How to Clean a Coffee Maker Without Vinegar

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This quick little hack is for my coffee-lovin’ mamas out there: here is exactly how to clean a coffee maker WITHOUT vinegar!


Because, if you own a coffee maker, then you’re probably like most busy moms, and you don’t clean that sucker as often as you should.


That changes today, and it’s much easier than you think.


We’re going to do this the quick and efficient way, with two simple ingredients that you already have in your kitchen. And nothing stinky, like vinegar.


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How to clean a coffee maker without vinegar.


Alright now… Most of us know about the magical cleaning power of vinegar and baking soda when mixed together.




However, some of us with a sensitive nose or palate are not fond of vinegar in any form, even the milder white vinegar.


So, for the vinegar-dissin’ mamas like me, we’re gonna clean that coffee maker without vinegar today… and it’s gonna be just as magical!




A dirty coffee maker.

One lemon.

One spoonful of baking soda.


A cleaning rag.




This is quick and easy, and your coffee is going to taste better after we’re done, I promise!




Fill the coffee pot at least halfway to the top with water, a spoonful of baking soda, and the juice of one lemon. Pour that water into the reservoir.


No need for a coffee filter.




Hit the brew button and let the water run through the machine as usual.


If you haven’t cleaned your coffee pot in a while, this baking soda water that fills your coffee pot in a few minutes will look pretty gross, not gonna lie.


Fill the reservoir again and run the baking soda water through the filter another time.


Why do we need to run it through twice?


Here’s why…



Yeah, all that old coffee gunk from weeks of neglect needs to go!


After running the baking soda water through the coffee maker twice, we’ll dump that dirty water and repeat step one and two: fill the coffee pot with water, baking soda, and lemon, and run it through the coffee machine again.




Clean out the reservoir with a damp cloth.


This time, after the baking soda water has gone through the filter a third time and the water reservoir is empty, we’re going to grab a damp cloth and wipe down the coffee machine from the inside out (anything and everything that you can reach with your cleaning cloth).


We don’t need to spend an excessive amount of time on this. The baking soda and lemon already did their job loosening everything up. Now, we’re just wiping away the excess residue.




Run clean water through the machine a fourth and final time (no baking soda or lemon this time).


By now, the water should run pretty clear. But if it doesn’t, repeat this process one more time… and make yourself a note to start cleaning your coffee maker more frequently.




Throw the filter cup and the coffee pot into a sink of warm soapy water. Give them a quick scrub. Let them dry. And then return to the coffee pot.




Sparking coffee pot is ready to go!



Don’t forget to grab some fresh organic coffee beans!





  1. Vinegar is stinky and some of us don’t like that smell in our homes.


  1. It has a lingering taste and smell that will remain in the coffee pot for several rinses beyond cleaning day. Believe me, I tried it!


  1. Not everyone is going to have vinegar handy in their kitchen. Baking soda and lemon is a great backup option, even if you love cleaning with vinegar.




Ideally, you’re cleaning your most-used kitchen appliances on a weekly basis. But, if you’re like me (and most mamas) you are lucky if you get around to this once a month.


Don’t be like me! Don’t let more than a week go by without cleaning your coffee pot.




Oil from the coffee beans remains in your filter basket after use, and oil gets rancid (yuck). Water deposits left behind in the reservoir can calcify if not cleaned on a regular basis.


These things affect the taste of your coffee. I would dare say they could also make you sick (and I guess they can), but most of us have survived this long without scrubbing the coffee maker on a weekly basis, so we’ll leave that reasoning behind.


While you should *really* be cleaning that sucker out once a week, most of us busy moms just don’t get around to it.


You’ll know that it’s wayyyy beyond time to clean the coffee maker when the coffee starts tasting funky or the coffee maker starts making excessive noise.


And there you have it!




It only takes about 10-15 minutes and a few ingredients that you already have in your cupboard. So, knock it out this morning and see how much better your coffee tastes!


Related Reads:


A Busy Mom’s Guide to Cleaning the House Lightning Fast


Easy Kitchen Hacks that Can Save You Money Every Month


How to Get Your Laundry Hung Up in 60 Seconds or Less



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5 thoughts on “How to Clean a Coffee Maker Without Vinegar”

  1. Now that’s clever! I’ve used vinegar and baking soda to eliminate crusted-off stuff in my InstantPot inserts but the lemon smells much better than stinky vinegar. I bet this solution would work to descale my Keurig too! Thanks for the tips.

  2. This is a brilliant tip. I’ve not tried cleaning my coffee maker with anything other than descaling tablets (it’s the type with pods so I guess I should probably continue with that). It’s got me thinking though that the tablets are probably just baking soda with some kind of acid?! I use the vinegar combo for cleaning other things so will definitely give lemon juice a go instead 🙂

  3. This was the super awesome tip and I know even my mom would love this hack + come from me, it would be a total surprise for her. Lol. I also loved the layout and an easy, simple way of stating.

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