Tech Tips: Cleaning and Maintaining a Drip Coffee Maker

Cleaning and Maintaining a Drip Coffee MakerHere at SCG, we discuss the importance of taking care of various espresso machines and coffee accessories quite a bit. So, imagine our surprise when it came to our attention that we had yet to cover cleaning and maintaining a drip coffee maker. Although we use these machines every day, it seems that they are so easy to use that we tend to forget that they need maintenance too. Once we realized we were remiss in our ways, we set out to remedy the situation as soon as possible. We took stock of our machines, and realized that the much-loved Technivorm Moccamaster in our break room was overdue for a cleaning. Thus, we temporarily borrowed this little dude to return it to its shinning glory.

The first step in maintaining your drip coffee maker is making sure to descale from time to time. Technivorm recommends using Urnex’s Dezcal Coffee/Espresso Machine Descaler, so we used it for our descaling process, but it is a good idea to check with the manufacture of your particular machine to see what they suggest. To descale, simply mix the descaler with hot water and fill up the water tank with the mixture. When you turn the machine on, the mixture will be pulled through the water path of the machine and clear put any scale that has built up. Once you have finished descaling, make sure to run two cycles of just plain water through your machine to rinse out all of the descaling solution.

After you have descaled your drip coffee maker and rinsed it free of solution, the third, and final, step in this maintenance process is to give your machine a good cleaning. To do so, soak all parts of the machine that come into contact with coffee residue in Cafiza. Generally speaking, these pieces are the coffee pot, coffee pot lid, brew basket lid, water tank lid, spray arm and brew basket. Let all of this gear soak for about 5-10 minutes, then give it a rinse and wipe it down. You also may want to dip a rag into your Cafiza solution and give the outside of the water tank, heating plate, stand, etc. a good wipe down to get your coffee maker extra clean.

One important thing to keep in mind is that while descaling a drip is easy, it doesn’t mean should do it all the time. Generally most manufactures will have a recommendations for often you should descale, so it’s a good idea to consult your manual or local service center for advice before you start the descaling. To learn more about how to clean and maintain your drip coffee maker at home, watch Brendan take us through the process in this video.

Tech Tips: Cleaning and Maintenance for Your Drip Coffee Maker

6 thoughts on “Tech Tips: Cleaning and Maintaining a Drip Coffee Maker”

  1. When I got my Technivorm drip maker some years back they recommended a periodic cycling of the machine with vinegar.
    Is Ernex better for the job?
    I don’t use my machine for more than one batch a day so I don’t experience the cruddiness your demonstrator on the video was talking about?
    If Ernex is better, you must sell it. Details please. Also Kefeeza?
    Larry Walker

    1. Hi Larry,

      The reason we don’t recommend using vinegar to clean your machine is because it actually breaks down o-rings and gaskets faster than even normal wear and tear. We recommend using Cleancaf ( to clean your machine instead, which will break down coffee oils, and Dezcal ( to descale, which will actually break down any water minerals that have built up in your machine over time, you will see a white film (if you have scale) clear up in your tank and also anywhere the water touches, including the carafe. I hope that helps, let me know if you have other questions.



  2. Can Cafiza be used inside the glass lined Bonavita maker? I noticed it is starting to have a coffee smell even after washing with mild soap and water with the included wash foam brush. I can see visible brown stains in it as well.

    Thank you,


    1. Hi Chris,

      You could certainly use Cafiza in the carafe, but you wouldn’t want to run it through the machine. The better idea would be to use Cleancaf ( It’s safe to run through the machine like descaler, and it helps to break down that coffee residue and clean up the inside of the carafe. We’ve used it on a couple of our drip coffee makers and they always turn out so shiny and pretty.



  3. Cleancaf also works well as the cleaning agent instead of Cafiza. Urnex recommends Cleancaf for drip machines and Cafiza for espresso machines.

    1. Hi David,

      You are absolutely right, Cleancaf does indeed do wonder for drip coffee makers. I actually just recommend it to the folks above. Thanks for the feedback.


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