Coffee Makers: Removing Minteral Deposits
Along with many other people in the United States, we have hard water where we live. This means that the water contains a large amount of calcium and other minerals. Hard water is harmless, but tends to leave mineral deposits when it is used. Even if you filter your water (we use a Bria filter), a fair amount of minerals remain in the water. This can be a particular problem with coffeemakers as the water evaporates leaving a mineral buildup each time it is used. Eventually, the mineral buildup can get to the point where the coffeemaker becomes useless. Cleaning the machine on a regular basis prevents this from happening
Cleaning your coffeemaker is simple. Mix a solution of 50% vinegar and 50% water, enough to make a pot of coffee. Don’t use fancy vinegar; inexpensive white vinegar is fine. Vinegar is a mild acid and will react with the calcium deposits similar to the way it reacts with baking soda (although not as fast). Vinegar is completely non-toxic and commonly used in salad dressings and other foods, so it is perfect for this purpose. Don’t use any other types of acid or cleaning product though!
Fill the water tank with the vinegar and water solution and set the coffeemaker up the same way you would if you were brewing your regular morning coffee, filter and all. The solution will run through the coffeemaker and dissolve the mineral deposits. If you had heavy deposits, you may need to run the solution through a few more times. To be most effective, you will want to make a new batch of solution each time.
Once you are done cleaning the mineral deposits, you will want to make sure you’ve cleared out all the vinegar. Vinegar is harmless, but as a coffee flavoring, it has much to be desired. To do this, run a couple carafes of clean water through the machine. Clean the carafe the same way you normally would.
If you do this once every couple weeks, your coffeemaker should remain clean and mineral free.