How To Clean A Bunn Coffee Maker: Tips and Tricks for a Cleaner BUNN

how to clean a bunn coffee maker

You love a good cup of joe; it’s what you look forward to every morning. In fact, it was you that checked out those BUNN coffee maker reviews and convinced everyone that you needed one. But all appliances get dirty at some point, and it’s essential that you don’t neglect your coffee maker when it’s time to clean your kitchen. 

Looks can be deceiving when it comes to your Bunn coffee maker. Sometimes you might not even realize that your coffee maker needs cleaning, as there could be mineral deposits building up on the inside while the exterior appears immaculate. A dirty coffee maker can quickly become a breeding ground for bacteria if not cleaned frequently. 

Whether you’re in charge of the morning coffee at your office or you’re a serious caffeine junkie at home, you need to understand how to clean a Bunn coffee maker. Keep reading to learn why it’s important to clean your brew machine, how to know when it’s time to clean it, and walk through a step-by-step guide on how to keep your Bunn coffee maker sanitary and pristine on the inside and out. 

Why You Should Clean Your Coffee Maker

cleaning your bunn

There are plenty of reasons why you should clean your coffee maker on a regular basis. From a shorter brew to fewer bacteria, you can significantly benefit from a purified machine. Here are a few: 

  • Faster Brew Time 

When mineral deposits and scaling builds up within your coffee maker, it can back up the water flow. This leads to a slower drip and a longer wait time for your coffee. However, a clean machine will allow a steady flow of water and give you a quick cup of coffee to start your day.

  • Proper Function

As previously mentioned, the scaling buildup can hinder the flow of water necessary to brew your coffee. When the water can’t flow, it leads to problems with the machinery. A clean coffee maker will perform nicely and function correctly. 

  • Better Tasting Coffee 

No one likes a bitter cup of coffee, and filthy coffee makers are often the culprits. Sometimes dirty machines can damage the internal thermometer. When the temperature isn’t hot enough, it can leave you with a less than flavorful experience. 

  • Longer Lifespan 

Cleaning your Bunn coffee maker will ultimately protect the machinery, which will allow you the opportunity to enjoy it for years to come! 

  • Lower Risk of Bacteria

Your coffee maker utilizes both heat and moisture when it brews your coffee. This makes your machine a prime spot for germs, yeast, and bacterial growth (sometimes even mold). This can cause allergic reactions to those with allergies and can even cause infections. 

The Top Places Where Germs Lurk in Coffee Makers 

bunn cleaning

Did you know that your coffee maker reservoir is one of the dirtiest areas in your kitchen or office space? Coffee makers can even host more bacteria than some bathroom items. Shocking, right? Not when you think about the elements at play: moisture, heat, and frequent use. 

If you’re in an office setting, you’ll be unpleasantly surprised to know that those disposable coffee cups you (and everyone else in your office) use every day are crawling with germs. Everyone who drinks coffee will end up touching them, so it makes sense when you consider all the grimey hands that have infected the cups. 

The coffee pot handle is also one of the dirtiest parts of the machine. Whether you’re in an office with a shared coffee maker or at home sharing with your roommate, family, or significant other, the handle is a place where germs thrive. 

Helpful Tips to Prevent Coffee Maker Germs

  • Clean out the coffee grounds, trash the filter after each use, and dry with a paper towel or clean cloth.
  • Rinse and soak the carafe in warm soapy water overnight for a clean brew in the morning.
  • Open the top cover of your coffee maker to air it out and dry the moisture that could cause mold. 
  • Throw your carafe and basket in the dishwasher after each use for a more thorough clean. 
  • Disinfect the handle after each use either with a disinfectant or warm soapy water. 

How to Tell If Your Coffee Maker Needs To Be Cleaned

dirty bunn coffee maker

If you pay attention, you’ll find numerous signs indicating your coffee maker needs a thorough cleaning. However, it’s best practice to get into a coffee maker cleaning routine and do it every time you brew. Ignoring these signals can result in a broken machine and poor coffee taste. 

