How to clean Cuisinart coffee maker? The right way to do it!

Cuisinart coffee makers are budget-friendly automatic coffee makers suitable for perfect coffee lovers. They produce a tasty cup of coffee with much ease. As time passes, calcium deposits build up inside the coffee maker, thus becoming necessary to clean this built-up by descaling the Cuisinart coffee maker.

Whether you use filtered water or tap water, mineral and limescale buildup in your Cuisinart coffee maker is inevitable. You need to descale your machine every three to six months.

Proper cleaning and maintenance not only increase the lifespan of a coffeemaker but also enhances the taste and the quality of the brew.

In this article, we discuss in detail how to clean Cuisinart coffee maker in detail.

How To Clean Cuisinart Coffee Maker?

When you should clean the Cuisinart coffee maker?

Like any other coffee maker, the Cuisinart coffee maker produces a better taste if kept clean.

Several Cuisinart coffee makers have a self-cleaning function, and the “clean light” blinks when cleaning and descaling are needed.

But if for some reason the light is not blinking or your Cuisinart coffeemaker lacks the “clean light” feature you should look out for the following signs. As soon as you notice any of these signs it’s time to clean and descale the coffeemaker thoroughly.

  • The temperature of the coffee is not as hot as it used to be.
  • The coffee maker is taking long to brew a cup of coffee than usual.
  • There is a weird burnt taste in the cup of coffee.
  • Your coffee maker is not brewing a full cup of coffee.

Even if you don’t notice any of the signs above it’s a good practice to thoroughly clean the coffeemaker once in every 3 to 4 months or after 300-400 cups of coffee.

Also Read: How To Use Cuisinart Coffee Maker

How often should you clean the Cuisinart coffee maker

There are many working parts of the Cuisinart coffee maker here’s how often you should clean them.

Daily cleaning

Here’s the list of parts that needs to be cleaned after every brew

  • Coffee filter basket/K cup pod holder
  • Carafe and the Carafe Lid
  • Grinder
  • Drip Tray

These parts must be cleaned daily to maintain the flavors and the freshness of the brew. To clean simply disassemble these parts and rinse them with warm soapy water.

In most Cuisinart coffee makers these parts are dishwasher safe. So you can easily clean them by putting them in the top rack of the dishwasher.

Monthly cleaning

You should change the charcoal water filter every month or at least every sixty days depending on the quality of water you are using for brewing. Also, remove the water reservoir (if it’s removable) and rinse it with warm soapy water.

You can buy replacement charcoal water filters here.

Cleaning the exterior of your coffee maker should also be a part of your monthly cleaning routine to maintain the shiny look of the coffee maker. Just wipe the exterior with warm soapy water (or you can also use a glass cleaning solution for extra shine) and let it dry.

Quarterly cleaning

Cuisinart recommends descaling the coffee maker every 3 to 6 months or after every 300 cups of coffee whichever comes first.

Descaling is essential for the proper functioning of the machine as limescale buildup inside the machine can cause your coffee maker to malfunction. And it affects the taste of your brew too.

How to Clean Cuisinart Coffee maker with clean button | (Step-by-step Guide)

Self-cleaning coffee makers from Cuisinart are very easy to clean. They have useful cleaning indicator that becomes solid whenever there is a need for cleaning.

What do you need

  1. A soapy solution
  2. A piece of cloth or towel
  3. Warm water
  4. White Vinegar

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to clean a self-cleaning Cuisinart maker.

1) Clean the outside

Start by cleaning the exterior surface of the coffee maker. Just use a piece of cloth or towel dampened with warm soapy water to wipe off the dust from the exterior of the coffeemaker.

You can use glass cleansing products for extra shine.

Don’t use a scorching pad or anything abrasive otherwise, the body of the coffee maker will become full of scratches.

2) Start Descaling

Now it’s time to start the descaling process. Descaling will remove any limestone build-up inside the machine.

To start, empty the water tank and remove the charcoal water filter.

3) Add vinegar and water

Fill the water reservoir with 2/3 of the water and 1/3 of the white vinegar solution.

4) Hit the self-clean button

Now Press and hold the self-clean button for 3 seconds. Leave the button once the “self-clean” light starts blinking.

The solution of vinegar and water will start cleaning the inside elements of the coffeemaker.

Wait till all the solution is discarded by the machine and the light becomes solid. This will take approximately 10-15 minutes.

5) run the rinsing cycle

To remove any remains of vinegar once the cleaning cycle is complete, rinse the coffeemaker with fresh drinking water.

This step is important, otherwise, you will end up with a cup of coffee with a vinegar taste in it.

Just fill the water reservoir with clean drinking water and press the clean button. Wait until all the water is dispensed.

It is recommended to repeat the rinsing cycle 2-3 times to completely remove the remains of vinegar from the coffee maker.

6) Brew a cup of coffee

Now your coffee maker is completely clean and ready to brew. Come on! brew a cup of coffee you have already spent an hour cleaning it. You totally deserve it!

Also Read: Best self Cleaning coffee makers

How to clean Single serve Cuisinart coffee maker

Single-serve coffee makers from Cuisinart coffee makers usually don’t have a cleaning indicator. They also don’t have a “self-clean” button, you have to do it another way.

What do you need

  1. A soapy solution
  2. A piece of cloth or towel
  3. Warm water
  4. White Vinegar

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to clean a Cuisinart single-serve brewer.

