What Is the Best Way to Unclog a Coffee Maker?


Many people today have experienced the embarrassment of a coffee maker that has clogged. Clogging takes place when unwanted materials including paper, stacked grains or other lighter particles adhere together to form a clump-type shape. This clog can be removed in a number of different ways. There are a few methods to unclog them but it is always helpful to know other ways before attempting. 

Different Ways to Unclog a Coffee Machine

Here Is a Comprehensive List of Ten Different Ways to Unclog a Coffee Maker and Keep Your Pot Fresh for Days.

1. Use A Plunger 

Many people find that using the plunger method works best (except for some slightly newer models). The plunger works by forcing the water to ventilate outside of the coffee maker.

2. The Quick Fix

The quick fix method consists of removing the basket, emptying it, and then allowing it to fill up with water again. This is a speedy and easy way to unclog a coffee maker. However, you may want to try plunging the pot into hot water for a few minutes before filling it back up with coffee grounds. 

3. The Cold Fix

This method, however, is not recommended for just anyone but rather the experts. This is because you will need to have a bucket of ice nearby and pour water into the coffee machine quickly. You can easily clog your coffee maker if you do not fill it up.

4. The Chemical Fix

There is a reason for the warning label on this particular method. The use of chemicals to clear coffee makers is not recommended but if you are desperate and have tried everything else, you may want to use a cleaner like CLR or something similar. However, this method is risky and should only be used by experts.

5. The Citrus Fix

This method can be used with most types of coffee makers out there today. It uses the fact that citrus fruits are known to contain citric acid. Using something like a lemon can often be helpful. The process is straightforward. Cut your lemon in half, squeeze out the juice, and then pour the liquid into the coffee maker’s water reservoir. Let it sit for about 15 minutes and then put in fresh coffee grounds.

6. The Vinegar Fix

This is one of the oldest methods of unclogging coffee makers. Acidic materials and fluids, like vinegar, are often able to break down clog particles. However, using vinegar in an incorrect way can cause a lot of damage to the appliance and should be used carefully. 

7. The Baking Soda Fix

Mix a tablespoon of baking soda with a cup of vinegar. Pour enough mixture into the coffee maker to cover the grounds and replace the basket. Let it sit for about 15 minutes. Then, drain and rinse the coffee maker with hot water.

8. The Citrus Vinegar Fix

If you are not happy with the results of creating your natural citrus vinegar, you can always try using straight-up lemon juice in place of the water portion. Add the juice directly to your coffee machine and run through it as usual.

9. The Ice Cube Fix

This method requires a bucket of ice water nearby. Start by adding an ice cube or two into the coffee machine. Brew your coffee, pull out the basket and pour the remaining coffee out from it. Put in new coffee grounds and then re-run it with plain water. The ice cube will help to cool the coffee maker and then melt away after it is done.

10. The Vinegar and Water Fix

This method will work if you are having a problem with the hot water side of the coffee maker. Fill up about a quarter of your coffee maker with vinegar and let it sit for about half an hour. Then, run some hot water through the machine. Use a pot or kettle to perform this action. 

Why Do You Need to Clean Your Coffee Maker?

It is essential to keep your coffee maker clean for a variety of reasons. The quality of your coffee will decline if they are not cleaned regularly. Also, dirt and other debris will build up in its parts and make your machine run less effectively.

Clean those parts with the dishwasher that are specified for it. These include a coffee filter basket, group head with gasket, brew basket, carafe with the lid and showerhead. Remove the remaining parts while the thermal carafe is in place on the heating element. The hot plate degrades over time if it’s not cleaned as well. 
Over time the impurities can cause damage to the machine. The cone grinds of the machine will wear out and become less effective. It will not grind the coffee beans properly which would hamper the brewing process. It’s also a serious health hazard as it can generate dangerous amounts of mold.

There is no need to use a coffee maker at all.  It can be a fire hazard since it can leave hot coffee sitting on top of the chamber. 

How to Tell When the Coffee Maker Needs Cleaning

If you haven’t used your machine in a while, running water through it will clear all of the unwanted particles of old coffee or ground coffee from it. Also, you can clear the machine if you are brewing coffee for more than one pot or performing multiple servings.

If you are using a Keurig coffee maker, clean it after every use and use a descaler solution to keep your coffee maker from getting too dirty. If you are using a Mr. Coffee or similar coffee pot, just run some water through the machine every once in a while to keep it clean.

If you are on a tight schedule, use the quick-fix method above, followed by the vinegar-and-water fix one below.

How Often Should You Clean Your Coffee Maker?

So, when is the best time to clean your coffee maker? The answer is simple. Before you run out of Espresso. There is nothing worse than being in the middle of making your morning cup of coffee and finding out that your favorite coffee maker is no longer producing a good cup of joe.

The best way to clean your coffee maker is to run it with just water. However, you may want to use a special descaling or cleaner product for this particular cleaning process if you notice that your coffee tastes funny or doesn’t taste flavorful at all.

Most consumers will never need to buy a special descaling solution for their best coffee maker since many of the products on the market can be used with regular, everyday tap water.

How to Repair a Clogged Coffee Maker?

A clogged coffee maker is certainly a major problem for many consumers. Fortunately, there are plenty of options available for you to pick from if you have a clogged coffee maker issue. 

First of all, we must know what causes this problem to begin with? The problem usually starts with a clogged brew basket or any other removable piece of machine. If all else fails, your appliance could still operate through the use of hot water and vinegar. 

There are a lot of DIY repair and cleanup tips available to the average person. For example, you can use a cleaning tablet to clear out scale and mold inside the machine. You can even use vinegar in your coffee maker to do the job for you, as mentioned above. 

You’ll need to clean the valve or replace it if it doesn’t seal well. If the problem is with the filter basket, you can clean it with a bottle brush and paper towel. 


The coffee machine is an essential part of homes today. It plays an important role in our daily life as many people cannot start their day without having a cup of coffee or Espresso. It is vital to know the cleaning mechanism and how to remove clogs from the coffee dispenser. Coffee makers are complex machines with multiple moving parts that can quickly clog. It’s always a better idea to give your machine a proper clean after every few uses.