Ninja products come with a lot of promises and a hefty price tag. Most of the time, they live up to the hype. But when it comes to Ninja coffee makers, they might not last nearly as long as their owners would like.
How long does a Ninja coffee maker last? The average Ninja coffee maker lasts for less than 1 year. Problems usually occur with the water reservoir and the brewing cycle. You may be also able to increase the lifespan by cleaning the machine regularly and maintaining or replacing the individual parts.
Obviously, everyone's Ninja coffee maker lasts for a different amount of time. It all depends on how often you clean it and how gently you handle the machine. I'm not one to let a good coffee maker die, so I did a little research. Stay with me, and I'll teach out how to keep your Ninja in tip-top shape.
Why Ninja Coffee Makers Have Such a Short Lifespan
Ninja is a fairly reputable brand, so I was surprised to hear that so many people had a bad experience with their coffee makers. To be fair, blenders and coffee makers are very different products; maybe Ninja still has a few things to figure out.
The Pros of Owning a Ninja Coffee Maker
Ninja coffee makers brew a delicious cup of coffee. Although the settings are a little different with each machine, you can usually choose between the “classic” and “rich” brewing options. The “rich” coffee is significantly stronger and is often compared to espresso.
If you get the Ninja Speciality Coffee Maker like this, you can choose from six different cup sizes and four different brew types. You'll also have access to frothing wand to make lattes.
I've tasted coffee made with a Ninja, and it's definitely a step up from using a normal drip coffee maker. The precision heating technology makes sure that the water is actually up to temperature – something that many drip coffee makers are unable to promise.
Experiencing the Short Lifespan
From what most customers have experienced, the problems start at about 3 to 6 months in. If you own a Ninja coffee maker for this long, it becomes part of your daily routine. That's why it's all the more upsetting when it stops working.
Typically, the cleaning light will turn on before the machine starts to experience issues. However, once you run the cleaning cycle, this light may not turn off. The machine will then start failing to complete brewing cycles.
The various problems that have been reported include broken reservoirs, failing sensors, and a residue that comes out of the nozzles. All of these issues seem to be related to the calcification of the water reservoir, which can slowly build up over time.
Ninja's customer service team is willing to offer over-the-phone solutions, and they'll even take a look at your coffee maker for a $20 fee. However, because this repair cycle can be a bit of a headache, it's fairly safe to say that your Ninja coffee maker will only give you 1 year of worry-free coffee.
How to Maintain Your Ninja Coffee Maker
The best way to extend the lifespan of your Ninja coffee maker is to keep it clean. Most of the malfunctions are related to a buildup of minerals or coffee grounds in the machine's interior.
Ninja coffee makers are a type of drip coffee machine, and they follow a similar cleaning process. You can check the official Ninja website for detailed cleaning instructions.
Ninja claims that you only need to run a cleaning cycle if the “clean” light comes on. However, user experience suggests that the light won't turn on until the buildup is already extreme. Instead, try cleaning your Ninja on a weekly or biweekly basis.
- Fill the water reservoir. You can use a descaling solution, or you can simply use white vinegar. Try filling the reservoir one-quarter of the way with vinegar, then add cold water up to the “max fill” line.
- Set the carafe in its place. You need something to catch the vinegar water after the cycle is complete. Don't forget to wash the carafe when you're done.
- Select the “full carafe” setting. Ninja coffee makers let you decide whether to brew a single cup or an entire pot. Choose the highest setting for your cleaning cycle.
- Press the “clean” button. A cleaning cycle should take between 8 and 30 minutes, depending on which Ninja coffee maker you own. Do not press any buttons or unplug the coffee maker until the cycle is complete. The “clean” light should turn off to let you know that it's done.
- Clean the water reservoir by hand. Use a gentle sponge or a bottle scrubber to descale the inside of the removable water reservoir. Don't use soap, as it might contaminate the inside of your coffee maker. If you need something stronger than water, use a little vinegar instead.
- Run a water-only cycle. This step is recommended for every drip coffee maker on the market. Once the reservoir is clean, fill it with cold water, and run a fresh cleaning cycle. Continue running water-only cycles until the liquid pouring out of your Ninja is clear and does not smell like vinegar or coffee.
The Ninja has a special “clean” cycle, but you can also try brewing a normal cycle with plain water and no coffee grounds. This may be helpful if you keep noticing that a brown residue comes out when you use the “rich” setting.
Troubleshooting the Most Common Ninja Coffee Maker Problems
Your Ninja coffee maker has many working parts, and that means there's a lot that could go wrong. Check the Ninja website to troubleshoot specific problems, or keep reading to solve the most common ones.
Beeping During the Brewing Cycle
If your Ninja has stopped brewing and started beeping, check to see if the water reservoir is empty. You may need to refill the reservoir and start a fresh brewing cycle. Ninja recommends against adding more water and letting the cycle continue from where it left off.
Water Is Not Coming Out
Ninja coffee makers have something called a “drip stop” which can prevent or allow water to flow. Check your instruction manual to see where the drip stop is located on your machine; it's usually attached to the filter basket.
You should be able to switch the drip stop between the “off” and “on” positions. The “on” symbol is marked by a water droplet that has been crossed out. If the drop stop is on, water can't come out – even if you've started a brew cycle.
Releasing Brown Sediment
Did you know that it's possible to over-grind your coffee? If the particles are too small, they'll pass through the filter and end up in your cup. Try using a medium grind instead. Pre-ground coffee is almost always too thin; it's one of the reasons that so many coffee drinkers prefer whole bean.
Overflowing Filter or Uneven Flow
Another problem caused by fine coffee grounds is a clogged filter basket. Take the basket out of you Ninja and wash it in the sink. If the overflow was serious, you may want to run a cleaning cycle to get stray grounds out of your system.
Tips to Extend the Life of Your Ninja Coffee Maker
- Follow the instructions carefully. Every Ninja coffee maker comes with an owner's manual. Read through it carefully when you first open the device, and do your best not to deviate from the instructions. Using the machine improperly will greatly reduce its lifespan.
- Run a cleaning cycle once a week. Most drip coffee makers only need to be cleaned once a month. But since the Ninja's internal system is so fragile, it's better to prevent any calcification in the first place. Run a cleaning cycle with a 1-3 ratio of vinegar to water on a weekly basis. Your machine will thank you.
- Clean any removable parts separately. Some Ninja models come with a removable water reservoir. Your filter basket and permanent filter can also be washed separately. Clean these parts carefully to avoid any buildup of water mineral or coffee grounds.
- Turn off your coffee maker when it's not in use. If the light is on, then your Ninja is still drawing electricity. Over time, the continuous flow of energy could erode the wires and cause the machine to stop working. This is a problem for all drip coffee makers; just turn them off when you're done brewing.
- Call customer service as soon as something goes wrong. If you let a problem with your Ninja coffee maker sit, it will just get worse over time. Call Ninja's customer service department as soon as you notice that a light is stuck on or that your machine isn't brewing at the regular speed. They might have a quick fix that will save you the cost of a replacement.
Will Ninja repair my coffee maker?
Ninja offers simple part replacement and machine repair services for a $20 fee plus shipping costs. Customers can contact Ninja customer service for instructions on how to fix the most common issues at home.
Does a Ninja coffee maker brew espresso?
Ninja coffee makers brew extremely high-quality drip coffee. Although there are various richness settings to increase the strength of your brew, the coffee maker does not create traditional espresso. To mimic the taste of espresso, preheat your water, and choose the strongest setting on your coffee machine.