1) Prepare for descaling

The first step is to clean the outside of the coffee maker by wiping it with a piece of towel or cloth dampened with warm soapy water.

Next, remove the charcoal water filter and empty the water reservoir.

2)Mix the vinegar solution

Now fill the water reservoir with 1/3 parts of the white vinegar and 2/3 parts of the water.

3) Start the descaling cycle

Now depending on the model of the Cuisinart coffeemaker, there are three ways to start the descaling cycle.

  1. Press the 6 oz and 8 oz buttons simultaneously until the clean light starts flashing.
  2. Press the hot water button
  3. Keep pressing the largest cup-size button until the water and vinegar solution in the reservoir is finished.

4)Run the rinsing cycle

In the same way, you ran the descaling cycle, run the rinsing cycle 2-3 times using clean drinking water.

How to clean  Grind and Brew Cuisinart Coffee Maker

Grind and brew coffee makers are the best choice to enjoy a fresh cup of coffee every time.

Let’s now take a look at how to clean a Cuisinart Grind and Brew coffee maker!

1)Remove the grinder and clean up the Exterior

The first step is to clean up the grinder. Remove the grinder chamber from the lid of the machine. Carefully wash the grinding chamber with soapy water, thoroughly rinse it, dry it, and fit it back into the machine.

With the help of a damp cloth, wipe down the Exterior of the grind and brew. Make sure to Check out the basket area and clean up any remaining sticky grounds.


Prepare water/vinegar solution by mixing 1/3rd white vinegar and 2/3 filtered water. Fill the decanter and reassemble the maker.

Remove the charcoal water filter from the water reservoir.

Now run a normal brew cycle and your coffeemaker will start a cleaning cycle. Remember to turn off the grinder function.

3) Rinse the coffee maker

Fill the water reservoir with clean drinking water and run a rinse cycle 2-3 times to get rid of the vinegar.

Now let the machine sit and dry for 1 hour.

How to clean a Cuisinart coffee maker without vinegar

Vinegar contains acetic acid that is used to remove the mineral buildup inside the machine. Vinegar is recommended for a descaling cycle but there are some other substances too that can be used for descaling.

Lemon Juice

Lemon Juice is an excellent substitute for vinegar but it’s quite expensive though. To descale, just prepare a regular 2/3 water and 1/3 lemon juice solution and run the cycle.


Vodka is another excellent but expensive substitute for vinegar as alcohol has good cleansing properties. Just prepare a regular 1 to 3 ratio Vodka to Water solution and run the descaling cycle.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is one of the common household substances and it has good cleansing properties too.

Add 6 to 8 spoons of baking soda to water to prepare a descaling solution.

You can also add baking soda to the Vinegar and water mixture to prepare an extra strong descaling solution.

Some Useful Tips for cleaning Cuisinart coffee maker

  • Always use filtered water with vinegar because direct tap water may add other mineral deposits inside the machine to further complex the cleaning process.
  • After Descaling, allow the carafe to reach room temperature before filling it with cold water because suddenly adding cold water cause a drastic temperature change that can cause the carafe glass to crack or shatter.
  • Clean the removable parts like the Coffee filter basket/pod holder, Carafe and Carafe lid, Drip tray, and the Grinder (If present) every time you brew a cup of coffee.
  • Make sure not to use concentrated vinegar solution (use dilute solution) because it can become difficult to neutralize the smell of concentrated vinegar.
  • To maintain the shiny look of the coffee maker wipe the exterior body with a glass cleansing solution.
  • Make sure to remove the water filter while running the descaling cycle.
  • Change the charcoal water filter every two months.

Final thoughts on Cuisinart coffee maker cleaning

Cleaning the coffee machine is necessary if you want to amuse your day with a delicious cup of coffee. If you don’t clean the machine regularly you will end up with a burnt cup of coffee or your coffee maker may break at some point.

I hope that this article will help you to clean your Cuisinart coffee maker.

Frequently Asked Question

how to turn off the clean light on Cuisinart coffee maker

Sometimes even after properly cleaning and descaling the machine, the clean light won’t go off.
In that case, try running the descaling cycle 2-3 times more. There may be extra minerals in your coffeemaker that weren’t removed during the first cycle.
If that doesn’t work too, Try turning off the machine and leaving it overnight to see if that also works.
If the light is still on consult with a professional from Cuisinart support.

How to Get Rid of a Vinegar Taste in Your Coffee Maker?

After the descaling cycle with a solution of vinegar and water run the rinsing cycle 2 to 3 times with plain drinking water.
This will surely help to get rid of the vinegar taste in coffee.

Is vinegar or baking soda better for cleaning the coffee maker?

Vinegar is the best choice for cleaning a coffee maker and is way better than baking soda.
Vinegar removes all the odors and mineral buildup from the coffee machine. While you can also use baking soda for cleaning but it will not be that effective.




Johny Morrisson is a passionate coffee enthusiast and an avid blogger dedicated to exploring the world of coffee.

Whether it's repairing or troubleshooting coffee equipment, reviewing cutting-edge brewing machines, or delving into the latest coffee trends, Johny's writing captivates readers and invites them on a flavorful journey.

When he's not writing, Johny enjoys traveling, seeking inspiration from different cultures and coffee traditions worldwide.