How To Clean Cuisinart Coffee Maker? – 12 Detailed Steps For Beginners

The Cuisinart coffee makers are brewing machines that require regular cleaning to maintain the coffee taste.

Then, how to clean Cuisinart coffee maker? – All you need to do is to use their self-clean function!

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How Do You Get A Cuisinart Coffee Maker To Self-Clean?

If your coffee maker comes with a self-cleaning function, there should be a “CLEAN” button on its body.

To prepare for the self-cleaning process, you need to mix a compound of ⅔ water and ⅓ white vinegar, and make sure that the mixture’s volume should match the reservoir tank’s capacity.

After that, pour the compound into the water reservoir, press the “CLEAN” button. The process often lasts longer than a normal brew from 2 to 3 minutes and ends with five beeps.

On the other hand, for Cuisinart coffee makers without self-cleaning functions, there are 12 steps for a full clean-up. Let’s find out.

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How To Clean Cuisinart Coffee Maker In 12 Steps

Step 1 – Initiate The Decalcification Process

Decalcification is a process of discharging hard water and removing precipitated mineral buildup from the water reservoir system.

A frequently used coffeemaker will accelerate the precipitation of mineral buildup in the water reservoir. If you often use the machine more than once per day, it should be decalcified monthly to maintain the coffee’s taste.

If your coffeemaker possesses a self-cleaning function, check if the “CLEAN” button light glows or not. Once the button light keeps glowing, it indicates that the water reservoir’s calcium buildup starts to affect the coffee taste. It’s time for the decalcification!

If your coffeemaker doesn’t have one, you can observe the reservoir tank to detect opalescent mineral plaques. Or else, check the brewed coffee quality; if the coffee starts to taste much more bitter than usual, you know your coffeemaker needs decalcifying.

Step 2 – Clear The Carafe 

Dump out any remaining coffee in the carafe before removing the metal basket from the machine and discard the coffee grounds and paper filters. 

Gently rinse the carafe and the metal basket with water before using them in the next steps.

Step 3 – Fill Up The Water Reservoir With Cleansing Mixture

Firstly, prepare the solution by mixing ⅓ white vinegar with ⅔ water beforehand. Remember not to adjust the mixing rate because too much vinegar can cause harmful acidic erosion inside the water reservoir system.

The exact amount of the cleansing mixture depends on the size of the coffeemaker. Therefore, according to a standard 15-cup machine, you need 5 cups of vinegar mixed with 10 cups of tap water to fully fill the reservoir tank.

Then, make sure the compound’s volume reaches the reservoir’s maximum capacity by using the carafe to measure before pouring the solution into the tank.

Step 4 – Run A Manual Brew Cycle

After filling the reservoir tank, press the “ON/OFF” button to turn the machine on.

Press the “BREW/WARM” button to let the machine run a brew cycle like how you normally make a vessel of coffee. Eventually, the process will end with 5 beeps before turning off.

You can turn off the coffeemaker in the middle of the cycle and let it cool down for an hour before turning it on again to continue the brew cycle for deeper cleaning.

Step 5 – Keep The Cycle On Repetition

Generally, one single cycle of the cleansing mixture should be sufficient to wipe out most of the precipitated mineral. Nevertheless, for a particularly dirty coffeemaker, especially the old ones, you may need more than one cycle to completely clean up.

Once the machine has cooled down after running the previous cycle, you should inspect the reservoir tank inside to check if there is any buildup or any plaque left.

Any mineral remain means a new cleansing cycle is necessary. Repeat the process with a fresh mixture. Do not reuse the previous mix to run another round because it doesn’ really help decalcify anymore.

Step 6 – Start The Final Rinsing Cycle 

After the cleansing process, let the machine slightly cool down before draining the mixture out of the pot.

Then, refill the tank with just plain tap water, run the brew cycle again to rinse out the vinegar remaining from the water reservoir system.

You may repeat the water cycle to ensure efficiency, but it should not be more than 3 times. 