Here are a few common things you should watch out for:

  • Your coffee tastes terrible. 
  • There are stains on the inside of the coffee pot. 
  • You wait a long time for your coffee to finish brewing. 
  • You notice chalky material anywhere on the inside of your machine. 
  • You hear and see the water sputtering rather than flowing freely into the carafe. 
  • Your coffee maker isn’t producing the usual amount of coffee. 

How to Clean a Bunn Coffee Maker

cleaning coffee grounds out of filter

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.

Standard Cleaning Method 

Below are the required steps in cleaning your Bunn coffee maker through the standard method. This process should be done daily or whenever you use your machine. 

Step 1: Turn the Machine Off

Don’t start cleaning until you unplug the machine. This is an important step, as you don’t want to risk electrocution. You’ll be using water during the cleaning process, and there may be water still in the carafe or machine. 

Step 2: Remove Coffee Grounds and Coffee Filter 

Dump the coffee grounds and filter (if you have one) into the trash and rinse out the basket to eliminate any remaining grounds.

Step 3: Wipe Down the Exterior

Take a soft cloth and dip it into some warm water mixed with a tiny amount of unscented or mildly scented dish detergent. Wipe down the exterior of your machine. Then, take another damp cloth without soap and wipe your device to get rid of any soap residue.

Step 4: Clean and Soak the Carafe

Sometimes you’ll see brown rings inside the carafe. This is normal and can be removed with a good soak in some soapy water. Take a washcloth and wipe around the inside of the carafe and fill it with warm soapy water. Let it sit for a few hours, rinse, and allow it to dry. 

Note: You can also run the carafe through your dishwasher, wash with baking soda, or clean with a vinegar solution. 

Step 5: Clean the Spray Nozzle

Coffee makers usually come with a spray nozzle where the water trickles out. Disassemble the spray head and examine it for any obstructions. You can use a small object such as a toothpick to remove the mineral deposit or coffee grounds. Then, use a cloth to wipe down the nozzle with mild dish soap and rinse it off with some warm water. 

Step 6: Clean the Spray Tube

Some Bunn models come with a metal or plastic device designed to clean the spray tube. Simply remove the brew funnel and the spray nozzle first. After this, insert the cleaning tool into the tube and push it up and down while slowly rotating it. Once you’ve removed all deposits, reassemble the brew funnel and reattach the spray nozzle.

Deep Cleaning Method

deep cleaning bunn machine

Can you remember the last time you descaled your coffee machine? Or maybe you’re someone who doesn’t even know what that means. Don’t worry; this is a no-judgment zone!

If you use filtered water, mineral water, bottled water, or water from the tap, you’ll eventually get a build-up of minerals like calcium and magnesium on the interior of your machine (usually close to the thermometer). Descaling is the process of removing this chalky buildup called “limescale.” 

When the minerals in the water heat up, thick layers of oxide begin to form that can backup your water flow, reduce the flavor of your coffee, and over time, damage the machinery. You might encounter issues with heating, clogging, or simply an unpleasant cup of coffee (and that’s the last thing you want after waiting patiently for it to brew). 

Deep cleaning is certainly not an everyday thing, but you should try to do it every three months or so if you use your coffee maker regularly. Here are a few easy steps you can follow to learn how to deep clean your Bunn coffee maker: 

Step 1: Mix Your Solution 

Take around ½ to ⅓ cup of vinegar and ½ to ⅔ cup of distilled water (this depends on the type of Bunn model you own) and mix it together in a bowl. 

Step 2: Start Your Brew 

Pour the vinegar and distilled water mixture into the water reservoir. Then, begin a brewing cycle. Let the carafe fill with water, pour out the solution, and turn off the coffee maker. Allow the solution to soak in the reservoir for around two hours or so to eliminate limescale from the interior effectively. 

