11 Ways To Clean A Coffee Maker Without Vinegar

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learn how to clean a coffee maker without vinegar

Many coffee fans believe that the only way to clean a pot is with vinegar. This is just not the case. There are other methods out there that will help you get your coffee pot just as clean without dealing with the vinegar’s adverse effects in your coffee pot. Let me show you how to clean a coffee maker without vinegar.

Why You Need To Clean Your Coffee Maker Without Vinegar

Cleaning your coffee maker with vinegar has some downsides. For starters, vinegar has a really strong smell. In addition to having to work with the vinegar to get it in your coffee pot, the entire time you are running the cycle, you will be smelling vinegar throughout your house. This is a bit much for some people to handle. 

You know that we love vinegar as a natural cleaner in the kitchen, but we could do without sending vinegar fumes throughout our house. 

The other downside to using vinegar to clean your coffee maker is that it takes a very long time to get the vinegar taste/smell out of the pot. You will have to run the cycle many times in order to clear things out, and unfortunately, that is time-consuming and annoying. Some super sensitive coffee fanatics believe the vinegar taste never fully left their pot! 

The Benefits Of Cleaning Your Coffee Maker Regularly

There are several reasons to clean your coffee maker regularly. The most important reasons to clean your coffee maker are to eliminate mold and bacteria and to make sure that the coffee maker runs more efficiently. 

When you don’t clean your coffee maker, there will be buildup inside, leading to mold or bacteria growing in the coffee maker. To eliminate this, regular cleaning is very effective. The good news is that vinegar is not the only way to complete a coffee maker cleaning. 

1. Wash Removable Parts With Borax 

Borax seems like an old fashioned cleaner, but there is no reason that people should not use it in their kitchens today. Before there were lots of brand name cleaning solutions, there was Borax.

It can be used for a variety of different cleaning projects, and honestly, every house should have a box of this handy cleaner around. 

If you want to clean the removable parts of your coffee maker with borax, it is best to put together a solution of a few cups of warm water with a few tablespoons of Borax. The exact formula for this method is not essential; just keep the ratio being cups to tablespoons. 

Use this mixture to rinse and wipe down the removable parts and then rinse them with fresh water thoroughly. Every time you remove the parts from your coffee maker to clean them, run a freshwater cycle on your coffee maker afterward. 

2. Hydrogen Peroxide To Clean Your Coffee Pot

One of the reasons we love hydrogen peroxide as a cleaner for your coffee pot is because of the way it can get rid of bacteria. If it has been a while since the last time you cleaned your coffee pot (or you never cleaned your coffee pot!), there are probably some bacteria growing in there. Don’t worry; we are as disgusted as you are, but there is a solution. 

Hydrogen peroxide is a great household cleaner when it comes to removing bacteria. Take two cuts of water and combine it with one cup of hydrogen peroxide. Set your coffee maker to brew a pot of coffee and let the hydrogen peroxide run through a cycle. 

When you have finished, run the coffee cycle at least two more times using only water. Although hydrogen peroxide is not going to be dangerous if a little were to get in your coffee, it is not something you want to consume. Run the extra cycles, and you can feel confident that your coffee pot is bacteria-free. 

3. How To Clean A Coffee Maker With Lemon Juice 

One of the reasons that people love vinegar for a coffee maker cleaner is that it is very acidic. The acid is what helps break down the buildup inside the coffee maker.

When you run a cleaning cycle on your coffee maker, you will be able to smell the product you are using just as you would smell coffee in your home. 

When using lemon juice, you will smell lemons, which is a scent that most people actually prefer to smell over vinegar. To clean your coffee maker with lemon juice, you can run it through your coffee maker just as you would with a vinegar deep clean. 

Once you have completed the clean with the lemon juice, run clean water through the coffee maker for several cycles. The clean water will help to make sure that all of the lemon juice is removed, and you don’t end up with an acidic taste in your coffee. 

4. How To Clean A Coffee Maker With Bleach

Cleaning a coffee maker with bleach can be effective, but it is not really recommended. When you clean a coffee maker with vinegar or lemon, you may end up with a few pots of coffee that taste just a little funny; when you use bleach, you could end up getting sick. 

Unless you absolutely know that all of the bleach is out of the coffee maker, it is really unsafe to drink the coffee. Drinking even just a trace amount of bleach can get a person really sick and cause indigestion problems. 

