Poor thing. It was starting to resemble me in the morning, functioning but not very pretty to look at! So it needed a good cleaning.
This is actually a trick I've been doing for YEARS. I read it in an old Reader's Digest book on thrifty tips and tricks. All you'll need is some water and vinegar (so you can totally skip buying the coffeemaker cleaning solution they sell in some stores).
First, fill the decanter with 2 cups white vinegar and 1 cup water. Place a clean filter in the machine and pour the water and vinegar solution into the water chamber. Run the coffeemaker through a brew cycle. Once it's done replace the filter with a fresh one and run clean water through the machine for two more cycles (don't want that coffee tasting like vinegar). Be sure to replace the filter for the second brew.
I also use the 1st brew of vinegar and water to clean the outside of the machine. I just pour a little of the hot solution onto a wash cloth and wipe away. Vinegar does a great job at cleaning stainless steel. Want to see?
Not only does cleaning your coffeemaker make it look shiny and new but it also heps your coffee from tasting bitter. If you have soft water it's recommended to clean it after 80 brews and you have hard water it should be done every 40 cycles. Personally, I try and clean ours every 2 months but sometimes it just depends on how it's looking or if I notice our coffee doesn't taste the same.
And of course this post wouldn't be complete without a side by side comparison.
So there you have it, a very simple (and safe) way to clean your basic coffeemaker. What about you? How often do you clean yours?