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How to Clean a Bunn Coffee Maker (Simple Steps)

BunnBunn is one of the leading producers of coffee makers worldwide. Their machines are found in professional settings like cafes and diners and the homes of coffee lovers. Bunn machines are renowned for their reliability and longevity, but only if they’re correctly cared for with regular cleaning and maintenance. Making coffee takes a surprising toll on coffee machines, and without frequent cleaning, your coffee maker might start producing funny-tasting coffee or even break down completely.

In this article, we’ll teach you how to clean a Bunn coffee maker to extend its lifespan and keep your coffee tasting great. It’s not too tricky, but there are a few handy tips and tricks you should know that will make cleaning your machine much easier.

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What You’ll Need

It will be helpful to have some supplies on hand before you get started. Most of the equipment needed are household items, except for a spray head cleaner. Bunn makes a specialized tool designed for cleaning the spray head on their machines. It isn’t strictly necessary to use a spray head cleaner, but having one makes the process much easier. They aren’t too expensive, so you should consider picking one up.

best Bunn coffee makers

The Cleaning Process

We recommend cleaning your Bunn coffee maker once a week at a minimum. The more often you clean your machine, the better, but one to two cleanings per week strikes a good balance between cleanliness and effort.

  • Make sure the machine is off before you start cleaning it. Unplug the machine from the outlet to eliminate the possibility of accidentally turning it on mid-clean.
  • Prepare a mixture of mild detergent or soap and warm water. You will use this solution for cleaning the outside of the machine.
  • Soak a cloth in the detergent solution and thoroughly wipe down the outside of the machine. Make sure you don’t miss any spots, paying careful attention to the area around the spray head.
  • Rinse the cloth and wipe down the machine again to remove the detergent. It is important not to let the detergent linger on the surface for too long. Even mild detergents can cause damage if they are left in contact with susceptible surfaces for too long.
  • Remove the spray head from the machine. Using the spray head cleaning tool or another pointed object, remove any built-up coffee residue from the spray head openings. This step can be time-consuming depending on how long it has been since you last cleaned the spray head. Take your time and make sure the spray head isn’t clogged before moving on to the next step.
  • While the spray head is still detached, use the long end of the spray head cleaning tool—or another similar tool—to clean inside the spray head housing. This is a common trouble area prone to mineral deposits and residue, so don’t be surprised if there is a lot of buildup to remove.
  • Reattach the spray head to the machine and enjoy your newly cleaned Bunn coffee maker.

Descaling a Bunn Coffee Maker

Unfortunately, cleaning is only half the battle. Coffee machines can build up mineral deposits over time, especially in regions with hard water. Scale deposits are mostly made of calcium that gets left behind when water evaporates on a surface. If you leave scale deposits in your machine, they will build up and could eventually clog your machine entirely.

Thankfully, descaling a Bunn coffee maker is a relatively quick and painless process. Here’s how to do it.

  • Make a solution of one part vinegar to two parts distilled water. Vinegar is acidic and can easily break down calcium deposits. Make enough solution to fill your Bunn’s coffee pot.
  • Pour the descaling solution into your coffee maker and initiate a brewing cycle.
  • Perform at least three to five rinses by running a brewing cycle with only water. If you don’t rinse the machine enough after descaling, your coffee will have an unpleasant vinegar taste.

Bunn White

How Often Should You Descale?

Many people wonder how often they should descale their coffee machine and, unfortunately, it’s impossible to give a one-size-fits-all answer. If you live in an area with very hard water, you might have to descale your machine as often as once a week. On the other hand, if your water isn’t hard, you might only have to describe it once or twice per year.

An easy way to judge your water’s hardness level is to look in your bathtub and sinks. If there is a white deposit that forms around the drain, you have hard water. If you’re still unsure after checking your drains, you can purchase a water testing kit and determine your water’s hardness level quantitatively. However, it’s usually not necessary to go into that level of detail.


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How to Clean a Bunn Coffee Maker

We'll teach you how to clean a Bunn coffee maker to extend its lifespan and keep your coffee tasting great. It's not too tricky, but there are a few handy tips and tricks you should know that will make cleaning your machine much easier.
Prep Time4 mins
Active Time6 mins
Total Time10 mins

Equipment

Materials

  • Mild detergent
  • Distilled water
  • Vinegar

Instructions

Clean the Bunn Coffee Maker

  • Make sure the machine is off before you start cleaning it. Unplug the machine from the outlet to eliminate the possibility of accidentally turning it on mid-clean.
  • Prepare a mixture of mild detergent or soap and warm water. You will use this solution for cleaning the outside of the machine.
  • Soak a cloth in the detergent solution and thoroughly wipe down the outside of the machine. Make sure you don't miss any spots, paying careful attention to the area around the spray head.
  • Rinse the cloth and wipe down the machine again to remove the detergent. It is important not to let the detergent linger on the surface for too long. Even mild detergents can cause damage if they are left in contact with susceptible surfaces for too long.
  • Remove the spray head from the machine. Using the spray head cleaning tool or another pointed object, remove any built-up coffee residue from the spray head openings. This step can be time-consuming depending on how long it has been since you last cleaned the spray head. Take your time and make sure the spray head isn't clogged before moving on to the next step.
  • While the spray head is still detached, use the long end of the spray head cleaning tool—or another similar tool—to clean inside the spray head housing. This is a common trouble area prone to mineral deposits and residue, so don't be surprised if there is a lot of buildup to remove.
  • Reattach the spray head to the machine and enjoy your newly cleaned Bunn coffee maker.

Descale Your Bunn Coffee Maker

  • Make a solution of one part vinegar to two parts distilled water. Vinegar is acidic and can easily break down calcium deposits. Make enough solution to fill your Bunn's coffee pot.
  • Pour the descaling solution into your coffee maker and initiate a brewing cycle.
  • Perform at least three to five rinses by running a brewing cycle with only water. If you don't rinse the machine enough after descaling, your coffee will have an unpleasant vinegar taste.

Notes

It will be helpful to have some supplies on hand before you get started. Most of the equipment needed are household items, except for a spray head cleaner. Bunn makes a specialized tool designed for cleaning the spray head on their machines. It isn't strictly necessary to use a spray head cleaner, but having one makes the process much easier. They aren't too expensive, so you should consider picking one up.

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Conclusion

Learning how to clean your Bunn coffee maker isn’t as fun as learning how to make great coffee with it, but it is important. With regular care and maintenance, a Bunn coffee maker can churn out delicious coffee consistently for many years. Hopefully, this guide has helped you learn how to properly care for your machine and has taken the guesswork out of what can be an intimidating process if you’ve never done it before.

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Sean Brennan

Sean’s obsession with coffee started when he received his first French press as a gift almost ten years ago. Since then, his love of coffee – and the number of coffee gadgets he owns – has grown considerably. A scientist by training, there is no stone he has left unturned in the never-ending quest for the perfect cup of coffee. He has spent many hours tuning his pour-over technique, thinking about how to best compare grind quality, and worrying about whether the Nicaraguan or Kenyan beans will make the best cold brew. These days he favors the Hario V60, and starts each day by hand grinding his coffee before enjoying a cup prepared with care and attention to detail.

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