Drip coffee makers are as common in most homes as toasters, but some still prefer the old-fashioned percolator coffee pot. The basic principle is the same—hot water drips down over coffee grounds—but in a percolator, the water is forced up through a central tube. It's important to clean coffee percolators regularly to keep them free of clogs and of oils that can make coffee taste bitter.
Mix equal parts white vinegar and water.
Fill the percolator with the vinegar and water solution and turn it on, or turn on the stove burner beneath it. When it is finished percolating, turn off the heat, let it cool and pour the used solution down the sink.
Re-fill the percolator with fresh vinegar and water solution, and turn it back on again. Turn it off, let it cool and discard the used solution.
Fill your percolator with clear water, and turn it on. Let it perk. Turn it off, and let it cool down. Empty out the water and repeat.
Remove stains from inside of the percolator by putting in one-half cup of baking soda. Slowly add white vinegar until the mixture begins to bubble. Cover the percolator, and shake it gently for a minute or two. Rinse thoroughly.