Coffee makers are a staple in the morning routine of most people — and a broken coffee maker? Well, it’s the bane of existence when it’s 5:30 a.m. on a weekday. The smell of freshly brewed coffee brings comfort and joy to our day. However, when they suddenly stop working, it can be disappointing. Recently my coffee grinder stopped working and it threw me for a loop. I was in a rush and couldn’t fix it right away, but I also didn’t have any coffee before I went to work. This recent event is what pushed me to find some easy-peasy tips to keep your coffee station running.
As your product review website, we want it to be clear that we focus on more than simply product reviews; we aim to help you with all things home, with an emphasis in the kitchen.
Don’t worry, though, because there are simple ways to fix your coffee maker. It’s a lot easier than you think. In this article, we will share with you five tips to restore your coffee maker. So, grab yourself a cup of coffee, and let’s get started!
Clean Your Broken Coffee Maker
One of the main reasons coffee makers malfunction is because they haven’t been cleaned properly. If you’ve never cleaned your coffee maker before, it’s time to start. The easiest way to clean your coffee maker is to run a mixture of equal parts vinegar and water through the machine. Doing this once a month will help remove any build-up and residue in the machine, and your coffee will taste better, too.
This is called descaling and helps remove mineral build-up in your machine. And while your water may look clean, there are tons of tiny minerals in it that can lead to a build-up in your heating element. This can lead to clogs and prevent it from working properly and even effect the taste of your coffee.
On new and “fancy” coffee makers, many of them have descaling alerts that let you know when it’s time to clean up your machine. If you have a simpler coffee pot, like I do, you should plan on cleaning it every six months to a year (it depends on your water quality). I’m lucky enough to live in Colorado, an area where the water is clean and has a low mineral content, so I only clean it once a year and haven’t had any problems.
- Descaling Solution
- Keurig Cleaning Pods
- Coffee Maker Cleaner Tablets (Best for a variety of brands)
Replace the Filter of Your Broken Coffee Maker
The coffee filter is an essential part of your coffee maker. It traps coffee grounds and allows you to enjoy a smooth cup of coffee. However, if you’ve been using the same filter for too long, it might be time to replace it. A clogged filter can slow down the flow of water, which might cause your coffee maker to malfunction. Even filters that are lightly rinsed after being used can still have a slight grime that can build up over time. Make sure you are taking the time to clean it properly.
If you are using disposable coffee filters and cannot get your coffee to brew properly there’s a couple of tips to help out. First, is the coffee filter the right size and style for your machine? Just because the product says coffee filter doesn’t mean it’ll work for every coffee maker under the sun. Common issues people have are wrong sized coffee filters, wrong material, and even accidentally stacking a couple filters in their machine. In the early morning you may think you grabbed just one filter, but a small unnoticeable stack of 2-3 filters will slow down your brewing tremendously.
The nice thing about this issue is it really takes five minutes or fewer to fix. Double check your filters, give them a good clean, and make sure the filter is the proper fit for your machine. It’s as easy at that, and if you need some supplies to help out, we have some recommendations for replacing your coffee filter below.
- Basket Coffee Filters (unbleached and natural brown)
- GOLDTONE Reusable 8-12 Cup Basket Coffee Filter
- Breville Espresso Machine Cleaning & Maintenance Kit
- Cuisinart Compatible Coffee Filter Replacement by Pureline – Charcoal Water Filter
Check the Power Source of Your Broken Coffee Maker
Alright. We know it sounds simple, but if your coffee maker doesn’t turn on, the first thing you should check is the power source. Ensure that the power cord is plugged in and that the outlet is working correctly. If the outlet is not working, try to plug your coffee maker into another outlet to see if it turns on.
This one is a really simple one too, but many people might get frustrated when one day their machine worked, but now it is not. Take a step back, check your power source, make sure your breaker is working, and give it another try. Anytime I’m having issues with power/outlets, I always move to another outlet that is currently working and I determine whether it’s the outlet or my machine. I hope this helps you as you try to find your coffee machine issue.
Replace the Heating Element of Your Broken Coffee Maker
If your coffee maker turns on but doesn’t brew coffee, there might be a problem with the heating element. The heating element is responsible for heating up the water, and if it’s not working, the water won’t be hot enough to brew coffee. In this case, the heating element will need to be replaced. You can purchase a replacement heating element, but it might be easier to purchase a new coffee maker.
Unfortunately, a lot of our kitchen gadgets can be difficult, expensive, and time intensive to repair. If you like electronic repair, this is definitely an option, but for those who just want their coffee in the morning, my recommendation is to purchase a new machine. I personally use a pretty inexpensive drip coffee maker (I prefer to buy quality coffee from a professional barista on occasion — this helps me save money on my daily morning coffee routine) and would replace with one of the suggestions below.
- Mr. Coffee 5-Cup Coffee Maker, Black (This is the one I have. I know, it’s pretty embarrassing for someone who runs this blog. BUT it’s easy, quick, and inexpensive, which is exactly what I’m looking for on the average morning.)
- Black+Decker Programmable Coffee Maker
- Keurig K-Mini Single Serve Coffee Maker, Black
- Cuisinart Coffee Maker
Unclog the Tube of Your Broken Coffee Maker
If your coffee maker is brewing a slow cup of coffee, the water tube might be clogged. The water tube is responsible for transporting the water from the tank to the coffee basket. If it’s clogged or blocked, it can slow down the brewing process. You can use a needle to carefully unclog the tube to restore the flow of water.
These clogs are more often than from mineral build-up. As mentioned in the first cleaning tip, mineral build-up can mess with your coffee taste, build up around the heating element, and even start clogging the water tubes. It’s a fairly easy fix with the cleaning solutions we suggested, but if you haven’t ever cleaned your machine it could take several wash cycles to fix.
Fix Your Coffee Maker Now for Easy Mornings Tomorrow
There you have it: five tips to restore your coffee maker.
Fixing your coffee maker doesn’t have to be complicated, and it’s a lot easier than you think. But the reality is that if it’s 6 a.m., you don’t want to be trying to fix your coffee machine. Identify your issues and take care of it the day before! This will make you really appreciate that cuppa joe in the morning.
Remember to clean your coffee maker regularly, replace the filter, check the power source, replace the heating element if needed, and unclog the tube. By following these simple tips, you can enjoy a perfect cup of coffee every time. Preventative practices may seem annoying at times, but they always lead to consistent results and well-run machines. We hope this helps — and enjoy your coffee maker!
Real Kitchens, Real People, Real Reviews
At Home Kitchenary, we are real people who deal with cooking, cleaning, and running a household just like you — in fact, the two of us are teachers who are just sharing our product reviews with the world while we’re at it! It frustrates us when something breaks or when we purchase a poor kitchen/house tool. We take the time to really look through reviews, tests, and more to find what’s best. And if you are new to our website, “best” can really fluctuate depending on what you are looking for. I always do my best to find budget-friendly options, buy-it-for-life, and fashionably designed (although my wife doesn’t always agree with my choices). We hope that our reviews, tips, and blogs can help you have a great kitchen and home. If you are looking for other blogs check out some below.
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