You probably know vinegar is a great cleaning liquid. Maybe you have used it to clean your kitchen tabletop, floor, carpets, and even windows. If that is the case, you must have seen and even smelt, the problems vinegar can cause.
Don’t get me wrong, vinegar is a fantastic cleaning solution. But because it has a strong acidic nature, it can damage the seals and rubber gaskets of your coffee maker, leaving you with a machine that leaks water and coffee. This is why you need other ways to clean your coffee maker without vinegar.
There is also the issue of smell and taste. It has an odor that sticks around for a long time, plus a bitter taste that can ruin your coffee and spoil the rich aroma. That is the last thing you’d ever want as a lover of the brew. It takes a lot of rinsing and airing to begin to lose that unpleasantness.
How to Clean a Coffee Maker Without Vinegar: 7 Proven Options
With the above in mind, I have complied some cleaning methods that don’t involve any type of vinegar.
1. Use lemon juice
You can be sure to get a fresh cup of coffee if you regularly clean your coffee maker with some lemon juice. Even though lemons contain natural acids as vinegar does, the ones in lemons are a different kind. Yet, they take care of all your stuck coffee particles and mineral deposits that come from water.
Here’s how to start: Mix one cup of lemon juice with one cup of water. The number of cups of each liquid depends on the size of your coffee maker. The important thing to remember is that the lemon juice and the water must be of equal quantity.
The next thing to do is fill the reservoir with the mixture and start the machine. Let it run halfway through and then stop it. Now it’s time to let the solution do its work. Give it about 15 minutes of rest and then pour the leftover solution inside the machine and turn it on. The next thing to do is pour in some fresh water to rinse it out. You’re done with the cleaning so it’s time to get all that lemon and water mixture out of the way.
2. Try baking soda
This big guy is popular not just for making cakes, muffins, and cookies but also for whitening the teeth. It is one multipurpose product that others would find difficult to match in usefulness. Chefs swear by it and some of them use it to cook beans and potatoes. It can also be used to clean kitchen drains, ovens, and refrigerators. But right now, we’ll focus on using it to clean your coffee maker.
To do this, pour some water into the coffee pot and add some water. Take the time to properly mix both of them into a paste and empty it into your water reservoir. Turn on the coffee maker and start the brewing process using only the paste. Keep at it until the reservoir is empty. At this point, you should put clean water in the tank and run the machine again to clear out the water and baking soda mixture.
Don’t forget to repeat this last step until the water that runs out of the coffee maker is clean and clear. That takes us to the next method.
3. Clean with hydrogen peroxide
Another great way to clean your coffee maker without using vinegar is to use hydrogen peroxide. It’s a powerful substance that will kill all germs and help remove old coffee particles.
All you need to do is put one cup of it into your reservoir and fill it with plain water. Let it sit for a while then run start the machine and let it brew with the solution. Continue until the entire system is empty and free of the mix.
The last step and most important step to take is to put in some clean water and get the machine started again. This where you allow the water to flush out all the cleaning substance you’ve just used. You can repeat this step three or more times to remove all traces of the solution.
4. Give bleach a try
If you decide to go this route, you will need to be extra careful. Bleach can be very harsh on the skin. You should avoid using it undiluted because it may permanently damage your coffee maker.
Start by mixing four cups of water with two tablespoonfuls of bleach. Use a separate bowl to do the mixing. It is safer to wear a pair of gloves for this procedure. The next thing to do is to insert the filter paper into the machine and pour the bleach and water solution into the coffee maker. Now’s the time to time it on and let it run for a while so the cleaning can start. The dirt and grime stuck in the machine will come out as it continues running.
Rinsing comes next. Please be sure to rinse many times by putting in some clean water, turning on the device and leaving it to do its job. It’s good to know that bleach can be used in this way and not just for removing tough stains on your clothes.
The next time you use it in making your laundry sparkling white, remember what else it can be used for.
5. Alcohol can do it, too
This jolly fellow has been blamed for a lot of fights and road accidents all over the world. But before you write him off, think about the fact that he is not a weakling.
Drinks like vodka or other spirits are strong enough to be used to clean your coffee maker. Their high alcohol content makes them suitable for breaking down particles and sterilizing your device.
What you need to do is fill the tank of your machine. One-quarter of the mix should be alcohol and three-quarters should be plain water.
After a few moments, switch the device and let it start the brewing cycle. Only instead of making some nice coffee, it’ll a nice cleaning session going on in there.
As soon as the cycle ends and the machine is free of the substance, it’s time to run some clean water through it. Put water into the appliance and get it running as before. After three or four cycles, your coffee maker should be sparkling clean. Now you have another reason to buy vodka, whisky, or brandy. Bottoms up!
6. Ice and salt will also work
From helping us reduce swellings to soothing burns and keeping our food fresh and drinks chilled, ice has a long history of being useful. What would we do without it? Still, when you combine it with salt you have a powerful mixture.
Apart from being useful for seasoning your food and making it taste good, salt is a cleaning agent that can be used to sterilize open cuts. This is why it is not hard to believe that it can sterilize your coffee maker.
To use ice and salt to clean your device, crush the ice and place it in the tank of the appliance. Add table salt to it and stir, then take that brew and put it in the machine’s container.
Use a small cloth to rub the salt and crushed ice against the inside of the device, while focusing on the dirtiest areas. The next thing to do is to wash the removable parts in the kitchen sink or using the dishwasher.
It is also necessary to put some clean water in the reservoir and start the machine like you are about to make a brew. This will remove all the ice and salt left in the appliance. You don’t want a cup of coffee that’s salty, do you?
7. Good old liquid soap can do the trick
It’s all too easy to take soap for granted. We use it to wash the dishes after our meals. We also use bar soap to bathe. It makes sense to also use it to clean a coffee maker.
This one is a little different though. To use liquid soap for cleaning your machine, you’ll need to disassemble your coffee maker. It takes a bit of technical expertise to pull this one off. You will also need tools to do it. I don’t recommend this one for the average person. If it’s done by untrained people, the device could be ruined or worse.
After dismantling it, use the liquid soap and some water to wash the parts. Rinse it well before reassembling it. The last thing to do is to run clean water through the appliance, as it works, to be sure that it is soap-free. Remember: There is no such thing as too much rinsing. As great as soap is, you don’t want it near anything you intend to eat or drink.
Your device should be clean and ready to use now. Go ahead and make some fresh coffee to celebrate.