How To Clean A Bunn Coffee Maker in 12 Easy Steps

By Nick Evans •  Last Updated: 05/21/21 •  7 min read

Cleaning a coffee maker can increase the life of your machine and improve your coffee quality. If you want to know how to clean a Bunn coffee maker, you’re in the right place.

In this article, I’ll discuss:

  • What to know about cleaning a Bunn coffee maker
  • How often coffee makers need to be cleaned
  • How to clean a Bunn coffee maker with and without white vinegar
  • Cleaning a Bunn coffee maker in 12 simple steps
how to clean a bunn coffee maker

What You Need To Know About Cleaning a Bunn Coffee Maker

Most people know to clean the outsides of their coffee makers, but not everyone knows that the inside can gather limescale buildup.

This can shorten the lifespan of your machine and make your coffee taste worse than it would if brewed from a clean machine.

So, if your coffee is tasting off, don’t go out and purchase a new coffee maker! Instead, learn how to descale your Bunn coffee maker. You’ll likely find it working good as new afterward!

How Often Do You Need To Clean a Bunn Coffee Maker?

Coffee makers should get a basic clean every time you use them. Be sure to:

You can also choose to wash the filter and carafe in your dishwasher to make this daily cleaning process even easier.

Deep cleaning your Bunn coffee maker is called descaling. This process typically involves white vinegar or another descaler and should be done every 3 months. If you use your coffee maker more than average, you may find yourself needing to clean it more often than this.

If you notice any strange or changed taste in your coffee, that likely means your machine needs a descaling.

How do you clean a Bunn coffee maker with white vinegar?

Most people use white vinegar to descale their coffee makers. This is done by running a water and vinegar mixture through the machine, just as you would to make a normal pot of coffee.

The difference, in this case, is that you won’t add anything to the coffee filter. Afterward, you’ll run several rinse cycles with only water to clean all the vinegar from your machine before use.

You’ll likely notice a change in your coffee’s taste once your machine is squeaky clean and running good as new!

I’ll go into more detail on cleaning a Bunn coffee maker with white vinegar below if you’d like a step-by-step tutorial.

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How do you clean a Bunn coffee maker without vinegar?

Some people really hate the smell of vinegar. Although it will be rinsed from your coffee maker, there are other solutions if you would rather use another product.

Your first choice is alternative homemade cleaners using items likely already in your household, such as:

You can also purchase a cleaning product made specifically for descaling from most grocery stores. Be sure to follow the directions on the packaging if you use this method, as every product works a little bit differently.

I’ll go over how to descale your Bunn coffee maker more in-depth in the steps below if you need extra help.

Supplies You’ll Need To Clean A Bunn Coffee Maker

How To Clean A Bunn Coffee Maker (12 Steps)

Step 1: Complete a basic clean

Before you begin deep-cleaning, or descaling, your machine, I recommend giving it a quick basic clean first.

Remove the filter and carafe and give both a good wash with soap and water, or run them through the dishwasher. Then, wipe down the outside of the coffee maker with a damp cloth.

Do not wipe down any parts of the inner machine until you have unplugged it and allowed it to cool completely from its last use.

Step 2: Unplug the machine

The last step before you begin to descale your Bunn coffee maker is to unplug the machine. If you’ve recently made coffee, wait until the coffee maker has cooled completely before you continue to the next step.

These safety precautions are important to prevent electrocution or burns. 

Step 3: Remove the spray head and brew funnel

Next, begin the deep-cleaning process by removing the brew funnel and spray head. These parts can be found above the carafe and should be easy to unscrew and remove with your hands.

Step 4: Clean the spray head, funnel, and tube using the Bunn deliming tool

Your Bunn coffee maker should have come with its own deliming tool. If you can’t find it, you can buy another or use a zip tie or toothpick for this step.

You’ll likely notice limescale buildup on these parts. Use the tool to get into all the crevices of the spray head and remove this buildup, rinsing excess debris in the sink when necessary.

Then, insert the tool into the spray head tube and move it around to break up any deposits inside. Again, rinse your tool as needed or use a wipe to remove excess debris.

Rinse the funnel with soap and water. This is also a good time to wash any additional parts your coffee maker may have, although I have covered the parts for most Bunn coffee machines in this step.

Once everything is clean and you’re not seeing any more limescale on your tool, proceed to the next step.

Step 5: Put the machine back together and plug it in

Now that the spray head, tube, and funnel are clean, reattach them to your Bunn coffee maker. When everything is in place, plug the machine back into the electrical socket so that you can run it for the next steps.

Step 6: Mix vinegar and water, or another descaling solution

Next, you need to mix your descaling solution.

If you’re using white vinegar, mix 1 part vinegar with 2 parts water. If using another solution, follow the instructions on the label or our recommendations for homemade mixes listed above.

Step 7: Pour the vinegar and water into the water reservoir

Now, it’s time to pour your descaling mixture into the water reservoir. Be sure to replace your carafe during this step as well so that the solution has something to run off into when you turn on the machine.

Step 8: Run a cycle with your descaler

Then, run a cycle with your descaler just as you would to normally make your coffee (but without the coffee grounds!). 

You’ll likely notice more limescale buildup coming through the machine at this point as it is fully removed from all parts of the machine.

Step 9: Rinse the carafe

Once the initial cleaning cycle is finished, dump and rinse the carafe so that it’s ready to be refilled.

Step 10: Run rinse cycles until clean

Repeat steps 6 and 7 using plain water instead of your descaler mix. Continue until the machine is thoroughly cleaned and the water comes back free of both limescale and vinegar.

Step 11: Clean carafe with soap and water

Once your water is coming out pure, clean your carafe with mild dish soap and water to remove any debris or descaler that may be remaining inside.

Step 12: Replace carafe and filter

Lastly, replace the carafe and filter and clean any debris from your countertops. You’re officially finished, so go ahead and brew a pot of coffee to celebrate!

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