Whether you use your Cuisinart coffee maker frequently or not, both the inside and outside areas require occasional cleaning. The inner workings may suffer from a mineral buildup over time, even if you use the device only to heat water for tea. Cleaning the coffee maker with vinegar helps remove these deposits from deep inside the water reservoir while a damp sponge or soapy water can be used to clean the appliance's exterior.
Cleaning a Cuisinart Coffee Maker
Both the inside and outside of the coffee maker require occasional cleaning. Tackle them all in one cleaning session to get that Cuisinart device looking and functioning its best once again.
While the water reservoir and area containing the heating element may suffer from calcium deposits, the filter basket area in a well-used coffee maker develops brown residue from wet coffee grounds. To clean this section on a model such as the Coffee Plus, lift the reservoir cover and remove the filter with any leftover coffee grounds. Wash the removable filter basket in warm, soapy water, as you would with dishes or glassware. Rinse the basket and allow it to air dry on a dish rack. Plastic filter baskets may also be washed in the top rack of a dishwasher.
With the coffee maker unplugged, wipe down the area that holds the filter basket using a damp, clean sponge to remove coffee ground residue. Rinse and wring out the sponge, then wipe down all exterior surfaces of the coffee maker, but not the pot. Allow the unit to dry completely before using it again.
Cleaning a Coffee Maker With Vinegar
Regular tap water sometimes leaves mineral deposits inside the water reservoir. Cleaning the Cuisinart coffee maker with vinegar decalcifies the reservoir. Some Cuisinart models offer a flashing "clean" indicator to let you know when decalcification is necessary, but you may also do this whenever the reservoir area shows a chalky white buildup.
Fill the water reservoir one-third with white vinegar, then the rest of the way with clean cool water. Press the "Clean" button, then turn on the coffee maker. Once the coffee maker cycles the liquid through, the unit will beep five times and turn off. Turn it on again; if the "clean" light flashes, run a fresh batch of vinegar and water through; otherwise, fill the reservoir with only water and brew a pot of hot water, without coffee, to rinse out the coffee maker.
If your Cuisinart model doesn't have a "Clean" button or flashing indicator, brew the vinegar mixture as if brewing a pot of plain tap water, not coffee. Dump the mixture and brew a pot of plain tap water to rinse out the vinegar.
Cleaning a Cuisinart Coffee Pot
The coffee pot also develops a buildup of coffee and minerals the more you use it. Always rinse the pot after you're finished drinking and brewing coffee for the day. Cleaning a Cuisinart coffee pot once it's cool can be done in warm, soapy water or on the top rack of a dishwasher. Both the glass carafe and its lid can be washed in these ways. Don't use harsh abrasives or strong chemicals to clean the carafe.
Allowing coffee to sit in the pot for days on end, or keeping the coffee maker on when there's little to no coffee in the carafe, may result in coffee stains that are hard to remove with regular handwashing. If this happens, sprinkle a little table salt or baking soda onto a damp sponge, then wipe the inside of the carafe with the sponge. Both baking soda and salt work as gentle abrasives that remove buildup. If the stain doesn't disappear completely after a good scrubbing, add a little lemon juice or white vinegar and scrub again. Wash the pot thoroughly before using it again.
Kathy Adams is an award-winning writer. She is an avid DIYer that is equally at home repurposing random objects into new, useful creations as she is at supporting community gardening efforts and writing about healthy alternatives to household chemicals. She's written numerous DIY articles for paint and decor companies, as well as for Black + Decker, Hunker, SFGate, Landlordology and others.