Is it possible to create a cleaning agent to use on a basic drip coffee maker using household items? If so, what ingredients are needed and in what ratios?

I am mostly concerned with cleaning the insides that I believe are made from plastic. The carafe I can clean separately. I know that there are products on the market, but I am interested in homemade solutions.

  • Not sure if this on topic as product recommendations usually aren't on SO.
    – EdChum
    Commented Jan 27, 2015 at 21:22
  • I don't want a product recommendation, I want the opposite, the best combinations of ingredients to make a home made cleaner instead of a product. If coffee cleaner info doesn't belong though that's fine.
    – Justin C
    Commented Jan 27, 2015 at 21:25
  • My apologies I skipped the homemade part, in that case I think this is fine
    – EdChum
    Commented Jan 27, 2015 at 21:26
  • Are the insides removable?
    – John Snow
    Commented Jan 27, 2015 at 21:28
  • No, it is a pretty typical model with a reservoir to hold the water and all the parts to move and heat the water encapsulated in plastic. In the past I have run a combination of water in vinegar through it, just wasn't sure if that was best
    – Justin C
    Commented Jan 27, 2015 at 21:30

1 Answer 1


Ordinary white vinegar works just fine, but the smell bothers some people. If so, use citric acid. You can either pick some up at your local grocer, or order it by the pound. I use about a tablespoon to a quart for descaling. It's gentle, has little or no odor (you may smell gasses released by the dissolved scale however), and safe unless you get it in your eyes.

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