How to Clean Cuisinart Coffee Maker


Coffee Machines and Cleaning

Coffee machines are a wonderful appliance and one of the most complex machines in average homes. Few other appliances can come close to the kind of complexity, technology, and small build of the coffee machine. It is probably also one of the most used appliances in the home and the office.

Coffee is a drink you can have multiple times, any time of the day or night. So after a few weeks of usage, it is but natural that it should undergo a routine cleaning and maintenance cycle to ensure it keeps working to its full potential, any flaws or problems are detected early on, and all the deposits are taken out.

Since the insides of the coffee machine, the condition of its pipes, valves, boilers, etc., is not externally visible, you will not be able to know if the machine requires cleaning or not. Therefore the best way out is to simply clean the machine once every few weeks. The manufacturer shares the maintenance routine instructions, and it is usually once in 2 months.

Photo by @felipepelaquim on Unsplash

Why is Cleaning Essential for a Coffee Maker? 

Regular Tap water contains various salt deposits, especially calcium. This calcium can accumulate in small quantities over some time and harm the appliances using such water. Calcium and other minerals are harmless and non-toxic but will affect the performance of your machine. These are the few deposits that will be removed once you descale:

  • Calcium Deposits
  • Water Scale Buildup
  • Rust particles
  • Limescale
  • Mud
  • Other Non-soluble Deposits

Also, the filter basket inside a coffee machine would develop a sort of brown residue that comes from the accumulation of wet coffee grounds over some time of usage. Therefore, all the kitchen appliances that use tap water must be frequently decalcified to remove all the calcium and other mineral deposits completely. Your Cuisinart Coffee maker is not an exception in this matter.

What Happens if You Do Not Descale the Coffee Maker?

If you do not descale for a long time, you will experience these issues:

  • The coffee maker will not reach the optimal temperature in the time that is required to brew the coffee.
  • The build-up can clog the pipes, water reservoir, and pumps, and the machine can cease to work.
  • Coffee will be lukewarm and will not taste as good.

Whether the coffee machine ships with a self-cleaning option or not, you must take the initiative to clean the coffee maker thoroughly routinely.

The manual or automated cleaning of decalcifying the water reservoir is usually done with a solution of vinegar and water. While cleaning the other parts of the machine with warm, soapy water. If you follow the proper cleaning and maintenance cycles for your coffee maker, it will continue to serve you for years with a nice tasting coffee. Let us now look at how to clean Cuisinart Coffee Maker.

How to Clean Cuisinart Coffee Maker From the Outside

While cleaning can be a daily activity with you wiping the product clean after every use, the device will need a thorough cleaning from the outside once in a while too.

One of the things to remember is to wipe down the product with a soft cloth. You can put a little warm soapy water on it, but nothing that soaks the machine wet and drips the water all over. Just a little bit of it on the cloth and wipe the machine clean:

  • Do that for the entire body of the machine.
  • Use a soft cloth to prevent scratching the machine.
  • Avoid any scouring pads or abrasive materials.
  • After you wipe it, make sure you dry it by following the same process.

How to Clean Cuisinart Coffee Maker From the Inside

For the internal cleaning, we use vinegar to decalcify all the pipes, the heating mechanism, and other parts that come in direct contact with the water and would have a tendency to have mineral deposits.

A lot of machines will come with a cleaning indicator that starts flashing when it detects that cleaning is necessary. You will have to stick to the manufacturer’s instructions that define a routine cleaning cycle for the others. Whatever the case, if you are using the machine several times daily, it is better to have it do a maintenance cycle once a month.

Why Vinegar? 

Vinegar is an acidic solution that is used with water in a specific proportion to clean all mineral deposits. Vinegar by itself is quite acidic and may damage the internal components, and so it is diluted in the ratio of one part vinegar to 2 or 3 parts tap water.

This will dilute the vinegar and reduce its intensity considerably, therefore protecting the internal parts of the coffee machine. If you see a white-ish, chalky mineral deposit that is hard, that is a mineral deposit waiting to be cleaned, and yes, you have waited a long time and probably not cleaned the machine for months.

While vinegar is acidic, the deposits are alkaline in nature, and you would have guessed what happens when the two come into contact. The deposits are dissolved and slowly removed from all the places where they started appearing.

This is the basic science behind using vinegar. Even the commercial cleaning solutions available in the market to clean the coffee maker use the same concept and have an acid-based cleaning solution.

We use vinegar because it’s cheap, readily available, and you do not have to buy multiple products. While you can use other acidic solutions like Citric acid and Lemon (it’s acidic too!), we will stick to vinegar for this article’s purpose.

Instructions to How to Clean Cuisinart Coffee Maker

Now follow the steps given below to thoroughly clean the machine.

