How to Clean Your Coffee Maker’s Water Reservoir: A Comprehensive Guide

crazy by Editorial Staff | Posted on May 3rd, 2023

Whether you’re a coffee aficionado who starts every morning with a freshly brewed cup of java, or a casual drinker who occasionally indulges in a cup, one thing is certain: the quality of your coffee greatly depends on the cleanliness of your coffee maker.


In particular, the water reservoir, a component that is often overlooked, plays a crucial role in maintaining the taste and aroma of your coffee. While it may not require daily cleaning like other parts, regular cleaning and deep-cleaning of the water reservoir can significantly enhance your coffee experience and extend the lifespan of your machine.

coffee maker with removable water reservoir

The Importance of Regular Cleaning

Keeping your coffee maker clean isn’t just about aesthetics; it’s about ensuring that every cup you brew is as delicious and refreshing as possible. Coffee makers, especially those that are heavily used, can accumulate mineral deposits, leftover coffee oils, and other residues that can affect the taste of your coffee. Additionally, these residues can cause the machine to operate less efficiently and potentially shorten its lifespan.

The water reservoir, in particular, is susceptible to mineral build-up, especially if you’re using hard water. To maintain the best performance and the most delicious coffee, it’s recommended to clean the reservoir regularly.

Routine Cleaning: Keeping Your Water Reservoir Spotless

Here’s a simple routine cleaning process you can follow:

  1. Detach the water reservoir: If your coffee maker has a detachable water reservoir, remove it from the machine. If it’s not detachable, you can still clean it using the deep-cleaning method mentioned later.
  2. Wash with lukewarm water and soap: Use a mild dish soap and lukewarm water to clean the reservoir. Avoid using abrasive scrubbers that could scratch the reservoir’s surface.
  3. Rinse thoroughly: Make sure to rinse the reservoir well to ensure that no soap residue remains. Soap residues can interfere with the taste of your coffee.
  4. Dry and return: After rinsing, dry the reservoir thoroughly before returning it to the machine.

Remember, while the water reservoir doesn’t need daily cleaning, it’s good practice to clean it whenever you notice build-up or at least once a week.

Deep Cleaning: A Monthly Ritual for Your Coffee Maker

Apart from routine cleaning, it’s crucial to deep-clean your coffee maker, including the water reservoir, at least once a month. This helps remove any stubborn mineral deposits and coffee residues that could affect your machine’s performance. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Prepare a 1:1 mixture of water and vinegar: This mixture is excellent for descaling and removing mineral deposits. Fill the reservoir with this mixture.
  2. Start the brewing cycle, but stop halfway: Turn on the machine and let it start brewing, but pause the process halfway. This allows the vinegar solution to sit in the machine and break down any residues.
  3. Let it rest for 30 minutes: Let the machine sit for about 30 minutes to allow the vinegar to do its magic.
  4. Complete the brewing cycle: After 30 minutes, resume the brewing process and let it complete.
  5. Empty and rinse the reservoir: Once the brewing process is complete, remove and empty the reservoir. Rinely thoroughly with clean water.
  6. Run a brewing cycle with clean water: Return the reservoir to the machine and run a complete brewing cycle with clean water. This helps rinse out any remaining vinegar from the machine.
  7. Repeat the clean water brewing cycle: It’s best to run the clean water cycle twice to ensure all traces of vinegar are removed.

If your coffee maker uses paper filters, it’s best to use a new filter for each of the brewing cycles. This ensures that any residues removed during the cleaning process are trapped in the filter and not redeposited back into your machine.

The Benefits of Regular and Deep Cleaning

A well-maintained coffee maker doesn’t just deliver better tasting coffee—it can also save you money in the long run. Regular cleaning and deep cleaning of your coffee maker’s water reservoir:

  1. Enhances coffee flavor: Residues and mineral deposits can impart a bitter taste to your coffee. Regular cleaning helps ensure that your coffee’s flavor is pure and unaffected by these undesirables.
  2. Preserves machine efficiency: Residues and deposits can also interfere with the operation of your coffee maker, causing it to work harder to brew your coffee. This can lead to increased energy consumption and potential damage to the machine.
  3. Extends the lifespan of your machine: Regular cleaning reduces the wear and tear on your coffee maker, potentially extending its lifespan and saving you the cost of premature replacement.

A Final Word: Enjoy a Better Brew

Cleaning your coffee maker’s water reservoir might seem like a tedious task, but the rewards are well worth the effort. A clean coffee maker will deliver a delicious, robust cup of coffee—making each sip a testament to your dedication to quality and taste.

So, the next time you savor a perfectly brewed coffee, remember the role of the unsung hero in the brewing process—the water reservoir. Give it the care it deserves, and it will reward you with the perfect brew, time and time again. After all, a little cleaning can go a long way in enhancing your coffee experience.

Now, who’s ready for a coffee break?

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Disclosure: No compensation or free products were received in exchange for writing this review.

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Editorial Staff

The editorial staff at Crazy Coffee Crave is a team of coffee enthusiasts & Baristas who enjoy the one thing we all think about as soon as we get up in the morning. Trusted by thousands of readers worldwide.