How Often Should You Run Vinegar Through Coffee Maker?

You should run vinegar through your coffee maker at least once a month to keep it clean and prevent mineral buildup. Vinegar is a natural and inexpensive way to descale your coffee maker and improve the taste of your brew. In this article, you will learn why vinegar is effective, how to use it properly, and what are the benefits of regular cleaning.

Why Vinegar Works

Vinegar is a common household item that has many uses, including cleaning and disinfecting. Vinegar is acidic, which means it can dissolve and remove hard water deposits, also known as limescale, from your coffee maker. Limescale is the chalky white substance that forms on surfaces that come in contact with hard water, which contains high levels of minerals such as calcium and magnesium. Limescale can clog the tubes and valves of your coffee maker, reducing its efficiency and lifespan. It can also affect the flavor and quality of your coffee, making it bitter and unpleasant.

Vinegar is a safe and natural alternative to commercial descaling products, which may contain harsh chemicals or additives. Vinegar is also cheap and easy to find, making it a convenient and economical option for cleaning your coffee maker.

How to Use Vinegar Properly

To use vinegar to clean your coffee maker, you will need the following items:

  • White vinegar
  • Water
  • A paper filter (optional)
  • A soft cloth or sponge
  • Dish soap

Follow these steps to use vinegar to descale your coffee maker:

  1. Empty and rinse the carafe, the brew basket, and the permanent filter (if you have one) with hot soapy water. If your coffee maker has a water filter, remove it as well.
  2. Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a measuring cup or a pitcher. The amount of vinegar you need depends on the size of your water reservoir. For example, if your reservoir holds 12 cups of water, you will need 6 cups of vinegar and 6 cups of water.
  3. Fill the water reservoir with the vinegar and water solution. If you use paper filters, place one in the brew basket.
  4. Turn on your coffee maker and run it through half of a brew cycle. This will allow the vinegar to circulate through the machine and dissolve the limescale.
  5. Turn off your coffee maker and let it sit for 30 minutes to an hour. This will give the vinegar more time to work on the stubborn deposits.
  6. Turn on your coffee maker again and finish the brew cycle. This will flush out the remaining vinegar from the machine.
  7. Discard the vinegar solution and the paper filter (if you used one).
  8. Rinse the carafe, the brew basket, and the permanent filter (if you have one) with clean water.
  9. Fill the water reservoir with fresh water and run two full brew cycles. This will rinse out any traces of vinegar from the machine and the parts.
  10. Wipe the exterior of your coffee maker with a soft cloth or sponge dampened with water. You can also use a mild dish soap if needed.
  11. Replace the water filter (if you have one) and enjoy your freshly cleaned coffee maker.
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What are the Benefits of Regular Cleaning

Cleaning your coffee maker with vinegar at least once a month has many benefits, such as:

  • Improving the performance and durability of your coffee maker. By removing the limescale and other impurities, you can prevent clogging, overheating, and malfunctioning of your machine. You can also extend its lifespan and save money on repairs or replacements.
  • Improving the taste and quality of your coffee. By eliminating the bitter and sour flavors caused by limescale and old coffee oils, you can enjoy a smoother and richer brew. You can also enhance the aroma and freshness of your coffee by using clean water and filters.
  • Improving your health and safety. By sanitizing your coffee maker and its parts, you can prevent the growth of bacteria, mold, and yeast, which can cause infections and illnesses. You can also avoid exposure to harmful chemicals or additives that may be present in commercial descaling products.


Vinegar is a simple and effective way to clean your coffee maker and keep it in good condition. By running vinegar through your coffee maker at least once a month, you can descale your machine, improve your coffee, and protect your health. Vinegar is also a natural, safe, and cheap option that you can easily find in your kitchen. Try it today and see the difference for yourself.