Painless Weekend Projects: How to Clean a Coffee Pot

We love coffee on weekends, late nights of work, to cap off dinner parties – and our brew pot is most likely often used and rarely cleaned.  So, why and how to clean your at-home coffee pot:

Why to clean it: Coffee residue left from habitual use becomes built up acid and bacteria which breaks down the natural oils that give coffee its truly distinctive flavor.

How often to clean it:  Every 2-3 months.

Make your choice: vinegar or lemon. 

Vinegar works the bad juju out of your coffee pot. Don’t love the strong odor of vinegar?  Use one of the least expensive, most naturally effective cleaners available: lemon!  What to do with the leftover rinds? Toss them into your garbage disposal and grind for an amazing clean scent!

How to clean with vinegar or lemon:

One, 12 cup coffee pot

8 cups water

4 cups distilled white vinegar or 4 cups of pure or concentrated lemon juice

Coffee filter

Cleaning your coffee pot with lemon leaves behind a naturally bright and fresh scent


  1. Make sure your maker is free of grounds by running a cycle with water only. Fill empty coffee pot with water and vinegar or lemon
  2. Pour mixture into brewing reservoir
  3. Place a filter in the filter cabin
  4. Press start
  5. Let brew until “ready”
  6. Turn off pot and let sit for 10 minutes (vinegar) 20 minutes (lemon.) Sitting for this amount of time both breaks down the acids and allows the pitcher to cool so the glass doesn’t break by shock to temperature change.
  7. Take the same mixture that just poured through and repeat the process with the same filter.
  8. Hand wash the carafe with lightly soaped** water (soapy water can make the coffee bitter if you are a true purist), or wash with a hot, wet dish towel.

Note: If the vinegar odor is still present after two rinsings, run pure water through coffee maker.

Happy coffee = have a happier day.

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Categories: How to do things, Life. Style.

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