Coffee residue and mineral deposits (limescale) in the water can affect the flavor of the coffee and clog the components of the coffee maker. Over time, it can compromise the efficient drip operation of your brewer. Coffee grounds contain natural oils that cannot be rinsed off with water. If you don't clean the brew basket and other parts regularly, you may notice your coffee getting more and more bitter. The moist environment of leftover coffee grounds can lead to the growth of yeast, mold, or bacteria. Mineral deposits, especially hard water, can narrow the water passages, and if not removed, the coffee maker will work more and more slowly.
How Often to Clean a Coffee Maker
You should clean the coffee machine after each use to remove coffee grounds and clean the brew basket, lid and carafe. A deeper descaling cleaning should be done at least every three months to remove mineral deposits.
If you have hard water (water with lots of minerals) in your home, or if you tend to fill your coffee maker's water reservoir with a rinsed carafe (not cleaned), residue may build up more quickly. In this case, monthly cleaning is recommended.
Some coffee machines have an audible or visible cleaning signal, usually before a forced shutdown. You can avoid downtime with proactive maintenance. Other breweries have a cleaning cycle setup, usually detailed in the manual. Always follow the manufacturer's detailed cleaning instructions.