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Why Coffee Makers Overflow?

One of the worst possible nightmares a coffee maker owner could ever experience is waking to a morning where your freshly brewed coffee leaks all over the counter. Not only is it a mess, but you waste hot water and your perfectly brewed and jonesed beverage. This article will centre on why your coffee makers overflow and what to do about fixing the issue. Read on to know more about the topic.

coffee maker overflowing

Reasons Why Coffee Makers Overflow

When a coffee overflow occurs, some unusual things happen. Your hot coffee spills all over the counter, coffee grounds are around the basket or deposited in the coffee, and you’re left in a state of shock from the unexpected sight. That said, there are numerous reasons why your trusty coffee maker malfunctions. Here are some of the causes of coffee maker overflow

  • The Brew Basket

The brew basket is the compartment where you place your filter and fill the coffee grounds. When a brew basket becomes mucky, it can obstruct the process of filtering the coffee grounds and outflow of coffee. Failure to regularly clean the brew basket can cause a full-scale blockage and, eventually, an overflow. Another possible cause is when the brew basket isn’t properly closed. Some coffee maker models even come with a latch for the basket. Not closing or latching well will also lead to an overflow.

  • Filter Problems

It’s one thing to clean the brew basket which houses the filter, but it’s another thing to observe your filters themselves. There are two kinds of filters when it comes to coffee makers, the paper filter and the permanent coffee filter. The paper filters could have issues ranging from being clogged to low-quality. Common problems you can encounter when it comes to filters are;

  1. The positioning. This is important because sometimes coffee maker users inadvertently place the filter without realising it isn’t well-opened or well-centred. If the filter is too large or small, it’ll collapse and fold over, causing an overflow.
  2. Double filter. While this is easily avoidable, some people miss noticing a double filter. Most people might’ve used dual filters at a point in time. In a more fortunate scenario, you’d ultimately have to wait longer for your coffee to brew. On the other hand, you might have an overflow. The water can’t get through the ground coffee fast enough with the double filter present. As a result, the brew basket backs up, and there’s an overflow.
  3. Cheap coffee filters. There are cheap coffee filters that are so fibrous, rough and thick that they hinder an adequate flow of brewed coffee into the outlet. As a result, the hot water backflows and overflows.
  • Coffee Ground

Issues leading to an overflow of coffee makers concerning coffee grounds include the following.

  1. Excessive coffee grounds or powder. Using an excessive amount of coffee grounds may lead to an overflow.
  2. The ground size. Overflow could be a result of overly finely grounded coffee.
  • The Decanter

The decanter should be centred correctly in the brew basket to avoid spillage. When the decanter is removed for over thirty seconds while brewing, it could also lead to an overflow.

  • Leftover Coffee Build-Up

When was the last time you cleaned your coffee maker? If it’s been a long time and you’re having issues with overflow, this might be the problem. Leaving stale coffee grounds in your filter basket and failing to clean the other components regularly isn’t advisable. Neglecting clearing out all leftovers will cause a build-up over time, hindering smooth functioning and flow and causing an overflow.


How to Solve an Overflow Issue

It’s not enough to know the causes of a coffee maker overflow; knowing the solutions if ever you find yourself in such a pickle is also crucial. Here are some answers to solving a coffee maker overflow.

  1. Rinse the filter basket to remove all leftovers and remove all dirt.
  2. Ensure the brew basket is well-closed and latched in some models with a latch.
  3. Position the filters to be well-centred and opened in the filter basket. You can check the manual instructions for the suitable sizes of filters to use. Some models allow the use of a reusable filter. You can wet the edges of paper fingers to keep them open and centred.
  4. Always check for double filters to avoid use unless instructed in the manual. There are different kinds of filters for each model. Change the paper filters also when it’s clogged and stale. For permanent coffee filters, just cleaning them is enough.
  5. Besides the fact some cheap, overly fibrous filters might give your coffee a different papery taste, they might be too thick or rough to use. Try to invest in better quality filters.
  6. Use the right amount of coffee. Your coffee powder could fill the filter about three to five centimetres deep.
  7. Make use of a Medium grind to avoid an overflow, especially if the fine grind size has been an issue once.
  8. Clean all components regularly and remove all leftovers after use.


How to Clean your Coffee Maker After an Overflow Accident

Here’s a procedure on how to clean your coffee maker.

  • Turn off your coffee maker and unplug. Wait for a while to cool off the machine before cleaning.
  • Remove the brewing basket (filter basket), filter, and decanter. Wash these components in mildly soapy warm water.
  • Steer off using abrasive materials to clean.
  • Set the components aside and allow the parts to dry off. Feel free to clean with a soft clean towel.
  • Clean off the rest of the machine with a slightly damp non-abrasive cloth and allow it to dry off for a while.
  • Do not immerse the coffee maker machine in water or liquid.
  • Check out the manual for any other things to note.

Depending on the type of model you’ve got, there are varying cleaning methods. Sometimes you might need to clean with vinegar to remove tough stains.



Spilt coffee could be messy, but an overflowing coffee maker could be catastrophic. No one wants to deal with wasting coffee and the risk of ruining valuable paperwork on the counter or around. That being said, avoiding an overflow is mostly more of a preventive maintenance measure than a control. Observing the little details about your coffee maker could save you a lot of trouble in the future. Remember to clean the machine now and then and discard all leftovers. Hopefully, this article has enlightened you and saved you from a catastrophic mess.


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