Why Is My Coffee Maker So Slow?

Wondering “why is my coffee maker so slow?” The most likely culprits are mineral build-ups and clogged components that need to be cleaned. 

Why is my coffee maker so slow?
Mineral build-ups can make your coffee maker slow

A slow coffee maker is irritating, especially because it delays the cup of joe that gets your day started on the right foot. 

You might assume that a faulty coffee maker means that you have to buy a new one, but thankfully, slow brewing machines are easy to fix. A slow coffee machine is the result of mineral build-ups or clogged hoses. A thorough cleaning will have your coffee maker working just like new. 

Why Is My Coffee Maker So Slow – How To Troubleshoot

formation of limescale
Limescale can clog your coffee maker

Many different things can clog a coffee maker, resulting in slowness. One of the most likely culprits is the limescale formed from using tap water.

Another candidate for the blockage is pieces of the filters you use in your machine. Some products like paper towels work as coffee filters in desperate situations, but they are more likely to cause this problem. 

To find the root cause, you’ll have to disassemble parts of your coffee maker and search for blockages. The machine’s hoses and valves are the most likely to clog, but they can also happen in the reservoir.

Easy Ways To Clean Your Coffee Maker

A plastic bottle on a table
You can use white vinegar

How do you know if you need to clean your coffee maker? Slow production is one of a few symptoms. Other indicators include bad or bitter-tasting coffee and a lot of evaporated water build-up in the coffee pot. 

Since clogged components are the primary offender, gently remove each part of your coffee maker, rinsing each completely with water. When you are done washing each removable part, reinsert them into the machine and run a test to see if it is still clogged. If so, your coffee maker may need a more in-depth cleaning. 

To clean your coffee maker more thoroughly, you must first find a machine-safe cleaning solvent, such as white distilled vinegar, descaling solution, or citric acid. Mix it with a pot of water, stirring until the liquid is thoroughly mixed.

Apply a filter to the machine as if you were making a pot of ground coffee. Then, pour that mixture into the coffee reservoir and start it.

The drip will run through the machine in place of normal water, cleaning the inside out as it goes. The mixture should help break down limestone and calcium deposits and dissolve any paper pulp bad filters may have caused. You may need to do the process again a few times and be sure to rinse your machine’s parts after the mixture goes through.

How To Prevent Coffee Maker Clogging

Cleaning your coffee machine is easy to do, and fortunately, so is preventing the problem entirely. This problem only happens when using drip-style coffee makers, so using thermal machines, percolators, and other types circumvents the issue. If yours is clogging often and causing you inconveniences, I suggest buying a different type of coffee machine.

With drip-style makers, you can’t prevent the problem, although you can reduce how often it happens. Since the paper pulp is one of the biggest cloggers, I suggest you upgrade your coffee filters and avoid using alternatives like toilet paper. 

Tap water is the primary offender for calcium and lime deposits. I suggest using bottled or purified water when you make your coffee. Otherwise, it may be more cost-effective in the long run to invest in a filter fixture to purify your sink water. 

Finally, like with most machines, regular cleaning greatly improves performance. I advise rinsing your coffee machine components at least once per month to keep everything running smoothly. 

If you enjoy milk in coffee, we also recommend cleaning a milk frother regularly to avoid a bad smell and bacteria.