Pod brewers, just like regular coffee makers, require periodic maintenance and cleaning to perform at their best and to extend the life of your brewer. Scale buildup from hard water is the #1 enemy of your brewer. With some simple white vinegar and a little time, you can keep your pod brewer running like new.
Here are the recommended cleaning procedures from Bunn for their My Cafe line of pod brewers. The general cleaning and descaling instructions will work for any pod brewer, so adapt to you own brewer like a Senseo or Grindmaster as needed, but the specific instructions on cleaning and assembly of the sprayhead/seal are specific to the Bunn pod brewers.
Basic Cleaning Before beginning any cleaning procedure, unplug the brewer to avoid the accidental start of a brew cycle. Clean the pod holder, drip tray and drip tray grate after each use, using a damp cloth and mild detergent and rinse. With the pod holder and drip tray removed, use a damp cloth with mild detergent to wipe the area below the pod holder and into the drip tray area. Occasionally, wipe the outside of the brewer with a damp cloth. Periodic Cleaning/Descaling Periodically (every 3 months is ideal), you should clean and descale the brewer to clear any mineral deposits that may have accumulated due to impurities in the water source. If these deposits are not removed, they can impair the operation of the brewer and reduce the product life. There are several commercial products available specifically for descaling such as URNEX®. White vinegar is a natural and effective product that is safe to use and contains no chemicals. We think vinegar is an ideal choice for descaling.
Fill the reservoir with undiluted white vinegar. If you are using a powdered descaling mix, do not add the powder directly to the reservoir. (Descaling product must be mixed into a solution before it is added to the reservoir).
Place an empty pod holder into the brewer. Be sure the holder is locked into place, and set the your brew volume to the maximum position (if adjustable).
Place an empty cup or bowl on the drip tray grate that will hold at least 14 oz. of liquid, and press the COFFEE BREW BUTTON to start a brew cycle.
Once the brew cycle has finished, empty the cup and set it back onto the drip tray grate. Press the COFFEE BREW BUTTON again to start a second brew cycle.
Once the brew cycle has finished, allow your pod brewer to sit for 2 to 4 hours to let the vinegar really work on the scale deposits inside your brewer. If your brewer has a reservoir, empty the remaining solution, or vinegar from the reservoir. Remove the Pod Holder; clean the reservoir and pod holder thoroughly using a mild detergent, then rinse.
Fill the reservoir to the maximum line with fresh clean cold water and place the pod holder back into the brewer.
Place the empty cup or bowl back onto the drip tray grate and press the COFFEE BREW BUTTON to begin a brew cycle.
When the cycle has finished, empty the cup. Repeat step 7 at least two more times to remove the vinegar or descaling solution from the tank.
Clean the pod holder with a mild detergent and rinse thoroughly.
Proceed to the Cleaning The Sprayhead/Seal section.
Cleaning the Sprayhead / Seal Press the Power Switch into the off position.
Unplug the brewer and allow it to cool down. (Minimum of 1 hour.)
After the unit has been allowed to cool, remove the pod holder and set aside.
Using your fingers, rotate the sprayhead/seal assembly clockwise until the sprayhead and seal are removed. NOTE: If the sprayhead and seal are separated, they must be reassembled as they were when removed from the brewer. CAUTION: Improper reassembly could result in personal injury from scalding water. NOTE: See Assembling Sprayhead/Seal and Inspecting Sprayhead Seal located further down page for more information.
Clean the sprayhead and seal with a mild detergent and rinse thoroughly.
Using your fingers, rotate the sprayhead/seal assembly counter-clockwise until it is finger tight.
Replace the pod holder.
Plug in the brewer and press the POWER SWITCH to restore power to the brewer.
Assembling the Sprayhead / Seal If the sprayhead and seal are separated during removal or cleaning, they must be reassembled properly.
Identify the top of the seal. The top of the seal that seats against the roof of the sprayhead ramp has a rough ridge that can be felt by running your fingers across the surface of the seal. The bottom is smooth.
Identify the top of the sprayhead. The top of the sprayhead has a star pattern and a threaded hole where the sprayhead attaches to the brewer.
While carefully stretching the seal, guide the sprayhead into the channel of the seal. Make sure it is completely in the channel.
When properly assembled, the sprayhead will slide easily into the channel of the seal and will not cause any buckles in the surface of the seal. If the sprayhead seems to be difficult to seat, and you must stretch the seal more than a slight tug, the assembly is not together correctly. CAUTION: Improper reassembly could result in personal injury from scalding water.
Inspecting the Sprayhead / Seal When disassembling your brewer for cleaning, inspect the sprayhead seal for cracks, tears and holes. Although the seal should last for an extended period of time, damage can occur through handling.CAUTION: The seal confines the hot liquid to the pod holder.Replace the seal if it becomes damaged. This part is available to order online.
Cleaning the pod holder To prevent residue build up, it is a good idea to periodically disassemble the pod holder/screen assembly and clean it with a mild detergent.
Press and hold the POD RELEASE BUTTON while sliding the pod holder out.
Flip the POD HOLDER upside down and place the holder cavity over the palm of your hand.
Using a small object, press the tab of the POD HOLDER INSERT through the hole in the bottom of the pod holder to remove.
Clean the screen and holder using a mild detergent and rinse. (Dishwasher Safe)
Press the insert back through the hole in the bottom of the POD HOLDER.
Cycling the brewer If the brewer has not been used for an extended period of time, it is a good idea to cycle your brewer before brewing a cup of coffee or tea.
Remove the reservoir and pod holder from the brewer, clean with a mild detergent and rinse.
Refill the reservoir to the maximum line.
Insert an empty pod holder into the brewer.
Set the volume control lever to the maximum setting.
Place a bowl or cup on the drip tray grate that will hold at least 14 oz.
Press the coffee brew button.
When the brew cycle has ended and water drip out has stopped, carefully remove the pod holder and remove any excess water.
CAUTION: Water is hot! You are now ready to brew.
Storing the brewer Unplug the brewer and wait for it to cool. If your Pod brewer has been used, it must be stored above 32ºF / 0ºC to prevent damage to the internal water tank. Empty and dry the water reservoir before storing. NOTE: Water will remain in the internal tank. If stored for an extended period of time, refer to Cycling The Brewer section above before using.