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Coffee Tips

How to Eliminate Vinegar-Like Smell from a Coffee Maker

You can only get a tasty cup of coffee by brewing it from a clean, smell-free coffee maker. The frequency of cleaning your coffee machine and the kind of detergents used, be it commercial or natural detergents, affects the taste and scent of coffee brews when not done the right way.


man pouring hot coffee from a coffee pot


Cleaning a Coffee Pot

One of the most affordable and commonly used products for cleaning a coffee pot is vinegar. Vinegar is highly effective in cleaning and descaling coffee makers.

However, vinegar can leave an unpleasant and acrid odor that interferes with the taste of coffee after descaling.

Although visible debris can be removed by swishing the pot with clean water after every brew, this won’t eliminate the funky odor left behind over time. Thus, you need to employ a better cleaning strategy.


Descaling a Coffee Pot

Deposits resulting from hard water add a terrible taste to coffee. The deposits also gum up essential working components of a coffee maker.

Thus, it’s advisable to descale the machine monthly to eliminate mineral deposits and prevent clogging of the pipe network or holes in the reservoir.

You can easily descale your coffee maker with vinegar. Pour some cups of vinegar into the coffee maker. Next, run it to cleanse the interior components. You can repeat this process without risking the carafe or coffee maker components to damage.

Commercial coffee machine cleaners often leave a bad odor that affects the taste of coffee brews. Thus, you should clean the machine thoroughly with clean water after descaling it with a commercial cleaner. Run it with water until the taste gets eliminated.


Eliminating Vinegar Smell

You might notice an acrid smell in your coffee machine after descaling it with vinegar. It’s recommended to run with plain water after descaling it.

Before running it, place a clean paper filter inside the basket. Running it with plain water after descaling will flush out any remnant vinegar odor and taste. In case the odor is persistent, flush it again with water before trying stronger methods.

Rinsing the carafe and water reservoir immediately after descaling it with the help of vinegar can assist in reducing the chances of vinegar leaving an odor in the machine.

In case you’ve cleaned your coffee maker with vinegar only for milk to curdle when making your next coffee brew, then it means that there’s excessive vinegar residue.


Removing Strong Vinegar Odor

Rinsing the carafe with water and dishwashing soap can remove stubborn vinegar remnant from its interior. If the smell remains, take some ice cubes and put them into an empty but cold carafe.

Add salt (1 tablespoon) and a lemon cut into several pieces. Swish the mixture and allow it to settle for about an hour. Once done, rinse the carafe thoroughly.

If you’re still noticing a vinegar odor in the reservoir, dampen a clean cloth and rub the interior surface of the coffee machine. Use a clean, narrow brush to clean hidden spots that are harder to reach with a cloth.


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