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How to Clean Bunn Coffee Maker in Less Than 10 Minutes!

Do you have a Bunn coffee maker at home? If so, then you know just how great they can be for making delicious coffee. But like all appliances, your Bunn coffee maker needs to be properly cleaned every now and then to ensure optimal performance. In this blog post, we’ll show you how to clean Bunn coffee maker in just a few simple steps.

Cleaning a Bunn coffee maker is not as difficult as it may seem. In fact, with the right tools and instructions, it can be a relatively easy process. This article will provide you with both the tools and instructions necessary to clean your Bunn coffee maker in no time at all.

Bunn coffee makers are very popular with commercial establishments and restaurants because of their strength, durability, and speed. Unfortunately, these same qualities that make Bunn coffee makers so popular also contribute to the build-up of mineral deposits within the machine.

If you own a Bunn commercial brewer, follow these steps to clean your brewer in the most efficient manner possible.

What is a Bunn Coffee Maker?

Before we begin cleaning your Bunn brewer, it is important that you understand what a Bunn coffee maker is and how it works. The Bunn company was established in 1957 and has become one of the most popular names in commercial brewing equipment over the years. There are many reasons why the company’s brew-and-serve machines have remained so successful: speed, efficiency, and standardization.

The machine functions as follows: water is heated to boiling. As soon as it reaches its target temperature (which can be adjusted per user preference), an internal pump pushes the hot water into a spray head at the top of the tank. The spray head then sprays small droplets of hot water across a funnel filled with your coffee grounds. The heat from the water in the funnel is enough to extract a flavorful coffee drink. From there, the brewed coffee is directed down a pipe and into your cup or carafe.

cleaning bunn coffee maker
cleaning bunn coffee maker

How to Clean Bunn Coffee Maker – Cleaning Your Bunn Coffee Maker

Now that you understand exactly what a Bunn brewer is and how it works, it’s time to clean your machine. If you have been using your machine for an extended period of time, its internals may have accumulated mineral deposits or old coffee oils that could be affecting taste or performance. We recommend following this procedure once every two weeks to keep your machine in optimal condition.

Describe the parts of a bunn coffee maker

There are a few key parts to a Bunn coffee maker that you will need to know in order to clean it properly. These include the water tank, spray head, funnel, and internal tubing.

The water tank is where you will pour your water before brewing. The spray head is located at the top of the tank and is responsible for spraying hot water across the coffee grounds. The funnel sits below the spray head and catches the coffee as it is brewed. Finally, the internal tubing carries the brewed coffee from the funnel down to your cup or carafe.

Tools Needed: 

  • A Bunn brewer only requires a few tools for cleaning:
  • 4 oz. measuring cup or mug
  • Boiling water
  • Paper towels
  • Plastic scouring pads (like Brillo)
  • Small scrub brush with soft bristles (not metal)
  • Soft cloths or rags
  • Hairdryer (optional)

How to Clean Bunn Coffee Maker – Cleaning a Bunn Coffee Maker steps by steps

Step 1: Rinse the Brewing Tank

To begin, remove the brew tank from the coffee maker. Once you have done this, turn on your faucet and rinse any loose grounds from the reservoir using warm water. When the tank is completely clean, place it back onto your Bunn brewer.

Step 2: Disassemble Your Bunn Coffee Maker

In order to fully clean your Bunn coffee maker, you will need to disassemble certain components of your machine. To do this, refer to your user’s manual for instructions on how to take apart each individual part of your machine. If you no longer have a copy of this document or cannot find it online, simply remove the spray head, drain tube, and filter basket by loosening the screws on each piece.

Step 3: Clean Your Spray Head

Once you have taken apart your Bunn brewer, it is time to clean the spray head. To do this, dip a soft cloth or rag into an ample amount of white vinegar. Then scrub both sides of the spray head with this cloth until all mineral deposits are removed. When you are finished, use another moistened cloth to remove any excess vinegar from your Bunn coffee maker. If there are still some minor stains left behind, follow step 4 for cleaning your machine’s components. Once you have fully cleaned your spray head, place it back onto your Bunn coffee maker and reassemble the tank, drain tube, and filter basket.

Step 4: Disassemble the Funnel

Remove the lid from your Bunn coffee maker’s funnel by loosening any screws on top of it. Inside you will find three small screens. Wash these screens in warm water using mild soap or dishwashing liquid to remove any coffee oils, mineral deposits, or other impurities. Once the screens are completely clean , place them back into their original position inside the funnel. Afterward, reattach the lid to your Bunn coffee maker’s reservoir and reattach the tank to its base unit.

