How To Clean A Coffee Maker With Bleach A Step By Step

How To Clean A Coffee Maker With Bleach Step By Step

Last updated on May 20th, 2024 at 11:51

Maddison, a regular reader and owner of both a drip coffee machine and a Nespresso capsule coffee maker wrote in and asked us how to clean a coffee maker with bleach?

In this article I respond to her question and cover the entire topic of cleaning your coffee machine and coffee pots regardless of which type you have and need to clean.

Grab a cup of coffee and keep reading as we get on with this tutorial!

Is It Safe To Clean Coffee Maker With Bleach?

Starting at the very beginning, and a question raised by our avid reader, Maddison was about the safety of using undiluted bleach to clean her coffee maker.

I can tell you absolutely with 100% certainty that using undiluted bleach and diluted bleach is safe, with the caveat that you rinse your coffee machine well afterward with a plenitude of water.

Some people claim that it is unsafe. I have personally cleaned my coffee brewing equipment with both diluted and undiluted bleach many times with no adverse effects.

It Is Safe To Clean Your Coffee Machine With Bleach
It Is Safe To Clean Your Coffee Machine With Bleach

Read: How to make coffee taste better. 

Is It Safe To Use Undiluted Bleach To Clean A Coffee Maker?

To emphasize the point, if you are going to clean your coffee making equipment with bleach of any kind, diluted or undiluted or any other cleaning solution, it is only safe to do so if you rinse your gear with an abundance of water.

Besides the health issue, it is also a matter of not brewing up your next few batches of coffee with an off or rotten taste.

How To Clean A Coffee Maker With Bleach Step By Step

Cleaning your coffee maker with bleach is easy. The process is exactly the same as any other cleaning agent, be it white vinegar, baking soda (Bicarbonate of soda).

Let’s crack on with this and talk about the equipment and materials needed.

Equipment Needed

There is no special equipment required other than a soft cloth, rubber gloves, bleach and plenty of water. In all probability, you already have all that you need in your kitchen.

Step 1: Prepare Your Machine

First, prepare your machine by dipping a soft cloth or sponge in bleach and wipe clean the exterior. Remove the drip tray and wipe clean and rinse your drip tray.

Use a large container and place it below the nozzle where your coffee comes out and run 2 to 3 brewing cycles of hot water only. If you must, put it in an empty reusable pod.

This is to clear out any easy-to-clean water-soluble grime in your pipes.

Don’t forget to wipe clean the inside and outside of your water tank.

Step 2: Cleaning The Inside Of Your Machines

Now fill your water tank with bleach and carefully run a brewing cycle over and over again until your water tank is empty. Be sure to use an ample container to catch your used and dirty bleach.

Step 3: Rinse Your Machine

Start by rinsing your water tank well and filling it with hot water 3 to 5 times to flush and rinse your machine by running brew cycles until it is empty each time.

Run another rinse cycle with warm but not hot water and fill your tank 3 to 5 times and run as many brew cycles as needed to empty your water tank each time. Follow up by running another 3 to 5 water tanks full of cold water.

It is absolutely imperative that you rinse your machine of the undiluted beach and the scent of it.

Step 4: Dry Run Time!

Fill your clean and ready water reservoir with clean cold water and “brew” a cup of water. Sniff test the water for any traces of bleach and cautiously sip test the water.

If it passes both tests, you are ready to brew a test cup of coffee.

Cleaning Coffee Maker With Bleach
You Can Clean Your Siphon Coffee Maker With Bleach


Why Does Your Coffee Maker Need To Be Cleaned?

As a fellow coffee lover, you want to enjoy the best possible cup of coffee every single time. As your coffee machine gets dirty, the quality of your coffee reduces. It is akin to drinking coffee from a dirty mug.


there is the health issue. A 2011 study by NSF found that there are more germs and bacteria in your coffee maker reservoir than a toilet seat. I bet that grabbed your attention.

Unfortunately, your coffee machine is a breeding area for mold and all kinds of germs.

Why Use Bleach?

While the use of bleach might alarm you, it is not at all dangerous or harmful if you are using it correctly. Bleach, as you know, is a very powerful disinfectant.

Did I mention there are more germs in your machine than a toilet seat?

Now you know why using bleach to clean your coffee maker is a very good idea!

What Is The Best Way To Clean The Inside Of A Coffee Maker?

