How To Clean A Bunn Coffee Maker (Guide For Popular Models)

When you finally find that perfect coffee maker, you never want to let it go. We know it means as much to you as it does to us by the fact that you invested in a BUNN coffee maker.

BUNN coffee makers are extremely popular for coffee-lovers, making the sort of great-tasting coffee that sets you up for an energized day. What you may not realize is that to keep your coffee tasting perfect and to ensure the longevity and quality of coffee brewing, it is essential that you properly maintain it.  

If you’re reading this, you’re probably here to know how to clean a Bunn coffee maker! Don't worry – we've got you covered. 

Many people don’t realize the importance of a well-maintained coffee machine. Did you know that your coffee machine reservoir is one of the dirtiest places in your kitchen? Coffee makers can host more bacteria than some bathroom items. Shocking, right? Not when you consider the elements at play: heat, moisture, and frequent use.  

Cleaning your coffee machine properly has a host of important benefits, including:  

  • Lower Risk of Bacteria
    Coffee machines use both moisture and heat, which are the conditions needed for bacteria to thrive. Yeast and even mold can also build-up, which is especially bad news for those with allergies. In fact, a 2011 study by NSF International found that 50% of household coffee makers had yeast and mold in the reservoir.  
  • Better Tasting Coffee 
    Clean coffee makers make the best coffee. If your coffee machine is dirty, it can damage the internal thermometer, which leaves you with a bitter-tasting cup of joe. 
  • Longer Lifespan
    BUNN coffee machines can be expensive, so you want them to last a long time! Proper maintenance of your machine means you can enjoy great-tasting coffee for years to come!
  • Faster Brew Time
    Mineral deposits can back up the flow of water. Conversely, a clean machine will ensure a steady flow of water and a speedy cup of coffee to start your morning off right. 
  • Proper Function
    Mineral build-up affects water flow, which leads to problems within the machine. A clean coffee maker ensures ultimate functionality. When it comes to coffee, the little things matter!
How To Clean A Bunn Coffee Maker

How to Tell If Your BUNN Coffee Maker Needs To Be Cleaned 

The best practice is to clean your coffee maker every time you brew a coffee. However, there are some key signs that your machine needs tending to: 

  • The coffee is taking longer to brew.
  • Your machine is producing less coffee than usual.  
  • Stains on the inside of the coffee pot.  
  • The water sputters rather than flowing freely.  
  • The coffee tastes bitter. 
  • A chalky material on the inside of your machine.  

Best Cleaning Solutions For Your Bunn Coffee Maker 

Coffee aficionados like us only want the best for our much-loved machines. Natural products such as lemon juice, baking soda, and vinegar are the best things for your BUNN coffee machine. Let’s delve into why.  

lemon for cleaning bunn coffee maker
  • Lemon
    Lemons are one of nature’s most powerful sanitization tools due to their high acidity and natural antibacterial properties. It has the ability to eradicate sediments in your machine and remove water stains while leaving behind pleasant citrus scents! 
  • Vinegar
    Vinegar is another well-known cleaning agent. It will decalcify your BUNN machine, disinfect it, and remove residue. 
  • Baking Soda
    Baking soda removes stains, eliminates odors, and kills bacteria, making it another great choice for your BUNN coffee maker. 
  • Soap
    We would advise against using washing-up liquid or regular kitchen soap as the residue could affect the taste of your coffee. However, there are some gentle natural soaps that could work. 
  • Combination
    Each of these ingredients comes with its own benefits, so combining these cleaning agents could make for the best solution. One option is to mix equal parts lemon juice and baking soda; this combination will disinfect your machine and leave it smelling fresh.  Another great option is to mix ½ cup of vinegar with ⅛ cup of baking soda and allow your mixture to sit until it fizzes. This will decalcify and disinfect your machine while removing any stains.  

How To Clean Your Bunn Coffee Maker (DIY Guide) 

It is important to note that cleaning methods can differ between different BUNN models. Your model should have come with a manual that you can refer to.  

However, this guide should cover most machines, so let's look at how to clean your BUNN coffee maker.  

Standard Cleaning Method  

The standard cleaning method should be done weekly if you're an everyday coffee drinker. 

