Ninja are known for producing some of the best kitchen appliances on the market and true coffee lovers appreciate the quality of a Ninja coffee bar.
Ninja coffee makers are made with fantastic materials and can last a long time, but only if you maintain them properly. If you aren't cleaning your Ninja coffee bar regularly then it could become damaged, and could even mean you have to replace it.
In this guide we'll explain how to clean it fully, and give you some useful tips and tricks for keeping your Ninja coffee maker in tip top condition.
How To Correctly Clean A Ninja Coffee Maker DIY
Ninja coffee machines range from pod-style, single-cup brewers with a unique brew through lid option, to large 12-cup drip coffee makers. They even have options that combine both brewing methods into an all-in-one coffee maker.
Whichever type of Ninja coffee maker you have, the first indication that it’s time to clean your Ninja is when the unit’s ‘Clean’ light becomes illuminated.
That’s right… Most Ninja coffee makers come with an automatic indicator that tells you exactly when the appliance needs to go through a clean cycle.
Once that Ninja coffee maker clean light turns on, there are two different methods for cleaning the internal mechanisms of your machine:
Deep Cleaning With Vinegar
The first option for cleaning your Ninja coffee bar is to use a DIY white vinegar solution.
It’s best to use distilled white vinegar, not only because it’s an effective cleaning ingredient but also because it's cheap.
Once you have the right cleaning solution, follow these steps:
1. Fill The Reservoir
If you have a 12-cup machine, fill the water reservoir with 16 ounces of white vinegar (up to the travel mug line) and then dilute the white vinegar by adding water to fill up the rest of the reservoir (up to the max fill line).
2. Replace The Carafe In The Coffee Maker
Once you’ve filled the water reservoir up to the max fill line with the white vinegar-water solution, place the carafe back into its docking position under the coffee brew basket. Make sure it's in the Ninja Coffee Maker properly.
3. Select The Cleaning Option
Then, select the full carafe size, look through the various brew cycles and push the ‘Clean’ button on the machine’s console and let it work its magic.
Most Ninja coffee makers take about 8 minutes to go through a full clean cycle, but yours may take longer depending on the model.
During the cleaning process, be sure not to push any buttons or remove the carafe as this can disrupt the clean cycle of your Ninja coffee bar.
4. Empty The Vinegar Cleaning Solution
Once the cleaning cycle is complete, remove the carafe and empty the water-vinegar solution. Clean the carafe and the brew basket with warm soapy water, rinse it well, and do the same for the coffee bar water reservoir.
5. Flush With Clean Water
In Ninja’s official cleaning instructions, it's recommended that you do a flush cycle at least twice with fresh water only.
It's best to use the carafe classic brew option, and this should help to remove the white vinegar and descaling solution and leave it sparkling clean.
Cleaning With A Descaling Solution
If you prefer to clean your Ninja coffee bar without vinegar, the other option is to use the brand’s official descaling solution.
This is the more expensive cleaning method, but the solution is specifically designed to remove buildup within Ninja coffee bars.
According to Ninja, the descaler “removes naturally occurring calcium buildup and other impurities that could affect the flavor of your coffee and the performance of your brewer.”
Follow these steps:
1. Dilute The Descaling Solution
Just as you would with a vinegar-water solution, add the descaling solution to tap water to create the specific cleaning solution for this cleaning and descaling process.
To find the right ratio of descaling solution to water, it’s recommended that you check the bottle’s concentration instructions (you can use a coffee scoop for measurements).
2. Start The Cleaning Cycle
Add the to the machine’s reservoir up to the max fill line, and select the ‘Clean’ button. You don't need to press the 'Clean' button more than once, and don't touch any other buttons while the descaling cycle is running.
3. Empty The Descaling Solution
Pour out the solution from the glass carafe and clean the Ninja coffee bar brew basket.
4. Flush With Fresh Water
Run the clean cycle with clean water to remove all the descaling solution from the Ninja coffee bar. You may need to run this more than once to get rid of all the remaining cleaning solution.
