Can You Clean A Coffee Maker With Baking Soda? (Alternatives)

Last Updated on May 21, 2022 by John Moretti

A lot of coffee makers have dishwasher-safe components these days, but many find it leaves a disagreeable aftertaste. Also, the dishwasher doesn’t get into the internal tubes and fittings of the entire coffee machine, either. But using standard detergents can also lead to an undesirable aftertaste. Thus, coffee lovers turn to more natural products, such as baking soda. 

Coffee makers can be cleaned with baking soda. However, it is essential the baking soda is completely dissolved, with no lumps, before it enters the machine. Failure to do this can result in clogs. Other natural products to try are white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, and lemon juice.

Baking soda is a fantastic and versatile natural cleaning product. It provides a gentle scrub while absorbing unwanted odors. However, some people prefer to limit its use to cleaning the removable parts of the machine rather than running it through a cycle, eliminating the risk of clogs. However, this is not a concern with tubeless coffee makers such as a French press. 

can you clean a coffee maker with banking soda

How To Clean Your Coffee Maker With The Help Of Baking Soda

There are a few ways to clean a standard coffee maker with baking soda. Some of these methods only use baking soda; others use a secondary natural cleanser. 

Please note it is important to rinse your coffee maker after the baking soda cycle before adding a secondary cleanser. For example, that delightful fizz that combining baking soda and vinegar produces is actually the sound of them canceling each other out (base vs. acid). In short, it is a fun and easy way to entertain children, but not so helpful in achieving the aim of cleanliness.

Running Baking Soda Through Your Coffee Maker

baking soda

Before running baking soda through your machine, first, clean the outside of it and the plate with a baking soda paste. Once everything is sparkling to your satisfaction, use the carafe or a separate bowl to mix:

  • 1 cup of warm water
  • ½ cup baking soda

Be sure to stir vigorously until every speck of baking soda has dissolved. 

Once your mixture is thoroughly combined:

Most people need to do this twice. 

Once you have finished running baking soda mixtures through your machine, run plain water through it to ensure it is thoroughly rinsed. 

Running Baking Soda And Vinegar Through Your Coffee Maker

baking soda vinegar

Cleaning your coffee maker with baking soda and vinegar can be done in two ways. The first begins precisely as above, but instead of the second rinse being another round of baking soda solution, you use white vinegar or cider vinegar.

For the vinegar cycle:

  • Mix equal parts vinegar with water in the carafe or a spare bowl
  • Pour the solution into the water reservoir
  • Ensure the carafe is in its correct place
  • Turn machine on
  • Stop the machine halfway through
  • Let the machine sit for 30 min
  • Turn the coffee maker back on, allowing it to finish
  • Rinse with clean water for your third and final cycle

Cleaning Your Coffee Maker With Baking Soda And Vinegar Part II

The second way to clean your coffee maker with baking soda and vinegar is the method that eliminates the risk of clogs. 

  • Remove all non-tube removable parts
  • Clean outside of coffee maker with baking soda paste
  • Clean all removable parts with baking soda paste
  • Rinse all removable parts thoroughly before returning to the machine
  • Proceed with the vinegar cycle as you did above
  • Run a second time if you desire
  • Finish with a clean water cycle

Cleaning Your Coffee Maker With Baking Soda And Lemon Juice

baking soda lemon juice

Some people can’t stand the way vinegar smells. If vinegar isn’t your thing, lemon juice is an excellent substitute. You can use it exactly as you would in the two methods listed above for baking soda and vinegar. 

Just remember to avoid lemon juice with any pulp. 

Alternatives To Cleaning Your Coffee Maker With Baking Soda

Not everyone feels comfortable cleaning their coffee maker with baking soda due to the risk of clogs. Thus, some people use vinegar or lemon juice alone. If you do this, the step of letting the vinegar or lemon juice sit halfway through is incredibly important. 

Cleaning Your Coffee Maker With Denture Tablets

Denture Tablets

Denture tablets can add a bit of fun to cleaning your coffee maker. 

  • Pour 2 cups of cold water into the water reservoir 
  • Drop 2 tablets into the reservoir
  • Wait as they have fully dissolved
  • Run the machine
  • Rerun it with just plain water

Sometimes the carafe has extra build-up. You can also tackle this with denture tablets. 

  • Add two cups of cold water to the carafe
  • Drop 1 tablet into the carafe
  • Wait until it has fully dissolved
  • Scrub with a cleaning cloth, a small soft brush, or a toothbrush

Cleaning Your Coffee Maker With Citric Acid

citric acid

Citric acid is a popular ingredient for descaling. However, like lemon juice and vinegar, you might find you have to use them a few times before you achieve your desired results. Also, citric acid is typically found in hardware stores and sold in powder form. Therefore, be sure when you mix it that it has properly dissolved into the water before adding it to your appliance. 

To use citric acid:

  • Mix 1 tablespoon of citric acid in 1 gallon of water
  • Add 2 cups of the solution to the coffee maker’s water reservoir
  • Run the machine
  • Halfway through, stop
  • Leave for 30 minutes
  • Complete the cycle
  • Once you have achieved your desired result, run a rinse cycle with plain water


Cleaning your coffee maker with baking soda is possible and a popular method. However, running baking soda through the machine comes with risks, as it can clog it up. Be sure the baking soda is fully dissolved before adding it to your machine. Otherwise, consider an alternative method for descaling and only use baking soda for the outside of the machine and the carafe.