Coffee maker cleaner vs Vinegar – which one is better?

Your coffee maker is your best friend every morning if you are someone who needs to take a sip of coffee before you can go about your day. It is also quite a task to keep it clean and you might be wondering which option is better between coffee maker cleaner vs vinegar. Both methods have their own pros and cons, so we’ll look into both in this informative article and make it easier for you to decide for yourself. 

How does a coffee maker get dirty?

Every time you run to your coffee maker and use it, you are increasing the chances of it getting dirty. Bacteria, yeast, and mold might accumulate there causing serious issues to your health. The water reservoir of your espresso machine or coffee maker is considered to be the dirtiest part if not cleaned regularly. Molds and yeast are more likely to grow in damp places like these. Other than that the handle of the coffee maker or even the top of the pot is said to contain a lot of germs as well and should be sanitized regularly so that you can have a healthy cup of coffee for yourself without the risks of any diseases. 

What is a descaling solution for a coffee maker?

A descaling solution or a cleaning solution is used to clean the espresso machine or the coffee maker. It is very likely that after multiple uses coffee deposits might buildup inside your machine. These deposits can create hygiene issues for you so it is best to descale using a descaling agent or descaling solution. Descaling solutions come in two variants, one being a commercial descaling agent and the other being a descaling solution made at home.

How to make a Descaling solution at home and how to descale?

You would only need white vinegar and clean water to make your cleaning solution. Fill up the water reservoir with equal parts water and white vinegar.  Fill up the chamber and start the brewing process. Stop the brewing process midway and let the solution sit there for an hour. This resting period is needed when you have a lot of accumulated waste in the pot to remove. After the resting period, you can start brewing again. Once brewing is done you can proceed to rinse out the descaling solution and then brew again with clean water to clean out the coffee maker. 

Importance of cleaning a coffee maker:

Here are a few points stating the importance of a clean coffee maker:

  • An unclean machine can cause your coffee to have a bad taste or it won’t be brewed properly as the mineral built up in the heating elements will result in your coffee maker not heating up enough for you to have the perfect coffee.
  • Not giving your coffee maker or espresso maker a regular wash can result in reducing its life.
  • An unclean coffee maker would consume more power than a clean one, so that’s another reason to keep your favorite tool neat and clean. 
  • Coffee makers might have germs on them that can cause you to get sick, the germs can spread from the lid of the machine or the handle to other utensils around it. 
  • Lastly, having good hygiene in the kitchen is important. You should keep all your utensils clean regularly, even your coffee maker. 

Comparing both methods:

Now let’s compare which is best, a coffee maker cleaner vs vinegar – for descaling a coffee machine.

Benefits of coffee maker cleaner for cleaning:

There are multiple commercially made descaling agents and coffee maker cleaners that are made specifically to help you clean your coffee pot. The benefit of using commercially made cleaning agents is that they’re made for the job of cleaning your coffee machine and they are pretty good at doing that compared to Vinegar. Cleaning solutions also take much less time compared to vinegar to clean out your coffee machine. Vinegar on the other side cannot fully clean the coffee machine as a Cleaning agent would. Vinegar can only descale but not clean the coffee oils that have accumulated in there.

Problems with coffee maker cleaner:

Coffee maker cleaners are more expensive compared to Vinegar and not easily available to you. On the other hand, if you regularly try to wash your coffee maker with a descaling agent it can be even costlier to you. 

Benefits of using Vinegar over coffee maker cleaner:

The level of acidity in vinegar is enough to help you descale your coffee maker and clean out all the heating elements from the minerals that accumulate there if you are using tap water to brew your coffee. Vinegar is more easily available to you at your house and you can use it to give your favorite coffee machine or espresso maker a regular wash. Off-the-shelf descaling agents available in the market are very costly compared to Vinegar which is available in your kitchen easily. White distilled vinegar can achieve almost the same cleanliness level compared to commercial cleaning solutions if you give your coffee-making machine regular washes using it. 

Problems with using vinegar to clean your coffee maker:

Vinegar tends to leave a bad smell behind and you would need to rinse out your coffee maker using water to kill that smell. Moreover, if your coffee maker has been left uncleaned for a very long time, you would need multiple washes of vinegar solution to help descale the inside. Some people that use Apple cider vinegar also say that it leaves behind a fruity taste which can ruin the taste of coffee for you and should be avoided. Vinegar is not up to par when compared to cleaning solutions as it cannot clean out the coffee oils left behind inside the machine. Vinegar might be a good descaling agent but it isn’t a good cleaning choice for your coffee maker. 

Final thoughts:

When comparing Vinegar with commercial coffee maker cleaners, you should always choose to use commercial cleaners because they’re designed for a specific job and can help clean out your coffee maker more easily. But, coffee machine cleaning solutions can be expensive and not as easy to get as white distilled vinegar which is readily available in your kitchen pantry. If you are on a budget, vinegar is surely the solution for you. I hope we have answered your question to which one is better between a coffee maker cleaner vs vinegar – for descaling a coffee machine.

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