Are you wondering why your coffee tastes bad all of a sudden? Did you notice an acrid smell coming from your coffee machine? Most likely, you have a dirty machine that needs a thorough cleanup. A popular way to clean it is with the use of white vinegar. But, did you know that you can also use salt water to make your coffee maker squeaky clean?
How to clean a coffee maker with salt water?
Here are the steps to clean your coffee maker with salt water:
- First, combine crushed ice, a tablespoon of water and table salt in your carafe or water reservoir.
- Use a cloth to rub the saltwater solution on the carafe’s interior.
- Finally, rinse and wash the carafe or water reservoir as well as other parts of the machine.
Saltwater and ice make a good team in descaling and cleaning your coffee maker. The compound removes coffee stains and mineral deposits due to hard water. Be sure to use table salt because sea salt has a coarse texture that could cause scratches on the machine.
Other ways to clean your coffee maker
You can also clean your coffee maker with the following methods:
1. By using white vinegar.
A common way to clean coffee machines is by running white vinegar through them a few times and rinsing them with water. Vinegar removes mineral buildup and kills bacteria and molds. However, it is not easy to completely rinse the vinegar off and this could contribute to your coffee’s strange taste. The strong smell of vinegar can be off putting, which is why other coffee maker owners opt for other cleaning methods.
2. By using dishwashing soap.
Dishwashing soap is effective as a cleaning agent for your coffee machine. Opt for a fragrance-free dishwashing soap to avoid any residue that may affect the taste and aroma of your coffee.
Here are the steps to clean your coffee maker with dishwashing soap:
- First, disassemble the housing and functional parts of your coffee maker.
- Next, wash these components by hand with dishwashing soap and water.
- Wash and rinse the components before reassembling them.
- Once reassembled, cycle or run fresh water through the machine again to make sure that all the soap was eliminated.
3. By using baking soda.
Baking soda is a non-toxic cleaning product, cost-effective and has alkaline properties that effectively clean items like coffee makers.
These are the steps to clean your coffee maker with baking soda:
- First, mix a quarter-cup of baking soda with one cup of warm water.
- Run this mixture for one cycle in your coffee maker.
- Finally, flush the machine with fresh water at least twice.
4. By using lemon juice.
If you find white vinegar too strong-smelling, lemon juice might be a good alternative. It is acidic like vinegar without the powerful smell. However, cleaning with lemon juice can be tedious especially if you are hand-squeezing the lemons.
Here are the steps on how to clean your coffee maker with lemon juice:
- First, run concentrated or slightly diluted lemon juice through the coffee maker just as you would if you are using white vinegar.
- Finally, run clean water through the machine for several cycles to flush out the lemon juice.
5. By using Borax.
Borax is a combination of boron, sodium and oxygen and is widely used as a multi-purpose household cleaner. This white and powdery substance is also called sodium borate, sodium tetraborate or disodium tetraborate.
These are the steps on how to clean your coffee maker with Borax:
- First, combine a few tablespoons of Borax with a few cups of warm water.
- Next, cycle this mixture with a normal or heavy brewing cycle.
- Finally, rinse the machine well by running fresh water through a cycle.
6. By using hydrogen peroxide.
Hydrogen peroxide is more viscous than water and popular as an oxidizer, antiseptic, disinfectant and bleaching agent. It is also commonly used to remove mold and mildew stains from household items which makes it ideal as a coffee maker cleaner.
Here are the steps on how to clean your coffee maker with hydrogen peroxide:
- First, mix two cups of water with one cup of hydrogen peroxide.
- Next, run the mixture through the machine’s normal brewing cycle.
- After this is done, flush the machine by running fresh water through one to two cycles.
You can also substitute lemon juice with citric acid while denture tabs can also be used to clean coffee makers because of their antibacterial properties. Rice mixed with warm water can also remove gunk and debris while most coffee maker manufacturers like Keurig recommend their descaling solution when cleaning automatic coffee makers.
Image: istockphoto.com / Ashton Call