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Unless you are well stocked at all times you may find yourself lacking in the white vinegar department when it comes time to clean the coffee maker.
I know many people go eons between coffee maker cleanings and when the bug strikes to get this task done you want to take advantage of it but if you only have apple cider vinegar on hand (or baking soda) do your best to hold off until you can get to the store and buy a jug of regular old white vinegar.
If you can't wait then yes, you can use apple cider vinegar to clean your coffee maker.
How to Clean Your Coffee Maker With Apple Cider Vinegar
Yes, you could clean your coffee maker with the apple cider variety. It has adequate acidic pH levels to get the job done but the tannins will leave behind a taste in your coffee maker than will not rinse off as quickly and easily as you'd like.
Some people complain about the smell of white vinegar in their home but this is easy to dissipate and rinse from your machine. Apple cider vinegar will leave a lingering taste that will make your coffee a bit under-performing for some time.
Make sure you run a water and vinegar cycle through your coffee machine just like you normally would. I like to use a 50/50 ratio for the first run and then if I do more runs I pull back a bit.
The trick to getting the smell and taste out is to run a lot more plain water cycles to rinse your system. With plain vinegar it's easier to get back to a "blank" taste but it will take longer if you use apple cider vinegar.
You Can Also Clean A French Press with VinegarEvery now and then I like to pull out my favorite french press coffee maker and soak the fine mesh plunger in the same apple cider vinegar solution. It does a good job and keeping those tiny holes clean.
On a related note you can check out this post for another good way of cleaning your coffee maker when you don't have white vinegar on hand. It takes a lot of lemons though - be forewarned.
The Best Way to Clean a Coffee MakerYes, obviously the acidic properties of vinegar can clean the crud out of a coffee pot but in the real world you have to do this a lot to keep things as clean as possible.
The best way to keep a coffee maker clean is to use a dedicated appliance cleaner designed to break up all the calcium and mineral deposits. If you are using un-filtered water, especially water from a well, you may end up with larger particle debris clogging up your system.
There is a very inexpensive product called CleanCaf that you can pick up which will be better at descaling your machine but it is also formulated to cut through the coffee oils that buildup over time. These oils are the weak spot with vinegar as vinegar doesn't clean coffee oils up very well.
One last shout out - I am working on a series of posts on super automatic espresso makers. If you have any questions about them please hit me up. I'm digging for post ideas. Thanks!