Clean a Cuisinart Coffee Maker With Vinegar

How To Clean a Cuisinart Coffee Maker With Vinegar?

​Cuisinart is a company that has been around for many years. They are also the manufacturer of coffee makers, which is widely used today. 

One of their coffee makers is called a Cuisinart DCC-1200 Coffee Maker, which has attained over 10,000 reviews on Amazon since it was first sold in 2003. 

The Cuisinart coffee maker comes with a pre-packet of vinegar that you should use every time you clean the device. Indeed, Vinegar is one of the best cleaning agents that you can use to clean kitchen appliances. 

But for some people, it may not be the best choice to use vinegar since it could have adverse effects on other parts of the machine. 

So, is it safe to use vinegar for this particular Cuisinart coffee maker? 

Know more about the vinegar and how it may not be adequate to clean your Cuisinart coffee maker:

How to Clean a Cuisinart Coffee Maker?

Can I run vinegar through my Cuisinart coffee maker?

Method 1:Cleaning the Water Reservoir

  • Decalcify your coffee maker every 1-6 months
  • Prepare a bowl of warm water and add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of vinegar into the bowl. [Use hot water for faster results, OR use hot tap water.]
  • Close the coffee maker and let it soak for 10 minutes. [Caution: Don’t use distilled vinegar!]
  • Use a clean toothbrush to clean out the interior chamber, and let it sit for 10 minutes again to decalcify the machine.
  • Repeat the process every day for a week, and then at least once a month.

Empty the carafe and grounds

  • Use a clean toothbrush to clean out the interior chamber, and let it sit for 10 minutes.
  • Note: I recommend you don’t use vinegar to clean the carafe because vinegar will leave some residue on your Cuisinart coffee maker and often will not fully dry before it absorbs again into the machine.

Fill the water reservoir with 1 part white vinegar and two parts water.

  • Preheat the coffee maker for one minute.
  • Turn off the coffee maker and remove the brew basket.
  • Fill your coffee maker tank with water, 1/2 cup of white vinegar, 1/2 cup of water, two tablespoons of white vinegar and 2 cups of water.
  • Turn on the machine and allow it to brew once before repeating this process and letting it brew a second time before stopping it and rinsing out with warm water again (1/2 cup).
  • Allow the reservoir and carafe to air dry.
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Press the Clean button if your coffeemaker has one

If your coffeemaker has Clean control, activate it and it will clean out your coffee maker by brewing water, allowing the water to sit for ten minutes, and then rinsing everything out.

Run a brew cycle manually if your coffeemaker doesn't have a self-clean function

Pour 6 cups of water into the reservoir, then add 1/4 cup white vinegar. 

You can also add lemon juice if you want, but we don't recommend using lemon juice every time you clean because it may adversely affect your coffeemaker. Instead, turn the coffee maker on and let it brew for 5 minutes before rinsing everything out.

Repeat the cycle if you can still see build-up inside the reservoir

If you still see the build-up in the reservoir, repeat the process above using 1/4 cup of white vinegar and 5 cups of hot water.

Run a cycle of fresh cold water to rinse

After you are satisfied with the cleaning, run a cycle of fresh cold water to rinse off any vinegar residue.

Method 2: Washing the Rest of the Machine

Turn the coffee maker off and unplug it from the wall.

To clean the rest of the machine, you will need to unplug your coffee maker and remove the access panel. 

You will need a screwdriver to remove the panel, and you'll need to know which screws to remove so that you don't take off the wrong part. 

The access panel is usually located on the bottom or side of the machine, depending on what brand and model you own.

There are a few different ways to clean your coffee maker. In this method, I will be using white vinegar as an example due to its general acceptance as a great cleaning agent. 

However, you can use hot or cold water instead of white vinegar if you choose.

Remove the filter basket and carafe.

Turn the unit upside down, with the brew basket facing up. Use the screwdriver to remove the filter basket, which will stay in place on its own. Unscrew the handle of the carafe and set it aside. Unscrew the power cord from its socket.

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How much vinegar do you use to clean a coffee maker?
We are now going to clean all of these parts. Again, the instructions are taken from my own experience, so that they may vary slightly depending on your specific coffee maker model.

Wash the removable items in warm, soapy water and let them dry fully

First, wash the removable items in warm, soapy water. I find it helpful to use a large bowl because you can drop it in the filter basket and carafe and not worry about holding them under running water. 

Next, wash thoroughly and rinse off any soapy residue before letting the filter basket and carafe dry completely. It will help prevent mould and bacteria from growing inside your coffeemaker.

Wipe down the body of the coffeemaker

Turn the coffeemaker over and let all the water drain out. Next, wipe down the outside of the machine using a damp cloth, being careful to avoid getting water into any electrical parts. If you have a removable drip tray, wipe it down as well. 

You can also put a damp cloth on the bottom of your coffeemaker to soak up any water remaining.

Remove stains from the heating plate using soap and a damp cloth.

The heating plate is the part of the machine that touches the coffee cups. I’ve seen quite a few complaints about staining on this heating plate, so here are some steps to help remove that stain. 

First, turn the coffeemaker right-side up and fill it with warm water to rinse any remaining vinegar if you choose to use it as your cleaning agent. 

Next, wipe down the heating plate with a damp cloth and dish soap. (Follow the instructions on your dish soap.)

Reassemble the coffee maker

Now that all your removable parts are clean, turn the coffeemaker right-side up and put all of them back in place. If you have a removable drip tray, wipe it off. 

Put the filter basket back on and screw the handle back into place. Attach the power cord to its socket. Plug the coffeemaker into a wall outlet and try it out.

Coffee Maker Maintenance Tips

Aside from cleaning your coffee maker using vinegar, here are a few other tips:

Do you use straight vinegar to clean coffee maker?
  • Do not store your coffee maker in a damp environment. It is essential to keep the inside of your coffeemaker dry so that bacteria and mould do not grow inside. 
In addition, you should store it away from sunlight and heat sources, such as heat vents and radiators, because both will cause the moisture in your coffeemaker to evaporate more quickly than usual.
  • Do not overfill the reservoir with water. Overfilling will result in more water remaining inside the reservoir and can lead to overflow. In addition, it means you will need to clean your coffeemaker more often.
  • Do not store your coffee maker with water, coffee grounds or tea leaves inside it. If there is any residue left inside your coffeemaker, it may result in the build-up that you need to clean out. 
In addition, it is essential to remove all foreign particles from your machine as soon as possible because they may contribute to build-up and microbial growth.
  • Avoid using detergents to clean your coffee maker. Some people recommend using a dishwasher detergent to clean a coffee maker, but I do not recommend this because it may have adverse effects on the machine’s internals. 
Dishwasher detergents contain several harsh chemicals that can damage your device. It may also include bleach or other harsh chemicals that will cause your machine to lose its shine and lustre over time. 

Although, if you want to use a dishwasher detergent in a pinch, I will use a vinegar-based product instead.

  • You can also opt for a particular machine wash from reputable online retailers such as Cleaning Store. These machines are carefully designed so that they do not damage the internal components. 
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They are easy to put together and use, with no assembly needed. You can also receive expert assistance from the Cleaning Store when you need it.


Coffee makers are a great way to start your morning, but you should be careful not to let it turn into a bad morning. 

If you have spent a significant amount of money on a coffee brewer, you will want to clean it thoroughly and follow it up with routine maintenance.

The best method for cleaning your coffee maker depends on your specific model. In the case of my Mr Coffee machine, I chose Method 1 because it was simple and effective.

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