Have you noticed that your coffee tastes off lately? If so, it could be time for a coffee machine clean-up! There are countless commercial brewer cleaners that you can use but if you are on a tight budget you can count on the good old baking soda magic. Also called sodium bicarbonate, this alkali effectively removes stains when dissolved in water.
How to clean a coffee maker with baking soda?
Here are the materials that you need:
- ¼ cup baking soda
- Lukewarm water
Here are the steps on how to clean a coffee maker with baking soda:
- First, remove the coffee maker’s filter and set it aside.
- Place one cup of lukewarm water into the carafe.
- Dissolve the ¼ cup of baking soda into the lukewarm water and make sure there are no remaining lumps of baking soda.
- Move the baking soda solution to the water chamber.
- Place back the carafe on the plate just as you would if you are going to brew coffee.
- Switch on the “brew” button and wait for the brewing process to finish.
- Next, discard the used water.
- Finally, place fresh or new water into the water chamber and start the brewing cycle again. It takes about two full brewing cycles to wash up the coffee maker completely.
The water that returns to the carafe should be the same clearness as the water in the chamber. This means that the coffee maker is already cleaned up.
Benefits of baking soda
These are some of the benefits of baking soda:
It is a good deodorizer.
Baking soda is effective in removing unpleasant odors from household items and fixtures like linens, chairs and carpets aside from cleaning your coffee maker. Just sprinkle some baking soda and let sit for at least 15 minutes.
It is a great stain cleaner.
Baking soda removes stains from kitchen countertops and tile grouts effectively just as it erases stains from your coffee maker’s water reservoir. It does not damage the surfaces since it is non-abrasive. Simply sprinkle some baking soda on the surfaces and scrub with a rag or brush.
It is a great grease cleaner.
Kitchen fixtures and items easily get grease from everyday cooking. Grease could also stick on wall and cabinet surfaces. Stoves and appliances near it could also become greasy including coffee makers. Baking soda removes grease build-up easily because it is highly alkaline. Simply sprinkle some baking soda on a damp sponge and remove the grease.
Why should you not descale your coffee maker with baking soda?
You should not descale your coffee maker with baking soda since it can clog coffee makers especially those with mineral deposits in the water lines. Baking soda does not work well on a water cycle. While it is great at removing stains, vinegar is a better choice as a descaler since it breaks apart calcium deposits and limescale. If baking soda was used and it does not clog up the water intake there may still be mineral deposits that need to be broken off with a separate cleaning cycle.
How to keep your coffee maker in good shape?
Here are ways to keep your coffee maker in good shape:
- Make sure to wash the removable parts after every use. Discard and throw away the coffee grounds after you brew and do not let them sit on the filter for hours to prevent molds and bacteria. To remove the oily coffee residue use hot and soapy water. You can use a baby bottle brush to clean hard-to-reach areas.
- Descale or remove mineral buildup monthly. The calcium build-up affects the speed of your coffee maker and the taste of coffee becomes sour.
- Rinse the carafe after every use and if you want to deep clean it just put hot water, some mild detergent and a few bits of rice.
Other ways to clean your coffee maker
Here are other ways to clean your coffee maker:
By using apple cider vinegar.
To clean your coffee brewer with apple cider vinegar, just fill the carafe with warm water up to six cups. Add one to two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to the water and pour into the unit. Run a cycle with the solution and flush twice with clean water.
By using lemon juice.
To clean the coffee brewer with lemon juice, just gather a few cut lemons and fine-grain salt. Place some salt on the bottom of the carafe. Add cut lemons and swish the pieces around the pot. Let it sit overnight before rinsing the carafe and then dry completely.
Signs that your coffee maker needs a cleanup:
Here are some tell-tale signs that your coffee maker badly needs a serious cleanup:
- It takes longer than usual to brew a pot of coffee.
- Your cup of joe tastes odd.
- It emits noises that are louder than normal but does not brew.
- It spews coffee everywhere.
To fully enjoy your cup of happiness, you should keep your coffee maker in tip-top shape. Clean it with baking soda to deodorize and get rid of unpleasant smells as well as to remove stains and grease. Follow the steps above on how to clean a coffee maker with baking soda to ensure that your coffee brewer produces flavorful and great-tasting coffee.
Image: istockphoto.com / John_Kasawa