Removing a Plastic Smell from a Coffee Maker

A coffeemaker plugged into a wall.
  • 1-2 hours
  • Beginner
  • 10-15
What You'll Need
White vinegar
What You'll Need
White vinegar

If your coffee maker is stained and gives off a bad plastic odor, it's important to clean the coffee maker so that the taste of your coffee is not affected by the smell. Luckily, if you know the trick cleaning a coffeemaker is very easy to do. Here's a hint: all it takes is a little vinegar.

Step 1 - Use Vinegar

Fill the reservoir of the coffeemaker with white vinegar. Start by pouring the vinegar into the coffeemaker's reservoir. This is where you would normally pour the water when making a pot of coffee.

Make sure you leave the filter out when pouring the vinegar into the coffeemaker. You don't need a coffee filter because you're not having coffee. If you have a reusable metal mesh coffee filter, you will want to leave that in the machine. Leaving it in the coffeemaker will get rid of any residue or smells that have formed on the filter.

Turn the coffeemaker on and run it with the white vinegar inside. Once the coffeemaker has completed a cycle, let the vinegar sit inside the machine for about twenty minutes.

Pour out the vinegar after you have let the machine go through a full cycle and waited for it to sit for twenty minutes. Make sure you pour the vinegar down the drain.

Step 2 - Rinse

A man pours coffee out of a coffee maker.

Fill the reservoir of the coffee maker with water. Do so as if you're about to make a pot of coffee. Turn the coffeemaker on again and let the water go through a normal coffeemaker cycle. This is just like what you did with the vinegar. The purpose of adding water after the vinegar is to rinse the vinegar from the machine completely.

Step 3 - Wash the Pot

The next step is to wash the coffee pot thoroughly. Wash it with soap and water to get rid of any coffee stains and scents. This should leave the coffee pot sparkling clean. Again, if you have a reusable metal mesh coffee filter, make sure you wash it as well. Clean any removable parts that come with the coffee maker in the same manner (such as the tray).

Sometimes vinegar can cause a strong smell as it is cleaning. You may want to open the windows when cleaning your coffee maker.

If your coffeemaker has a strong plastic odor that is affecting the taste of your coffee, this is a good indication that the machine requires a thorough cleaning. As long as you have some white vinegar on hand, and some extra time to clean the machine, the task isn't very difficult.

Once you've washed the coffee pot, try making a fresh cup of coffee to test the results. If the coffee comes out tasting good (with no plastic smell or taste), the machine is clean and you can continue to use it until it needs to be cleaned again.