sharing my love of food

Coffee Machine Troubleshooting: What To Fix In Order To Get Your Fix

It's morning--again. And you feel like a zombie--again. Somehow you manage (in your still-dreamy state) to shuffle to the kitchen and start the coffee maker, in the hope that you will shortly return to the land of the living. However, the gods of the morning have cursed you and your machine is not working. Fortunately, this misery does not have to be permanent. After taking a trip to the local coffee house to get your fix, you might be able to fix your coffee machine yourself or learn how to make coffee without one. 

Do You Have Hard Water?

The most common cause of broken coffee machines are mineral buildups inside the mechanism. These are caused by hard water. Some people have water that is high in calcium. When the water boils inside your machine, the white calcium deposits are left behind. Eventually, these can clog pipes or cause the coffee to have a bad flavor.

You can prevent this from happening in a number of ways:

  1. Use distilled water for coffee making. It might seem silly to you to buy water for coffee, but distilled water is completely pure, so it will never leave any deposits in your machine and keep everything tasting great.
  2. You can descale your coffee maker every couple months by running some vinegar through a cycle. This will dissolve the buildup. After the vinegar, run a few cycle with only water to make sure all the acid is gone. After all, sour coffee might be worse than no coffee at all.
  3. Soak the metal parts and pots in vinegar to remove old coffee and water deposits. It can build up in a film over time, so just soap and water may not be enough. 

Are Your Parts Still In Working Order?

If it's not a water problems, then it's a parts problem. Check your machine  and look for worn out plastic parts, frayed electrical components like cords, or anything that may have broken. Sometimes, pots can crack or water can leak from the machine because the parts have gotten old or worn out. When inspecting your machine, also look for areas that might have gotten clogged by old grounds, or pieces that seem to be corroding. 

If this is true, you should call a serviceman to repair your coffeemaker, or contact the manufacturer for replacement parts. Sometimes, ordering new parts for a cheap machine is not worth it, and it might be better to spend your money upgrading to something that has higher quality and a good warranty. 

Do You Have Bad Luck With Machines?

If breaking coffee machines seem to be your lot in life, maybe the fix is not a new machine, but to look for alternative methods of brewing your special stuff. You might try:

  • using a kettle and tea strainer. Using the right water-to-grounds ratio, you can boil water in a kettle, add the grounds, and then filter out the resulting coffee using a fine-mesh strainer that people normally use for tea leaves. As a bonus, this method can work even when you don't have electricity.
  • buying a French press. This is glass pitcher that you fill with both boiling water and coffee grounds. You let the coffee steep, and then use a plunger to separate the beans. The plunger pushes all the beans to the bottom, and leaves the coffee on top, allowing you to pour into a mug.
  • using your machine anyway. Don't plug it in. Simply fit the filter with the beans in like usual, and fill it with water that you boiled yourself. Let the pot catch what's left. You just have to do some extra work to get the same result. 

Your life doesn't have to be dictated by a finicky coffee maker if you stay on top of maintenance and learn some alternative brewing methods. For additional information, visit

About Me

sharing my love of food

Some of my best memories from my childhood are from the many times I spent working in the kitchen with my grandmother and my mother. I learned to love cooking at a very young age and that love has helped shape my adult life to what it is today. I love cooking, creating and eating all sorts of foods and love sharing these things with as many people as I can. This blog is filled with tips, ideas and tricks that can help you make the time you spend in your kitchen preparing meals, baked goods and treats for those that you love much more enjoyable for you and the people you are serving the food to.