How to Clean a Coffee Maker

by Ben Coleman Updated: March 19, 2024 4 min read
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If you’ve noticed some odd-tasting coffee coming out of your drip coffee maker, it might be time to do a deep clean of your machine. 

Don’t worry: cleaning your coffee maker is extraordinarily simple. 

Read on and we’ll break down some do’s and don’ts of coffee machine cleaning so you can enjoy delicious, fresh cups of coffee in the morning.

Washing Removable Parts

Any part of your coffee machine that can be removed (like the carafe and the drip cone) should be washed somewhat regularly with warm soapy water. 

Some coffee makers’ removable parts might be dishwasher safe, but honestly it’s probably just easier to wash them by hand. 

Cleaning The Brew Nozzle

After running brewing cycle after brewing cycle, coffee grounds and oils may build up on the brew nozzle (the part of your coffee maker where coffee drips from the basket into the carafe). 

To clean your brew nozzle, simply use a cleaning brush and some water mixed with baking soda to scrub the nozzle clean. 

Once you’re finished, run a brewing cycle to ensure you flush any baking soda residue. 

Cleaning the Filter Basket

For a deep clean of the filter basket without the need to scrub dishes by hand, try this simple trick: 

Fill a coffee filter with a little bit of Cafiza cleaning powder and then run a brew cycle on your coffee machine. 

The Cafiza will clean the basket, nozzle and your carafe. 

Just make sure to run a clean-water brew cycle when you’re done to ensure no cleaning agents remain. 

Can Be Used on Coffee Machines Too
How to Clean a Coffee Maker

Urnex Cafiza Espresso Machine Cleaner

151 Reviews
Urnex Cafiza is a formulated powder to remove residue, rancid coffee oils and lime scale deposits from your espresso machine. This product is used to backflush semi-commercial and commercial espresso machines as well as cleaning any metal parts such as screens and filter baskets. This product is not a decalcifier and should not be dissolved in a reservoir or put through a boiler. The 20 oz bottle should last you more than a year.

Cleaning the Water Reservoir

If the water reservoir on your coffee machine is removable, simply wash it with warm soapy water as you would any other removable part. 

Many coffee makers don’t have removable water reservoirs, however. If this is the case with yours, you’ll need to take a different approach. 

All you’ll need to do is get a clean sponge or cleaning brush and use a water and baking soda mix to scrub out the reservoir. 

As with the brew nozzle, when finished, fill the reservoir with water and run a brew cycle to ensure no baking soda remains—you won’t appreciate its taste. 

Using Coffee Maker Cleaner

If you’re really invested in keeping your coffee maker spick and span, using a coffee machine cleaning powder periodically will do the trick. 

It’s also a great way to reduce your need to do a deep clean of your machine. 

All you need to do is add the cleaning agent to your machine’s water reservoir and run a brew cycle. The food-safe detergent will remove coffee oils and residues that build up inside the machine—it even cleans the nozzle and carafe for you!

As always, it’s a good idea to run a brew cycle of fresh water after using the detergent to make sure none is left behind. 

Keep Your Machine Clean
How to Clean a Coffee Maker

Urnex Cleancaf Cleaner

11 Reviews
A cleaning agent used to clean coffee machines, including glass carafes. Each box contains 3 packets. With Urnex Cleancaf, you can easily remove the coffee oils and residues that build up on the inside of your coffee maker and carafe. Urnex Cleancaf can be poured into your water reservoir and easily run through the coffee maker, meaning little downtime to take care of critical maintenance. For easy cleanup and rinsing afterwords, a blue dye provides a visual cue of any cleaner you might have missed


Is it good to clean a coffee maker with vinegar?

Running a mixture of white vinegar and water through your coffee machine is a good way to clean out the insides of your machine. However, there are some downsides to using this method: namely, your coffee is likely to taste like vinegar for a while after you do this. While you could run brew cycles until the water comes out smelling fresh, there are simply better ways to keep your coffee machine clean. Namely, use cleaning products designed specifically for cleaning a coffee machine. Urnex Cleancaf coffee machine cleaner will do an even better job of removing built-up coffee oils and residues than your vinegar mix, and won’t leave your coffee tasting terrible for weeks to come. 

What’s the best way to clean my coffee maker?

The best way to clean a coffee maker is twofold: first, hand wash removable parts regularly to ensure no coffee oils and residues build up. Then, every month or two, use a coffee machine cleaner like Urnex Cleancaf to clean out the insides of the machine. If you do these two things regularly, your coffee machine will stay in great working condition. 

What is the difference between descaling and cleaning a coffee machine?

Descaling a coffee machine specifically refers to the process of removing scale buildup from the inside of your machine. Scale refers to minerals that leach out of your water and build up inside your machine. You can reduce the need to descale your machine by only using filtered water to brew with. Cleaning your machine, on the other hand, refers to removal of coffee oils and residues that build up in your machine from the brewing process.