3 Simple Methods to Clean Your Coffee Maker Without Vinegar 

dirty coffee carafe

You can cleanse your coffee maker without the use of vinegar, and it is simple and easy. There are three different methods mentioned in this article that you can try. If you follow the directions, you cannot go wrong. 

Alternatives to cleaning a coffee maker with vinegar are: lemons, baking soda, and dish soap and warm water. Lemons can be used for all coffee makers. Baking soda and dish soap and warm water are better for carafes and filter baskets where scrubbing is needed to remove mold or coffee staining.

Key Take Away:

  • Common household goods can be used
  • You don’t need hazardous chemical cleaning agents
  • Clean your coffee maker regularly to make it easier to maintain
  • A clean coffee maker keeps your coffee smelling and tasting fresh

Get ready to have a great batch of coffee for your morning routine. Check out this article if you are interested in three simple methods to cleanse your coffee maker without vinegar.  

Should You Wash Your Coffee Maker? 

Silly question, but I’ve been asked more than once. When it comes down to maintenance, coffee makers do not get the attention they deserve. We all need to clean our coffeemakers more frequently.

If you do not regularly clean your coffee maker, coffee residue and mineral build-up will damage the machine, which affects the quality of your coffee, and your brewer may not be able to work after a while.  

You should aim to give your coffee maker a good cleaning every three to six months at minimum. I clean a carafe after every use and coffee makers and machines weekly.

But if you are unsure, just check the instruction manual. You should also make sure if there are any special cleaning instructions you should be following. Some coffee makers will even tell you when they need to be cleaned.  

When you clean your coffee maker, you will end up with some awesome-tasting coffee, worthy of having company over your house for coffee and dessert. If you do not clean your coffee, your coffee maker gets moldy and nasty. No one wants to drink moldy coffee. It is time for you to clean your coffee maker!    


Is Vinegar No Good for Cleaning the Coffee Maker? 

White vinegar is a common option for cleaning a coffee maker. Vinegar is a natural disinfectant. The acetic acid in the vinegar is what removes and kills bacteria in the coffee maker.  The vinegar (like the other methods below) is run through the machine several times before the final rinse.

The vinegar, if not thoroughly rinsed will leave a potent smell that will linger on the coffee maker and create a smelly, acidic cup of coffee. Also, some of us simply do not like the smell.

Vinegar, despite its “pickle” odor, is my favorite because outside of using harsh detergents, it’s very effective and can be used to clean all sorts of coffee makers. I just make sure to rinse very well and run several cycles of water through coffee machines like a Nespresso or Keurig (or anything similar)

You can check out my article that covers using vinegar and baking soda cleaning in more detail here.

If you don’t have or don’t want to use vinegar to clean your coffee maker, then lemons, baking soda, soap & water work.

Note: Salt and water sloshed around in a carafe is a quick method to clean it. But you can’t do the same for the rest of the coffee maker parts like the filter basket. It also doesn’t work to clean a coffee machine that uses capsules.

3 Simple Methods to Clean your Coffee Maker  

There are a few different ways you can cleanse your coffee maker. It is necessary that you clean your coffee maker with a product that will eliminate the gunk that gets all built up and nasty.

A foul-proof cleaning method for your coffee maker should be one of your top priorities. There are three ways that you can clean your coffeemaker without using vinegar:


 You will need lemons and water for this exercise. The following breaks it all down into five simple steps:


lemon juice to clean a coffee maker
  • Step One- Cut your lemons.
  • Step Two- Create a cleaning solution by mixing one part straight lemon juice and one part water.
  • Step Three- Fill the reservoir with water and mix in lemon juice.
  • Step Four- Turn on the coffee maker and allow it to run for about three cycles to get the most benefits.
  • Step Five- When the cycle is finished, wipe the coffee maker down with a clean cloth.

Once the solution comes through the carafe, scrub and polish it with a toothbrush to get it clean. Run a second cycle of water to wash and rinse the solution thoroughly. Since lemon is often used for various purposes, citric acid not only detoxifies the body but can also clean your coffee maker. 

Dish Soap and Warm Water

Liquid dish soap and warm water may sound boring, but it works quite nicely. You need to wash the separated parts. The following are instructions on cleaning a coffee maker with just dish soap and warm water:


dish soap and water to clean a coffee maker
  • Step One- Create a solution using water and soap. Put a couple of drops of dish soap into clean water and mix up thoroughly.
  • Step Two- Pour the solution into your water tank.
  • Step Three- Start the brewing cycle and go through the cycle multiple times until all soap is gone.
  • Step Four- Wipe down the coffeemaker with a clean cloth.
  • Step Five- Make sure there is no excess moisture left over that could precipitate the growth of mold.

Once you have put the parts back together, run fresh water through the system prior to brewing. This step will ensure that there is no soapy residue left in the coffeemaker.  

Baking Soda

baking soda to clean a coffee maker

Baking soda is an excellent way to cleanse your coffee maker. It is gentler than most cleaning agents, and its alkaline properties give it an edge over other products. The following include directions on how to clean your coffee maker with baking soda: 

  • Step One- Mix together one cup of warm water with one-quarter cup of baking soda.
  • Step Two- Make sure that the liquid is smooth and there are no lumps.
  • Step Three- Use the liquid to run through the machine’s system.
  • Step Four- Repeat the cycle until the coffee maker is completely clean.
  • Step Five- Rinse the system with plain water to get all the residue cleaned out.

Following step two, do not leave any lumps, or your coffeemaker can become clogged. Baking soda will scrub off built-up residue that gets stuck to the coffee maker. It dissolves the oils from the coffee beans left by the machine, which can stain the coffee maker and the carafe. Ensure the baking soda is cleaned out until the coffee maker is only dispensing plain water.   

Taking Everything Into Account

There are many ways to cleanse your coffee maker, not including using vinegar. You can lemons, dish soap, and baking soda, and all these various methods work wonders for cleaning your coffeemaker.  

If you follow these steps for whichever method you prefer, you will end up with a phenomenal cup of coffee and a squeaky-clean coffeemaker.  

Christopher Mize

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