A coffee maker can be one of the most regularly used appliances in a home, yet not cleaned frequently. Some people may forget, while others may believe it to be too time-consuming to do on top of all the other cleaning needed around the house.
Well, we’re here to show you that it doesn’t have to be difficult to clean your coffee maker, and you can do so by using something that may already be in your cupboards: apple cider vinegar.
The Importance of Cleaning Your Coffee Maker
Out of everything you use in your kitchen, your coffee maker can be one of the more prominent offenders of bacteria and mold, considering how many people don’t regularly clean it.
The combination of foreign material like coffee and heated water can cause germs, and all of that festers the longer it sits without you cleaning it.
Also, there’s a chance for mold build-up if you don’t empty the coffee pot, if you have one, after each use. This is also true if you have a capsule coffee maker and leave water sitting in the reservoir too long.
Drinking coffee from a coffee maker that hasn’t been cleaned for a while can potentially cause harmful effects to your health as you may ingest various bacteria, germs, and mold.
Additionally, regular cleaning can help clear out the build-up that naturally occurs. There’s always a chance mold can gather as it’s challenging to keep every nook dry, but eliminating much of the extra bacteria with a thorough cleaning can lessen that chance.
A good cleaning can also ensure that your coffee will taste as good and fresh as when you first bought the coffee maker.
Benefits of Using Apple Cider Vinegar
As far back as Ancient Greek time, apple cider vinegar has historical use as a home remedy. Although more research is needed, many people across various cultures use apple cider vinegar to manage blood sugar levels or lose weight.
However, it’s also a helpful cleaning tool just as much as white vinegar is. Both apple cider vinegar and white vinegar have the same acidic content of 5% to clear out oils and minerals quickly. Although white vinegar is easier to rinse clean, apple cider vinegar has the bonus of being edible, so there’s no harm to your health if some still linger in the machine.
Furthermore, it works well to clean out 99.9% of bacteria and eliminate around 90% of mold. This ensures a healthier environment within your coffee maker, so you’re not at risk of drinking those harmful organisms.
How to Clean a Coffee Maker with Apple Cider Vinegar
Cleaning out your coffee maker using apple cider vinegar doesn’t have to be an exhausting or difficult task. Follow this step-by-step guide, and you will have tastier and healthier coffee.
Step 1: Gather Your Supplies
Before you do anything, you will have to gather up your supplies. You don’t need much, and everything listed may already be in your home:
- Apple cider vinegar
- Sponge or wet kitchen towel
- Dry kitchen towel
Be sure to get some soapy water ready to clean the rest of the coffee maker and be prepared to pour fresh water into the reservoir.
Step 2: Empty Out the Coffee Maker
This is something you may have already done to prep for cleaning, but if you haven’t, be sure to empty everything. Remove the coffee maker and the filter. The coffee maker needs to be cleaned separately.
Also, start with an empty water reservoir. You want to add the apple cider vinegar and the water mixture into a freshly open coffee maker to begin the cleaning process off right.
Step 3: Mix Water and Apple Cider Vinegar
You don’t want just to put the apple cider vinegar into the coffee maker to go through the brewing process. It needs to be a bit diluted, so it’s best to add a mixture of water and apple cider vinegar.
One option is to go one part vinegar and one part water, mixing it with one cup. Alternatively, you can add two parts water to one part vinegar instead of your cleaning needs aren’t severe. On the opposite end, adding two parts vinegar to one part of water is excellent if you need a potent mixture.
You’ll want to pour this mixture into the reservoir to which you’d typically add water for a typical brewing cycle.
Step 4: Run a Brew Cycle
Next up is to run the coffee maker. With apple cider vinegar, you will want it to settle inside the machine for a bit. So, when you begin a brew cycle, you will want to run a half-cycle, if possible. To do so, see if you can stop the machine before the water drips out.
From there, you can have the mixture sit inside the machine for 20 minutes to an hour before running through an entire brew cycle. Allowing it to sit for some time can help soften all the calcified areas, so the build-up becomes more effortless. It can even work to remove stains inside the machine.
If you can’t stop the machine from going through, you can run from the start. Depending on just how badly your coffee maker requires cleaning, you may have to go through a handful of cycles to clean it out thoroughly.
The mixture can drip directly into the coffee pot since you will toss it out anyway. Alternatively, for those of you with the capsule coffee makers, you may have to run a few times on the largest cup setting and have it drip down into a mug of the appropriate size.
Of course, it stands to reason that this isn’t safe to consume in any fashion as it contains the mixture and any mineral build-up, germs, and bacteria that’s been flushed through. Empty it and continue repeating the cleaning until the reservoir is completely emptied.
Step 5: Run a Rinse Cycle
Once the cleaning process is finished, your job isn’t done. Now it’s time to run a rinse cycle with fresh water.
As the taste and smell of apple cider vinegar can linger for some time, it is best to run a handful of freshwater cycles. Around five or so brew cycles with the water is ideal. This will help flush the coffee maker of any trace of the apple cider vinegar so that you don’t smell it or taste it when you make your next batch of coffee.
Of course, if you do, it will not harm your health, considering apple cider vinegar is non-toxic. All it will do is add a different, fruity taste to your coffee that may not be exactly appealing. So, take the time to flush out your machine thoroughly.
Don’t forget to wash every other part of the coffee maker that you can remove. The coffee pot can have just as much build-up as the rest of the machine if it’s not cleaned regularly, so give that a good scrub as well. You can even allow the mixture to sit in the pot for some time to help get any stains out of it.
Another thing you want to remember to do is to wipe the coffee maker itself. It’s normal for coffee to splash around when being made or for accidental spills to occur. So, keep the outside of the machine free from any mold by giving the device a good wipe down.
If you use the capsule coffee makers, you will want to clean the inside where the cups go. Those areas are tiny and hard to reach, so something like a toothbrush may help you give it a good scrub.
Also, remember to throw the cups away after each use. So, that they don’t have time to gunk up the area too much and affect how the coffee comes out. Remember, there is something sharp inside to puncture the cup, so take care of cleaning it out.
Lastly, don’t forget to change your filter. Please read up on your specific coffee maker. To ensure how often you have to do it to continue to perform as best as possible.
For coffee lovers, our coffee maker is one of the most used appliances in the home. Because of that, it is essential to care for it properly. Regular cleaning is vital so that the machine will always perform as well as intended. This leaves you with perfectly brewed cups just like the ones you’d buy from a coffee shop.
The use of apple cider vinegar is ideal considering the product is affordable, typically already found in most people’s cupboards, and non-toxic while still having a good acid count to do away with bacteria, mold, and germs properly.