And why is this so important? Because limescale deposits in hoses, on heating coils, or in water tanks reduce functionality!
The hoses in a fully automatic machine can become clogged and make it completely unusable.
A calcified heating coil in the filter coffee maker can be the reason why the water is no longer heated properly. All consequences that please no one. So we have to descale the coffee maker.
Descaling the coffee machine
Many fully automatic coffee machines not only have descaling tablets especially recommended by the manufacturer but also automatically remind you that the machine needs to be descaled. Once you have the tablet, then you often run through certain programs with the right descaler.
How to clean a coffee maker with commercial cleaners
A common decalcifier for coffee machines can be bought in every drugstore or supermarket, proving to be quick and effective. According to the instructions on the packaging, the liquid or powder detergent is mixed with a certain amount of water and poured into the water tank of the coffee machine.
During the subsequent brewing process, the descaler cleans the inside of the machine. If necessary, the process must be repeated.
Tip: Always put a filter in the filter chamber.
Descaling with home remedies
It is entirely possible to clean a filter coffee maker with home remedies such as vinegar essence or citric acid. In general, these agents can be used to loosen calcifications very well. The following instructions work in a similar way to the kettle, for example. However, we would like to point out that many manufacturers advise against decalcifying with these agents.
Home remedies to clean the coffee maker
Of course, you will find detailed information on cleaning the device in the operating instructions for your coffee machine. Well-tried home remedies are equally efficient and, above all, inexpensive. They attack the material and the seals of your filter coffee machine far less than conventional cleaning agents from the drugstore.
The choice of ingredients for this varies, but the mode of action is the same. The acid loosens limescale and other deposits and rinses them out during the brewing process.
Always put a filter in the filter chamber of your coffee maker, since it also catches coarser limescale residues. After using this home remedy, you should run the coffee maker several times with clear water.
Citric acid to clean the coffee maker
Mix about 30-35 ml citric acid with eight cups of cold water. After the acid has dissolved, put the mixture in the coffee maker and do a brewing process.
Vinegar to clean the coffee maker
Fill the coffee maker’s water tank with two cups of water and one cup of vinegar essence. Before you switch on the coffee maker, please insert a clean filter to catch dirt and limescale. After starting the brewing process, you should wait until about half of the liquid has run through and then turn off the machine. This means that residual liquid remains in the hoses and now has some time to work.
The process should now rest for almost half an hour. You can then switch the coffee maker on again and allow the residual liquid to flow through completely.
Tilt away the vinegar-water mixture and discard the filter. Then fill the water tank with clear water (maximum number of cups) and let this run through the coffee maker so that no vinegar residues remain in the machine and make the next coffee inedible. Complete! The coffee machine is now descaled.
Denture cleaner for a coffee maker
Similar to the use of vinegar, dissolved denture cleaning tabs also clean your coffee machine excellently. Two tablets per liter of water are sufficient for this. Dissolve the tabs beforehand and then put them in the water tank. Here, too, at least one brewing process is necessary.
Don’t forget to take care of the jug and the outside of the coffee maker
Often too little attention is paid to the jug and the housing of the coffee machine. The glass jug can be excellently freed of deposits with dissolved denture cleaning tabs.
Commercially available household soda when dissolved in hot water also demonstrates its capabilities. This mixture is also suitable for removing external dirt from the coffee maker such as coffee stains or grease deposits from the kitchen. Always wipe with a damp cloth.
Important: The device should be unplugged when cleaning the exterior. Nowadays, many coffee maker details can also be put in the dishwasher. Take a look at the operating instructions or pay attention to this when buying a new device. That makes your work easier.