Can you clean a coffee pot with apple cider vinegar? (7 Tips)

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, Can you clean a coffee pot with apple cider vinegar? We will discuss the elaborate method to clean the coffee pot and coffee maker by using cider vinegar and some advice with regard to cleaning the coffee pot. 

Can you clean a coffee pot with apple cider vinegar?

Cider sales are estimated to have grown by 500 % since 2011, with over 1000 cider producers currently at work in the country. Nationally distributed commercially made cider brands dominate in terms of net sales, though regional/local cider sales are growing each year. Specifically, the US northeast has the fastest growing cider economy in the country, with 12 % sales growth from 2017 to 2018 (6).

You can clean a coffee pot with apple cider vinegar. Using apple cider vinegar is an effective way to clean the coffee pot and ensure that your coffee maker stays clean.

Even though white vinegar is better for cleaning your coffee maker, you can use apple cider vinegar just as easily. Maleic acid has been addressed as an important element contained in apple cider vinegar, with bactericidal and fungicidal activity. It has already been employed in dentistry as an antimicrobial solution. Due to the high content of organic acids with antimicrobial activity, vinegar is used in food mainly as a preservative item by inhibiting fungal growth on vegetables. It is also used as a cleaning agent in folk culture for the treatment of wounds by inhibiting the growth of fungi and bacteria owing to its medicinal properties (2).

The drawback of using apple cider vinegar is that its smell does not wash away quite easily and lingers on for quite some time. The tart taste of the apple vinegar also stays behind. Vinegar, on the other hand, makes for a cleaner cleaning agent than apple cider vinegar.

Apple cider vinegar contains 4% malic acid, hasacid has a fruity taste and smell and is a special ingredient in salads and apple APple cider vinegar and white vinegar has around 5 percent acetic acid but white vinegar has a lower pH at around 2.5 (5). Vinegar has antimicrobial properties and has been used for cleaning and treating nail fungus, head lice, warts, and ear infections (4).

Apple cider vinegar has impurities as a result of the fermentation process which makes it less acidic and beneficial for health. In addition to the soluble constituents responsible for the flavor, aroma, and color of freshly pressed juice, suspended solids also are present (1). However, being pure, cheap, and more acidic, white vinegar is an ideal option for cleaning (5). 

White vinegar and apple cider vinegar both work by eliminating bacteria and mold. The acid in vinegar has a sanitizing and abrasive effect without any stake of harming the health. 

Apple cider contains 4% malic acid. An acid is a substance that releases hydrogen ions (H +) when dissolved in water, and will react with alkalis to form salts. Acids are commonly used to dissolve mineral deposits caused by hard water, to remove rust, and to remove tarnish or discolorations from many metals (3).

How to clean your coffee maker and the coffee pot with apple cider vinegar?

To clean your coffee maker with apple cider vinegar, the first thing is to remove and empty the carafe and filter. Next, ensure that the reservoir of the coffee machine is vacant as well so that you can pour the cleaning solution in.

Make a solution of apple cider vinegar and water by taking each in equal parts of one cup water and one cup vinegar. Add the solution to the reservoir.

Run the half brew cycle to heat the vinegar reservoir. Do not let the ingredients disperse and turn the coffee maker off. Heating the solution up helps to remove the stains by mellowing them down.

Let the calcified and stained areas soak in the heated-up vinegar reservoir. After you turn the coffee maker off, let the solution sit for an hour. 

Then, turn the coffee maker back on and run a full cycle. The full cycle further helps to loosen the stuck-up stains from the coffee pot and as it drains it takes it away. 

You can now get rid of the cleaning solution after it collects in the carafe. 

After you discard the vinegar solution, you need to run the cycle with fresh water. Run a full cycle repeatedly with a fresh batch of water to get rid of the smell and taste of vinegar.

As apple cider vinegar has a more powerful taste and smell, it will take more cycles to get rid of the effect. You need to run the clean water cycle 4 to 5 times if you used apple cider vinegar.  

Wash the carafe and filter by using dish soap and hot water. After you are done, clean the surface of the machine with a damp towel and then wipe it dry using another towel. 

Why do you need to clean your coffee maker?

Your coffee maker is a haven for bacterial and fungal growth. Water and coffee particles encourage the breeding of bacteria. Like other cooking utensils and equipment, the coffee maker is also susceptible to contamination. 

The buildup of coffee residues can also have a negative impact on the taste of coffee. The debris and stains of coffee will prevent the coffee from tasting fresh and also becomes unsanitary.

If you use hard, tap water in your coffee maker, then it can build up and clog the coffee machine. Hence, the acid from vinegar would help ease that out as well. 

It is important to clean the carafe and coffee filter after every use. By washing the removable parts of the coffee maker you prevent the build-up of microorganisms and stains.

Research carried out by Aston University has shown cups left unwashed until prior to the next use pose a greater risk than those rinsed or cleaned shortly after a drink is finished. Drink residues left in reusable cups are a good source of nutrients for bacteria which can multiply rapidly during storage. If the cup is refilled without appropriate cleaning, these bacteria can represent a significant source of contamination (7).

You should also wipe the coffee maker from the outside. It is also important that you perform deep-cleaning using vinegar every month or so, to clean the hard-to-reach places and descale your coffee pot and coffee maker. 

Other FAQs about Coffee Maker that you may be interested in.

Why is your Bunn Coffee Maker Overflowing?

Regular Coffee Maker vs Keurig

How many scoops of coffee do I have to put in a Cuisinart coffee maker?

Keurig Coffee Maker Descale Not Working?


In this brief guide, we answered the question, Can you clean a coffee pot with apple cider vinegar? We discussed the elaborate method to clean the coffee pot and coffee maker by using cider vinegar and some advice with regard to cleaning the coffee pot. 


  1. Downing, D.L. 1989. Apple Cider. In: Downing, D.L. (eds) Processed Apple Products. Springer, New York, NY. 
  2. Mota, Ana Carolina Loureiro Gama, et al. Antifungal activity of apple cider vinegar on Candida species involved in denture stomatitis. J Prosthodont, 2015, 24, 296-302.
  3. Parrott, Kathleen, Shirley Niemeyer, and Rose Marie Tondl. EC88-422 Household Cleaning and Laundry Products: Which One for the Job?. 1988. University of Nebraska.
  4. Saqib, Asma. Antimicrobial activity of apple cider vinegar. Mapana J sci, 2017, 16, 11-15.
  5. Pinto, Telma Maria Silva, et al. Vinegar as an antimicrobial agent for control of Candida spp. in complete denture wearers. J Appl Oral Sci, 2008, 16, 385-390.
  6. Smith, Meghann, et al. Valuation of sustainable attributes of hard apple cider: A best-worst choice approach. J Clean Prod, 2021, 318, 128478.
  7. Infection risk from reusable cups- study. 2018. Aston University.