If you have to use bleach on your coffee maker, use a very diluted formula and make sure that you spend a long time letting freshwater run through the cycle when you are finished. With all the other methods out there to clean a coffee pot, we would probably just recommend going down a different path. 

5. Cream of Tartar To Clean The Coffee Maker

Cream of tartar can be a great way to get rid of stains in your coffee pot. The best way to complete this process it to fill your coffee pot with water and then add two or three teaspoons of cream of tartar. 

Once the mixture is ready to go, let the solution heat up. When it is hot, use the cloth to scrub the pot. Make sure that the solution is not too hot, so you don’t burn your hand in the process. 

Cream of tarter is a great choice for getting rid of stains in the coffee maker, and it is not expensive. It’s a very similar cleaning agent to baking soda, and it does not pose much risk if it is consumed. Once you are done scrubbing with the cream of tartar solution, then you should rinse the pot with water. 

6. How To Clean The Coffee Maker With Baking Soda

If you follow our blog often (if you don’t, you should!), then you know that we love baking soda. We use baking soda to clean the oven and the microwave. Baking soda is one of the best cleaning solutions out there, and it is affordable and nontoxic as well. 

To clean your coffee maker with baking soda, you should mix a cup of warm water with a quarter cup of baking soda. This should be all that you need to clean a standard size coffee maker. Take your mixture and run it through one cycle in the coffee maker. 

As with most of these cleaning solutions and ideas, you should then flush the system with several rounds of freshwater. The freshwater will help to make sure that nothing tastes like baking soda. 

7. Best Way To Clean A Coffee Pot With Dish Soap

If you want to use dish soap to clean your coffee pot, make sure that you know how to take your coffee pot apart and put it back together as well. When you disassemble your coffee pot, you can use warm water and dish soap to clean all the individual parts of the coffee pot. 

When you assemble the coffee pot, you should run water through the coffee maker for a few cycles. This will help to ensure that you truly got all of the dish soap out of the coffee maker. If you have ever had coffee with a slight hint of dish soap in it, you know how important this step is! 

8. Remove Build-Up With Ice Water And Salt

You can use a combination of salt and ice water to clean the carafe of the coffee maker. What you should do is take a bunch of crushed ice and mix it with salt. You do not need to put water in as well because the ice will melt and create cold water in the carafe. 

Take a spoon and stir the mixture around. As you do this, you will see the build-up, and the grime starts to come off the sides of the pot. This is a very natural and easy way to complete this project. Thre is also almost no chance that this will affect the taste of your coffee when all is said and done! 

9. Clean With Alka Seltzer Tablets

Alka Seltzer Tablets can create quite a reaction. If you have never used them in your kitchen, you may be surprised by what they have to offer. For this method, you are going to want to fill your coffee pot with water and then add four tablets of Alka seltzer. 

Let the Alka seltzer and water work together for about fifteen minutes. Then put your coffee put on and let the solution run through an entire cycle. When all is said and done, rinse out the pot and then run another cycle with just freshwater running through. 

10. Make Your Carafe Shine With Rice

Sometimes the carafe on your coffee pot will get a stain, and they are hard to reach. Take some water, a drop of dish soap, and some rice and fill it to the level of the stain.

When you have the solution in the pot, move it around slightly, and the rice will work as a scrubbing agent to remove the ring around the carafe. It’s impressive the job that the rice can do with very little effort on your part. 

11. Clean The Coffee Maker With Vodka

Vodka does a great job of removing the plastic smell that you may get when you first purchase a coffee maker. If you are willing to give up a bit of your Vodka for a cleaning project, you will be pleasantly surprised at how much better your coffee pot will smell. 

For this method, it is best to mix three parts water with one part vodka and let your coffee maker go through a typical cycle. Once you are finished with the Vodka cycle, make sure you run a clean water cycle to make sure all the vodka is out of the system. 


Hopefully, our guide as to the best ways to clean a coffee pot without vinegar, has helped you to figure out another method that could work for you.

Some will still choose to stick with their trusty vinegar, but we have to admit we like the superpowers that the lemon cleaning solution offers.

Lemon also seems like a much better thing to have in your coffee than a bit of vinegar, bleach, or even baking soda. You will eventually find a method that works best for your coffee pot!