All Around Guide on How to Clean a Bunn Coffee Maker

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You will never have your coffee right all the time if you have a dirty coffee maker. No matter how you look at it, brewed coffee is one of the most delicate drinks to prepare. A perfect brewed cup of coffee is the result of perfect preparation conditions. In fact, one huge factor is the coffee maker itself. I for one own a Bunn Coffee Maker and I am always with the coffee it brews. There are however circumstances where I get funky-tasting coffee and that’s when I know that my coffee maker needs a good cleaning. I’ve compiled a guide on how to clean a Bunn Coffee Maker for fellow users and new users so we can all enjoy good coffee.

There is a high probability that you won’t be able to clean your coffee maker often. It’s actually one of the appliances that’s often used but barely gets cleaned. Let’s change that horrible habit and fill our cups with smooth, brewed coffee anytime we want.

Quick Clean: Cleaning the Coffee Maker Between Uses

Most of us just dump out the coffee grounds, give the filter a rinse and just pop in a fresh batch of grounds in the coffee maker. In the past, I get pretty lazy in giving my coffee maker a good clean and resort to the dump, rinse and use method. In fact, I’m pretty sure that most people have that same habit of mine. Whether I am running late for work or just plain lazy, I realized that it’s the wrong way of doing things. And because of such a habit, I end up with a sour of batch of coffee from time to time. The sour taste wasn’t because of the coffee going stale or the grind being too fine, it’s simply because of a dirty coffee maker. To avoid this, the instructions below would assist you in cleaning your Bunn Coffee Maker appropriately:

Glass Carafe Care 1: Washing by Hand

glass carafe maintenance

What you need:

  • Mild dishwashing soap
  • Washcloth

How to do it:

  1. First, rinse the carafe with warm running water.
  2. Dilute two drops of liquid soap in 1-2 cups of water, dip a washcloth into the solution and use it to clean the carafe.
  3. Wipe the inside of the carafe well, especially the spout. Brewed coffee has natural oils and coffee residue that would often stick to the spout so make sure you give it a good rubbing.
  4. After rinse the washcloth to remove the soap and then wipe the carafe once more.
  5. Once you’re done wiping the carafe, give it a good rinse under warm running water and flip it upside down on a drying rack to let the water drip once you’re done.
  6. Once dried, give the carafe another wipe using a clean and dry cloth before putting it back into the coffee maker.

NOTE: Never use an abrasive scouring or scrubbing pad. You also don’t need steel wool to remove the coffee residue. Even if the coffee residue is somewhat oily, it will easily come off using a washcloth.

Glass Carafe Care 2: Washing in the Dishwasher

washing glass carafe in dishwasher

What You Need:

  • Dishwasher
  • Mild dishwashing liquid
  • Paper towel

How to Do It:

  1. First, wipe the oily residue stuck on the sides of the carafe with a paper towel.
  2. After, flip the carafe upside down and carefully place the carafe inside the dishwasher.
  3. Turn on the dishwasher and leave it to work on your dirty dishes.
  4. Once the dishwasher’s work is done, remove the carafe immediately and put it back into the coffee maker.

NOTE: The Bunn Coffee Maker carafe and filter are dishwasher safe, except the lid. Just make sure to put them on the top rack and set it under a normal wash cycle. Make sure that the carafe lid is removed to avoid getting it damaged.

Thermal Carafe Care: Quick Clean

The thermal carafe is just as fragile as the glass carafe. Though it is made to last longer, the thermal carafe has more nooks and crannies to clean.

What You Need:

  • Mild dishwashing soap
  • Washcloth
  • Toothpick

How to Do It:

cleaning thermal carafe
  1. Take the carafe apart by removing the lid by turning it counterclockwise.
  2. Once the lid pops off the decanter, remove the valve. Remove the valve from the opening by pulling up the edges. Just give it a little nudge.
  3. The valve has a rubber seal that is detachable. Simply separate the rubber seal from the valve to wash it thoroughly.
  4. Fill a basin or bowl with water and dilute a few drops of mild dishwashing detergent.
  5. Dip the washcloth into the solution and wipe the lid and the valve properly to soap them up.
  6. Use the toothpick to pick out some of the gunk that got stuck on the lid and on other small holes around the spout of the carafe.
  7. Pour the soapy water in the decanter and push the washcloth inside.
  8. With your palm, cover the opening of the decanter and give the carafe a good shake. Don’t forget to soap the exterior of the carafe as well.
  9. Flip the decanter upside down to drain the soapy water and pull out the washcloth.
  10. Once finished, rinse the washcloth to thoroughly remove the soap.
    Under running water, rinse the lid, the valve, and the carafe using the washcloth for a good clean.
  11. Carefully place them on the drying rack until they are completely dry, especially the inside of the decanter.
  12. Realign the valve and its rubber seal and press it back onto the carafe by aligning it back into its hole.
  13. Once completely clean, put the carafe back on the coffee maker.


