When mineral deposits from hard water and coffee residue build up in the coffeemaker, it doesn’t just affect the taste of your morning brew; it can also clog the coffeemaker’s drip system. While there are a few commercial mineral deposit removers, the easiest, least expensive, and cleanest way to get rid of the pesky white buildup is with white vinegar.

P.S. White vinegar is also highly effective at removing these same mineral clogs from your tea kettle, showerhead, faucets, clothes iron, and humidifier.


Distilled white vinegar removes mineral deposits quickly and easily. Unlike synthetic cleaners, white vinegar is completely safe to use on coffeemakers, teapots, showerheads, and other appliances that touch food, drink, or your skin.

How To...

Electric coffeemaker

  • Brew a full pot of half vinegar and half water, using a clean coffee filter.
  • Turn off the coffee maker about half way through the brewing cycle and let the solution sit for about an hour.
  • Turn the coffeemaker back on to brew the rest of the vinegar solution.
  • Replace the coffee filter and then rinse by running two cycles of clean water through the brewing cycle.
Teakettle (electric or stovetop)
  • Boil one cup of vinegar for a few minutes.
  • You can add a quarter cup of baking soda for extra cleaning power, if needed. (Optional)
  • Rinse thoroughly.
Showerheads and sink faucets
  • Add equal parts water and vinegar to a plastic bag.
  • Attach the bag to the faucet, so that the faucet is submerged in the bag
  • Secure the bag to the top of the faucet with a rubber band.
  • Let it sit for about an hour, and then remove the bag and run the water for a minute to rinse.
  • Remove stubborn mineral residue on the outside of the faucet with an old toothbrush, if needed.
Clothes iron
  • Fill the iron with half water and half vinegar, and turn it on.
  • Once the iron heats up, run the steam until it is empty.
  • Once it has cooled back down, refill it with clean water and steam it again to rinse.
  • Soak the humidifier filter in a pan of undiluted white vinegar for about an hour, or until it is free of sediment.
  • To kill bacteria and prevent future mineral buildup, add a quarter cup of white vinegar to the water tank once a week.

Good To Know

  • The white buildup is from calcium, magnesium, lime, or other mineral deposits commonly found in hard water.
  • Coffee and tea will taste better after removing mineral deposits and impurities that build up in the coffee maker and teapot.