Find Out The Best Way To Clean Coffee Maker Without Vinegar
The best way to clean a coffee maker without vinegar effectively is by using a common ingredient you will find in your home at any time.
Vinegar, specifically white vinegar, is a popular cleaning agent in many homes due to its:
- ease of availability
- its tried and tested cleaning action
- being a key ingredient in traditional family cleaning recipes passed down from parent to child.
But this article is going to teach you different ways to clean a coffee pot without vinegar.
The Best Way To Clean Coffee Maker Without Vinegar In My Book
Cleaning Coffee Maker With Lemon Juice
Firstly, most of the time lemons are easily available in the kitchen or garden. And if there are no fresh lemons – most of you will have a bottle of store bought lemon juice sitting in the pantry or fridge.
Secondly, lemon juice is cheap.
Thirdly, it is a natural product.
After vinegar, lemons would definitely be the best option for cleaning and descaling a dirty coffee maker.
Benefits of Lemon Juice
Lemon juice has a similar level of acidity to that of vinegar. It works as a cleaner and disinfectant in the same fashion.
Lemon juice, like diluted vinegar, also works well as a mild limescale remover.
The advantage of using lemon juice is that it does not have the pungent odor that vinegar has. It is also not as corrosive.
How To Use Lemon Juice To Clean A Coffee Maker Without Vinegar?
Here’s how to use lemon juice to clean your drip coffee machine.
First, empty the coffee maker.
Make sure your coffee machine is empty by following these checks:
- the water reservoir should be empty
- no coffee powder
- no paper filter
Since we’ll be draining the cleaner from the coffee maker into the carafe, it’s a good idea to keep it empty as well.
Step 2: Combine water and lemon juice.
Have enough lemon juice to fill the water reservoir halfway.
Add water to the remaining half.
Now turn on the coffee maker and wait for it to brew.
Throughout this operation, refrain from using the coffee maker’s water supply.
Step 3: Be patient
Turn off the coffee maker once the cleaning liquid has heated and is ready to be poured.
It should be left to stand for around 30 minutes.
As a result, the hot cleaning mixture will have more time to effectively remove and dissolve mineral deposits.
Step 4: Complete The Brewing Process
Turn the coffee maker back on after about 30 minutes.
It will be ready to emit the cleaning solution in a short while.
Place the carafe in place and let the machine finish the brewing process.
Throw away the resulting carafe’s contents.
Step 5: Fresh Water Cycles
Fill the coffee maker’s water reservoir with fresh water next. Allow it to complete a brew cycle.
When it’s finished, empty the contents of the carafe and start a new cycle with fresh water.
This will clear the coffee maker of any remaining lemon juice and its odor. Two cycles should usually be sufficient.
Again, rinse out your appliance by running a couple of cycles with water to remove any lemon juice residue.
We have described the simplest and best way to clean coffee maker without vinegar.
Not difficult, but very efficient.
Give it a try and am sure you will be impressed.
12 Alternative Methods For Cleaning Coffee Maker Without Vinegar
Diluted vinegar is an effective general-purpose cleaner and disinfectant. Some people might be put off by the smell or the possibility of a residual vinegary after taste.
It is for this reason that you may be pleased to know that there are alternatives to cleaning coffee makers without vinegar or lemon juice.
1. Dish Washing Liquid
Possibly the easiest and most accessible alternative to diluted vinegar.
- Detach the removable parts of your coffee maker and wash with water and a little dish washing liquid.
- Remember to follow the instructions that came with your appliance when detaching those parts. For those parts that cannot be removed, you could use a little dish washing liquid on a damp sponge or cloth.
- After cleaning run a couple of brewing cycles using water to thoroughly rinse your device.
3. Baking Soda
Baking soda is a mild alkali. This makes it a good purpose general cleaner, especially with regards to grease and dirt.
- Simply fill your coffee maker’s coffee pot with some lukewarm water and a ¼ cup of baking soda.
- Transfer this solution into your coffee maker’s water reservoir and run a brewing cycle.
- Discard this dirty water.
- Repeat as many times as necessary until the post brewing cycle water looks clean.
Borax is alkaline like baking soda and has been a traditional household cleaner for a long time.
