Cleaning Coffee Maker With Vinegar [A Definitive Guide]

Who doesn’t like the smell of good coffee in the morning? Nowadays, having a coffee maker at home has become essential and it is to keep us active daily, because we need a small boost of energy and what better than coffee to give it to us?

I don’t know about you, but I am not a person until I have a coffee right after I wake up. If I don’t get a good dose of caffeine in the morning, I don’t get going and go zombie through life. What would become of me if I didn’t have a coffee machine! This appliance can become one of the most important in the kitchen. However, and although it may not seem like it, if you do not maintain it with the necessary hygienic conditions, it can lead to health problems.


Well, coffee is naturally a very oily substance. Over time, the coffee oils build up inside the machine to form a rancid residue. It causes an unpleasant smell that gives a guideline to recognize that it is already necessary to maintain it. The central problem is not this, but the problem really lies in the residues that accumulate in the filters and tubes that in the end will cause a malfunction in the machine. For obvious reasons, the quality of the coffee will no longer be the best even if it is prepared with a specialty coffee, because the coffeemaker will not be ready to provide you with its best attributes.


Therefore, it is advisable to follow these steps so that the coffee machine continues to function correctly:


1- To start with, it is recommended to clean every removable piece of the coffee maker after every use of it. You can do it with just water but it is better if you wash it with the soap so that the coffee, grinds and oil are removed effectively.

2- The second step if your coffee machine looks dirty with the passage of time is to wash it with water, soap and some rice. So that all the dirt goes.

3- The last step and the most important if you want your coffee maker to work perfectly is the descaling. It is of great importance for the quality of coffee and your health. Cleaning the coffee maker, or what is known as descaling the coffee maker, is a measure that allows taking care of the quality of the coffee in the cup, in addition to respecting the taste of the coffee, otherwise, the flavor will be distorted towards a strange taste. Which is the reason for this? Well, it is due to the lime of the water that accumulates inside the machine, and that in the long run can damage it.



There are different types of coffee makers but we are going to differentiate between two types of them when it comes to descaling: the espresso machine and the Italian coffee machine. Since when it comes to cleaning, they are different.

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Although there are different brands that have already created their own descaling solution, there are old methods that work in the same way to descale our coffee machine. As is vinegar.


Of course, it is very important to note that many of these brands of coffee makers do not recommend using vinegar to descale them because they warn that they can cause damage to it.




It is true, as we mentioned earlier, that there are specific solutions for descaling coffee makers. But vinegar has also been used for this for a long time. That is why we are going to give you the pros and cons of each of the methods.


Almost all major coffee maker manufacturers, especially capsule makers, market their own descaling liquids or tablets, and therefore advise users to buy these. They are not responsible for what happens as a result of the use of vinegar in coffee makers (or other compounds that can be used in descaling).


The main problem or harmful effect that vinegar can have on your coffee maker is corrosion or damage to the internal elements that are made of aluminum.


For this reason, nothing has to happen if after descaling with vinegar you make sure to rinse very well (up to two or three times, if necessary) the inside of the coffee maker, and the inside of the water tank.


There should also be no risk if your coffee maker has steel components and not aluminum. But, as we have said before … this already depends on each case and we cannot establish common standards for all cases. Just give the information, and urge each user to act accordingly.


In short, that home remedies to descale coffee makers are always an option discouraged by most of the main manufacturers


In a lifetime, when there were not so many advances, brands or resources as now, the descaling processes in coffee machines were carried out with vinegar. Using white vinegar to descale today is more of an inheritance from this bygone era than a real need or option that is widely recommended.


It is also a very suitable -and widespread- product for general domestic cleaning (there are even specific vinegars for cleaning), and sometimes there is a tendency to generalize and confuse this use of general cleaning with a process as specific and delicate as the descaling of coffee maker.


One of the main and most noticeable advantages of vinegar is that vinegar is much cheaper than commercially sold solutions, which does not mean that it will be worse. What’s more, we could say that it is as effective or more than water softeners. Besides that the descaling solutions usually carry precautions since they can irritate the skin something that vinegar does not.


Now that you know the pros and cons of each of the methods, we are going to show you how to use vinegar to decalcify the coffee maker in a very simple and fast way and even how to use it with other methods to make it more effective and less harmful to your coffee maker.

