how to clean a cuisinart coffee maker the right way

There are lots of good reasons to clean your Cuisinart coffee maker. I talk a lot about cleaning your coffee maker. For good reason. Dirty coffee machines (and I’m not talking about some splashed tomato sauce on the side) make lousy, possibly dangerous coffee. Any coffee maker with a water reservoir can harbor all sorts of disgusting bacteria (including coliforms). For general cleaning information, or how to clean other types of coffee makers, click here. (Link to How to clean your coffee maker article).

As well, if you have hard water, limescale build-up (that’s a fancy way of saying calcium) within the machine can cause a lousy brew and can eventually cause your machine to stop working altogether. The good news is, cleaning your Cuisinart coffee maker is a breeze!

There are two types of cleaning that you need to do.

  • The first should be done between every use if you use your Cuisinart coffee maker only occasionally, and daily if you use it, well, daily.
  • The second, known as descaling, should be done every couple of months (more frequently if you have very hard water).
dirty coffee cups that need cleaning

Daily Cleaning

The glass carafe, its lid, and the filter basket should be washed every day. If you make two pots of coffee in quick succession, a quick rinse is sufficient. You simply lift the reservoir cover and lift out the filter basket. Dump the grounds and either place the filter basket in the top rack of your dishwasher or hand wash using mild dish soap.

The same goes for the carafe, but make sure that it has come to room temperature. If you shock hot glass with cold water, it could shatter. If the glass carafe is beginning to show dark deposits on the bottom, sprinkle in some baking soda and use a bottle brush (link to bottle brush on Amazon) to remove the stains. That’s all there is to it. And, obviously, if you splash food onto the outside of the unit, take a damp sponge and wipe it off!#

Descaling the unit

latte with love heart

If your coffee begins to taste “off,” is not as hot as it should be, begins to get weak, or you can see a white build-up in the water reservoir, descaling is in order. This is a simple process. You can use plain household vinegar (link to vinegar on Amazon) or a commercial descaling solution (link to Amazon here). Also note that some Cuisinart coffee machine models have a “clean” or “descale” indicator light and cycle.

Fill the water reservoir with ⅓ plain white vinegar (link to vinegar on Amazon). Top the vinegar off with plain water (fill the reservoir to full capacity, as though you were brewing a full pot of coffee). Run the machine – use the “clean” function if your machine has one. If your machine has a “clean” indicator light still flashes after the first cleaning, repeat the process with another reservoir filled with vinegar and water. If the indicator light still flashes, try using a commercial descaling solution – follow the directions on the bottle for the proper proportion of solution to plain water.

Once the vinegar cycle has run, fill the reservoir with plain tap water and run the machine again. If the reservoir still smells of vinegar after this “rinse” cycle, run another batch of water through. And you’re done!

A clean Cuisinart coffee maker is a happy Cuisinart coffee maker. And a coffee maker that makes a good cup of coffee will make you happy too!

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