How to Clean a Coffee Maker with Baking Soda and Vinegar

No one likes cleaning, especially a complicated device like a coffee maker. But it’s a necessary evil if you want to enjoy great-tasting java every day. Besides, if you set up a cleaning schedule and stick with it, the whole process won’t take too much time. And you can use the cheapest and safest products for keeping your coffee maker in top shape! Today we’ll share how to clean a coffee maker with baking soda and vinegar in a couple of simple steps.

How to Clean a Coffee Maker with Baking

How Baking Soda Cleans Things

Can you clean a coffee maker with baking soda, or is it a hoax?

If you remember anything from high school Science class, you should know that baking soda is alkaline, so it does nothing to remove hard water mineral deposits from your coffee maker. It can even do more harm than good if you run water with soda through the machine that hasn’t been descaled in months. However, it’s your best choice when it comes to removing odors, stains, and grease from the outside of your coffee maker or any other kitchen appliance, for that matter.

How Baking Soda Cleans Things

How Vinegar Cleans Things

Unlike baking soda, vinegar does contain acid (that’s why they bubble up when mixed). Therefore, vinegar is great for descaling kettles, pots, and coffee makers alike. You can use it straight or watered-down, and running a cycle should get your machine squeaky-clean in no time. The pungent smell might be the only drawback of using white vinegar, though you can substitute it with apple cider vinegar.

If You Do Want to Try Cleaning Your Machine with Baking Soda

In case you have no vinegar or descaler on hand, or your machine doesn’t need descaling, you can clean a coffee maker with baking soda. Mix one part of baking soda with four parts of warm water in a carafe until there are no visible lumps or soda particles. Then remove the filter basket, pour the mixture into the water tank, and run the brew cycle. You can pause it in the middle to let the soda mixture work its magic for 30 to 60 minutes, then restart the brewing process. Dump the water from the carafe, refill the machine with clean water, and run the cycle one or two times to rinse it.

Alternatives: Lemon Juice as an Effective Coffee Maker Cleaner

Lemon juice or citric acid are great alternatives if you’re not a fan of the vinegar smell. Both are acidic enough to work as a descaler and cleaner, so you can safely use them inside and outside the machine. If you run the watered-down lemon juice through the brew cycle, you’ll still need to rinse the machine with clean water, or your coffee will taste sour.

Tips for Cleaning Your Espresso Machine

If you’ve splurged on a super-automatic espresso machine, there’s no reason not to buy proper descaling and cleaning products. These will be much safer for your device and preserve your warranty, unlike home-made soda and vinegar-based recipes.

Using filtered water and quality beans is paramount to keep cleaning chores manageable. But you should also pay attention to automatic cleaning and maintenance notifications that will let you know when action is required.

Tips for Cleaning Your Espresso Machine

How to Clean Your French Press

First, add some water to mix with the grounds at the bottom and pour the mixture into a sieve to catch the coffee grounds for recycling. Now you can pour the same soda mixture you would use for a drip machine into the carafe or use soapy water. Insert the plunger and move it up and down a few times to clean the glass. After you’re happy with the looks of it, rinse the carafe and plunger and leave them to dry.

A Better Way to Clean Your Coffee Maker

Why would you need to learn how to clean a coffee maker with baking soda if there are plenty of cleaning products tailored for that purpose? Dezcal and Bar Keepers Friend are both effective and affordable products that are safe for coffee machines and coffee drinkers alike. You can also go with brand-specific cleaning products manufacturers suggest, but they are usually more expensive and rarely worth the money.


Know your coffee maker and kitchen chemicals. Baking soda is only good for removing stains and drawing out unpleasant odors. If you need to clean and descale the machine, vinegar is your best bet, though you can substitute it with lemon juice or affordable cleaning products

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Renat Mamatazin

Renat Mamatkazin


Founder and owner of Lion Coffee and 3ChampsRoastery, 1st place winner of Ukrainian Barista Championship 2017. Interested in travelling, football and Formula-1 (besides coffee, of course).


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