How To Clean A Coffee Maker Without Vinegar – 10 Alternatives!

For those who cannot get off the bed without a sultry, rich cup of coffee, a coffee maker is the essential piece of equipment in the kitchen. Like any other utensil in the kitchen, your coffee maker also needs thorough cleaning to maintain hygiene. 

Many people choose vinegar for cleaning their machines, which can prove to be quite harmful to the device. Read on to know how to clean a coffee maker without vinegar. 

Why Vinegar Isn’t a Great Choice

White vinegar is one of the go-to choices for many people when it comes to cleaning the coffee maker. They run the liquid through the machine’s system a couple of times before giving a final rinse with clean water. 

The primary chemical components of vinegar are acetic acid. The acid will provide a thorough cleaning as it can remove any build-up. It also kills any bacterial or mold infestation growing in parts of the machine. 

Despite all the cleansing goodness it offers, it turns out to be the wrong choice for cleaning. 

One of the primary reasons for the same is that it is difficult to remove the acid from the machine’s system altogether. It means there are high chances that you will be consuming some of the diluted vinegar with your next brew. This substance can prove to be harmful to the health. 

Another reason is the pungent vinegar smell. By the time the entire cleaning process gets over, your house would be reeking of acetic acid, making you want to leave your own home!

How to Clean A Coffee Maker Without Vinegar?

Knowing the negatives of cleaning your coffee maker with vinegar, you might have gotten eager to know if there are any other methods of cleaning.

There are quite a few non-toxic and harmless cleaning methods to clean your coffee maker with ease and perfection. 

Using Lemon Juice

The juice that we get from a lemon is also a type of acid; citric acid. 

Because lemon is used extensively for human consumption, even medicinally, citric acid has no harmful effect on the body. The acidic nature of lemon juice renders it the same properties as that of white vinegar. This agent makes it quite a capable candidate for cleaning your coffee pot. 

All you need to do is prepare a slightly diluted solution of lemon juice with its goodness of citric acid. Just like you would have run the white vinegar through the machine, run this lemon juice solution instead. 

Once the process has been done quite a few times, rinse the coffee pot with regular clean water. 

Using Borax

Borax, also known as sanitizing borax, is yet another famous cleansing agent. It is commonly used to clean equipment like washing machines, fridges, and, of course, coffee makers. It is a multipurpose household cleaner used quite often as a substitute for white vinegar. 

For using borax to clean your coffee machine, you need to prepare a few tablespoons of borax with warm water. Mix it well. Run this solution mixture through your coffee machine. Keep the brew speed medium or heavy brew till the borax solution is running. 

After the cleaning is complete, rinse the coffee pot with fresh and clean water at least twice before the next time you start brewing coffee. 

Using Baking Soda

Baking soda has been popularly used as a non-toxic cleaning agent since time immemorial. It is affordable and easy to obtain, and it gets the job done. Unlike other cleaning products, baking soda is alkaline, i.e., basic. The alkaline properties provide it an edge over other cleaning products. 

To use baking soda for cleaning your coffee machine, mix a quarter cup of baking soda in one cup of warm water. Make sure there are no power lumps, and the liquid is smooth. 

Use this liquid to run through the machine’s system. Repeat the cycle till you are satisfied with the cleaning. Rinse the system with plain water after the procedure is complete. 

Make sure to carry out the rinsing process at least twice before brewing. 

Using Hydrogen Peroxide

Everyone is well aware of the fantastic disinfecting properties of hydrogen peroxide. 

It is known for providing outstanding results when used as a cleaning agent for anything and everything. You can give your coffee machine a sparkling clear appearance by using a small amount of hydrogen peroxide. 

Mix about one cup of hydrogen peroxide with two cups of water. Run this concoction about four to five times through the coffee maker. You keep the brewing cycle to the standard-setting and run it for a few more cycles if it feels convenient. 

Once the cleaning cycles are over, use fresh water as a replacement and let the system flush out any residual hydrogen peroxide. Your coffee maker is clean and fresh for another delicious and aromatic brew. 

Using Cream of TarTar

Cream of Tartar is a tremendous natural coffee cleaner. It mimics baking soda and provides a mild cleaning action for clearing off those though coffee stains, unlike baking soda. The cream of tartar is acidic as it contains tartaric acid. 

All you need to do is fill the water reservoir with water and add two to three spoons of cream of tartar to it. Let this solution run through the system two to three times, and then flush it out with fresh water. 

Using Dishwashing Liquid

We use dishwashing liquids and dish soap on our most expensive china, without the worry of them getting ruined. Why not use this same cleanser for your drip coffee maker as well?

Dishwashing liquids are prepared for the sole purpose of making your utensils sparkling clean. You can use them with convenience for any kitchenware.

The only problem with using dishwashing liquid is that you will be required to disassemble your coffeemaker completely. If you are comfortable doing so, this is one of the best ways to keep your machine clean. 

For using a dishwashing liquid, disassemble your coffee maker and separate the housing and functional components. Prepare a solution of cleaning solution and soapy water and wash the separated parts with the same. Avoid using a scrub pad; instead, wash it with your hands. 

After washing is complete, let the parts dry. Once you have assembled your somewhat clean coffee maker for next use, run fresh water through the system before brewing. This step is to ensure that there are no soap residues left in any part of the machine. 

Also Read: How To Make An Espresso With A French Press

Using CLR

CLR is often used as a replacement for vinegar as well as lemon juice. In case you are not happy with cleaning achieved with lemon juice, you can substitute it with CLR. It is an excellent choice for deep cleaning your coffee maker.

Mix just one cup of CLR liquid with eight cups of water in the water reservoir. Run the system with this solution at a regular brew cycle for about five to seven minutes. After the cleaning cycle is over, rinse the system with fresh water not less than 3 to 4 times.

Using Alcohol

How often hard alcohol is used as a cleaning agent might blow your mind. Alcohol is not just about fun and excitement; you can put it to serious business as well. For cleaning your coffee maker, you can use any hard alcohol. However, the results seen with vodka are unbeatable. 

Prepare a 25% alcohol solution in the reservoir using alcohol and water. Let it run through the brewing cycle two to three times. After the cleaning cycles are completed, flush the alcohol by rinsing the system twice with fresh water. 

Using Alka Seltzer

Alka Seltzer tablets are one of the most commonly used cleaning hacks for coffee makers. These tablets are used as antacids and are therefore essential. They provide excellent results when used for cleaning.

Just drop three tablets in the water reservoir with water. Let them fizz up and dissolve to completion. Once that is done, let this solution run through the brew cycle couple of times. Rinse the machine with another brew cycle using freshwater. 

Using Muriatic Acid

Muramic acid also goes by the name of Hydrochloric acid. It is a tough stain remover used for stubborn stains. You can use a solution of muramic acid as well for cleaning your coffee maker. The only problem with muramic acid is that you will have to dismantle the entire coffee maker. 

Mix one cup of muramic acid with four cups of water (always add water first). Keep one bucket of water and baking soda ready by your side. Soak the separate parts in the solution of muramic acid for 3 to 4 minutes. This cleaning agent will help in removing all the stains. Now dip the pieces in baking soda solution to nullify the acidic reaction. 

Wrap Up 

You might be using white vinegar solution religiously for cleaning your coffee maker and relieving it of its coffee residue and coffee stain. It is now high to replace the same with safer and non-toxic cleaning methods for your betterment. 

Whether you are using a Keurig coffee maker or any other brand, the tips we shared are sure to help. You can also try a descaling solution if you use hard water.

Some of the ways listed above are not just harmless but also highly affordable. Make the change for your health and well-being, and keep those aromatic brews coming. 

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