  • Never use strong scented dishwashing soap. The scent or smell will stick and linger inside the carafe and transmit it into the coffee.
  • Never soak the carafe in soapy water. If you let it soak, the soap will harden and stick to the walls of the carafe. Since a thermal carafe is not see through, you won’t be able to tell whether or not the carafe has mineral or soap build up inside. When washing the carafe, always rinse it after lathering it up with soap.

Coffee Maker Weekly Cleanup

As a coffee lover, I drink at least three cups of coffee a day. That may be too much for most of you but that’s just how much I love my cup of joe. I recommend that you wash your cleaner at least once a week to prevent any build up that will form on any parts of your coffee maker.

What You Need:

  • Dishwashing soap
  • Toothpick
  • Bottle brush
  • Clean cloth or paper towel

How to Do It:

bunn coffee maker care

Step 1: Open the head of the coffee maker and take out the filter.

Step 2: Add two teaspoons of soap on the filter. If you have a disposable filter, just add two teaspoons of soap. If you have a reusable filter, put a paper filter on top and add two teaspoons of soap on top to keep the soap from directly touching the fine mesh of the reusable filter and funnel. The paper filter will prevent the soap from depositing into the funnel.

Step 3: Replace the filter in the coffee maker.

Step 4: Pour some cold water over the filter until the liquid soap dissolves. Keep pouring water until there is no more soap left.

NOTE: Keep the carafe on the coffee maker or put a bowl on the canister to catch the soapy water from the filter.

Step 5: Turn on the brewer and let the water from the water tank wash and rinse the soap off the filter.

Step 6: Once the filter is thoroughly rinsed, remove it and discard the paper filter or the disposable filter. Give the filter another rinse under running water.

Step 7: Dry the filter or the funnel thoroughly and put it back into the canister. For a coffee maker that uses a disposable filter, replace the filter with a new one and put it back into the coffee maker.

Step 8: Using a toothpick, dig into the tiny holes or small areas where coffee residue or gunk deposited.

Step 9: Use the bottle brush ( a baby bottle brush will do) and brush the inside of the coffee maker.

Step 10: Pour cold water to rinse out the gunk that you’ve just brushed off the coffee maker.

Step 11: Wipe the inside of the coffee maker with a clean cloth or a paper towel to dry it off. Once dried, put the filter back into place and close the lid.

REMEMBER: This is a good way of properly ensuring that your Bunn Coffee Maker is clean. This will also help improve the performance of your coffee maker and reduce the possibility of it breaking down in the future due to gunk build up.

Hard Clean: Overall Cleaning of the Coffee Maker

Cleaning your Bunn Coffee Maker doesn’t just refer to the carafe. That’s just a third of what needs to be cleaned up. There are two main areas of your coffee maker that needs a thorough cleaning: the water tank and the filtration system.

Unfortunately, we often use tap water to fill up our water tank. Tap water undergoes a cleaning process and will often have minerals with it. The minerals will harden over time and stick to the walls of the tank. Not only that but the mineral build up will also form on the sides of the carafe and the interior of the coffee maker.

NOTE: Give your coffee maker a hard clean-up at least once every three months. This will give you freshly brewed cups of coffee and prevent any real mineral deposits inside your coffee maker and prolong the lifespan of your coffee brewer.

Cleaning the Filter

Some funnels that hold the filter will still catch the mineral deposit or some coffee residue and stains. Once this build up stays too long, it lingers and hardens. This happens especially if you fail to wash your filter every week.

Vinegar Method

What You Need:

  • A big bowl or small basin
  • Vinegar
  • Paper towel
  • Toothpick
  • toothbrush

How to do it:

using vinegar to clean the coffee filter
  1. Open the lid of the coffee maker open and take out the funnel.
  2. Discard the reusable paper filter.
  3. With a paper towel, wipe off any dirt that can be wiped off.
  4. Try to pry off some of the gunk with a toothpick but do not force the hardened gunk off. You might end up scratching the funnel or the coffee maker. To clean the mesh, use a toothbrush to remove the fine coffee grounds stuck on the filter.
  5. On the bowl or basin, pour a pint of vinegar (you can put more or less depending on the size of the funnel) and soak the funnel. Make sure that the funnel is submerged.
  6. Leave the funnel to soak in the vinegar for at least two hours. A thicker build-up may require an extra hour.
  7. After two hours, remove the funnel and wash it with soap and water. There are instances I wash the filter basket twice to get rid of the vinegar smell.
  8. Let the funnel dry on a drying rack and wipe it clean with a paper towel.
  9. Put a new filter on the funnel and put the funnel back into the canister.

