How do you properly clean a Ninja coffee maker? Any household appliance that uses water is going to develop two problems over time: scale buildup due to calcium in the water, and mold.
Neither one is very pleasant and it’s best to avoid potential issues by cleaning your coffee maker on a regular schedule. Not only will it help your coffee taste better, it’s a great way to prevent future problems with your coffee maker.
Fortunately, all models of Ninja coffee maker include a built-in “Clean” button that will notify you when it’s time to perform a clean cycle.
Start by descaling your Ninja coffee maker to remove calcium deposits that can block the dispenser. Fill the reservoir with 16 oz. of white vinegar (up to the Travel Mug line), add water up to the Max line, then press the Clean button. Wash the water reservoir, basket, and carafe afterwards.
This article will cover the steps you need to clean your Ninja coffee maker, how to clean without using vinegar, and where to find the best deal on cleaning solutions.
How To Clean A Ninja Coffee Maker With Vinegar
The easiest way to clean and descale your coffee maker is with white vinegar. Because vinegar is so acidic, it can break down calcium deposits in your machine very quickly.
You can also readily find vinegar in a grocery store or even order it online. Amazon sells a gallon of distilled white vinegar for about $0.10 per ounce, so each cleaning cycle will cost you just $1.60.
This gallon container should last you a full year of cleaning cycles if you use Ninja's recommended amount of 16 oz. per cycle.
Step 1: Fill The Reservoir To The Travel Mug Line With Vinegar
When it comes to vinegar, a little bit goes a long way. So you should only use about 16 oz. of vinegar when you run a cleaning cycle with your Ninja.
Pop open the water reservoir and fill it to the Travel Mug line with vinegar.
Step 2: Fill The Rest Of The Reservoir With Water
Running pure vinegar through your machine is not a great idea for a few different reasons, but the main one is that it exposes it to a much higher level of acid than is necessary.
You will want to dilute the vinegar by filling the rest of the reservoir with plain water, up to the Max fill line. This ensures that you have enough solution to run a full cleaning cycle without harming the coffee maker’s components.
Step 3: Start The Clean Cycle
Once you’ve added the solution, place the carafe in the brewer and double check that the filter basket is empty. You should also check to make sure the coffee maker is set to brew a full carafe.
Then, you simply need to press the Clean button once and it will begin the clean cycle. Keep in mind that a full clean cycle will take about one hour to run, during which time the machine may brew, then stop, then brew again.
You may see a countdown timer on your machine’s display that will help you keep track of how much time is left before it finishes.
Tip: Why does the cleaning cycle take a full hour? White vinegar is powerful stuff, but it can take a while to work. Your machine will brew several times during the clean cycle to make sure it dislodges any calcium deposits that may be present.
Step 4: Dump The Vinegar Solution And Run Three Brew Cycles With Clean Water
After you’ve waited a full hour for your machine to finish cleaning, you may be tempted to call it a day. But you really don’t want to skip this step or your next cup of coffee might end up tasting like vinegar.
Ninja recommends that you flush the system by running at least one full carafe brew cycle using clean tap water or filtered water after the clean cycle is done. I will usually run two cycles just to make sure all the vinegar gets removed.
This also helps to wash out any final calcium deposits that were loosened by the vinegar.
Step 5: Finish Cleaning The Reservoir, Basket, And Carafe
After you’ve finished descaling your Ninja, it’s a good idea to hand wash the filter basket, carafe, and reservoir.
These parts are all dishwasher-safe, so you can also put them in the dishwasher if you prefer. I recommend hand washing though because it is a little more effective and you can make sure to clean any remaining calcium deposits.
If you used vinegar to descale your coffee maker, this step will also help make sure that 100% of the vinegar has been rinsed off.
How Much Vinegar Do I Use To Clean My Ninja Coffee Maker?
On most Ninja coffee makers, you should fill the reservoir up to the Travel Mug line with vinegar, then to the Max line with water. This equals about 16 oz. of white vinegar and 44 oz. of water, or about a 1:2 ratio of vinegar-to-water.
Should I run straight vinegar through my coffee maker?
It is not recommended to run straight vinegar through your coffee maker because of the high acid content. You should always dilute the vinegar with at least equal parts clean water.
How many times should I run vinegar through my coffee maker?
You only need to run the vinegar cleaning solution through your machine once per cleaning cycle. However, you should run 2-3 additional brew cycles using just water in order to rinse out the reservoir and brew spout.
How Do You Clean A Ninja Coffee Maker Without Vinegar?
Don’t like the smell of hot vinegar percolating through your Ninja for an hour?
I don’t blame you.
Even diluted, vinegar has a very powerful aroma to it that can be off-putting to some people, especially in smaller spaces.
Luckily, there are several easy alternatives, most of which will use citric acid rather than vinegar in order to clean your machine. This produces a much lighter scent and most people find it easier to tolerate the smell of citrus.
Simply follow the same steps outline above but use your preferred cleaning solution instead. Keep in mind that cleaning solutions that don’t use vinegar tend to be more concentrated, so you may not have to use as much of it.
One popular alternative to vinegar is Halefresh’s descaling solution, which uses concentrated citric acid to provide the cleaning action.
Halefresh Descaling Solution is 100% all natural and uses citric acid to clean your coffee maker.
Alternatively, you can make your own cleaning solution by mixing citric acid powder with water.
Avoid vinegar altogether by making your own descaling solution with a teaspoon of citric acid powder.
To make your own cleaning solution, combine one teaspoon of citric acid powder with enough water to fill your reservoir. Be sure to mix thoroughly before adding the solution to the reservoir.
Finally, you can also always order Ninja’s official descaling solution.
This official descaling solution is designed specifically to clean Ninja coffee machines in a way that doesn't impact flavor.
What You Need To Know
- You should clean your Ninja coffee maker every 2-3 months with average use.
- You can use 16 oz. of white vinegar or a citric acid cleaning solution to descale the coffee maker.
- It’s very important to run 2-3 full brew cycles with clean water after you’ve finished descaling your Ninja coffee maker in order to rinse it out and remove any lingering vinegar or calcium.
- Cleaning your coffee maker will take about an hour and change, but it will keep your machine running smoothly and improve the taste of your coffee.