It will not leave any chemical residue after use. However, you will need to flush out any borax solution as it is very soluble.
- Place 2 tablespoons of borax into your water reservoir and run a brewing cycle.
- To flush out your coffee maker simply run 3 or 4 brewing cycles with water.
5. Cream Of Tartar
Another organic compound you will probably find in many a pantry.
This is a great way to descale a coffee maker without vinegar.
Cream of tartar is acidic and a by-product of wine making. It works well to help remove stains and is effective against limescale.
Additionally, it can be mixed with lemon juice or vinegar.
- Place 3 tablespoons into your coffee maker’s water reservoir.
- Stir until dissolved. Run a complete brewing cycle.
- Once your coffee pot is full, allow the water to cool, then scrub using a sponge and discard.
- Run another brewing cycle with just water to flush out your appliance.
6. Denture Cleaner Or Tablets
Designed to help keep teeth clean for those people wearing dentures.
It is actually a mild bleach (sodium hypochlorite). Many brands of denture cleaner can also contain baking soda and citric acid.
- Simply drop two tablets into your appliance’s water reservoir containing warm water.
- Stir until completely dissolved.
- Run a complete brewing cycle and follow up with another two cycles using water to flush out your device.
7. Alka Seltzer Tablets
Another alkaline or more commonly known as anti-acid tablets.
Common ingredients are citric acid, baking soda, and aspirin. These ingredients help to make it a mild, but effective general purpose cleaner.
- Place 2 tablets in the water reservoir and another 2 in the filter cup (without a paper filter).
- Wait about 15 minutes until the fizzing stops, then run a brewing cycle.
- Flush out your coffee maker by running another 2 or three brewing cycles using water.
8. Vodka Or Clear Alcohol
One of the cheaper methods of cleaning your coffee maker.
Alcohol is actually an ingredient in many cleaning products, such as mouth wash. It also works well as an odor remover and detergent.
- Mix water with vodka or other clear alcohol until you have a 25% concentration by volume.
- Pour this into your water reservoir and run a complete brewing cycle.
- Follow this up with another 2 cycles using just water to flush out any water-alcohol solution.
You can also clean surfaces using your water-alcohol solution to remove stains and/or other residues.
Commonly used as a general-purpose cleaner in many households.
It is very important to remember to dilute the bleach before use as it can be corrosive.
- Mix 4 cups of water with 2 tablespoons of bleach and pour it into your water reservoir.
- Top up your water reservoir to the maximum mark with more water.
- Run a single complete brewing cycle.
- Flush out your coffee maker with a few more cycles using water only.
10. Hydrogen Peroxide
You are able to clean your coffee pot with hydrogen peroxide.
It is a common ingredient in certain cleaners, including mouthwashes.
It works extremely well as a cleaner and disinfectant.
- Pour 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide into your coffee maker’s pot and dilute with water up to the maximum mark.
- Pour this solution into your water reservoir and run a single complete brewing cycle.
- Flush out your coffee maker with another 2 complete cycles using fresh water.
11. Muriatic Acid
Commonly referred to as hydrochloric acid.
Has been used to help remove stubborn stains and works very well as a limescale remover. Precautions must be taken as this compound is very corrosive.
Only use in diluted form!
- Mix 4 parts water with 1 part muriatic acid in a container such as a plastic bucket. Add the acid to the water and not the other way round!
- Prepare another bucket with a solution of water and baking soda.
- Detach all removable parts from your coffee maker and soak in your water-acid solution for 5 to 7 minutes.
- With suitable protection transfer these parts to your bucket of water-baking soda solution. This will neutralize the muriatic acid.
- Be careful as a mild chemical reaction might take place.
- Rinse all parts with clean water thoroughly before re-attaching to your coffee maker.
12. Ice And Salt
The ice and salt work together to help remove mineral deposits, grease, and other residues.
Additionally, you can use some white vinegar.
It is a little bit of an unusual way to clean a coffee maker without vinegar but can be quite effective.
- Mix ice, iodized table salt, and water (with a little white vinegar if you want) in a container.
- Soak your detachable coffee maker parts in this solution.
- Allow at least an hour for the cleaning action to take place.