Empty the Carafe of Coffee and Grounds

Chances are there will be some leftover coffee in the carafe. Discard the coffee and use the tap water to rinse clean the carafe. Also, remove all paper filters and coffee grounds from the coffee maker and discard them as well.

Use the Carafe for Making and Measuring the Cleaning Solution

Fill vinegar in the carafe up to one-third of its capacity. Then, you should fill the rest of the carafe with tap water. This will form 1 part vinegar to 2 parts water solution. Always use a carafe to make the cleaning solution and not pour contents directly into the reservoir.

This is because a carafe or any other glass container will enable you to measure the contents adequately, which is not possible if you are poring straight into the reservoir. Our cleaning solution is now ready.

Open the water reservoir lid and carefully pour the entire contents of the carafe into the reservoir. Ensure that you have prepared enough cleaning solutions.

The Cleaning Cycles

The cleaning cycles have been detailed below. They are separate for automated and manual cycles, but the basic process remains the same when it comes to cleaning and rinsing.

Automated Cycle

If your coffee maker machines come with a pre-programmed cleaning cycle, you will find a button on the front panel or an option somewhere in the menu. If you cannot find it and are doing it for the first time, refer to the owner’s manual to find the display menu option. Press the button to start the cleaning cycle.

The machine should beep, or the light indicator would flash to indicate that the cleaning has begun. It will take time to complete the cleaning cycle, and you can proceed to other work.

The cleaning cycle will run 3-4 times longer than the brewing cycle. The coffee maker will brew a few cups, then pause, brew a few more cups and pause again. This happens again and again until the cleaning cycle is complete. The cleaning cycle takes a long time and should be around 20-30 minutes.

Manual Cycle

If the machine does not have an automated cleaning cycle, you can manually do it by simply running the brew cycle several times. Turn on the machine to run a brew cycle like you would do when you make a coffee for yourself. For best results, repeat this process 2-3 times for an effective, complete, and thoroughly clean.

For even better results, halt the brewing process mid-way by turning off the machine and let it sit like that for about an hour or so. After this turn it back on and have it complete the brewing cycle. This will ensure your machine is totally clean.

Inspect and Repeat

You will have to keep a watch over the entire process and check carefully if the reservoir and other visible parts are clean. There should be no visible coatings or white marks. One cycle of the cleaning solution is enough for one successful cleaning and maintenance cycle.

If you are cleaning after a long time or have quite a dirty machine, chances are that the process has to be repeated. When you repeat the cleaning cycle, ensure you prepare a fresh batch of the cleaning solution. In an automated machine, if the cleaning is not thorough, the machine will indicate that it requires another round of the cleaning cycle.

Rinse it Clean

After the cleaning cycle, the machine will beep. Fill the water reservoir, this time with plain tap water, and let the machine run a brew cycle to rinse it thoroughly of all the traces of vinegar. Vinegar is strong and will leave a residue. Also, even a tiny amount of Vinegar residue has a strong smell and will spoil your coffee. Therefore repeat the rinse cycle at least 2-3 times before you start to use the machine for coffee.


And that’s all there is to maintaining and keeping clean the coffee maker machine. The process needs a lot of patience and attention to detail. Also, the machines come with a charcoal filter that has a specific life.

Remove the filter holder and take out the filter. This filter cannot be cleaned and reused, so do not attempt to wash it clean under the tap water. Charcoal filters are only meant to be replaced. So keep a ready stock of charcoal filters handy. You can buy them from the manufacturer’s website or compatible ones from third-party resellers.

While the machine is going through its cleaning cycles, dip the new charcoal filter in tap water and let it soak water. Once the machine is done with the cleaning cycle and also the rinse cycle, you can reinsert the filter and its housing back into the machine. Do not replace the filter until you have rinsed the machine clean of all traces of vinegar by running the Rinse Cycle.

Cleaning the Carafe

If you are want to clean the coffee maker, it would be wrong not to clean the carafe. The carafe will also face a build-up of coffee and minerals after weeks of usage. Although you will clean it daily, a thorough cleaning is essential. Pour in warm soapy water and let it sit for a while to loosen up all the build-up and wash it clean. You can also use baking soda and salt as gentle abrasives.

Schedule When to Clean Cuisinart Coffee Maker

Overall you must follow a regular cleaning and maintenance for a coffee maker as it’s a delicate, complicated machine if you want it to last a long time. You must have a cleaning calendar pasted on the kitchen, fridge, or on the coffee machine to remind. Else you can decide on a schedule like the first Sunday of every month as the cleaning day for your coffee machine as it’s easy to lose track.

Most of the coffee makers have an automatic cleaning routine, so you do not have to be there standing and watching over the entire process. You can start it and go about your other duties. I hope the information shared here has been useful in understanding the importance of cleaning and maintaining appliances, and you will start doing it regularly.

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