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How to Clean Cuisinart Coffee Makers (Easy Steps)

Cuisinart Coffee Maker

Whether you brew your coffee with bottled water, filtered water, or you can use water straight from the tap, there’s no way to avoid mineral buildup in your coffee maker. Over time, calcium starts to gather in your Cuisinart coffee maker, making that first cup of fragrant coffee taste bitter.

If you’re an avid coffee lover, the last thing you want is coffee that tastes horrible. The solution to awful tasting coffee and mineral buildup in your Cuisinart coffee maker is descaling the machine, so your coffee is fresh and fragrant once again.

Even with a complete cleanup, your Cuisinart coffee maker needs to be treated with loving care, which means regular rinsing and maintaining your coffee maker the right way. In this article, we’ll tell you how to clean your Cuisinart coffee maker before you make a costly mistake that can’t be undone.

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Before You Start

If you own a Cuisinart with a “self-cleaning” feature, the machine itself will tell you when to clean it. A little self-clean light will start flashing on the front of your coffee maker when it’s time for internal cleaning.

For those of you who don’t have a self-cleaning Cuisinart, it’s recommended that you descale your machine every 3-6 months. There are a few caveats to this rule, however. If you have hard water, you’ll need to clean your machine more often. How often you internally clean your Cuisinart should be determined by how often you use it. It stands to reason that if you don’t use your coffee maker but once or twice a week, you’ll need to clean it less than if you use it two to three times a day.

Not cleaning your coffee maker regularly can result in needing to replace the machine sooner. On top of that, coffee reservoirs can contain coliform bacteria, which grows in warm moist environments. You certainly don’t want or need to get sick from drinking a cup of coffee!

Cuisinart Coffee Maker Self Clean Feature
Cuisinart Coffee Maker Self Clean Feature (Image Credit: Quiet Hut, Flickr CC 2.0 Generic

Self-Clean Instructions

If you have a self-cleaning coffee maker, it’ll tell you it’s time to clean your machine. Once the flashing light comes on, follow the steps below for success.

1. Remove the Charcoal Filter

Before you do anything else to clean your coffee maker, you should remove the charcoal water filter. The water filter gets filled up with gunk and mineral deposits the same way that your reservoir does.

2. Mix a Vinegar Solution

Mix enough of a vinegar solution to fill your reservoir. It’s best to go with 1/3 parts white vinegar and 2/3 parts water for the best results.

3. Pour Your Vinegar Mixture Into the Reservoir

Once you’ve mixed the vinegar mixture properly, pour the entire thing into the reservoir.

4. Initiate the Self-Clean Process

Locate the self-clean button on your coffee maker, press it, and wait on the button to illuminate. Once it does, you can press the on button on your coffee maker, and the cleaning cycle will begin. You’ll know that the cleaning cycle has begun because the self-clean button will stop blinking and just be a steady color. Once the cleaning cycle is complete, the Cuisinart will beep five times to indicate the completion of the process.

5. Run a Cold-Water Cycle

Once you’ve run your cleaning cycle, fill your reservoir with cold water and run a cold-water cycle to get rid of the vinegar and water solution. You may also want to wipe down all the components of your coffee machine to make sure you don’t get the faint taste of vinegar in your next carafe of coffee.

While the first cleaning cycle might be enough to clean your coffee maker, if the clean machine button lights up again when you switch on your coffee maker, you’ll need to run another cleaning cycle.

How to Clean a Coffee Maker That Isn’t Self-Cleaning

Since some Cuisinart coffee makers don’t feature the self-cleaning button, you’ll need to know how to clean your coffee maker without it. It’s still pretty simple to accomplish, however.

Just mix your vinegar and water solution as you would for a self-cleaning machine, pour the mixture into the reservoir, and run a cycle, just as you would brew a carafe of coffee. Once the brewing cycle is complete, run a cycle of just water so that you have no traces of vinegar or the vinegar smell left in your carafe after the cycle is complete.