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Vinegar To Descale Coffee Maker


Even knowing the pros and cons of each of the methods many times or we do not have descaling liquid at hand or we cannot find it in our usual store or we are lazy to buy it online as it is a very cheap product that will almost cost us same as shipping costs. And this is where vinegar makes its appearance. As said before we are going to diferentiate two types of coffee makers when cleaning: the espresso machine and the italian coffee maker.



How To Clean A Espresso Machine


1- How To Clean A Coffee Maker With Vinegar


If you want to make use of this option, with just vinegar, we will give you the steps to follow to do it. Mainly you must turn on the coffee maker to heat it, place 0.5 liter of vinegar in the tank, then you must press the two buttons on your coffee maker to enter cleaning mode.


Then you must let the coffee maker perform its cleaning process, repeat the process again with the same water that came out of your coffee maker, then do the procedure again with only clean water to remove residue and vinegar flavor.

We must note that this shape is usually very aggressive for your coffee maker because acetic acid is usually very strong to descale, due to the materials with which coffee makers are made, for this reason we will leave you other options.


Another method that includes vinegar as a descaler is one containing water, vinegar and baking soda to descale the coffee maker.


2- How To Clean A Coffee Maker With Water, Vinegar And Baking Soda


This method is a little more gentle and tolerable for your coffee maker, however it is still aggressive, it works in the same way as the previous one, what varies is the amount of products that we are going to add and this time we will tell it to continuation: ¼ liter of vinegar, ¼ liter of water and half tablespoon of baking soda.


You must place all the products in the container of the coffee maker and begin the cleaning cycle, repeat and then rinse with only water to remove flavor residues.


As we said before there we are going to diferentiate two types of coffee machines when cleaning them: the coffee maker(espresso machine) and the Italian coffee maker that is made on fire.


How To Clean An Italian Coffee Maker


To clean this type of coffee maker and leave it spotless, follow these steps:


Boil water with vinegar. First, bring the tank to a boil with a mixture of water and vinegar. You will need one part vinegar to three parts water. You should never exceed the valve because, otherwise, it would be clogged.

Place the coffee filter on top of the coffee maker. Bring it to a boil until all the mixture evaporates and you find it at the top. Actually, it is as if we were making coffee but without adding the ground product.

Clean the inside of the coffee maker and the base

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Once we have all the liquid on top, we empty the result. With help

of a sponge, we will rub until eliminating all the stains of the interior until it acquires shine.


Then we will dedicate ourselves to cleaning the base with a scouring pad suitable for steel. With a little soap, we will rub in a circular way until it is clean. We have to be careful because we could leave marks if we press the surface too much.


Clean The Valve And The Filter


The valve of the coffee makers is that little indicator that is located halfway up the water tank. It marks the water level and we must not exceed it.


The coffee filter should be cleaned after each use, once it has cooled down. It is very important to keep it clean and free of impurities so that it does not get clogged. If clogged, the steam will not come out of the holes and will lead to bad coffee.


Do not abandon the coffee machine, and even less neglect the small details such as the filter and the valve!



Alternatives To Using Vinegar In Coffee Makers


Even so, if you want to use another solution on your own as a descaling liquid, you should know that the ideal is to use liquids to descale coffee makers based on citrus fruits, and not on acetic acid.


One of the most frequent arguments against this practice is that vinegar to descale coffee makers is not advisable because it can be too acidic, and even if it removes the traces of lime it can also damage the coffee pipes or leave traces of flavor for future drinks. If you use vinegar for coffee makers, we repeat, always do it under your responsibility and with all the information known in advance.


If you want to use homemade descaling liquid, we advise you to use the juice of one or two lemons, mixed with hot water. The proportion should be approximately one large tablespoon of lemon juice for every half liter of water.


Mix both elements well, and you have your descaling liquid ready to use. Much safer and less aggressive than using vinegar to descale coffee makers.



I hope you have found these tips on how to clean the coffee maker, something that we must not forget despite the many things we have to do every day. If we take this into account, in the long run, we will obtain the benefit of not having to renew the coffee machines and continue enjoying our delicious coffee. Now that you have all the information you need to create your own opinion, it is your decision to descale the coffee maker either with a descaler, vinegar or lemon. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to