For many people, coffee is an essential part of their lives, and coffee makers are a staple in their homes. In this article, we’ll be talking about how to clean a coffee maker with baking soda.
As with any other appliance, the more you use it, the more likely it is to need frequent cleaning. There are many ways to go about it, but baking soda is one of the most accessible and inexpensive.
Let’s get cleaning! All you’ll need is your baking soda, warm water, and some elbow grease. We’ll also explore other alternatives in case you don’t have baking soda at your disposal.
How to Clean a Coffee Maker With Baking Soda
Below is a five-step way to clean your coffee maker with baking soda. It’s as easy as 1-2-3 (4-5, in this case)!
Discard Old Grounds
The first thing you want to do is to discard old coffee grounds in your machine, if there are any. If you’re taking good care of your device, chances are, there aren’t old grounds left to discard.
However, if you just finished brewing a fresh batch before you decided to clean your machine, discard all used grounds before starting to clean.
Load and Run All Removable Parts in the Dishwasher
To make your cleaning job a little bit easier, you can load all removable parts in the dishwasher. This removes any gunk in the machine, which gives the baking soda (and you) fewer things to do.
If you don’t have a dishwasher, you can rinse your carafe and all the other removable parts with clean water.
Dissolve Baking Soda in Warm Water
Now it’s time to whip out your baking soda. Dissolve ¼ cup or around 4 to 5 tablespoons of baking soda in 1 cup of water—you can use your carafe to measure this out.
Ensure that the water isn’t lumpy and that the baking soda dissolves completely. This avoids any complications when you start a brewing cycle.
Run a Full Brewing Cycle
Pour your baking soda solution into the reserve tank of your machine and run a complete brewing cycle. Let the solution run through all the coffee machine’s parts.
The baking soda solution acts as a mild scouring agent for gunks and stains and an odor neutralizer for unpleasant smells.
Rinse With Clean Water
After running a cycle with baking soda, let the solution drain out and discard it in the sink. Run another brewing cycle—this time with clean water—to rinse out any of the baking soda solution left.
You can do this several times to ensure that your baking soda solution doesn’t leave any residue. A good indicator would be if the water already runs clear after brewing.
Why Use Baking Soda?
Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is usually seen in kitchens as a leavening agent for bread and other pastries. However, its use in the house doesn’t stop there.
It’s a common cleaning agent used in many household chores, from neutralizing odors to removing dull tarnish on silverware. It’s even used as a mild scouring agent for stains too.
Aside from that, it’s inexpensive compared to many other cleaning agents in the market. It’s accessible and almost always available at your local supermarkets.
If used correctly, it minimizes the risk of using chemicals on appliances that handle food and drinks, such as your coffee maker.
Alternatives to Baking Soda
Here are a few other options, just in case you don’t have baking soda.
Descaling Solution for Coffee Machines
Commercial descaling solutions are your best option if you have the budget. Some descalers are specific to the machine you have, but there are also universal descalers that work on most devices.
Descalers use citric acid to remove stains and mineral deposits on your coffee machine.
Vinegar and Water Solution
Speaking of acids, another good alternative to baking soda is a solution of one part vinegar and one part water. Think of this as a cheap alternative to descalers as they follow a similar principle of using acid — in this case, acetic acid — to clean stains.
Lemon Juice and Water Solution
A solution of equal parts lemon juice and water is also a good option. This is mainly for people who dislike the smell of vinegar or don’t have vinegar available.
Lemon juice and vinegar are good cleaning agents with almost the same acidity so they can replace one another in most cases.
Use Denture Tablets and A Toothbrush
This falls a little bit more on the unorthodox side of things, but if you don’t have any of the above available, you can give this a go. Drop your denture tablets into the reserve tank and run a complete brewing cycle. Use the toothbrush for any stains and gunk.
What About Other Types of Coffee Makers?
This article focused on using baking soda to clean automatic coffee machines with carafes or coffee pots, filters, and reserve tanks. What about other types of coffee makers, though?
Cleaning an espresso machine with baking soda is similar to cleaning an automatic coffee maker. You run a normal brewing cycle — in this case, a shot of espresso — with a solution of warm water and baking soda.
Then, rinse it with clean water and clean the filter basket.
For french presses, scoop out the coffee grounds first and ensure no residues are in the carafe. Make a paste using water and baking soda.
Use the paste to clean all parts, including the plunger. Use a brush to clean hard-to-reach crevices, but be gentle as this could also cause damage. Finally, rinse it well with clean water.
In this article, we answered how to clean a coffee maker with baking soda—one of the most versatile and inexpensive natural cleaning agents. The cleaning process is as simple as running a complete brewing cycle using baking soda and warm water solution.
This allows baking soda to work magic in removing odors, stains, and grime. Hopefully, after this, you’ll always have an excellent cup of coffee in the morning or afternoon (and any time in between)!