Cleaning Hacks 101: How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar to Make Your Coffee Pot Shiny and Spotless

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Home » Blog » Natural & Non-Toxic » Cleaning Hacks 101: How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar to Make Your Coffee Pot Shiny and Spotless

Every coffee lover knows that coffee can stain pots, carafe bottles, and filters. And stains can be difficult to remove, especially when they have been there for a long time. While coffee stains aren’t toxic to one’s health, they can affect the taste of the coffee. So how can you remove the coffee stains naturally and get back the fresh taste of your coffee? Will apple cider vinegar clean your coffee pot?

Yes, apple cider vinegar for cleaning coffee pots is 100% reliable. The acetic acid of this solution makes it an effective disinfectant and cleaning agent. It can break down mold, limescale, grime, and even bacteria. 

This post will tackle how apple cider vinegar cleans coffee pots and the easiest way to use this versatile liquid to clean your favorite coffee maker.

How Does Apple Cider Vinegar Clean a Coffee Pot?

Apple cider vinegar is a powerful cleaning ingredient like dish soap and baking soda. The acidic properties of this solution can clean coffee maker parts because it dissolves dirt, coffee residues, soap scum from dish soap, mineral deposits, and more. 

Unlike regular or white vinegar, apple cider vinegar has fruit enzymes that can remove organic material like stains, coffee grounds, and oils for a complete cleaning solution. 

Why Must a Coffee Pot Be Cleaned?


Here are reasons why it is essential to clean your coffee pot:

Affects Coffee Taste

Who does not like having a tasty coffee to start their day? An uncleaned coffee pot over time will create an old burn odor that will affect the flavor of your coffee. To avoid untasty coffee, clean your coffee pot more often.


Germs are gross. Just think about a coffee pot full of germs and you can lose your appetite for drinking coffee. The combination of coffee, water, and heat can be an ideal environment for microorganisms to form. If you leave this mixture for a while, expect germs, mold, and bacteria to form.

Limescale Formation

Limescale or calcium carbonate buildup is a white powdery substance created in the hot pipes of a coffee maker. It’s important to clean away this substance because, over time, it may cause damage to the coffee maker and coffee pot.

Can Apple Cider Vinegar Really Remove Bacteria?

Absolutely! According to a study, apple cider vinegar can clean 83% to 99% of germs. So, if you don’t want to consume bacteria as you enjoy your cup of coffee. Cleaning it with apple cider vinegar is essential.

How to Clean a Coffee Pot with Apple Cider Vinegar?

If you have never cleaned your coffee pot with apple cider vinegar, you’re in for a treat. This solution is one of the most effective and inexpensive cleaning agents, and it will not consume much of your time.

Things You’ll Need:

  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Coffee pot
  • Water
  • A clean, damp cloth

Note: If you’re cleaning a small coffee pot, use ½ cup apple cider vinegar. You’ll need 1 or 2 cups of apple cider vinegar for medium or large coffee pots. 


  1. Pour the apple cider vinegar and water into the coffee pot. Turn on the coffee pot as if you’re making coffee. Let the mixture run through the complete brewing cycle. 
  2. Once the brewing cycle is finished, turn off the coffee pot and unplug it from the socket. Leave the mixture in the coffee pot for about 30 minutes.
  3. Remove the apple cider vinegar and water mixture when the coffee pot is cooled. Rinse the coffee pot to remove the vinegar’s taste or smell.
  4. Use a damp cloth to wipe the outside of your coffee pot. Clean the knobs, control panel, and external surfaces.
  5. Pour water into the coffee pot and turn it on once again. Run another cycle to eradicate the vinegar residue.

Is It Safe to Scrub the Inside of the Coffee Pot While the Apple Cider Vinegar Is in It?


Yes, you can scrub the coffee pot even though it contains apple cider vinegar. Perhaps you are worried that cleaning the inside with vinegar will damage the coffee pot. The answer is no.

Coffee pots are designed to withstand heat and even the harshest of chemicals. However, you should worry about damaging your hands. Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid, which may irritate your hands. Thus, wearing gloves when cleaning your coffee pot with this solution is necessary.

