How to clean a coffee maker

clean your coffee maker
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Those daily stops on the way to work for a take-out latte may feel like a distant memory since you treated yourself to your new coffee maker. It makes a fantastic cup in the morning (and many more throughout the day – why stop at one when they're this good?) and fills the house with a beautiful, heady scent.

The only difference between your home brew and coffee shop cups is the cleaning. Your coffee maker will need some TLC to keep your coffee tasting top-notch for years to come. Whether you have a drip, pour-over, or pod machine, we’re here to tell you all you need to know about how to clean it properly. 

For those using a single-serve machine, check out our guide on the Keurig. If you’re still deciding which type of coffee maker suits you best, our guide on what coffee maker you should buy has got you covered.

1. Cleaning routine

(Image: © Cuisinart)

To keep your coffee tasting delicious, clean your drip coffee maker thoroughly once a month. Regular maintenance helps prevent the buildup of coffee oils and residue that can affect the flavor and performance of your machine. Consistent cleaning ensures that every cup of coffee you brew is fresh and free from any old coffee residue. 

2. Cleaning the carafe, lid, and filter basket

(Image: © Shutterstock)

Clean these parts in warm, soapy water. Use a sponge or dishcloth to scrub away any coffee stains or residue. Pay special attention to the corners and crevices where coffee grounds and oils can accumulate.

If you prefer, you can place these parts in the top rack of your dishwasher, provided they are dishwasher-safe. This makes cleaning even more convenient and ensures a thorough wash. However, always check the manufacturer’s instructions to confirm if these parts are dishwasher safe.

3. Removing coffee smell from the Carafe

(Image: © Shutterstock)

If your carafe retains a lingering coffee smell, pour a mixture of distilled white vinegar and hot water into it. Let this solution sit in the carafe for about an hour. The vinegar will neutralize the odor and leave your carafe smelling fresh. Afterward, rinse the carafe thoroughly with warm water to remove any vinegar residue. This method ensures that your next pot of coffee doesn't have any unwanted flavors.

4. Removing stains from the carafe

(Image: © Amazon)

For tough stains, sprinkle baking soda directly onto the affected areas and scrub gently with a soft sponge. Alternatively, mix two cups of baking soda with four cups of water. Pour this mixture into the carafe and let it sit overnight. The baking soda solution will break down the stains, making them easier to wash away. Rinse thoroughly the next morning for a sparkling clean carafe.

5. Cleaning the rest of the coffee maker

(Image: © Cuisinart)

Wipe down the exterior and other accessible parts of your coffee maker with a damp cloth and a little soap and water. For stubborn spots, use a non-abrasive cleaning solution. Regularly wiping the machine helps maintain its appearance and prevents the buildup of grime. 

Pay special attention to the area around the filter basket and the water reservoir, as these areas can accumulate coffee grounds and water stains. Keeping these parts clean ensures that your coffee maker not only looks good but also operates efficiently.

How to clean your pour-over coffee maker

Pour-over coffee makers provide a particularly rich flavor and, thankfully, are among the easiest coffee makers to clean. After detaching any accessories, such as leather or cork components, gently wash both the glass and stainless steel parts in warm, soapy water. Many of these parts can also be safely cleaned in the dishwasher, making maintenance even more convenient.

With a clean coffee maker, you can now sit back, relax and enjoy fresh coffee - as many times a day as you like!


Adam was the Content Director of Subscriptions and Services at Future, meaning that he oversaw many of the articles the publisher produces about antivirus software, VPN, TV streaming, broadband and mobile phone contracts - from buying guides and deals news, to industry interest pieces and reviews. Adam can still be seen dusting his keyboard off to write articles for the likes of TechRadar, T3 and Tom's Guide, having started his career at consumer champions Which?.