The best way, in my humble opinion, is to follow the above step-by-step process, but instead clean your coffee maker with vinegar.

Distilled white vinegar is the best alternative to bleach and gets your machine just as clean and has antibacterial properties and kills germs.

Can A Dirty Coffee Maker Make You Sick?

Unfortunately, yes, a dirty coffee maker can make you sick.

Coffee machines of all types produce the perfect environment in which bacteria and mold will grow. Where you see a small bit of mold, there are, and will be a lot more in places that you can’t see inside your machine.

And that is what can, and will make you sick.

How Often Does Your Coffee Maker Need Descaling?

I advise that you clean and descale your coffee machine at least once every week or two. For better coffee quality and as a preventative maintenance routine I suggest that you use a water filter or use a commonly available water filter jug and use that to fill your water reservoir.

Regardless of your water situation, be it soft water or hard water, using a filter will help to prolong the life of your machine and improve the quality of your coffee.

Frequently Asked Questions About How To Clean A Coffee Maker With Bleach

Is It Safe To Use Bleach To Clean A Coffee Maker?

Yes, it is safe to use bleach to clean a coffee maker. I have used bleach extensively and successfully to clean my coffee maker with no problem at all.

However, with bleach, you must absolutely flush your coffee machine with an abundance of water to get rid of the scent of bleach and any harmful effects that the fumes from bleach may have on your health. Make sure that all bleach residue has been removed.

The easiest way to clean your coffee maker is to fill the water reservoir with either 50% bleach and 50% water. Always use a diluted bleach solution.

Run a brew cycle until your water reservoir is empty. Fill your coffee maker with fresh, clean water 5 to 7 times or more and run several flushing cycles to remove all traces of the bleach mixture and ensure that there is absolutely no leftover bleach in your water reservoir, internal tubes and pipes.

Alternatively, you can replace the 50% bleach solution with 50% distilled white vinegar and water. Follow the process as indicated above and flush well with fresh water to remove the vinegar smell from your machine.

If you don’t clean your coffee maker you will end up with sub par coffee, which is the least of your worries! Eventually coffee residue will build up and cause your coffee to taste bitter, coffee particles will clog parts of your machine and old coffee residue and particles will cause mold to grow which can make you sick.

Other using vinegar, bleach, citric acid and baking soda are great options for cleaning your coffee maker. Whichever you choose, be sure to flush well with fresh water.

To remove the buildup of coffee and mineral deposits and hardened coffee oils and coffee residue, distilled white vinegar, citric acid and any acidic cleaning agent will work well.

You can help to prevent the buildup of mineral deposits by replacing your water filter often and rinsing it out frequently and, like I do, pre-filtering my water by filling the water reservoir with water from a water from a filter jug getting double filtered water.

Bleach, citric acid and distilled white vinegar are all great for killing mold and bacteria inside a coffee maker. Don’t wait until mold and bacteria buildup – clean your machine regularly by giving it a light clean every other week to ensure that it has no chance of building up.

A little preventative maintenance goes a long way!

 Frappé-Ing it All Up! – How To Clean A Coffee Maker With Bleach

Now that you know how to clean your coffee maker with bleach in a simple step by step way, you can follow the steps and use any cleaning solution or even use your bleach with water or use any of the alternatives to bleach that are available in your supermarket including baking soda and vinegar.

Join our cool coffee community and take part by sharing your coffee creations, amazing latte art and great coffee recipes. I double dare you to share you hilarious coffee memes and jokes!

Derek Marshall, a certified barista by the Specialty Coffee Association possesses over two decades of experience in specialty coffee shops. He holds professional certifications for coffee brewing and barista skills. Derek is also an author with authoritative books covering various coffee topics including specialty coffee, sustainability and coffee, coffee brewing, coffee recipes, coffee cocktails and books focusing on Brazilian coffee, Vietnamese coffee, Indonesian coffee and Malaysian coffee. As a barista for over two decades, Derek Marshall has worked in specialty coffee shops across the United Kingdom, Spain, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. His expertise extends to the distinct coffee cultures, specialty beverages, and brewing techniques of each nation. Functioning as a coffee consultant, Derek charges US$50 per hour. To learn more about Derek Marshall and Latte Love Brew, visit his About Me Page. For coffee inquiries, contact him at +34-639-410-375 or, mentioning your name and location

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