What are the Cons of Using Apple Cider Vinegar?

There is no perfect cleaning agent. Since we already touched on the benefits of apple cider vinegar. It’s time to touch on why you may not want to use it to clean your coffee pot.

It Produces a Strong Odor

Although apple cider vinegar works well in cleaning coffee pots, you may have difficulty eliminating its potent odor. If you do, use it to wash your coffee pot; make sure to run enough water through it to thoroughly remove the vinegar smell before using the coffee maker.

Drawbacks of Using Apple Cider Vinegar for Cleaning

Apple cider vinegar has a sugar content. Bacteria love sugar, and if you don’t eliminate all of the ACV thoroughly in the coffee pot, it may promote the proliferation of bacteria.

It is Expensive

Compared to regular vinegar, apple cider vinegar is more expensive. But if spending a few dollars is fine, or if apple cider vinegar is already available, go with the ACV for cleaning. 

What are Other Ways to Clean Coffee Pots?

So, what if apple cider vinegar is unavailable at home, and you are eager to clean your coffee pot? What are other unconventional ways to clean it? 


No joke! You can clean a coffee pot with liquor. Perhaps you have some leftover tequila or vodka in the fridge, so feel free to use it. The alcohol content is a disinfectant. Like regular alcohol, it can kill germs and bacteria, especially with a higher concentration.

Hydrogen Peroxide

You probably know this already – hydrogen peroxide will do a great job disinfecting your coffee pot. Hydrogen peroxide will also clean and kill mold growing in your coffee maker.

To do this, follow the method above for cleaning the coffee pot with apple cider vinegar. Just replace the apple cider vinegar with hydrogen peroxide in the instructions. 

You can also learn how to use hydrogen peroxide to kill mold in other areas of your home by reading our article – Does Hydrogen Peroxide Kill Mold?

Baking Soda

According to a fact sheet by the University of Minnesota, baking soda can clean an automatic coffee maker. But even without the study, experience tells us that baking soda is an effective cleaning agent. 

To do this, just run the method above for cleaning a coffee pot with apple cider vinegar. Replace apple cider vinegar with baking soda. 

How to Maintain a Coffee Pot to Prevent Buildup?

There are many ways to keep your coffee pot in good condition. We have already discussed one, and that’s to clean it regularly. However, cleaning may not be enough, so you may need to try other things to ensure your favorite coffee pot will not get damaged.

Use Distilled Water

Tap water may contain particles that can cause buildup and eventually damage your coffee pot. Thus, when making coffee, using distilled water is a great choice. It prevents scaling and produces less buildup of minerals. 

Replace Charcoal Filter

Most coffee pots come with a charcoal filter. If yours has one, replace it regularly. A charcoal filter also causes mineral buildup, but replacing it every 60 days will improve your coffee pot’s life span.

Dump the Old Grounds

Don’t let old grounds fall into your coffee pot. As mentioned, coffee, heat, and water are bad together and may cause the growth of bacteria or germs. Clean the coffee pot as much as you can. It will improve not only the taste of your coffee but also the quality of your appliance.


If your appliance’s longevity, health, and hygiene are one of your priorities, then there’s no reason you should not clean your coffee pot. By cleaning your coffee pot with apple cider vinegar, rest assured it will get descaled, be free of germs, and produce the best-tasting coffee it can.

Follow our step-by-step guides and ways to prevent build-up above to clean your coffee pot and maintain its effectiveness.

If you don’t have any apple cider vinegar, try using liquor, baking soda, or hydrogen peroxide to clean your coffee pot.

Learn how to use apple cider vinegar to clean other appliances. Read our article – Can I Use Apple Cider Vinegar to Clean My Dishwasher?

Enjoy your coffee in a Keurig. Learn how to use apple cider vinegar to clean it by reading our post – Can I Use Apple Cider Vinegar to Clean My Keurig?


Yagnik, D., Serafin, V. & J. Shah, A. Antimicrobial activity of apple cider vinegar against Escherichia coliStaphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans; downregulating cytokine and microbial protein expression. Sci Rep 8, 1732 (2018).