Recommended Regular Cleaning Routine
In addition to using either the vinegar or descaling solution when the clean light indicator turns on, it’s also a good idea to do a quick clean of your coffee machine after each brew, including the removable components.
To do this, just rinse out the carafe, the water reservoir, and the removable coffee filter brew basket with warm water. These components are all dishwasher safe, so you can safely wash them in your dishwasher.
If you have a model with a hot plate then it's important to clean that too using a cloth, soapy water, and a bit of lemon juice (the acid from the lemon juice kills germs).
What Happens If You Don't Clean Your Ninja Coffee Maker?
Every time you brew coffee, the coffee grounds leave behind a residue, and the water (especially if it's hard water) can leave behind lime and calcium deposits.
Over time, this residue and mineral scale deposits start to build up, which can negatively affect the way your coffee tastes, and produce an unpleasant odor.
Plus, the water won’t be able to flow through the coffee grounds as it should, and this can even result in a leaking coffee maker.
More importantly, though, failing to clean your coffee maker can have a negative impact on your health.
Bacteria and mold can thrive within the appliance; it’s warm, damp, and dark, which is the trifecta of ideal conditions for bacteria to live and grow.
Luckily, you can prevent all of these things from happening and have a better tasting coffee by keeping your Ninja coffee machine clean.
How To Clean The Ninja Coffee Bar Removable Parts
The steps above focused on how to clean a Ninja coffee maker with fixed parts, but it’s also a smart idea to give the machine’s removable parts a deep clean as well.
Depending on the Ninja model you’re using, you might have extra accessories, like a milk frother or coffee pod compartment.
Here are some guidelines and a few hacks for cleaning each of your appliance’s removable parts properly:
Ninja Coffee Maker Clean Cycle Is Not Working: What To Do
One of the most common problems experienced by Ninja users is that the Ninja coffee machine clean light won’t go off, even after the cleaning cycle is complete.
There are a few explanations for this, but it usually has to do with a calibration issue of the coffee maker’s electronic components.
In order to recalibrate the machine so that the clean light will stop illuminating, try unplugging it from the outlet.
Allow it to remain unplugged for at least 5 minutes, then plug it back in and reset the appliance to give it a fresh start.
If that doesn’t work, the issue probably has to do with the cleanliness of the machine itself.
By that, we mean that the coffee maker hasn't been properly cleaned, even after a full cleaning cycle. If that's the case, you'll want to try going through 2 or 3 full cleaning cycles to get rid of the buildup of coffee residue and mineral deposits.
Frequently Asked Ninja Coffee Cleaning Questions
Can I use CLR to clean my Ninja coffee maker?
Yes, it’s possible to use a CLR and water solution to clean your coffee maker. To do this, mix 1 cup CLR with 8 cups water, add the solution to the water reservoir, and run the machine through an entire brewing cycle. Once that's complete, make sure to flush your coffee maker by brewing 2-3 batches of fresh water.
Why doesn't the clean light go off on the Ninja coffee bar?
This might be related to an issue with the coffee maker’s electronic system. If that’s the case, you should be able to fix it by unplugging and resetting the machine.
How do I reset my Ninja coffee maker after cleaning?
To reset your Ninja, unplug the machine from the wall out and wait at least 5 minutes before plugging it back in. Once you’ve plugged it in, reset the clock - that’s it!
Why is there mold in my Ninja coffee maker?
Mold in a Ninja coffee maker - or any coffee maker for that matter - generally means you’re not cleaning it regularly enough (or well enough). Deep cleaning at least once a month (or every other month for less frequent coffee drinkers) is recommended.
You can use an official descaling solution or a DIY vinegar solution to clean your Ninja coffee maker as both will work well.
The real key is getting into a habit of cleaning it regularly, at least once a month, and not just waiting until the clean light indicator comes on.
Hopefully this guide has shown you how to clean your Ninja coffee bar properly, and you'll be able to have great coffee at home for years to come.