Your Oster coffeemaker is designed to help you kick-start your day with a fresh cup of java, but to be sure you get the most from your beans, you need to clean it before using it, and you need to keep it clean. If you don't, you may begin to notice a bitter taste in your coffee. Besides keeping your Oster coffee maker clean after each use, the manufacturer also recommends regularly decalcifying it and has included a preprogrammed cleaning cycle in the controls.
Before Using Your Coffeemaker
When you unpack your Oster coffeemaker, the manufacturer recommends a simple procedure before brewing your first cup:
- Wash the filter basket, decanter and decanter lid with mild detergent and water, then rinse them with clear water.
- Set the filter basket and decanter in place and put the lid on the decanter.
- Fill the reservoir with clean water and run the coffeemaker through a normal brewing cycle. Don't add coffee or a filter.
- Discard the water when the brewing cycle is complete and rinse the decanter, lid and filter basket. The unit is now ready for the first brew.
Oster Coffee Maker Cleaning
To maintain the quality of your freshly brewed coffee, you should clean the decanter, decanter lid and filter basket with mild dish detergent and water whenever you want to brew a new pot. Always unplug the coffeemaker and allow the decanter to cool before doing this.
Decalcifying the Coffeemaker
Few residential water supplies are entirely free of lime and other minerals that make the water hard. Mineral deposits that collect inside the coffeemaker eventually slow water flow. This increases the brewing time and may make your coffee stronger than it would be otherwise. You clear these deposits using white vinegar and the coffeemaker's "Clean" cycle.
- Set the empty decanter on the hot plate and put on the lid. Put an empty filter in the filter basket and set the basket in place. Plug in the coffeemaker.
- Fill the reservoir to the full mark with undiluted white distilled vinegar. Press the "Select" button until the "Clean" indicator light turns on. The coffeemaker will automatically run through the clean cycle, which takes from 45 to 60 minutes to complete. It will brew part of the vinegar, then pause and then brew the rest of it. The "Clean" button goes off when the cycle is complete.
- Discard the vinegar when the cycle is complete, then take out the filter and discard it. If it's a reusable filter, clean it prior to putting it back in the basket.
- Fill the reservoir with clean water and run the coffeemaker through a regular brew cycle. When the cycle is complete, discard the water, fill the reservoir with clean water again, and run the coffeemaker through the brew cycle a second time.
When to Decalcify
Some Oster coffeemakers have a warning light to tell you when hard water deposits need to be cleaned. Check your Oster coffee maker program instructions to find out if your model offers this feature. If yours doesn't have this feature, you should decalcify after each 80 brew cycles or — if your water is especially hard — after 40 brew cycles.
Chris Deziel is a contractor, builder and general fix-it pro who has been active in the construction trades for 40 years. He has degrees in science and humanities and years of teaching experience. An avid craftsman and musician, Deziel began writing on home improvement topics in 2010. He worked as an expert consultant with eHow Now and Pro Referral -- a Home Depot site. A DIYer by nature, Deziel regularly shares tips and tricks for a better home and garden at Hunker.com.