Cleaning Your Drip Coffee Maker
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For the best coffee possible, you should try to clean your drip coffee maker at least twice a month. Depending on your water, you can adjust this accordingly. Remember, the harder your water, the more frequently you should do this. It's simple, easy, and will dramatically improve your coffee if it's been awhile since the last cleaning.
There are many options for buying coffee maker cleaners, but with a few common ingredients, you can also make your own. Before you use anything, be sure to read your particular coffee maker manual to ensure that whatever you use is safe and effective.
Some of the most common "recipes" for cleaning out the coffee maker include:
* A 5 part water, 1 part vinegar solution (preferred)
* 2 denture cleaning tablets (fully dissolved in water before put in coffee maker!)
* Citric acid mixed with 4 cups hot water and 4 cups cold water
Start by running a pot of plain water through your coffee maker to push out any grounds. Pour in the mixture of your choice and let your machine (turned off) sit for about five minutes. Turn the coffee pot back on, place the decanter in place and run the mixture through. Open a few windows during this process, as your house will likely be flooded with a strong vinegar smell. If your coffee maker had burnt coffee residuals, you will likely also notice a bitter smell. When finished, run at least a couple pots of clean, cold water through your machine afterward to clear out the rest of the vinegar solution. If you feel like it still isn't clean, repeat the entire process.
If your decanter itself has encrusted build-up, try filling it with a combination of water and crushed ice and swirling the mixture around to break up the residue and coffee stains. For extra tough stains, add in a handful of salt (rock salt works best, but table salt will work as well). You can also sanitize your decanter with a water/bleach solution, but make sure you don't ever run bleach through your coffee machine, you can completely ruin it. Again, after cleaning the decanter with bleach, make sure to rinse/wash well to remove all traces.