  • Step 1: Turn The Machine Off 
    The first and most important step is to turn off your machine and unplug it. This is essential to avoid electrocution, remember water and electrics don't mix!  
  • Step 2: Remove Coffee Grounds and Coffee Filter  
    Either dump your coffee grounds, or find a creative use for them, and rinse out the basket to get rid of any lingering grounds.  
  • Step 3: Wipe Down the Exterior 
    Use a soft cloth and your cleaning agent to wipe down your machine. Then go back over it with a different cloth, just using water.  
  • Step 4: Clean and Soak the Carafe 
    When you drink coffee every day, brown stains in the carafe are inevitable. However, they can be removed with a good wipe down. If you have stubborn stains, then leave your carafe to soak for a few hours, rinse off, and leave it to air dry.  
  • Step 5: Run Water Through Your Machine 
    Now you should run a few cycles of water through your machine without adding any coffee. If the machine is particularly dirty, add some lemon or vinegar to the water you are running through the machine. In particularly bad cases or when you have neglected to clean your machine for a long time, you might want to look at getting some hard-scale coffee cleaning solution to add to your tank during the cleaning process. These mixtures usually contain some more hardcore chemicals for cleaning up those grubby machines. 
  • Step 6: Cleaning The Spray Head 
    During regular use, your spray head can become clogged up with natural mineral deposits from your water. This is especially true for those that have hard water. To clean the spray head, make sure it has cooled down, and your coffee machine is disconnected. Net, take the de-liming tool from your original kit and slide it inside the spray head to loosen any deposits.  

Deep Cleaning Method / Descaling Method 

Unfortunately, over time, your coffee machine is going to suffer from a build-up of mineral deposits. This will happen faster if you use regular tap water and slower if you use filtered water, but it will still happen. 

This build-up leads to a chalky-looking substance forming on your machine's parts, and over time, this is going to start ruining your coffee or interfering with how your machine works. 

This is what makes deep cleaning your machine such an important task. During the deep cleaning process, you will descale your machine, which removes this mineral build-up. If you do this regularly, it should be a quick and easy task. However, for those that have never done a deep clean, you might be looking at a tougher job. 

We recommend that you follow these steps at least once every 3 months. 

  • 1: Mix Your Solution  
    The first step is to create the mixture you will use to deep clean your machine. To do this, you need vinegar and distilled water. Mix it at a rate of 1:1 until you have around 1 cup of solution. 
  • 2: Start Your Brew  
    The next step is to take that mixture you have created and empty it into the water reservoir of your machine. Next, start the machine's brewing cycle and wait for the carafe to fill up with water and sink into the inners of the machine. Once one brewing cycle has finished, you need to let the machine sit for 2 hours. If you are doing this for the first time, you might want to run the mixture through the machine twice. 
  • 3: Wipe Down the Spray Nozzle and Tube 
    Now we are going to look at the spray nozzle. To clean the nozzle, you need a damp cloth, some dish liquid, and a toothpick or sharp object. Rinse the tube down with the cloth and use the toothpick to descale any of the small deposits stuck in the nozzle.  
  • 4: Brew Again 
    Once you have cleaned the inner workings of the nozzle and spray tube, you should reassemble the machine. Once you have reassembled, the next stage is to fill the reservoir with distilled water without vinegar and run another brew cycle. This will remove the vinegar taste and smell as well as any stubborn deposits. If you can still smell vinegar, keep running the cycle with distilled water until you can't smell it anymore. 
bunn coffee maker parts

Frequently Asked Bunn Cleaning Questions

How often do you clean a Bunn coffee maker?  

It’s wise to wash the coffee pot and empty the coffee grounds out of the basket each time you use it. It’s recommended that you do a deep descaling coffee maker cleanse every three months. However, this depends on how much you use it and how much mineral content is in the water you’re using. 

How long to leave vinegar in the Bunn coffee maker?  

15 minutes is the sweet spot before the vinegar taste sinks into the machine. If you accidentally leave the vinegar in too long, fill the machine up with water and run it without coffee for a few cycles. 

What are some things to avoid when cleaning your Bunn coffee maker? 

Avoid using either lemon or vinegar pure; instead, make a 50/50 mixture using water. 

Can I use CLR to clean my Bunn coffee maker? 

Yes, just make sure you get the ratio of 1 part CLR to 8 parts water correct in order to avoid damage. 


There you have it. Now you know how important it is to make sure that you clean your coffee machine and have the steps to do so, we know you will be back to drinking the perfect coffee in no time.