NOTE: Some would recommend melting the gunk off the funnel using baking soda and vinegar. I personally do not recommend this chemical mix because it is an abrasive wash. Most Bunn Coffee Maker Funnels are made with plastic and would end up becoming brittle if it has frequent exposure to abrasive cleaners. Baking soda and vinegar can easily melt the hardened residue and stain away but will cause harm to your coffee maker.

Coca-Cola Method

Surprisingly enough, coca cola is a very well known cleaner. And it also doesn’t break the plastic down as compared to baking soda and vinegar.

coca cola method

What You Need:

  • A big bowl or small basin
  • Coca-cola

How to do it:

  1. Open the lid of the coffee maker open and take out the funnel.
  2. Discard the reusable paper filter.
  3. With a paper towel, wipe off any dirt that can be wiped off.
  4. Empty a can of coca-cola in a bowl or basin and soak the funnel. Make sure that the funnel is submerged all the way through.
  5. Leave the funnel to soak in the vinegar for at least an hour. Keep checking on your funnel until the build-up disappears.
  6. After an hour, remove the funnel and wash it with soap and water.
  7. Let the funnel dry on a drying rack and wipe it clean with a paper towel.
  8. Put a new filter on the funnel and put the funnel back into the canister.

Clearing Mineral Deposits from the Water Tank

Over time, prolonged use and the lack of clean up will result in a mineral build-up in your water tank. Oftentimes, many owners of the Bunn Coffee Maker would complain about the failing quality of the coffee maker in brewing coffee when in fact, the reason why the coffee maker isn’t making good brewed coffee as it did before is due to the lack of proper cleanup.

Most would clean up the filter and the carafe but would often forget to clean the inside of the coffee maker. The water tank can be cleaned too. Let me show you how you can clean the water tank properly.

What You Need:

  • 1 liter or quart of Vinegar
  • Old toothbrush
  • Toothpick
cleaning the water tank of bunn coffee maker

How to Do It:

Step 1: Unplug your coffee maker and make sure that your water tank is empty.

Step 2: Pour 1 liter or 1 quart of vinegar inside the water tank. Do not fill the tank with vinegar up until the rim, give at least 2 centimeters of airspace.

Step 3: Cover coffee maker and let the vinegar break down the mineral build up. This will take about two hours. It can take longer if the mineral deposit is quite thick and hard.

Step 4: After two hours, let the vinegar drain out into the carafe or a bowl and dispose of it.

Step 5: Pour cold water into the water tank and slowly run the brewer.

Step 6: Slowly let clean water drip to rinse out the vinegar and dump out the water.

Step 7: Repeat this process until the smell of the vinegar is flushed out.

Step 8: To completely remove all liquid left inside the water tank, carefully grab your coffee maker and just flip it over to pour everything out.

removing the sprayer

Step 9: Remove the sprayer from the coffee maker by turning the spray head clockwise for a quick clean up.

Step 10: With a toothpick, pick out the mineral deposits that are stuck on the spray hear. You can also use an old toothbrush to get coffee stains out.

Step 11: If the coffee stains are too resilient and won’t come off the spray head, put one drop of soap on the tip of the toothbrush and give the spray head a good cleaning.

Step 12: Rinse the spray head under running water as soon as you are finished brushing out the dirt.

Step 13: Dry the spray head and screw it back on the coffee maker.

screw head back

Step 14: Using a sponge, dip it in coke and wipe the exterior of the coffee maker. Leave the coke to dry on the surface of the coffee maker.

Step 15: With a clean damp washcloth, wipe the entire coffee maker clean.

TIP: The taste of vinegar can be hard to remove. In fact, it may even take you about four to five time to rinse off the nasty smell. For a quicker and easy solution, you can also rinse your coffee maker using Coca-Cola. follow the same procedure as I have mentioned above but instead of using one liter of vinegar, use coke instead. It would only require you to rinse your coffee maker once or twice.

NOTE: You can check out this video showing you how to remove the mineral deposits off your water tank.

My Final Thoughts…

There are a lot of ways on how to clean a Bunn Coffee Maker. But out of the many trials and errors I’ve gone through, vinegar and coke are by far the best cleaners. These two chemicals do not harm the coffee maker in any way. To find out more on what things you can use to clean your coffee maker, just click here

Cleaning a coffee maker doesn’t have to be difficult. It is one way of prolonging its lifespan. Just follow my advice and give it a quick clean every week and a good hard cleaning after every three months. With this guide to cleaning your Bunn Coffee Maker, you are guaranteed a good cup of brewed coffee any time of the day.

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