How To Clean Coffee Maker With Apple Cider Vinegar

How To Clean Coffee Maker With Apple Cider Vinegar

The coffee maker is one of the busiest appliances not only in the kitchen but in the entire home. And so it will also require more regular maintenance and cleaning to keep it in good working condition.

As you use your coffee maker more and more, you will start noticing that the coffee flavors change and the performance of the machine diminishing. When this happens, it is a sign that you need to clean up the coffee maker and apple cider vinegar is one of the best things to use.

Apple cider vinegar is widely available in most homes, and it is a potent cleaning agent thanks to the higher acidity that will help remove those nasty build ups fast. And cleaning up your coffee maker with apple cider vinegar is quite a straightforward process.

Why Use Apple Cider Vinegar?

With the many other effective coffee makers cleaning agents like white vinegar, baking soda, and lime juice, you might be wondering why you should use apple cider vinegar. Here are a few reasons why it will be a good choice for cleaning up your coffee maker.

1. It Is Highly Effective at Removing Build-Up.

With an acetic acid content of at least 5%, apple cider vinegar is a potent cleaning agent that will be highly effective at removing common coffee maker build-ups such as minerals, build-up oils and other things like muck and spent coffee grounds.

2. Kills Bacteria and Mold

Just like white vinegar, apple cider vinegar is also a potent mold and bacteria exterminator. This vinegar can kill up to 99.9% of bacteria and at least 90% of the mold, and so besides leaving your coffee maker clean, it will also rid it of these harmful organisms that pose a significant health risk.

3. It is Widely Available

Apple cider vinegar is a widely available product despite being a little pricier than white vinegar, and many homes will have it around at any time. Also, apple cider vinegar is easier to make than you might think if you are one of those coffee lovers with a DIY spirit.

What You Will Need

  • Enough apple cider vinegar to fill half a carafe
  • Damp kitchen towel
  • Dry kitchen towel
  • Sponge
  • Hot soapy water

Step by Step Directions

Step by Step Directions

Step 1: Empty Carafe and Filter

Before you start the cleaning process the first step should always be to empty your carafe and make sure you rinse it with clean water afterward. While at it, also remove the filter and discard the used coffee grounds.

Step 2: Mix Apple Cider Vinegar with Water

Next step is to prepare your cleaning solution. And here you will need to add about 4 cups of apple cider vinegar to your carafe or enough to fill it up to the halfway mark and then add water to fill up the other half.

This means like with regular white vinegar, you should use 1 part of apple cider vinegar and 1 part water. But, when dealing with severe buildups or if your coffee maker has not been cleaned for a long time, it is okay to use 2 parts vinegar and 1 part water to make a more potent cleaning solution.

Step 3: Add Solution to Water Reservoir

Next step is to fill up the water reservoir on your coffee maker with the apple cider vinegar solution. And while different coffee makers will have different size reservoirs, one carafe is often more than enough cleaning solutions for most models.

Step 4: Run Half Brew Cycle

With the cleaning solution on your water reservoir, you should now power up your coffee maker and start a brew cycle. However, this should be a half brew cycle, and so you will need to stop midway before the solution is dispensed and then switch off the coffee maker.

Allow the apple cider vinegar solution to sit on the coffee maker for at least an hour but you can leave it longer if you think you have heavy buildup. Allowing the solution to sit on the machine will soften the calcified content on your coffee maker and make it easier to remove.

Step 5: Complete Brew Cycle

After one hour, you can now switch on the coffee maker and push the brew button to complete the brew cycle. And given that the solution has already softened the buildup, this step will help to flush it out in the cleaning solution.

Step 6: Discard Cleaning Solution

Just like coffee, the cleaning solution with the mineral deposits and the muck from your coffee maker will collect in the carafe. And once the carafe is full, you should now discard it on the sink and make sure you clean up the carafe thoroughly as you will need to use it for the step that follows.

Step 7: Run a Fresh Water Cycle

Using the carafe, fill up your coffee maker’s water reservoir with clean water which you should then use to rinse out the coffee maker by running a full brew cycle. But, before doing this it will be a good idea to allow the coffee maker to cool down for a few minutes.

And given that apple cider vinegar leaves behind a stronger smell and a more noticeable taste, you will need to rinse out the coffee maker with clean water several times to ensure you get rid of the smell and taste completely.

Step 8: Wipe Down Machine and Wash Carafe and Filter

The last step is easy to overlook and many coffee maker owners will even forget about it. This step will entail wiping down the exterior surface of the coffee maker. And here you can use some of the apple cider vinegar solution to dampen a kitchen towel and use it to wiper the machine before wiping it off with a clean towel damped in water and then drying out with a dry towel

Also, remember to wash your filter basket and carafe with the hot soapy water, and if you can soak them for a couple of hours the better as this will ensure all the stains and build-up are removed. And once this is done, you can now reassemble your coffee maker and it will be clean and ready to use.


1. Apple cider vinegar leaves a distinct fruity flavor behind, so you will need a few extra flushes with clean water to get rid of it.

2. You can also use apple cider vinegar to clean other coffee maker types such as the French press, and you will only need to first soak the plunger and mesh filter in an apple cider vinegar solution for a few hours.

3. In addition to cleaning your coffee maker with apple cider vinegar also remember to allow it to dry out properly at least once a week because moist environments create a perfect habitat for bacteria and mold growth.


You need to clean your coffee maker regularly to ensure it continues providing some delightful coffee and maintains peak performance and there is no way around this. But, you can choose what to use for the cleanup, and one of the best things you can use is apple cider vinegar.

Just like the more popular white vinegar, apple cider vinegar is also a potent cleaning agent thanks to the at least 5% acidic content that makes it potent enough to remove all those nasty build-ups.

Also, apple cider vinegar is widely available and is only just a little pricier than white vinegar in many places. And although it will require a few extra rinses to get rid of the smell and taste, cleaning a coffee maker with apple cider vinegar is still quite easy.

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