You count on your coffee maker to make delicious coffee for you and your guests. But over time, natural minerals in your water can build up in your appliance, affecting your coffee’s taste, as well as the brewing time and overall performance of your machine. That’s why it’s important to clean and descale your coffee maker on a regular basis. Fortunately, it doesn’t take much – all you’ll need is some coffee maker cleaning tablets or white vinegar, some water and a few minutes of your time.


How to clean your coffee maker with vinegar or cleaning tablets

Coffee makers need to be descaled periodically to remove mineral deposits which affect brewing times and taste. Signs that your coffee maker needs to be descaled include:

  1. Cleaning indicator light comes on (only applies to select models).
  2. Excessive brew times.
  3. Gurgling or other unusual noises during the brew cycle.

The Coffee Maker should be descaled as soon as possible after the Cleaning Needed Indicator light illuminates. A commercial descaling agent or vinegar can be used to descale the unit – if you’re using the former, follow the directions on the package for the recommended amounts of descaling agent and water to use. If you don’t have access to a descaling agent, you can clean your coffee maker by filling the carafe with a solution consisting of half vinegar and half water.

NOTE: We recommend Affresh coffee maker cleaning tablets, which are available online and in retail stores.

  • If you have a coffee maker with a grid that makes it difficult to put the entire Affresh tablet into the water reservoir, you can crush the tablet into smaller pieces in a plastic sandwich bag, then pour the powder into the water reservoir.

How to descale your coffee maker

  1. Before descaling, always remove the water filter and make sure the brew basket contains no coffee or coffee filters
  2. Run the Coffee Maker through a complete brewing cycle using a full carafe of the descaling solution.
  3. If the Cleaning Needed Indicator lights after the brewing cycle is complete, repeat Step 2 until the Cleaning Needed Indicator no longer illuminates after brewing.
  4. Rinse the Coffee Maker by running it through two brewing cycles using a full carafe of fresh, cool water each time.
  5. Wash the brew basket and carafe in hot, soapy water and rinse with hot water.
  6. Reinstall or replace the water filter.

Looking for coffee accessories or need a replacement part for your Kitchenaid® Coffee Maker? Shop all of our coffee accessories.



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