Cleaning your coffee maker
Here's some generic (and not-so-generic) information about keeping the insides of your brewer system clean. (Heavily weighted toward auto-drip coffee makers)
Why Clean It?
1. Oils can accumulate inside your filter basket and coffee pot. These can affect the taste of your coffee, especially important if you like to try different coffees.
2. Unfiltered water can leave lime deposits or mineral scale. This reduces the efficiency of the heating unit and restricts water flow and can impact the flavor of your coffee.
3. A clean coffee maker means better tasting coffee.
What To Clean The Maker With:
(Warning: NOT FOR ESPRESSO MAKERS -- follow the manufacturers instructions)
White Vinegar & Water (1 to 1 mixture)
Denture Tablets & Water (~2 tablets to one pot mixture)
Citric Acid & Water (1 oz. to 8 cups mixture)
Baking Soda & Water (1 to 4 mixture)
Commerial Products (e.g. Urnex)
How To Clean The Maker:
1. Pour the cleaning solution into the water reservoir and complete a full brew cycle (use a filter to make sure the filter basket gets clean).
2. Let it sit for 15 minutes or so before pouring out the cleaning solution
3. Repeat the cycle with clean water until there's no trace (sight or smell) of the cleaning solution
How To Clean The Carafe:
Use a slightly abrasive cloth/sponge with a cleaning solution to make sure residual oils are removed from the carafe. Here are two common techniques:
1. Home Style - use dish soap and a scrubbing pad or brush
2. Restaurant Style - put ice (~2 cups), salt (~1/4 cup) & lemon Juice (~1/4 cup) into the carafe and swirl it around (amounts aren't crucial - the citric acid & abrasive qualities do the work)
Have a stainless thermal carafe? Try Urnex or about a tablespoon of dishwasher soap, then fill the carafe with warm water and let it soak for 30 minutes.
Wait, I have a...
French Press: Generally soap and water, but do follow the manufacturer's instructions, since they come in glass, plastic or stainless.
Vacuum/Siphon Pot: Generally soap and water and a small bottle brush, but do follow the manufacturer's instructions.
Percolator: Follow the Maker instructions, but double the water in the solution mixture if it's an aluminum pot.
Espresso Maker: Follow the manufacturers instructions - descale often and check user forums online for backflushing recommendations.