Step 3: Wipe Down the Spray Nozzle and Tube

Unscrew the spray nozzle, wipe it down with a damp, soapy cloth, and use a toothpick or other small utensil to remove deposits. Then, rinse with warm water. Clean the spray tube with your metal or plastic deliming tool as mentioned in the standard cleaning instructions above. 

Step 4: Start Brew #2

Reassemble all the parts (spray head and spray tube). Turn on the machine and fill your water reservoir with distilled water. Brew another cycle. Doing this will eliminate any vinegar odor left behind by the solution. Keep repeating this process until you can’t smell any odor anymore. 

Best Cleaning Solutions

cleaning solutions

Lemon juice, baking soda, and vinegar are three rockstar cleaning ingredients that are safe and effective to use on your machine. Mild or unscented dish soap is also an excellent option, although it should be used to wipe down the exterior of the machine or the carafe. 

Take a look at why these natural products are the best for cleaning coffee makers. 


Lemons are incredibly acidic and are known to be one of nature’s most potent sanitization tools. Its antibacterial properties allow it to eradicate sediments within your coffee maker and erase hard water stains. It’ll also leave behind a pleasant citrus scent, which is a great bonus! 


Vinegar is a well-known cleaning agent, perfect for heavily-used appliances such as a coffee maker. It’s able to decalcify the interior of your machine, remove residue, and disinfect the machine simultaneously. 

Baking Soda 

Baking soda is also a popular option to use when cleaning your coffee maker, as it’s cheap and can be used around the house for a variety of purposes. This cleaning tool kills bacteria, eliminates odors, and removes stains on the coffee pot. 

There are a variety of ways you can clean your coffee maker, and you can even combine these cleaning agents to create a more effective solution. One option is to mix equal parts lemon juice with equal parts baking soda. This deodorizing and disinfecting paste will clean your machine in no time, leaving you with a fresh coffee maker and peace of mind. 

Another viable option is to mix around ½ cup of vinegar with around ⅛ cup of baking soda (amounts may vary and depend upon your specific model). The longer you let these two powerful cleaning products sit, the better! You’ll know it’s working once you witness the fizzing action. 

What to Avoid When Cleaning Your Coffee Maker

how to clean bunn coffee maker

Although it’s a wonderful thing to take the initiative and get into the habit of cleaning your coffee maker, there are a few things you should avoid. 

  • Don’t use cleaning products with chemicals. Doing so may hurt the machine and yourself. 
  • Don’t start the cleaning process without first referring to your Bunn coffee maker’s instruction manual, as there could be some specific directions included that you don’t want to miss. 
  • Don’t disassemble any parts not listed in this article, as it may cause more confusion (and more of a mess) than initially intended. 
  • Don’t use soaps with intense scents, as this can transfer to the coffee grounds and ruin the taste. 
  • Don’t clean your machine when it’s plugged in or still hot, as this can cause injury. 

Final Thoughts

clean bunn

We’ve walked you through the basic steps of how to clean a Bunn coffee maker. Hopefully, you’re feeling confident enough to take on the task. Now that you understand the process, you’ll be well on your way to a sparkling, squeaky clean machine and delicious cups of coffee! 

Remember that the more you clean your coffee maker, the less deep cleaning you’ll have to do and the longer you’ll be able to enjoy your machine. 

Natural cleaning ingredients are always the safest way to clean machines such as this, as they can disinfect without using harmful chemicals that damage your machine and your body. And keep in mind that one of the most critical safety tips is to make sure you unplug your coffee maker before cleaning. Safety first! 

With regular maintenance and an occasional deep descale, your Bunn coffee maker will continue to offer beloved caffeine at your beckon call. 

Author Profile Picture

Parker Russell is a coffee professional and the founder of Black Ink Coffee. As an expert in the field of coffee roasting, cupping (professional Q-Grader) and brewing, Parker has established Black Ink as brand that fuels the grind of dreamers.