Of all the appliances in your kitchen, how often do you clean your coffee maker? 

I am sure you clean the pot every day after use, and your machine has a reusable filter, you clean that, too. 

But, be honest with yourself, how often, if ever, do you really clean the warming plate. 

But Does it Get Filthy

It may appear that your coffee maker warmer plate does not get dirty.

Yet, after a while, it does accumulate a build-up of minerals, coffee residue, and other gunk. 

This can result in the plate emitting a charred stench whenever the machine is operating. 

In reality, cleaning the warming plate of a coffee maker is so simple.

This article is going to give you step-by-step instructions on how to do just that. 

Here’s What You are Going to Need

With a few common items found in your home, you can have a sparkling clean warming plate on your coffee maker:

  • Baking soda
  • Distilled white vinegar 
  • A cloth that is lint-free 
  • A small brush or an old toothbrush 

See how easy it is so far?  All the above items are probably right in your kitchen, and you use them practically every day. 

A little distilled white vinegar and baking soda, and maybe a small brush (toothbrush) is all you need.

Now, follow these ease steps for removing dirt and grime from your coffee maker’s warming plate.

Follow These Easy Steps

Here we go! In just four simple steps your coffee maker’s warming plate is going to look as good as new!

Although, in some instances, with severe build-up, you may have to repeat the steps a few times. 

But it will all be worth it because those persistent stains will be gone!

  • Step 1: Similar to the cleaning of any electronic equipment, first unplug the machine from the wall outlet. This prevents the chance of being electrocuted because you are going to be using liquids to clean it.  In addition, unplugging also prevents damage to your machine due to electricity discharging from the outlet.  After you unplug the coffee maker, ensure the warming plate is completely cooled off. To prevent causing yourself a very painful burn.
  • Step 2: Next pepper some baking soda along the entire surface of the warming plate. ¼ teaspoon should be sufficient for a smaller sized machine. Bigger machines may use up to ½ teaspoon, or even as much as 1 teaspoon if exceptionally grimy. 
  • Step 3:  Add the white distilled vinegar. Generously stream the vinegar on top of the baking soda and allow it to stand alone for a couple of minutes.  There is no need for flavored vinegar in this step. Just plain old clear, distilled vinegar works best.  There will be a chemical reaction occurring on your warming plate now between the baking soda and vinegar.  You will see tiny bubbles forming as the chemicals work together at diffusing the dirt and rust on the plate. 
  • Step 4:  The final step in this 4-step process is to wipe the surface of the warming plate with a lint-free cloth. Should there be excessive build-up, you might need to use a small brush/ toothbrush to give it light scrubbing.  

If there is still signs of grime on the warming plate after you have gone through these four steps, repeat. 

Repeat these steps as many times as necessary until the warming plate on your coffee maker is sparkling clean. 

Also, ensure to wipe the warming plate clean of all baking soda and vinegar remnants. 

How Often Should a Coffee Maker’s Warming Plate be Cleaned?

In a perfect world, which we certainly do not live in, the warming plate should be cleaned daily.

However, most of us do not have time in our busy lives to go through these four steps on a day-to-day basis.

Therefore, wiping the warming plate with a lint-free cloth following its use should be sufficient.

Try to do the deep cleaning method above at least every other month. 

How often you use your coffee maker is another consideration to think about in answering the question of “how often?” 

If you are consistently making pots of coffee throughout the day, you will need to clean the warming pot more often. 

In addition, a grimy warming plate will be at a disadvantage to maintaining the temperature of your coffee. 

If you recognize the coffee doesn’t stay hot long, could be time for deep cleaning.  

Besides Vinegar, Is There Anything Else I can Use to Clean My Warming Plate?

Some people dislike the smell of vinegar or do not have any available.

If this holds true for you, there are other cleaning products that can be used in substitution of vinegar. 

One alternative to the displeasing smell of vinegar is lemon-scented dish soap. 

This is an excellent method for cleaning the grime, yet older stains will require some brushing. 

Just remember, dish soap has been sudsy and you must remember to rinse all suds off the warming plate. 

Coca-Cola is practically a “wonder” formula. 

Not only does it clean the battery terminals of a vehicle, but it is also ideal for cleaning the warming plate.

The active ingredient in Coca-Cola is carbonic acid; which is perfect for removing rust and other grime. 

Just put a little Coca-Cola on the warming plate’s surface and allow it to soak overnight.

Next morning wipe it clean with your lint-free cloth. (Don’t forget to wash it with soapy water as well, since Coca-Cola is sugary and sticky). 

One more alternative cleanser is Oxalic acid.  This option is for the person seeking a more professional cleaning method. 

Capable of cleansing just about anything, Oxalic acid is a household chemical that is essential.  Used as a bleaching agent, it can remove rust and stains on almost anything you apply it to. 

To clean your coffee maker’s warming plate with Oxalic acid, just create a mixture of oxalic acid and water.  Leave this mixture on the warming plate for half an hour and wipe clean. 

image: Flickr, CC 2.0

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