For many people, the first thing they do in the morning is walk over to the coffee maker and pour a steaming cup of coffee. Whether it's programmed ahead of time or brewed on the spot, coffee helps you jump into the day and face it head-on.
However, as important as coffee may seem, cleaning your coffee pot regularly is just as important. Simply rinsing it out may seem like a quick fix, but if you truly want to keep the integrity of the flavor of your coffee intact, a regular thorough cleaning is absolutely necessary.
Why Clean Your Coffee Maker?
As previously mentioned, ignoring the cleanliness of your coffee maker can alter the taste of your favorite morning beverage due to calcium or other mineral buildup. The mineral buildup can happen everywhere from the water reservoir to the inside of the actual coffee carafe. Using a clean coffee maker will not only help with the flavor of your coffee but will also help your coffee maker have the longest life possible.
The Martha Stewart website points out how important it is to clean not only the outside of your coffee maker but also the inside of the carafe, as coffee buildup will also accumulate in these areas. They explain that using household, food-grade cleaners is best since you are using your coffee pot to make something that your body will ingest. So avoiding toxic chemicals is a must.
What Products to Use
Using a homemade coffee machine cleaner will keep your mind at ease when enjoying your first sip of morning coffee. To clean your machine with household products, all you need is some baking soda and lemon juice. They can be used individually to clean, but when combined, they have a stronger effect and target more areas that you might not realize are dirty.
How to Clean Brewing System
To clean the actual brewing system, begin by using only lemon juice, as it will not leave a powerful odor or after taste for your next cup of coffee. Run the system with cold water to dislodge any coffee grounds that may have found their way into the lines of the brewing cycle. Next, turn your coffee maker off and pour a full pot of mixed lemon juice and room temperature water into the reservoir.
Let the mixture sit in the reservoir from 15 to 20 minutes to let it break down any residue found on the inner walls of the reservoir. The ratio of lemon juice to water can be self-determined, but a good place to start is by adding only 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. You can add more if you are looking for a stronger clean.
Place a filter in the basket and run the cycle with the lemon water. This should flush out any buildup in your machine or through the brewing lines. If you see that there is still buildup in the reservoir, then repeat the cleaning process as many times as necessary to get a thorough clean. Keep in mind that you cannot reuse the same mixture of lemon water due to the deposits that were already removed.
Mr. Coffee mentions that once you have achieved the desired cleanliness, you should run two cycles using regular water (no lemon added) to rinse out any remaining lemon residue.
Baking Soda and Lemon Scrub
Once your coffee maker has been cleaned and runs smoothly, you can begin cleaning the coffee carafe with baking soda. Use a mixture of baking soda and lemon juice to make a quick household cleaner and scrub the outside of the coffee maker.
You should also clean the inside and outside of the coffee carafe to break down any residue at the bottom of the carafe or any burned coffee found on the exterior. Cleaning with baking soda and lemon juice is a safe, cost-efficient way to ensure a total clean for your coffee maker.
Taking on the role of the household's 'handyman' was a natural path for me. Watching my dad as a child be able to fix anything made me want to be just like him. Now with a toolbox of my own I tackle any task that my home throws my way. If the task can be accomplished with my own two hands, I have never been the type to hire someone else to do it. There is nothing more satisfying than staring at your completed project while you brush some dirt from your hands.