Whether you’re using a French press, a pour over coffee maker, a drip machine, or any other coffee brewing method, what most step-by-step guides leave out is the clean up after. But cleaning your coffee maker is essential.
If you don’t keep your coffee maker clean, this will have an effect on the flavor of your brew. All the old oils from your last brew which are going rancid with age will be stuck to the inside of your carafe or the fibers of your reusable filter.
Then, when you start to add hot water for your next brew, those rancid oils will seep into your coffee. Think of it like pouring fresh milk into a glass that still has residues of old milk, now gone sour.
If you wouldn’t do that, you shouldn’t use unwashed equipment for brewing coffee. A thorough clean is just as important to a good cup of coffee as the brewing itself. There are many different ways to clean a coffee maker.
Some are dishwasher safe which is probably exactly what you wanted to hear. But even hand washing doesn’t have to be exhausting or tedious work. The best way to clean a coffee maker depends on what you are using. In this article, we will show you a few ways to clean a coffee maker so that you can take your pick.
First, drip coffee makers:
Cleaning a French press is pretty straight forward although the filter on the plunger can be tricky. Wash out the cylindrical chamber with warm, soapy water and a sponge as you would any other dish (dump out the grounds first!). For the plunger, first check if it’s dishwasher safe. If so, problem solved. If not:
For a pour over carafe with a reusable filter, follow these steps if it isn’t dishwasher safe:
There are other kinds of brewing equipment available but the basic idea is the same. You want hot water and a cleaning agent (soap, vinegar, or baking soda) to help remove the coffee oils so that they don’t impart a rancid taste to your next brew.
Vinegar is probably not the first thing you think of using in your coffee maker. You might hesitate thinking that the vinegar might leave a sour after taste No need to fear as long as you rinse it properly.
Vinegar is an extremely effective cleaning solution that will help remove all those old coffee oils and any other unwanted grime that could be ruining your coffee.
The advantages of using (distilled white) vinegar include:
You don’t need to do a vinegar wash every single time but we recommend doing it once every 4-6 weeks. This will greatly extend the life of any equipment you have and keep your brew consistently delicious.
Just make sure you thoroughly rinse out the vinegar afterward! There won’t be any vinegar taste if you rinse well.
Baking soda is another great cleaning agent that many coffee lovers prefer over soap because it does not leave any soapy residue that could affect the flavor of the coffee. While we firmly believe that a thorough rinse is enough to remove any soapy residue (otherwise everything you eat and drink would taste soapy), baking soda is definitely a go-to cleaner.
The advantages of baking soda as your cleaning agent include:
Baking soda is an effective replacement for soap and can be used as part of your daily cleaning routine. We still, however, recommend a vinegar clean every 4-6 weeks for your deep-cleaning routine.
Josh is the founding owner of Coletti. He and his wife, Katie, stepped-out in faith in 2015 with the intent of translating their love for coffee into monetary support for organizations bringing justice to the world’s poor. Josh is a Christian minister, an army chaplain, a veteran of two wars, and father of seven (six girls and a boy).