Step 7- Follow The Electrical Safety Rules

Once you have finished decalcifying and cleaning the water reservoir system from inside out, turn the machine off and unplug it from the electrical socket for external clean up. 

Remember to let it completely cool down in 30 minutes before proceeding with the other remainders. You may test the heat of your Cuisinart coffeemaker by lightly touching the reservoir body.

Do not manually clean if the coffeemaker is still plugged in since the base contains an electric heating plate, which can be dangerous in wet conditions. 

Step 8 – Separate The Carafe And The Filter Container

Usually, the carafe and the filter basket are designed to be either lifted off or slid out from the Cuisinart models. Therefore, you can easily separate them from the machine body and eliminate all of the remaining liquid.

Some coffeemakers have a built-in coffee grinder or removable reservoir lid; you can remove them to clean as well.

Soak them with tap water before washing.

Step 9 – Wash The Removed Items

Firmly wash the removed items in warm, soapy water with a soft and thick sponge. To avoid scratches, surface damage to the articles, you should not use harsh cleanser or scouring tools like iron wool.

Carefully scrub the glass carafe, metal basket, and other items before letting dry fully. 

For removable items with serious buildup, fill the sink with warm water and some soapy dish drops or light dish detergent before dipping and soaking them for some minutes.

Once you have finished washing them, place them on the high rack, and let dry naturally since some unusual shapes cause difficulty in swabbing with towels or cloths.

Step 10 – Rub Off The Machine Body

While letting the removable items dry, proceed cleaning the machine’s body using a moist dishcloth to wipe and rub off the stains on the surface and the heating plate area.

For Cuisinart coffeemakers with a built-in grinder, keep the water away from the grinder motor since it may cause damage when the machine turns on. Hence, it’s best to use a moist towel to clean around.

Never submerge a base unit containing electrical equipment in water or any other liquid as it will definitely destroy the circuit and result in a total breakdown.

Step 11 – Perform Stain Removal Process

The area where the carafe or the glass pot sits is the heating plate; thus, stains often exist on this surface due to coffee overflow.

Mix a small amount of dishwashing soap with water before applying them on a dishcloth. Then, use it to eliminate the stubborn coffee stains by scrubbing and wiping continuously from the edge to the center and vice-versa.

Once the entire surface is spotless, rinse the dishcloth with water, wring it out before wiping all the soap left on the surface. You should repeat this action until there is no soap left on the plate surface because it can cause burning, emitting smoke when heating up.

Step 12 – Reassemble The Coffee Maker

When all of the machine’s removable parts are fully dry, you can reassemble the device by putting the pieces back together.

Reinserting the filter basket or sliding it back to the original position. Lightly put the carafe back onto the heating plate and make sure it is not tilted or broken. 

Don’t forget to reattach the coffee grinder, reservoir cover, and carafe lid. 

Tips For Cleaning Up 

Although the cleaning process is quite time-consuming, you can accelerate it and avoid minor consequences with these Clairoliviawayman‘s useful tips below:

Use White Vinegar for Decalcification

You would not like to have a pale vinegar color layer in the reservoir tank after decalcifying. Hence, only use white vinegar since it is colorless and less smelly than other kinds. 

Dry The Removable Items With Air 

For items with unusual shapes, you can use an air blower or air dryer to ensure there is no humidity inside, which may benefit bacterias and mold.

Refresh The Carafe With Rice

The glass carafe or glass pot may look dingy after a long time, low translucency due to a thin layer of pale color attached to the inner wall.

Pour in the carafe a mixture of warm, sudsy water and a little rice, stir well before using a scrub sponge to firmly rub around the wall many times. Then, rinse the carafe with water and inspect the translucency after drying.


With the instruction mentioned above, you must have known how to clean Cuisinart coffee maker in 12 detailed steps. Moreover, these provided tips would help you prolong your coffee maker’s life expectancy.

How long have you not cleaned your coffeemaker? – Let’s refresh it for the best coffee taste!

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