How To Clean Coffee Maker With Apple Cider Vinegar? Top Tips

Experienced coffee brewers always know how to clean coffee maker with apple cider vinegar due to its effectiveness in sanitizing and protecting the coffee maker’s interior.

Whether you are a coffee shop owner or a home coffee enthusiast, you need to wash your coffee machine properly. Using apple cider vinegar is an excellent choice, which can boost your brew’s taste and optimize your coffee maker’s lifespan.

Let’s dive in and find out how this amazing liquid can help clean and utilize this method to efficiently clean your coffee maker.

Why Should You Clean Your Coffee Maker?

To many people, a fresh hot brew of coffee every morning is essential because they need a lot of caffeine to stay focused at work. However, not everyone knows how to sanitize their coffee machine properly, which causes coffee quality degradation.

Just cleaning with water will not be able to wipe out the entire remaining coffee residues. After a prolonged use period, your coffee maker will become an ideal shelter for germs, bacteria, and mold to grow. They can easily spoil your coffee’s taste.

Additionally, careless cleaning may cause your coffee maker to deteriorate faster, making it easier to malfunction and reduce its lifespan. Cleaning your machine daily with soap is not enough; for long-period maintenance, apple cider vinegar is a great choice.

Compared with other cleaning resolutions, vinegar, in general, is the cheapest and the most convenient liquid for cleaning. Apple cider vinegar is the most powerful cleaning method that can kill 99.9% of bacteria and mold.

Apple cider vinegar is known for containing high levels of acid, which can easily wash away the remaining dust and dirt inside your coffee machine. Using apple cider vinegar to clean once every few months can significantly boost your machine’s useful life and the coffee taste.

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What You Will Need

Check out the list below to begin the cleaning process:

  • A large bottle of apple cider vinegar
  • A sponge
  • Hot water
  • Dry kitchen towel
  • Wet kitchen towel

If you don’t have apple cider vinegar, white vinegar works just as fine. The process requires using a large batch of vinegar for thorough sanitation, preferably enough to fill half of the maximum capacity.

How To Clean Coffee Maker With Apple Cider Vinegar Properly?

Follow the step-by-step guide below, and your coffee machine will be as new.

Exterior Cleaning

To begin with, start cleaning the outside of the coffee machine. Read the manual and disassemble parts according to the instruction. Avoid meddling with vulnerable parts of the machine such as circuit boards, wires, and plugs.

Discard the coffee ground from the filter and carafe. Take the filter and carafe out and wash carefully with a sponge before putting them back in place. They will be rinsed again with vinegar in the next steps.

Use a wet kitchen towel to wipe out dirt and dust on the outside. You may use a cotton swab to clear places that are hard to reach, like small holes or the back of handles.

On the outside of the machine, it is recommended that you use soap for thorough sanitizing. The remaining bacteria may remain on the dirt and find their way into the carafe if you don’t wash it properly.

Mixing Solution

The next step is creating the cleaning solution. Depending on your water reservoir’s size, determine the amount of liquid solution that you need. It is best to have your reservoir half full for the best result.

For one part of apple cider vinegar, add the same part of water, which means the ratio of hot water-vinegar is 1:1. This ratio is also the case for white vinegar. If you can not measure it properly, adding about 4 cups of each component is enough.

If you haven’t cleaned your coffee maker for a long while, you can double the amount of vinegar for a better cleaning effect. It is noted that it should only be applied if there are stubborn stains that cannot be brushed off; otherwise, it may deteriorate the machine’s interior.

Adding Solution

Fill up your water reservoir with the mixture from the previous step. Empty the reservoir before adding the cleaning liquid.

Remember to put every part of the coffee machine in its place before starting the process. Check if the coffee machine can run properly as usual. Test out every function of your coffee machine and ensure that the power source is stable.

Brew Cycle

Set up your coffee machine as if running a half brew, let the solution drip slowly like regular coffee. If your coffee maker can pause halfway, stop the process after a few minutes and resume. This allows the vinegar to clean more effectively.

It would be best if you let the whole process of running a brew on for a couple of minutes. As the solution flows, the stains and remaining coffee ground will be flushed out in the carafe. After a half brew, shut down the machine and let the hot water stay for about an hour.

After the half brew, let the liquid flow out and start a new full brew cycle. At this point, the process is the same as above, allowing it to run a full process to flush out the last remnants in your coffee maker.

Repeat the process if there are still particles inside the machine; remember to use hot water at all times to thoroughly clear out everything. You can also blend the mixture anew if the original one is too dirty.

Discard The Solution

After finishing the cycle, remove the solution from the carafe. Remember to clean the carafe carefully, as the particles may stick on the bottom of the flask.

Before going to the next step, let your coffee machine cool down a bit after a long cycle. This time should allow the parts of the machine to adapt to the environment temperature and avoid thermal shock.

Fresh Water Cycle

After the long solution cycle, you need to run another freshwater cycle to wipe out the remaining apple cider vinegar in the machine. Do not add anything else but clean water to wash the inside out.

Apple cider vinegar has a very strong acid concentration; therefore, you should rinse with clean and hot water repeatedly. However, if you use white vinegar, you won’t have to rinse it too many times.

If it is too hard to get rid of the smell of apple cider vinegar, you can brew a small batch of coffee to regain the original smell of coffee for your machine. This coffee may smell like apple and a bit sour though, it is completely safe to drink.


The last but also the most important step that many people may overlook is wiping out the surface of the coffee maker again. You may use some apple cider vinegar to add moisture to the towel, then clean the outside of the machine.

Use soap with a sponge to clean it again and let the parts dry before reassembling everything. Remember to use the dry towel to make sure it is completely dry before using.

FAQs Of How To Clean Coffee Maker With Apple Cider Vinegar

1. Can you clean the coffee maker with apple cider vinegar?

The answer is yes. It is unnecessary to purchase expensive cleaning chemicals for your coffee machine since vinegar works just as fine. If you can’t put your hand on white vinegar, apple cider vinegar is also suitable, with an acidic content of approximately 5%.

Apple cider vinegar is also safe to consume. You can use vinegar in food, typically salad, which also helps clear bacteria in your body. Despite the sour taste, it is quite healthy if consumed at an adequate amount.

2. How many times should I run apple cider vinegar through my coffee maker?

Due to its efficient nature in removing hardened calcium stains and grease, apple cider vinegar is super effective in clearing out the interior of your coffee machine without any issue. That is why you should let it run through a full cycle after about 4 to 6 months of use.

Cleaning your coffee maker with vinegar boosts the taste of your coffee significantly. It also lengthens the useful life of the coffee maker. It is noted that you should not do it too frequently since it can deteriorate the interior of your machine with acid.

Final Verdict

Cleaning with detergents may be easy and convenient; however, there is a risk of chemical residue stuck inside the machine that may be poisonous if consumed. Apple cider vinegar is an amazing alternative solution since it is cheap, safe, and easy to get in every household.

We are happy to bring you tips on how to clean a coffee maker with apple cider vinegar as a safe and effective method. Thank you for reading!

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