- Wipe down with a clean sponge before thoroughly rinsing and re-attaching.
13. Commercial Descalers
Many good quality brand coffee makers should have instructions and product suggestions for limescale removers. You can find the information on their websites or Youtube channels.
Some brands even sell their own limescale removers.
Follow your coffee maker’s suggestions, if possible, before using third-party descalers. If you need to use a commercial third-party limescale remover – follow their instructions carefully.
The ingredient concentrations in these commercial limescale removers tend to be higher than many of the alternatives mentioned above.
In 2011 a germ study was done by the health and safety organization, NSF International. They found that the coffee maker was one of the top five places in the average home containing unfriendly growths of bacteria.
In a small percentage of the appliances tested the bacteria coliform was detected which is commonly found in fecal matter.
Why Is It Important To Clean Your Coffee Maker?
1. Health Reasons
The need for hygiene should be the number one reason to clean your coffee maker.
Coffee is, after all, a beverage that you consume. If your appliance is dirty, it stands to reason that your cup of coffee is not going to be clean.
Your coffee maker is no different from any of your other kitchen appliances or cookware in that it needs a good clean on a regular basis.
A telling sign that your coffee maker may be in need of one is a bitter-tasting cup of coffee. Even though nothing has outwardly changed with regards to the brewing process.
The same study mentioned above also found evidence for the growth of mold in coffee makers. Molds, whether you like it or not, are present in almost all homes.
They can spread quickly through the dispersion of millions of asexual spores. Most common molds enjoy environments that present them with warmth and moisture.
Yeast is similar to mold in that they are members of the fungus kingdom. The 2011 germ study mentioned above also found evidence of the presence of yeast in uncleaned or irregularly cleaned coffee makers.
Like molds, yeasts also enjoy warmth and moisture.
The build-up and regular ingestion of one or all of the above microbes can lead to allergic reactions. Even infections of the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts are possible.
The boiling water in coffee makers does kill many of these nasties. But leaving your coffee maker uncleaned is only inviting health problems.
Cleaning your coffee maker for purposes of hygiene becomes even more important if you or members of your family have compromised immune systems.
Over time stains and residues will inevitably build up. These are just the physically visible indications for the need to clean your coffee brewing appliance.
The build-ups which are not visible to the naked eye are probably even more worrying.
2. Coffee Maker Inefficiency
The second important reason you will need to regularly clean your coffee maker is that the build-up of stains and residues can cause your appliance to operate less efficiently.
Residue build-up can be caused by the actual brewing process. As well, certain minerals present in the water your home has access to create a build-up.
Residue build-ups can also have an effect on the taste of your coffee.
The source of your home water may be what is referred to as “hard water”. This is simply water containing calcium bicarbonate and, sometimes, magnesium bicarbonate ions.
The heating and cooling of “hard water” can cause a hard chalky residue to accumulate over time. This accumulation can eventually interfere with the “plumbing” in your coffee maker.
A regular clean with just water and soap is generally not sufficient. In the case of limescale, it can lead to the creation of soap scum as the soap combines with the calcium carbonate.
Limescale is alkaline and is best cleaned using a mildly acidic solution. We will explain how to descale a coffee maker without vinegar a little further on.
Coffee Oils Residue
The actual brewing process can also lead to residues usually consisting of the various oils found in your coffee grounds.
While these may not interfere with the general operation of your coffee maker they can have a negative effect on subsequent coffee brewing by altering the final flavor.
Additionally, they are very unsightly.
There Is No Reason Why You Should Have A Dirty Coffee Maker
Cleaning your coffee maker only takes a short time out of your day.
Having shown you how to clean a coffee maker without vinegar, there are plenty of options for you to choose from. Some faster than others.
When you use home cleaners that require time to complete their respective cleaning action, you are free to do other things while you wait.
If you are lucky enough to have a dishwasher, then you have no excuse to not keep your coffee maker parts clean.
Choose the best way to clean coffee maker without vinegar that suits you and get going.
Remember, keeping your coffee maker clean increases the longevity of your appliance. It also helps ensure that every cup of coffee it produces is as delicious as it should be.
Most importantly, a clean coffee machine means that those cups of coffee that you enjoy so much do not end up compromising you and your family’s health.