How to Clean Hard Water Residue From Your Coffee Maker

February 19, 2021

Many people wonder what they would do without their morning cup of coffee, but if your coffee maker has been in use for a couple of years it could have build-up that is decreasing the quality of the brew.

Here are some tips on how to clean a coffee maker.

Traditional Coffee Maker Cleaning

Luckily, it is easy to remove calcium build up from your coffee maker. All you need is white distilled vinegar, water and a coffee filter.

To start the cleaning process, fill the water tank of the machine with a half and half mixture of vinegar and water. If you feel like your machine is especially dirty you can increase the amount of vinegar. The vinegar will work as a sanitizer and breaks down built-up minerals. 

With a filter in the basket start the machine for a regular brew, but about halfway through turn it off. This will allow the vinegar to soak throughout the machine and clean the hard water left within. After about 30 minutes to an hour turn it back on and let the cycle finish.

Lastly, you will need to get the vinegar taste out for your next cup of coffee. Run two complete cycles through the coffee maker but only with water and a new filter each time and then your cleaning is complete!

Keurig Cleaning

Cleaning your Keurig is similar to a traditional one as you will use a water and distilled vinegar mix to cycle through the machine. There is also brand made descaling solutions on the market that you can purchase to run through. 

Before running the solution through, take time to clean the elements of the machine such as the water tank, pod holder, and drip tray with soap and water. 

Next, refill the water reservoir with the vinegar and water mix. Run the machine without a K-cup and at the largest cup setting until it signals you to add more water. The liquid that comes out of the Keurig can be caught in a cup and dumped down the sink. 

Let the machine rest for about 30 minutes and in the meantime clean out the water reservoir and refill with the normal water you would use. After the time is up repeat the process of running the machine to get the remainder of the vinegar out. 

It is recommended to clean your machine every 3-6 months or more frequently if the coffee taste is not regular to you. 

Hard Water vs. Soft Water

Hard water is water that has high amounts of calcium and magnesium within. While it is not a health concern, it can still contribute to the buildup on plumbing and other water machines such as your Keurig and other coffee makers causing it to not run as smoothly and taste different. 

You can combat this phenomenon in your home by installing a water softener that filters and removes the hard minerals, leaving you with soft, filtered water. This will help your coffee maker stay cleaner since the water won’t leave the hard water residue. 

Keeping your coffee maker clean is easy and Kinetico San Antonio can help you by installing a water softener in your home. Now go enjoy a fresh cup of Joe!

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Jonathan Myers

We're very glad we got this installed. The technician, Alberto, was very polite and thoroughly explained what he was doing and what we would need to do.

Kyle James

Alberto kept me informed on his arrival time. He was professional and exceeded my expectations concerning the install of the water filtration system. I also need to put a plug in for Tracy for her patience and skills at making things happen behind the scenes...a true unsung hero. They both deserve a raise!


I just had my system installed by Alberto and Jay, and I wanted to say that they rocked. Got it all in and gave me some instructions to follow, all while being determined to detail and professional. Thanks, fellas.