Your drip coffee maker needs to be cleaned on a monthly basis to take off the deposits that result from hard water, or to take off the scale that builds up. There are also left over oils from the coffee that will become rancid, so that needs to be cleaned up as well. Just washing the pot in soapy water will not get the job done. So take heed, and follow the steps outlined, and your coffee will be the better for it and so will you.
The impurities in most water systems can result in a buildup of calcified components in your coffee brewing apparatus that will affect the taste of your coffee. If you use your coffee brewer every day, the deposits will build up faster than you think. Since most of us are not real diligent about cleaning these types of things every day, it won’t be too long until you notice a difference in the taste of the coffee. So a regular cleaning, maybe every month to three months will usually solve the problem.
First of all, don’t ever wash the coffee pot with soap, because this will bind the coffee oils that are deposited by the coffee and will leave behind a horrible taste. Keep your coffee pot out of the dishwasher also because of this.
You should clean your reservoir and pots with a mixture that is one half white distilled vinegar and one half water. Then, turn the coffeemaker on and let several cups run through the system. Then you will want to turn off the system and let it just sit for an hour. Then start the system up again in order to complete the cycle, and then discard the vinegar/water mixture. Now run plain water through the coffeemaker a few times, until the vinegar smell disappears.
For difficult stains and hard deposits that are stubborn to remove, you can make a paste from baking soda and vinegar. Place it in the area where there are deposits or grimy areas and rub. Rinse and repeat this process until the residue is gone.
Another method is to mix salt and lemon juice to make a paste. Use this substance to scrub away stains, or make a paste of borax and water, and scrub. Be sure to allow either type of paste to sit for an hour or so, and then scrub, because the paste will soften and loosen the stain. Once all of the stains have disappeared, rinse thoroughly with clean water.
There is a product called DEZCAL which is a non-toxic, citric acid-based descaler that is biodegradable and takes the mineral deposits and breaks them down, and then you can rinse them away with clean water. Another commercial product called Full Circle is a highly recommended product for cleaning scale out of your coffee making system.
Whichever system you decide to use, it is important for you to use something, and you will find that your coffee will taste just like it was intended to with a clean coffee brewing system.