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How to Clean the Exterior Of Your Coffee Maker

Even though the inside of your Cuisinart coffee maker is the part that needs to be cleaned internally, you still need to make sure the exterior of your coffee machine is clean as well. Instructions for cleaning your carafe, the base, and the coffee machine’s exterior will be discussed below.

Cleaning the Carafe

It’s best to stick to warm, soapy water when cleaning your carafe. You can put the carafe and the lid of the carafe on the top rack of your dishwasher if you prefer to clean it that way or in addition to washing with warm, soapy water.

If your carafe is stained and the warm, soapy water and running it through the dishwasher don’t work, you can try baking soda to get the stains out. Pour a small amount of baking soda or a sponge or cloth and wipe gently. Make sure that you rinse the carafe completely to get any of the remaining baking soda out.

Make sure that you’re rinsing your coffee carafe after each use to prevent staining for the best results.

Mr. Coffee pouring

Cleaning the Base and Exterior of Your Coffee Maker

The base, exterior, and heating plate of your coffee machine can be cleaned with nothing more than a damp sponge. Make sure you don’t use any abrasive cleaners or scrub pads on the machine to avoid scratches and damage to the machine itself. Never use harsh cleaning liquids to clean your coffee maker, no matter what.

These are just a few easy steps to help you clean your Cuisinart coffee maker. It’s not a complicated process, whether you have a self-clean Cuisinart or one of the models that don’t have the self-clean button. Following the steps above will ensure your coffee maker is clean and ready to brew you a fragrant, fresh, great-tasting mug of coffee whenever you’re ready to have one. Cleaning your coffee maker regularly is also healthier for you and keeps you from having to replace your Cuisinart coffee maker long before you should have to.

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Cuisinart Coffee Maker
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How to Clean a Cuisinart Coffee Maker

If you have a self-cleaning coffee maker, it’ll tell you when it’s time to clean your machine. Once the flashing light comes on, follow the steps below for success. This is the easiest way to clean Cuisinart coffee makers!
Prep Time5 mins
Active Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Keyword: cleaning, how to clean cuisinart coffee makers
Yield: 1 clean Cuisinart coffee maker

Equipment

  • Cuisinart coffee maker
  • Bowl
  • Sponge

Materials

  • Vinegar
  • Water

Instructions

  • Remove the charcoal filter. Before you do anything else to clean your coffee maker, you should remove the charcoal water filter. The water filter gets filled up with gunk and mineral deposits the same way that your reservoir does.
  • Mix enough of a vinegar solution to fill your reservoir. It’s best to go with 1/3 parts white vinegar and 2/3 parts water for the best results.
  • Once you’ve mixed the vinegar mixture properly, pour the entire thing into the reservoir.
  • Locate the self-clean button on your coffee maker, press it, and wait on the button to illuminate. Once it does, you can press the on button on your coffee maker, and the cleaning cycle will begin. You’ll know that the cleaning cycle has begun because the self-clean button will stop blinking and just be a steady color. Once the cleaning cycle is complete, the Cuisinart will beep five times to indicate the completion of the process.
  • Once you’ve run your cleaning cycle, fill your reservoir with cold water and run a cold-water cycle to get rid of the vinegar and water solution. You may also want to wipe down all the components of your coffee machine to make sure you don’t get the faint taste of vinegar in your next carafe of coffee.

Notes

While the first cleaning cycle might be enough to clean your coffee maker, if the clean machine button lights up again when you switch on your coffee maker, you’ll need to run another cleaning cycle.

Featured Image Credit: Quiet Hut, Flickr CC 2.0 Generic (Cuisinart Coffee Maker)

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Kate MacDonnell

Kate is a lifelong coffee enthusiast and homebrewer who enjoys writing for coffee websites and sampling every kind of coffee known to man. She’s tried unusual coffees from all over the world and owns an unhealthy amount of coffee gear.

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