How To Clean A Coffee Maker With Bleach?

How To Clean A Coffee Maker With Bleach?

A coffee maker is a coffee lover’s prized possession and for a very good reason.  It brews flavorful cups of coffee without delay with just a click of a button. However, it is important to maintain and clean your coffee maker every once in a while. According to a study made by NSF International, an American product testing, inspection and certification organization, yeast and mold thrive in about half of all coffee makers. In this article, let us get to know how to clean a coffee maker with bleach in a safe way. 

How to clean a coffee maker with bleach?

Here are the things that you will need:

  • one tablespoon of bleach 
  • one gallon of water 
  • five gallons of clean water
  • your coffee maker 

Here are the steps on how to clean a coffee maker with bleach:

1. First, mix bleach and water. 

Mix bleach with water and remember not to put bleach directly into your coffee maker. Place one tablespoon of bleach into one gallon of water. Protect yourself as you do this task and make sure you are in a well-ventilated area.  Bleach is caustic and it could damage the skin, eyes and lungs if you come directly in contact with it. 

2. Next, run a full cycle on your coffee maker. 

Pour the bleach and water mixture into the water reservoir and run a full cycle. Allow the mixture to fill the coffee pot to fully clean it as well. 

3. Pour out the mixture from the coffee pot. 

Once the coffee pot is filled with the mixture, switch off the coffee maker and pour out the mixture. You should do this to minimize the amount of bleach mixture from getting in contact with the heating plate. 

4. Next, repeat the process until all the bleach water mixture is consumed.

Run the full gallon of water through the coffee maker. It will take a few runs depending on the size of your machine. Run through all of it and do not leave the coffee maker unattended. Someone may unintentionally use the machine to brew coffee and may get seriously sick. 

5. Clean the machine with hot water. 

Pour a clean gallon of hot or warm water and run this on the coffee maker. This process may take a while to finish and it is ideal to use hot water instead of having to spend time warming the water. Repeat the process until you have run at least five fresh gallons of hot water to make sure bleach residue is removed.

6. Check and smell the final batch of water. 

Be sure to check and smell the final batch of water that you run through the machine. It should have no scent at all and no bleach smell can be detected. To make sure the coast is clear, test the pH level and if it reads seven which is a neutral level then it means the water is free of any residue.

7. Finally, air-dry the machine.

After going through the process of cleaning with the bleach water mixture, air dry your coffee maker. If you notice solid white specks which are the final deposits of bleach, continue to run fresh water until the machine is free of any white specks. 

Keep in mind that bleach is not highly recommended as a coffee maker cleaner. Bleach is a harsh chemical and if not properly cleaned, your machine may be damaged and bleach residue could end up in your cup of brew. However, it could also effectively remove mineral buildup and molds in your machine. Just make sure to clean and rinse the coffee maker well for everyone’s safety. 

Safe ways to clean your coffee maker

Here are safer alternatives to clean your coffee maker:

1. With the use of white vinegar.

Cleaning your coffee with vinegar is a safer alternative to bleach and it is also convenient and cost-effective. Its only side effect is a bad taste but this can be managed by properly cleaning the machine of its residue. Mix equal parts of water and white vinegar and fill the water reservoir with the mixture. Run this through the coffee maker using the longest cycle. 

Follow it with a brewing cycle of plain water and if there is a lingering vinegar smell you may run additional cycles. You can also use apple cider vinegar if you do not have any available white vinegar.

2. With the use of baking soda.

Baking soda is another cost-effective and safe way to clean a coffee maker. It is good at eliminating odors. Add a quarter cup of baking soda to the container and run the machine through a brew cycle. Use warm water and stir the mixture well. See to it that the baking soda is already dissolved before you switch on the coffee maker. It can also be used to scrub off stains.

3. With the use of lemon juice.

Lemon juice has an acidity that is equivalent to vinegar. Some people prefer this over vinegar because it does not have an intense smell. To clean your coffee maker with lemon juice, fill the container with one-third lemon juice and water. Run another brew cycle with only water after running a cycle with the lemon juice mixture.  


Keep your coffee maker germ and mold-free by cleaning it regularly. You can clean your brewer with bleach but do the process with great caution since it is a harsh chemical that could bring about damage to your skin, eyes and lungs if improperly used. Follow the steps as indicated above to clean your machine with bleach safely. You may also opt for safer alternatives such as using white vinegar, baking soda or lemon juice.

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