Coffee Makers

7 Ways to Clean Coffee Maker Without Vinegar

How to Clean Coffee Maker Without Vinegar


Vinegar is one of the most popular cleaning agents in many homes, and it is what many coffee lovers will turn to when they want to clean their coffee makers. But sometimes it is not always available, and it is hence a good idea to know how to clean coffee makers without vinegar.

Besides availability, there are other reasons why some coffee drinkers might want to avoid using vinegar to clean their coffee makers. Key among them is the fact that its high acidity can be detrimental to human health.

Also, despite being a potent cleaner, vinegar still does not get rid of all bacteria since it is not as effective as other disinfectants. And many people hate the strong odor that vinegar leaves behind as it takes quite some effort to eliminate.

But regardless of why you cannot use vinegar to clean your coffee maker, the good news is that there are several other ways to clean coffee makers without vinegar

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How to Clean Coffee Maker without Vinegar

While vinegar might be one of the best cleaning agents to use on your coffee maker, it is not the only one as many other equally good options also do not cost much. And they include the following 7.

1. Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is one of the best vinegar alternatives for cleaning coffee makers as it is also a more acidic compound that will be highly effective in getting rid of grime and dirt while also helping to disinfect the coffee maker.

But, the best thing about the lemon juice and what gives an advantage over vinegar is that it will not leave any strong odor behind. And you can either squeeze lemon juice from a few lemons or buy pre-packaged lemon juice.

How to Do It:

Step 1: Start by running a full brew cycle on your coffee maker with water to remove any remaining coffee residue.

Step 2: Make the lemon juice solution by mixing equal parts of lemon juice and water.

Step 3: Fill up the coffee maker’s reservoir with the lemon juice mixture and allow it to sit for at least a quarter an hour.

Step 4: Add a clean filter to the machine and then push the start button to run a brew cycle with the lemon juice solution.

Step 5: After the cycle is complete, discard the lemon juice solution and then run a couple of cycles with water only.

Step 6: Finish by washing any detachable parts in the sink with soap and water.

2. Baking Soda

Baking Soda

Baking soda is a popular DIY home cleaning agent, and it is preferred due to its non-toxic nature and the fact that it is a mild alkali which makes it perfect for removing grease and dirt from different surface and appliances like coffee makers.

How to Do It:

Step 1: First step is to detach the coffee maker’s filter and put it aside.

Step 2: Now add at least one cup of lukewarm water to an empty carafe.

Step 3: Pour in 1/4 cup of baking soda or more on the carafe depending on your coffee maker size and stir to mix the ingredients thoroughly.

Step 4: Pour the mixture to your coffee maker’s water reservoir, return carafe to its place and run a brew cycle.

Step 5: The dirty water will collect in the carafe after the brew cycle and you should then discard.

Step 6: Run clean water through the coffee maker a few times to get rid of baking soda scent and residue.

3. Mild Dishwashing Liquid

Mild Dishwashing Liquid

If you have some mild dishwashing liquid at home, it will give you one of the easiest and fastest ways to clean up your coffee maker. And if you are trying to figure out how to clean coffee pots without vinegar, dishwashing liquid will be very handy for you.

How to Do It:

Step 1: Start by running clean water through a full cycle to remove coffee residue on your coffee maker.

Step 2: Now remove all the detachable parts from the coffee maker.

Step 3: Wash the parts in the sink with the dishwashing liquid in the sink.

Step 4: Reassemble the parts and run a few more brew cycles with water just to be sure there are no coffee residues in the coffee maker.

4. Ice and Salt

Ice and Salt

While ice and salt might look like a weird combination, they still make a potent cleaning agent, and the best thing about them is that they are already available in most homes. But, this mixture will be more appropriate for cleaning out grease and mineral deposits in carafes.

How to Do It:

Step 1: Start by crushing several ice cubes into smaller particles and pour them into the carafe.

Step 2: Now add salt over the crushed ice and mix the two thoroughly.

Step 3: Using a large spoon use the mixture to scrub the inside of the carafe to clean it.

Step 4: When done cleaning you should discard the ice salt mix and wash the carafe in the sink with soap and water as you would normally do.

5. Alcohol


Alcohol can also work as a powerful detergent for cleaning coffee makers, and this is more so vodka as it does not leave any lingering odors and tastes behind. And if you are having issues with a plastic coffee smell and taste due to a plastic water reservoir, alcohol can also be very helpful.

How to Do It:

Step 1: Mix 1 part of 25% alcohol like vodka with 1 part of clean water.

Step 2: Add the mixture to your coffee maker’s water reservoir.

Step 3: Run a brew cycle with the mixture once or twice depending on how dirty the coffee maker is.

Step 4: Discard the alcohol mixture and run clean water through the coffee maker at least twice.

6. Borax


Borax is one of those multipurpose cleaning agents that you should always have around as it can help with everything from cleaning floors and fridges to coffee makers.

Better yet, borax does not leave any lingering odors or chemical films on your surfaces or appliances, and so it should be on top of your mind as you try to come up with a solution on how to clean Keurig coffee maker without vinegar.

How to Do It:

Step 1: Fill up the water reservoir with water.

Step 2: Add around 2 tablespoons of borax to the water reservoir.

Step 3: Run a complete brew cycle with the borax in your coffee maker.

Step 4: Discard the borax and water mixture and rinse out the coffee maker with several brew cycles using clean water.

7. Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is a common disinfect that you are likely to find in many homes and what you might not know is that it can also be very useful for cleaning coffee makers. But, given that it is a little toxic, you will need to keep it away from kids and be cautious when using it.

How to Do It:

Step 1: Add 1 cup of water to a large bowl or carafe.

Step 2: Pour around 2 cups of water into the carafe and mix the two ingredients.

Step 3: Next add the hydrogen peroxide mixture into your coffee maker and run a full brew cycle.

Step 4: Discard the mixture which will collect on the carafe and then run several cycles of clean water through the machine to remove any hydrogen peroxide residue and smell.


Now that you know how to clean coffee makers without vinegar, running out of vinegar should never be the reason why you do not keep your priced coffee machine clean.

And the best news is that most of these methods involve things that you will typically get in most home, and so you will not need to spend any extra cash to clean your coffee maker.

But, also note that different methods will work well for different types of coffee makers and it depends on the level of dirt and grime accumulation, and so you might need to try out a few of these methods to get one that gives you the thorough clean up you want.

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