How Often Should You Clean Your Coffee Maker? (Guide)

Last Updated on May 26, 2022 by John Moretti

Coffee is a critical component of the morning routine of many people all over the world. This means that if our coffee makers malfunction, our mornings fall apart. This is why it is vital to maintain a coffee maker well to keep the coffee flowing. How often should you clean your coffee maker? Well, let’s find out!

A coffee maker should be cleaned and rinsed after every brew. Removing the spent coffee grounds and rinsing the machine after every use is essential and will extend its lifespan. A coffee maker must be deep cleaned and descaled every three months depending on how much the machine is used. 

Cleaning a coffee maker is an important aspect of maintaining the machine. If a coffee maker is not well maintained, it is likely to malfunction, brew poor coffee, or the brewing process may be severely hindered. The flavor of the coffee from a poorly maintained machine may also taste terrible. Let’s explore the ins and outs of cleaning a coffee maker, when to do it, and how extensive the cleanings should be. 

how often should you clean your coffee maker

How Often Should A Coffee Maker Be Cleaned?

Using a coffee maker of some kind is a part of the daily routine for many coffee lovers, but the process of cleaning the appliance is not as fun as the process of brewing coffee with it. This leads many to wonder how often these machines should be cleaned.

The truth is, to maintain your coffee maker well, it should be cleaned after every brew. This may not be what every coffee person wants to hear, but it is the unfortunate truth of brewing coffee. 

Coffee is naturally acidic and releases oils during the brewing process, regardless of how roasted the coffee beans are. The acidity of coffee and the oils that are left behind from brewing will eventually cause damage to a coffee maker if it is not cleaned. 

Leaving spent coffee grounds, old coffee, or even water sitting in a coffee maker for extended periods is very bad for the appliance. The oils will build up in the machine and cause clogs, the fine particles of coffee will even clog filters in the machine or damage internal components, the acidity of the coffee left in the brew basket can cause damage, and leaving brewed coffee in the appliance will cause permanent staining and damage from the acidity of the liquid. 

Even leaving water in the machine is bad for it, as water can be very corrosive and cause damage to the machine in several ways, including causing scale and water damage to the coffee maker. 

This means that the unfortunate reality of using a coffee maker is that the machine should be cleaned after every use. The spent coffee ground must be discarded, and the machine must be flushed with fresh running water after every brew. 

How Important Is Descaling And Deep Cleaning? 

Coffee Machine Clean

If you are interested in coffee, or if you have ever looked into coffee maker maintenance, you may have come across terms such as ‘descaling’ and ‘deep cleaning.’ How important are these processes, and when should they be done?

Deep cleaning and descaling a coffee maker are not required as often as regular cleaning. Regular cleaning should occur after every brew, but deeper cleaning and descaling should only be necessary every three months, depending on how much the machine is used. 

Descaling a coffee maker is important because water leaves behind a lime residue that builds up into a limescale within the machine. This process only happens when water is heated, which means that descaling is only important when hot water runs through the machine. This means that descaling is not necessary for coffee maker components such as the brew basket. 

Scale can cause serious blockages within the water channels and heating elements of a coffee maker, which is why descaling these machines every few months is so critical. Too much scale build-up will ruin a coffee maker. 

While the entire machine does not require descaling, every component of the machine requires a deep cleaning about every three months as well. 

This process involves lightly disassembling the machine and scrubbing out any leftover coffee grounds, and cleaning out any residues and oils. 

Completing this process is critical for the health and normal function of a coffee maker and should be done every three months along with descaling. Deep cleaning and descaling cycles will ensure that your coffee maker functions and brews great coffee for many years. 

How To Properly Clean A Coffee Maker

The process of properly cleaning a coffee maker is not complicated, but it is integral to the function and longevity of the machine. 

To clean a coffee maker well, some small disassembly is required. Be sure to remove the coffee carafe, the brew basket, and all other easily removable components before beginning the process. 

Once the machine is disassembled to this degree, open the lid of the machine and inspect the water spout or showerhead. If this component is free of blockages or scale, the rest of the process is simple. 

If this component does have blockages, carefully scrub them out with a kitchen sponge. Be sure to use this sponge lightly on any surfaces that appear to have a build-up of scale or dirt. 

The next step is to fill the water reservoir with a mixture of water and coffee machine descaler. Run the machine with the descaler solution for several brew cycles, collecting the solution in the carafe as it goes. 

After two or three cycles, let the machine sit for a while to allow the descaler to do its job within the coffee maker. 

In the meantime, mix a batch of water and descaler in a large bowl or container and place all of the removable components of the machine onto the solution. This will clean the parts thoroughly and remove all limescale, oils, and debris. 

After a few minutes, fill the water tank of the machine with fresh water and run a few cycles of freshwater to rinse out all cleaning products. 

After rinsing and washing the machine and all of its components, the coffee maker is clean and ready for continued use. Going through this process every three months or so is more than sufficient for most coffee makers. 


Cleaning a coffee maker is part of owning a coffee maker, and if you want your machine to brew good coffee for years to come, then cleaning the appliance is critical. Fortunately, cleaning a coffee maker is simple and takes very little time to complete. 

Taking the time to clean your coffee maker regularly will drastically extend its lifespan. Descaling and deep cleaning are essential, and the coffee maker will live longer for it. If you care about your coffee and if you cannot start your day without it, be sure to look after your coffee maker!