Cleaning & Maintaining Coffee Brewers and Urns

Keeping coffee urns and bulk brewers spotless and in optimal condition has a significant impact on the overall quality and freshness of the coffee. The type of unit and water quality will determine the amount of maintenance a coffee brewer will require. Coffee brewers typically last from 7 to 12 years but can last as long as 25 years, depending on how the operators care for the units.

Below, Christopher B. Warren, director of operations for Joe Warren & Sons Co. Inc., Norwood, Mass., provides helpful tips to ensure coffee equipment remains clean, safe and useful.

Cleaning Tips

  1. Use a clean, damp cloth with a nonabrasive, mild cleaner to clean the exterior.
  2. Use a mild cleaner with warm water — a brush or clean cloth will work — to clean the interior.
  3. To descale the interior, lightly wash with plain white vinegar and soak the stem and spring. Then, rinse thoroughly with warm water. This will remove any scale buildup.
  4. Clean and soak the filter basket, pots and other removable parts as you would any dish.

Maintenance Tips

  1. One way to help eliminate deposit and scale buildup is to feed the brewer with filtered water.
  2. Inspect the brewer for any signs of water spots; this may indicate there is a leak in the tank.
  3. Treat and clean the spray heads regularly by 
    using a special tool or by running them through 
    a dishwasher.
  4. Inspect the power cords and coffee urns regularly for visual signs of cracks, leaks or damage. If present, contact your local service agent to further examine.