4 Easy Ways To Remove Calcium Deposits From A Coffee Maker

remove caliium from coffee maker

There’s nothing worse than spending hundreds of dollars on a coffee maker and watching white calcium deposits build up on your machine. Luckily there are several ways you can remove this buildup and keep your coffee maker in optimum condition!

Calcium buildup can be removed from coffee makers and coffee pots using everyday household items such as vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda, and hydrogen peroxide. Mix them with water, let the solution sit, or run a few cycles through your coffee maker to dissolve calcium in 20 minutes or less.

Read on to learn more about how to get started, where to buy supplies, and the steps you need to follow.

4 Most Effective Ways To Remove Calcium From Coffee Makers And Pots

  1. Brew a pot of white vinegar
  2. Soak the pot in lemon juice
  3. Make a baking soda mixture
  4. Clean it with hydrogen peroxide

Buildup in your coffee maker ruins the taste of your premium coffee beans and shortens the life of your machine. Cleaning your coffee maker once a month will help you prolong its life and get great-tasting coffee. Here are some of the fastest ways to keep your machine in amazing condition.

1. Brew A Pot Of White Vinegar

The easiest way to remove calcium deposits from a coffee pot is by brewing a white vinegar mixture. Start by cleaning the pot, emptying the filter basket, and thoroughly washing the carafe using warm water.

viengar to remove calcium deposits from a coffee maker

Next, you fill the pot with vinegar and water. Use a 1:1 ratio and add as much as you’d need to brew a full pot. The specific quantity of materials will vary depending on the size of your pot. Don’t forget to use a new coffee filter.

Once you’re halfway through the cycle, you can turn your coffee maker off.

Let the solution sit for around 20 to 30 minutes. The vinegar will help break down the calcium deposits. Then you can turn the coffee pot back on and run the second half of the cycle.

The last thing you want is for your coffee to last of vinegar. So when the cycle finishes and the pot is empty, you should wash it out thoroughly with clean water. Next, run a full cycle with fresh water.

Let it sit for 10 minutes, then clean your coffee pot a second time. Make sure you rinse it several times before drying just to be careful.

Now your carafe is ready to brew an amazing cup of coffee! 

If you haven’t cleaned your coffee maker in several months and are struggling with excessive deposits, you can create a more concentrated solution. Using a higher ratio of vinegar to water can make the process more effective.

2. Soak the pot in lemon juice

lemon juice to remove calcium from a coffee maker

Lemon juice is another acidic ingredient that can easily clean out the calcium deposits in your coffee pot. While white vinegar has a pH of 2.2, lemon juice ranges between 2 to 3, making it a great alternative.

Start by adding half a cup of lemon juice to your coffee pot and filling up the rest with warm water. You can use fresh or store-bought juice, depending on which is easily available.

Then run a brewing cycle from start to finish. Once it’s done, pour the hot vinegar-water mix back into the pot and run it a second time. You can let it soak for 15 to 20 minutes between cycles.

Next, wash out the coffee pot thoroughly, using dishwashing soap and warm water. If you see any coffee residue stuck in the coffee basket, don’t be afraid to scrub it out with a toothbrush.

Finally, you’ll want to completely wash out the lemon juice, so it doesn’t ruin the flavor of your favorite brews. Run 2 to 3 complete cycles with fresh water and dump the pot each time. Finish up the process by washing the pot with soapy water and drying it with a lint-free cloth.

3. Make a baking soda mixture

If you don’t have vinegar or lemon juice on hand, you can get the same results with baking soda. Simply add a quarter cup of baking soda to the reservoir and fill up your coffee maker with hot water. Turn the machine on and run 2 full cycles.

Once that is done, you can dump the pot and wash it with warm water. At this point, you should have a clean, deposit-free pot. If that isn’t the case, feel free to run another cycle or use one of the other methods on this list.

baking soda to clean a coffee maker

After your coffee maker is completely clean, you can clean it out with fresh water and run a few cycles with fresh water. This ensures no baking soda residue is left in your machine.

Finally, rewash the pot by hand, and brew a cup of your favorite coffee!

4. Clean It With Hydrogen Peroxide

Simply add 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide to the reservoir and fill your coffee pot with hot water. You can run as many full cycles as needed for the calcium to dissolve completely. Once you’ve successfully gotten rid of the deposits, dump out the solution. 

If you’re determined to clean your coffee pot with the items in your house, you may want to look in your first aid box. That’s right! A 3% hydrogen peroxide solution can make a great cleaning solution for your coffee pot.

hydrogen peroxide for cleaning a coffee maker
Peroxide Is Powerful Enough To Clean Most Kitchen Appliances

Now you need to give your coffee machine a thorough cleaning. Rinse out the pot with water and wash it with soap. You can scrub it with a rag or a toothbrush to clean out any coffee grains stuck in your machine.

Finally, fill the reservoir with fresh, clean water and run a full cycle.

Dump out the water afterward. Run a second and third cycle, using fresh water each time. When you’re certain that the machine is clean, you can rinse it with some plain water or dishwashing liquid before drying it and putting it away.

Tip: DO NOT Use A Powdered Borax Formula

Borax is a naturally occurring mineral that is found in many commercial cleaners. It’s proven an effective cleaner and can remove mold and mildew, hard water stains or spots, neutralize odors, and even kill insects (yuck).

However, it has some ugly side effects if it’s not thoroughly rinsed. The FDA has banned it as a food ingredient and stated that Borax is not safe to ingest.

Borax Side Effects:

  1. Irritation of skin, eyes, and the respiratory system
  2. Problems with digestion
  3. Potential infertility
  4. Kidney problems and failure
  5. Shock and even death

I make this note because I have heard people say that its effective and removes calcium. However accurate that may be, why take the chance? The other four methods work.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Coffee pots and machines should be cleaned often to prevent calcium buildup and damage.
  2. Dish soap, unless formulated specifically for calcium buildup, will not work.
  3. Calcium can be removed with everyday household items
  4. Do NOT use a borax mixture. It can be unsafe if not thoroughly cleaned.

Each of these methods will do a great job of removing the mineral deposits in your coffee machine, especially if you’re cleaning your coffee maker at least once a month. Of course, people who make several pots a day should wash them more often. 

While vinegar is the most popular cleaning solution for coffee pots, you can use whichever ingredients are available in your home!

Video: How To Remove Calcium From A Coffee Maker

This video is a nice how to remove calcium and descale your coffee maker.

Sources and Citations:

Medicalnewstoday.com. 2022. Is borax safe? Uses and risks. [online] Available at: <https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324167> [Accessed 5 September 2022].

Christopher Mize
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