Since Cuisinart is one of the most popular coffee maker brands, we’ve put together a simple guide on how to clean Cuisinart coffee makers to help you ensure you’re cleaning it the right way.
Cleaning should be done according to the schedule laid out below which is based on both the manufacturers guidance and our first hand experience.
Most drip coffee makers will be cleaned in a similar fashion, but you should consult your guide to make sure there isn’t anything special you need to know. Additionally, not all will have the same self-cleaning functions that Cuisinart machines have.
Regular cleaning is essential to maintain your coffee machine and ensure it makes great coffee
Daily: Clean the removable parts.
The removable parts of your coffee maker should be cleaned daily. Try not to skip too many cleanings, though, as bacteria and mold can grow rapidly, particularly if the unit has been sitting. The entire machine should always be thoroughly cleaned before being stored for longer than a day or two, and again before you plan to use it.
First, turn off the machine, and then unplug it from the outlet. It’s important that you do both, as simply turning the unit off doesn’t protect you from the risk of electrical shocks. Next, you’ll wash the filter basket and the carafe, including the lid. Most coffee makers have an easily-removable lid that makes this process much easier. You should always use warm, soapy water or the top shelf of a dishwasher to clean your machine, as harsh cleaners can leave behind potentially toxic residue, or even eat away at the plastic components.
Daily or Weekly: Wipe down the non-removable parts.
The base of your coffee maker should never be submerged in water, but it can be wiped down with a damp cloth. Make sure to wipe down the area of the filter basket, too, as well as outside of the machine. If your machine has a matte finish, you might be able to skip this step occasionally, but it’s a good idea to make sure there isn’t any film that could contain bacteria. If your machine has recently been used, you’ll need to wait for it to cool down before wiping the warming plate.
Monthly or Quarterly: Decalcify the water reservoir and brew head.
If your water has a high mineral content, it’s recommended that you descale monthly, or more frequently if the descale indicator light is flashing. Not all units will have this indicator light, but you will probably notice a difference with the brew time when the machine is due for a cleaning. Generally, it’s best to do this before any indication of a problem. Users who used distilled water (or tap water with low mineral content) can choose to descale quarterly, instead. You should be able to figure out your machine’s specific needs within a few months. When in doubt, descale monthly.
Fill the water reservoir with 1/3 white vinegar and 2/3 water (purified, if possible). Press your self-clean button (if present) before turning the coffee maker on. The machine will then automatically run the decalcification procedure and play a sound to indicate when the cleaning cycle is complete. If the clean light is still flashing, repeat the process. If not, run a normal brew cycle with clean water.
Machines without a self-clean function will need to be descaled manually. This is usually done by cycling half the vinegar-water mixture through, then switching the machine off and allowing it to sit for 10-15 minutes. Then, turn the machine back on and allow the second half of the mixture to run through. Optionally, you can repeat the process, if you feel it’s necessary. To rinse the machine, run a normal brew cycle with clean water, and the unit will be ready for use.
Under no circumstances should you put liquids into the reservoir without the filter basket and carafe in place. The filter basket will prevent the liquids from making a mess, and in units with sneak-a-cup capabilities, no water will dispense if the carafe (with lid) are not in place.
Biannually: Decalcify the hot water system.
Twice a year, you should clean the hot water system with pure vinegar. Empty the water reservoir and then fill with distilled white vinegar. Dispense half the vinegar and discard. This will fill the internal tank with the now hot vinegar. Let your machine sit for 15-20 minutes to soak, then turn it off and let it cool completely. Drain the internal tank by pulling the water release tab on the bottom of the machine while holding it over the sink. Replace this tab and then rinse with clean water and a normal brew cycle. If desired, you can repeat the rinse process to remove any remaining vinegar odor or taste.
By following these steps you’ll ensure that you keep your Cuisinart coffee maker in the best condition and make the best coffee. Please leave a comment below if this has helped you learn how to clean your Cuisinart coffee maker.