Here's How To Actually Clean Your Coffee Maker With Just Vinegar

Is cleaning the house on your to-do list for the weekend? Chances are, your coffee maker is getting overlooked. It might not be as obvious as a spill on the floor or dust bunnies collecting under the couch, but according to a 2011 study by NSF International, your coffee maker is one of the "top 10 germiest places in the home — No. 5, to be exact (your dish sponge or rag taking the No. 1 spot).


Of the 22 homes included in the study, yeast and mold were found in 31.7 percent — the coffee maker reservoir being the No. 2 culprit in the kitchen. As the study reads, "Warm and moist environments are breeding grounds for germs." Aside from just being gross and slightly unsettling, the presence of food-borne yeast and mold can exacerbate allergies and even cause infections, according to the FDA. But don't panic just yet.

Luckily, there's a very easy way to regularly clean out your coffee maker to stave off nasty particles, using an ingredient you likely already have on hand — vinegar. HGTV suggests cleaning your coffee maker with vinegar any time your machine shows signs that it needs it, such as if it's taking longer than usual to brew, excess grounds are found in your coffee, or if there any unpleasant smells. But here's how to actually clean your coffee maker with just vinegar — and how often you should.


How to use a vinegar solution for cleaning your coffee maker

Keeping your drip coffee maker or Keurig clean is pretty simple. Most experts recommend that a deep clean with vinegar should be done about once a month, but daily maintenance is also a must.

To clean your drip coffee maker with vinegar, PureWow suggests first filling the coffee maker with 50 percent vinegar and 50 percent water, then running the machine as if you were brewing a pot. Halfway through the brew cycle, stop the machine and wait one hour. After that hour is up, continue with running the cycle. Then wipe down the inside of the machine and all of its parts. Run 1-2 more cycles of just water, or until you can no longer smell the vinegar.


To clean your Keurig with vinegar, unplug your machine and wash the removable parts in warm, soapy water and clean out any gunk in the holder. Put the removable parts back, then fill the reservoir 50 percent with vinegar. Run the machine twice, without any K-Cups in the holder. Then, fill the reservoir with water and run 1-2 cycles, or until it no longer smells of vinegar.

While these methods are great for monthly cleaning, there are certain steps you should be taking daily. For drip coffee makers, for example, HGTV suggests washing the carafe (as well as any additional removable parts) every day, as well as using a damp towel for wiping down the machine.