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How to Clean a Percolator Coffee Pot

Coffee is a staple in most homes today, which means your coffee pot is most likely used on a daily basis.  It’s not enough to simply rinse out the coffee pot and change out the filter each time you brew a fresh pot of coffee.  Every coffee maker requires a bit of maintenance to brew excellent tasting coffee every time. And you have to know how to clean a percolator coffee pot to keep it from ruining the taste.

Why is it important to clean your coffee maker?  First of all, clean makers brew the best tasting coffee.  With repeated use, all coffee makers, including your espresso machine and cappuccino maker will accumulate coffee oils inside, and those oils will turn rancid.  Your brewed coffee won’t taste as fresh.  Instead, it may have a rather bitter taste.  Mineral deposits can also form inside a coffee maker; reducing the efficiency of the electric heating unit and restricting the water flow of the machine.

There are several simple ways to clean your stainless steel or glass coffee pot and your coffee maker with items easily found in your kitchen.

One method uses white vinegar and water and the heat of the coffee maker itself.  The vinegar will flush away coffee oil buildup in both the tubes and tank of the machine.  For a 12-cup coffee maker, fill the machine with 6 cups of vinegar and 6 cups of water (basically a 50/50 ratio will work for any unit).  Place an empty filter into the machine.  Don’t put any grounds in the filter.  Turn on the unit just as if you were making coffee.  The unit will heat the vinegar and water mixture as it enters the pot.  Repeat this process a second time with the hot water and vinegar mixture from the pot.  After it runs through a second time, thoroughly wash the coffee pot with soapy water, removing any visible brown stains.  In order to remove the vinegar from the coffee machine, fill the tank with fresh water and turn on the machine again. Do this two times and the machine will be ready to brew a fresh pot of rich, aromatic coffee.


Fill the machine with 6 cups of vinegar and 6 cups of water and turn on the unit just as if you were making coffee
Thoroughly wash the coffee pot with soapy water, removing any visible brown stains

Would you like to have a sparkling coffee pot once again?  Carefully place 6 ice cubes along with ½ cup baking soda into the coffee pot.  Gently shake the pot until the stains are removed.  Wash the pot with hot soapy water and dry with a lint-free towel.

A combination of baking soda and vinegar inside the coffee pot or carafe will remove stains as well.  Place about ½ cup of baking soda into the bottom of the pot.  Slowly pour enough white vinegar over the baking soda to cover it and allow the mixture to bubble and froth.  Gently swish the mixture around the pot and stains will easily wash away.

Coffee makers designed without an automatic shut-off switch can sometimes cause coffee that sits too long on the burner to burn onto the pot.  If this happens, simply fill the coffee pot with white vinegar and allow it to sit overnight.  The stains should come clean once the vinegar is poured out and the pot is washed with hot, soapy water.  If stubborn stains remain, simply repeat the process until the pot comes clean.

As with anything else, always check the manual before doing any cleaning.

Cleaning your coffee maker and your coffee pot periodically will prolong the life of both, which means you can continue to enjoy the robust taste of coffee brewed in the comfort of your own home for a long time.  Just as with any other kitchen appliance, a little bit of time spent maintaining your coffee machine and coffee pot goes a long way.

Just as important at cleaning the pot is having a great coffee maker. Without one, you’ll never quite get it to taste as perfect as the coffee you get at your local shop.

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