9 ways to ensure your coffeemaker lasts a long time

Ah, that morning cuppa joe. By ensuring your coffee maker is in tip top shape, you can ensure it'll always be delicious.

9 ways to ensure your coffeemaker lasts a long time

1. Preserve the carafe

Avoid inadvertently cracking your coffeemaker's glass carafe:

• Don't wash a hot carafe. Let it cool before bringing it into contact with cold or warm water.

• Never heat an empty carafe.

• Don't try to reheat cold coffee by placing the carafe on the stove or in the microwave.

• Never place a hot carafe in the refrigerator or freezer.

2. Wash the carafe and coffee basket

  • Thoroughly clean the carafe, basket and any other removable parts from your coffeemaker after each use to remove any leftover oils or coffee residue that can diminish the flavour of your next pot of coffee.
  • Wash all the pieces in hot, sudsy water.
  • Even better, let them soak for 20 minutes or so. Rinse well, and let dry.

3. Clean a drip coffeemaker

  • If your coffee consistently comes out weak or bitter, chances are your coffeemaker needs cleaning.
  • Start by filling the decanter with 500 millilitres (two cups) of white vinegar and 250 millilitres (one cup) of water. Place a filter in the machine, and pour the solution into the coffeemaker's water chamber.
  • Turn on the coffeemaker and let it run through a full brew cycle. Remove the filter and replace with a new one.
  • Then wash out the machine by running clean water through it for two full cycles. (Don't forget to replace the filter for the second brew.)
  • Ideally, you should clean your coffeemaker about every four weeks if you use it daily, but you can go as long as 80 brew cycles if you have soft water, or 40 cycles if you have hard water.

4. If you have hard water

  • To get rid of mineral or scale buildups that often come from using hard water, periodically run a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water through the coffeemaker to dissolve it.
  • You may have to repeat the process a few times.
  • Thoroughly rinse out the water chamber; then brew up a couple of pots of plain cold water to remove any traces of vinegar that could affect your coffee's taste.

5. Exercise caution with power cords

  • Keep the power cord away from hot surfaces — including the coffeemaker's warming plate when the carafe is removed.
  • Avoid hanging cords off the edge of a table or shelf.
  • Keep all power cords out of the reach of young children.

6. Read the fine print first

  • Check the base plate or back panel of your coffeemaker for a warning against owner servicing.
  • If you find a warning of this type, do not attempt to repair the unit yourself without checking with the manufacturer first — it may void your warranty if it is still in effect.

7. Put the drip back in your coffeemaker

  • When that trickle of water from the top of your coffeemaker stops flowing or comes out in spurts, it's probably due to a clogged spreader plate — the coffeemaker's spout.
  • Turn the coffeemaker upside down, and use a toothpick to clean out the holes in the plate.
  • If that fails, you may be able to order a replacement plate from the manufacturer.

8. Choose the right grind

  • Most drip-type coffeemakers, for instance, need a medium grind.
  • If you don't know which grind works best in your particular coffeemaker, check with the manufacturer. This will also help prevent basket overflows and other messy mishaps.

9. Use cold water

  • Start each brew with a potful of cold water.
  • Warm water has a higher mineral content that will affect the taste of your coffee and hasten the formation of mineral deposits inside your coffeemaker.
The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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