This 1 Common Thing Is All You Need to Make Your Coffee Pot Shine Again

Wake up: coffee. Break from work: coffee. Afternoon slump: coffee. You get the point. And if you’re anything like most other people on the planet, an energizing cup of Joe is something you can’t live without. Therefore, it’s no wonder keeping the coffee pot clean can be tough.

But fear not because there’s a definite solution to the problem. And it’s far more common than you’d think. In fact, there’s one household item (page 5) that will really make your coffee pot shine again.

Your coffee pot is dirtier than you think

A person pours some coffee.

A person pours some coffee. | Sasha_Suzi/iStock/Getty Images

Would you believe your coffee pot is a breeding ground for bacteria? Well, believe it, because it is. But don’t just take our word for it. According to a small study of 22 families, the household coffee pot isn’t as clean as one might think — or hope.

NSF International reports,

Warm and moist environments tend to be a breeding ground for germs. NSF’s analysis revealed that sponges and coffee reservoirs, which may not be cleaned as frequently as they should be, were in the top 10 germiest places in the home.

That said, it’s time to get down to business. Stay tuned to learn how to clean your coffee pot the right way.

Next: You may not be doing this as often as you should.  

Wash the removable parts after each use

Dish soap on a sponge

Dish soap on a sponge | svengine/iStock/Getty Images

It’s probably fair to say most people don’t do this every day. But apparently, cleaning the removable parts after each use is key. In doing so, you’ll remove coffee, grinds, and oil from the components. And there’s a proper way to do just that.

Carolyn Forte, director of the Good Housekeeping Institute Cleaning Lab, says you can either hand-wash the parts with warm, soapy water, or put them in the dishwasher (if they’re dishwasher-safe). Additionally, you should wipe down the exterior and the warming plate. It’s also best to leave the lid open so everything can dry out.

Next: This component can look very dingy.

How to clean your carafe when it needs some extra love

Coffee pot

Coffee pot | Valery Yurasov/iStock/Getty Images

The carafe falls into the “clean after each use” category. But still, it can start to look dirty, especially if you don’t clean it every day (no judgement here). If you, too, have a carafe that needs a little extra love, try this: Fill it with warm, soapy water, add some rice, and swirl it around. Then, scrub it with a sponge before rinsing.

Next: Do you know how often you should be cleaning your machine? 

Why it’s important to deep clean your machine once a month

coffee pot

Coffee pot | simonmayer/iStock/Getty Images

Turns out, you should deep clean your coffee pot once a month. If this is news to you, don’t worry, you’re not alone. However, there’s good reason to do so.

“Over time, hard water minerals can build up in your machine’s inner workings, and you may notice that your coffee takes longer to drip,” Forte tells Good Housekeeping. “To get things back in tip-top shape, you need to cleanse and ‘decalcify’ the machine.”

Next: This common ingredient is all you need.

White vinegar is the secret

White vinegar

White vinegar | Pat_Hastings/iStock/Getty Images

Vinegar is so handy, there’s really not much it can’t do around the house. It can clean the shower head and clean the windows. It’s great for removing stink from clothes in the laundry. Heck, it can even drive away pests. And did you know it can also work on your coffee pot? Well, it can, and it’s all you need to get that grimy pot looking like new again.

Next: Follow these tips, and you can’t go wrong.  

How to clean it properly

coffee maker

Coffee maker | John_Kasawa/iStock/Getty Images

According to Good Housekeeping, here’s the proper way to clean your coffee pot.

  • Fill reservoir with equal parts vinegar and water
  • Place paper filter in machine’s empty basket
  • Position the pot and “brew” the solution halfway
  • Once machine is turned off, let it sit for about 30 minutes
  • Turn the machine back on, finish the brewing, and dump the pot
  • Put in a new paper filter and brew a pot of clean water. Repeat once.

Next: Don’t be caught making any of these mistakes. 

Avoid making these mistakes

pouring coffee

A person pours coffee from the pot. | Helmut-Seisenberger/iStock/Getty Images

Like all other appliances, it’s important to treat your coffee pot with care. After all, if you make too many mistakes, you’ll have a more difficult time getting it clean, not to mention subpar coffee. So, here are a few things you don’t want to do.

  • Don’t leave water sitting in the tank for too long
  • Don’t skimp on cleaning the removable parts after each use
  • Don’t use old coffee pods — because your coffee will taste bad!

With that, go forth, clean your coffee machine, and enjoy the freshest cup of Joe you’ve had in a long, long time.

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