Skip to main content
Coffee Guides

How to Remove Hard Water Stains From Coffee Pot

Do you love brewing your own coffee at home? If so, you are not alone. Many people prefer to have coffee machines at home, especially if they are coffee addicts.

Making coffee at home saves you money because you don’t have to buy it from cafes. You also get to brew coffee the way you like it.

You can do so much with coffee machines these days. They are no longer the simple devices we used to brew just one type of coffee- black and strong.

Now you can set your coffee maker to steam milk, create foam, grind coffee beans, and brew coffee according to your preference.

You can use coffee machines to brew cappuccinos, Americanos, lattes, espressos, and more. With an excellent coffee machine at home, you can have any coffee beverage you like.

As is typical with all types of machines, the convenience of coffee machines comes with disadvantages.

One of them is that they require regular maintenance to continue giving you excellent coffee. That means cleaning them often and taking care of the individual parts used in coffee brewing, such as the filter basket and coffee carafe.

If you are serious about keeping your coffee machine in excellent quality, it’s essential to maintain a regular routine.

Otherwise, it may get damaged from a build-up of stains, especially hard water stains.

coffee pot hard water stains

What are Hard Water Stains?

Hard water stains come from water with a high amount of minerals such as magnesium, iron, copper, manganese, brass, and calcium.

Chalky white stains are the commonest hard water stains in coffee pots. You may wonder whether your house water is hard or soft. It’s as simple as performing a hard water test.

Hard water stains can make your coffee taste bad. They also give your coffee maker a bad appearance and prevent it from functioning correctly.

For example, they may prevent the coffee pot from heating up to the recommended temperature during coffee making. That happens because the minerals that make up hard water stains clog the valves and seals in your coffee pot.

Once hard water stains clog your coffee pot, it may break down prematurely, forcing you to buy another one. That can be a nuisance, especially because good coffee makers don’t come cheap.

So, you have to habitually clean your coffee pot every once in a while.


How do you Clean your Coffee Pot?

clean coffee pot

Most coffee drinkers only rinse their coffee makers before brewing coffee. There are also those who clean it with dishwashing detergent at least once a week.

Despite these efforts, you’ll find most of them complaining that hard water stains don’t come off. That’s because they require a more concerted effort to get them out.

While there are commercial hard water stain removers that you can use to clean your coffee pot, most people prefer to use homemade cleaners.

Some examples are vinegar which is a great stain remover, and sanitizer. Lemons are also good options for de-staining and clearing bacteria from most kitchen surfaces and devices.

Here’s how to use both solutions to remove coffee pot stains.


How to Clean Hard Water Stains From your Coffee Pot Using Vinegar

Vinegar is an excellent coffee pot cleaning solution because it is especially tough on hard water stains.

You don’t need to use a lot of effort to clean these stains when you have vinegar. It also deodorizes a coffee pot and kills any lingering bacteria in it.

Here’s how to use vinegar when cleaning your coffee pot.

  1. Rinse your coffee maker with hot water to remove any coffee grounds left over from your coffee brewing.
  2. Wash the coffee pot with warm water and dishwashing soap to eliminate any loose surface dirt and stains.
  3. Pour some vinegar in the coffee pot until 3/4 way up to absorb stale coffee smells and loosen the hard water stains.
  4. Run the coffee pot through a brewing cycle for a minute and let the vinegar soak in the pot for 30 minutes.
  5. Empty the vinegar solution and rinse off the coffee pot with clean water.
  6. Fill the coffee pot with clean water and put it through a brewing cycle for 2 minutes to get rid of any remaining traces of vinegar.
  7. Pour out that water, fill the coffee pot with clean water, and run it through another cycle to eliminate any lingering vinegar smells.
  8. Your coffee maker is now free of hard water stains, coffee stains, and foul smells.


How to Clean Hard Water Stains from your Coffee Pot Using Lemons

If you are out of vinegar and you have lemons lying around, you can use their juice to clean your coffee pot.

It is an excellent solution if you use a glass coffee pot. Here is the procedure.

  1. Rinse your coffee pot with hot water to remove any loose coffee grounds or coffee residue.
  2. Wash it out with warm soapy water using a wet sponge to rub off loose stains.
  3. Rinse the coffee pot and pour two cups of lemon juice into it.
  4. Run the coffee pot through a brewing cycle to aid the lemon juice in breaking down stains.
  5. Let the lemon juice sit in the coffee pot for 20 minutes to clear out any foul odors, bacteria, and stubborn stains.
  6. Pour the lemon juice out, fill the coffee pot with clean water, and run it through a brewing cycle to rinse any remaining lemon juice. Repeat the rinsing process.
  7. Your pot should now be free of stains and smelling fresh and clean, ready for you to brew great-tasting coffee.


How to Reduce the Amount of Hard Water Stains in your Coffee Pot

You can reduce the number of times you de-stain your coffee pot if you find solutions for your hard tap water. There are things you can do to soften the water, especially if you use it often for cooking or coffee making.

Here are a few options.

  • Buy soft water to brew your coffee, such as bottled water or spring water.
  • Install water softening equipment in your tap system to filter out minerals from the water.
  • Use a reverse osmosis filter system to distill the water in your home.
  • Drop water softening pouches into your water tank to pull out hard minerals from the water.



Now you know how to remove hard water stains from your coffee pot. You must descale your coffee pot every 2 – 3 months. If you use your coffee pot frequently, you may do it monthly.

There are also modern coffee pots or machines with indicators that warn you when to descale your coffee pot. If your coffee pot lacks this light, a build-up of white or colored stains in it will show you it’s time to descale your coffee pot.

If you notice that your coffee pot is brewing cold coffee or is not extracting coffee from your beans satisfactorily, that may be another sign that it needs descaling.

We’ve only given you a home remedy for removing hard water stains from your coffee pot. If it fails to remove the stains in your pot, try a commercial descaler to eliminate those hard-to-remove stains.

It’s essential to work on your pot like this to ensure you get the best-tasting coffee and increase the lifespan of your coffee pot.

So, do not ignore those hard water stains, work on them, and your coffee pot will always work efficiently.


Also read: How to Remove Hard Water Deposits From Your Coffee Pot?