Don't give up on that coffee maker just yet
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  1. #1
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    Default Don't give up on that coffee maker just yet

    This is how it has gone for me over the years:

    We have very hard water and so we're supposed to clean our coffee maker with vinegar on a regular basis.

    ...But I forget

    The coffee maker is slow I'm on my way to work... I NEED coffee now, I'll clean it tonight.

    ... But I forget

    The coffee maker is slower...blah blah

    ... But I forget

    Blah blah blah... I NEED coffee on the way to work... THERE IS NO COFFEE!!!!! Time to clean the machine.

    I put the vinegar in, pressure builds, hot vinegar bursts fourth from the bottom of the machine and runs all over the counter and begins to drip on the floor as I scramble for a towel.

    ... Toss the machine, buy a cheap replacement.

    A few years back I was fed up on how cheap these machines were made, so I read about how coffee makers work on the website 'howstuffworks' dot com... it's a fun website. This tip is not from that site, it's my own experience, your mileage may vary. Go there if you want to learn more about the physics of your morning coffee.

    After reading about how the machine worked on the web, it dawned on me. My hypothesis is that I put off cleaning the machine so long that by the time I put the vinegar in, it would dislodge the upper hard-water deposits which then would travel further down into the tube and plug the system. This would cause a back-flow from the heating element. Since the check ball won't allow the liquid back up into the reservoir It blows out the rubber hose underneath...as it was designed to do so.

    The fix is:

    1. First remove the carafe/pot

    2. Unplug the machine

    3. Turn the machine over and dump all the water that's left into the sink.

    4. Replace the carafe/pot

    5. Plug the machine back in

    6. Put a cup of vinegar in the machine

    7. Turn the machine on until you hear it trying to steam

    8. Quickly turn it off

    9. Let it sit overnight, or while you're away at work (This lets the vinegar get in past the check ball and start to slowly work dissolving the hard-water deposits)

    10. Turn it on when you get up/or home and let it cycle

    11. Run a pot of plain water to wash out the vinegar taste (vinegar coffee is a rude rude awakening...ask me how I know)

    The next machine I buy will just have an insulated carafe as I never reheat with the machine anyway. My machine's warming plate has lost it's nice coating and is a gross corroding mess. After I clean it goes back to that state very quickly.

    I'm just not sure how long that will be as my current coffee maker has lasted 3 times as long as the previous one. The only real problems I have is when I forget to clean it, it tends to leak out on the counter quicker. maybe I should put a tray under there or something since I can't seem to get in a regular schedule of preventative maintenance.

  2. #2
    Registered User NikoSan999's Avatar
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    Ah, so that's why I've had to throw away the last 2 coffee pots. Yeah, I forget too.
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    Registered User ImEmile's Avatar
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    For Christmas DH bought me a Keurig! I love it. They've already replaced it since we have hard water and even doing the vinegar thing didn't fix it. So I do buy water at WalMart but it's very cheap and well worth it. Keurig's are very sensitive so I do that.

    I never had a problem with hard water in my old coffee maker...but if I end up with another some time I'll remember that. That's very similar to the instructions to cleaning a Keurig.

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    Registered User Debbie-cat's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tip! We go through coffee makers every couple of months!!




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    The miracles of vinegar are never ending! I use it in my washing machine every day as a fabric softener and just to keep the mildew away.

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