For many, a Deliciously Fresh Cup of Coffee makes that early morning routine so much more pleasant. But what if your morning cuppa has been sub-par recently? Maybe the taste just doesn't quite match that scrumptious aroma! Then there is a good chance your coffee pot and coffee maker need a clean.
As a cleaning company we wanted to introduce you to one of our favorite cleaning hacks. When I first wrote this coffee pot cleaning hack we were in dire need of it personally. Recently we were fortunate enough to buy a new dishwasher. It seems to clean our coffee pot fabulously. Nevertheless, not everyone wants a new dishwasher. Not everyone even has the option for one. Whilst we can put our Coffee Pot in the Dishwasher, clearly we cannot do the same with the Coffee Maker itself.
Coffee Makers likely rank as one of the most regularly used household, kitchen appliances. Unless of course you are a family of non-coffee drinkers. If so, you probably won't be reading this blog in any case.
Before we delve into coffee pot cleaning, let's talk a little about what goes into making a great cup of coffee. Read on if like me you like to wake up to your favorite brew.
A little about Ground Coffee
Ground roasted coffee beans are used in Coffee Makers. Taste will be impacted by where the coffee beans are grown and the conditions in which they are cultivated. The process by which the coffee beans are roasted will also significantly affect the taste. Ground Coffee descriptors range from Light to Medium to Dark. They refer to the level of Coffee Bean Roasting. The more the roasting the darker the color.
- Dark Roast – Usually has a more bitter flavor but is less acidic.
- Medium Roast – is a Stronger Flavor and a favorite for many.
- Light Roast – Often Milder, it's roasted for the least amount of time.
Making the Best Brew
According to the NCA (National Coffee Association, USA) there are a number of factors that go into making the perfect cup of coffee:
- The cleanliness of your Coffee Making Equipment.
- The Coffee used – see above.
- The Freshness of your Ground Coffee – IE keep your grounds air tight.
- The Level of Grinding – if you chose to buy whole beans.
- The Water used. Preferably Filtered or Bottled.
- Water Temperature – which should be between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit.
- The Filter – whilst some coffee makers can be used without a paper filter, a paper filter is often preferable. Just make sure it is the right size.
- The Brewing Time – often determined by your Coffee Maker.
- And finally, the Ratio of Ground Coffee to Water. Preferences vary and are experimental. You'll find recommendations according to the Coffee Making Machines and the Coffee Grounds purchased.
Why clean your Coffee Pot and Coffee Maker?
If simply making the best Cuppa (mentioned above) wasn't enough to convince you, below are some other considerations:
- Mould or Yeast – Even if not visible, coffee makers can be a bit of a germ collector.
- Flavor and taste – minerals and calcium build up may hinder the taste.
- Oil build up – yes some may be surprised to find that there is oil in ground coffee.
- Extending the life of the coffee maker – it’s best to descale to keep the equipment in tip top condition.
- And simply, because it looks better and looks cleaner on your kitchen worktop.
Cleaning the Coffee Pot
See below for a separate list of cleaning options for the Coffee Maker itself.
The coffee pot in the picture above was ours. Yes, a little disgusting isn’t? But surprisingly it didn’t take much effort to clean.
A quick word of caution before you start – Make sure your coffeemaker has been off a while and the pot cooled. We don't want you to burn yourself or crack the coffee pot glass.
- Baking Soda (Bicarbonate of Soda) – Just add a Cup of Baking Soda to your Coffee Pot then fill with warm water. Let it sit for a couple of hours. Any stubborn stains will come off using a soft brush. When we tried this on our Coffee Pot, it cleaned up as good as new as the picture shows.
- White Vinegar – Fill the Coffee Pot with equal measures of vinegar and water. Let it sit for a while; at least twenty minutes. Then empty out the solution. Take a soft sponge – something that you would suitably use on a non-stick pan and add some dish soap. Rub the inside of the pot and the stains should easily come off. Rinse well.
- Dishwasher Detergent – the powdered kind – We are not suggesting you run it through the maker. Just use it in the Coffee Pot. Add a 1/4 cup of dishwasher powder to the pot then fill with boiling water. Let it sit for half an hour and then empty. Rinse thoroughly.
- Denture Tabs – what's good enough for teeth is sure good enough for a coffee pot. Fill the pot with water and dissolve 1 to 2 denture tabs. Let it sit for about an hour before rinsing thoroughly.
- Alka-Seltzer – add 1 or 2 Tablets of Alka-Seltzer instead of the Denture Tabs above.
Options for Cleaning the Coffee Maker
- Vinegar – This is good for descaling. It is important, especially in areas where there is hard water. Hard water creates more calcium build-up.
- You will need Water and White Vinegar
- Make sure the coffee maker is completely empty.
- Fill the glass pot with half water and half white vinegar.
- Pour the mixture into the water reservoir.
- Run the machine until half of the vinegar mixture has been used.
- Turn off the machine and let it sit for an hour.
- After an hour turn the machine back on and let it finish the cycle.
- Empty out the vinegar solution and rinse the pot.
- Run the machine twice more with just water. Cooling slightly between brews. This is to eliminate any remaining vinegar smell.
- Denture Tabs – the advantage of denture tabs over vinegar is that they are scent free and designed to remove stains.
- Fill the reservoir with water and add two denture tabs. Allow them to completely dissolve.
- Turn on the machine and run it through one complete brewing cycle.
- Turn off the machine.
- Empty the pot and once cool, add water only to the reservoir and run the brew cycle again.
- Then repeat the last step once more.
- Alka-Seltzer – Instead of Denture Tabs, four Alka-Seltzer tablets can be used.
- Baking Soda – Add 1/4 of a cup of baking soda to a pot of warm water. This can be used instead of the above but more cycles of 'water only' brewing may be required. This will ensure the equipment is fully rinsed.
- Lemon Juice – Another option is to use 1/2 water and 1/2 concentrated lemon juice.
Cleaning the Coffee Filter Basket
- Vinegar – Fill a bowl (big enough to submerge the basket) with equal parts water and white vinegar. Sit the basket in the mixture for half an hour then rinse thoroughly.
- Denture Tabs or Alka-Seltzer – Dissolve one to two tablets in a bowl of warm water. Immerse the Basket in it for half an hour. Then rinse thoroughly.
Looking after your Coffee Pot and Coffee Maker going forward
Give your equipment some TLC and it should last a long time.
It is best to empty out the coffee grounds when you have finished to reduce the likelihood of mold build up.
Then empty out the cold brewed coffee and rinse the pot.
We would recommend that a coffeemaker cleaning and a coffee pot cleaning be done once a month. This will help ensure the consistency in taste of your coffee.
Some Coffee Facts
- National Coffee Day is on September 29th.
- International Coffee Day is on October 1st.
- See the following link for done interesting uses for Used Coffee Grounds: https://www.farmersalmanac.com/10-smart-uses-for-used-coffee-grounds-21372
- One suggestion to enhance coffee flavor and counteract bitterness is to add a Pinch of Salt to your coffee grounds at the start of your brew.
In addition to these coffee pot cleaning hacks, check out our Coffee Grinder Cleaning Hack and All our Cleaning Hacks
Some useful information on coffee can also be found at Coffee Association of Canada.
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