Step 5: Clean Your Drain Tube

Once you have finished cleaning your Bunn brewer’s spray head and internal components (funnel), it is time to clean the drain tube. To do this, remove the rubber stopper from the bottom of your machine and rinse it with warm water to remove any coffee oils. After you have done this , reattach the stopper and pour a mug of boiling water down the drain tube. Finally, use a soft cloth or paper towel to dry out your Bunn coffee maker’s drain tube before replacing it in its original position inside your brewer. When finished, place your filter basket back into its original position under funnel and replace all screws on each component.

Step 6: Clean Your Filter Basket

If you purchased an automatic drip coffeemaker instead of a thermal carafe brewer, then you should not need to disassemble your filter basket. You will only need to clean its exterior surfaces by wiping them down with warm soapy water. If you have a thermal carafe coffee maker, however, you will need to remove the brew funnel from your brewer and unscrew its filter basket.

Clean any loose grounds or mineral deposits on the inside of this part with cold water and mild soap before carefully washing its exterior surface with warm soapy water. When finished, wipe the outside of your Bunn coffee maker’s filter basket dry and replace it into its original position under the funnel. Your machine should now be running as well as new!

Step 7: Place Your Brewer Back Together (Optional)

If your automatic drip coffeemaker does not require disassembly, simply follow steps 1-3 for cleaning your Bunn coffee maker before placing its parts back into their original positions. Thermal carafe coffee brewers should only need to follow steps 4-6 to clean their internal components. After you are finished, place the filter basket back under the funnel, place your tank back onto your machine’s base unit, and reattach all screws on your other internal pieces until fully assembled.

Step 8: Make a Few Pots of Coffee!

Once you have followed all necessary cleaning procedures for both automatic drip coffeemakers and thermal carafe brewers, it is time to make yourself a fresh pot of coffee! Bunn recommends that you run two cycles of water through your brewer before making your first cup – one cycle while pouring water from the tap and one cycle while pouring water from a coffee carafe. This will flush any remaining vinegar solution out of your machine’s internal components and also wash away any dust or mineral buildup that contributes to poor-tasting coffee.

After flushing out your brewer, you are now ready to make yourself an excellent cup of coffee! If you do not own a thermal carafe coffee maker, fill up your reservoir with fresh cold tap water, place it back onto its base unit, and turn the power switch on the front panel to the ‘Brew’ position . Remember that Bunn recommends running two cycles through your machine before making your first pot in order to remove all vinegar residue. Once you have finished both brewing cycles , simply add ground coffee into your filter basket and your machine will take care of the rest!

If you own a thermal carafe coffee brewer, simply fill up your reservoir with fresh cold tap water and place it back into its original position under the funnel. Turn the power switch on your front panel to ‘Brew’ , attach the lid to your Bunn coffee maker’s tank, replace all screws on internal components, and push down firmly on top of your tank until you hear it lock into position. Within minutes, you should be receiving hot coffee at the perfect brewing temperature straight from your machine!

How Often Should You Descale?

You will need to descale your machine at least once every 60 days. When the “Descale” light on your brewer’s control panel flashes, it is time to take action! We recommend that you fully disassemble and clean your entire Bunn coffee maker according to the steps outlined in this guide before running an automatic self-cleaning process. Simply press the ‘Brew’ button on your front panel while holding down the ‘Auto’ button for three seconds before returning all components of your machine back into their original positions. After following these easy steps, simply run two cycles of fresh cold water through your coffeemaker before adding ground coffee for another pot of delicious Bunn-brewed coffee!

If you own a thermal carafe coffee brewer, simply visit your machine’s control panel and press the ‘Brew’ button while holding down the ‘Auto’ button. Once this process is complete, your Bunn coffee maker will automatically run two cycles of hot water through its internal components before stopping on its own. You are now ready to pour yourself a delicious cup of coffee!

With these easy steps, you should be able to extend the life of your Bunn automatic drip coffeemakers and thermal carafe brewers by at least 3-5 years. With an average cost of only $15 per year for replacement filters alone, owning one of these machines makes great financial sense in light of their incredible durability. Plus, being capable of brewing up to 50 cups every hour.

Tips and Tricks to Make the Process Easier

We recommend that you run two cycles of cold water through your Bunn coffee maker while pouring from a carafe before making your first cup of coffee.

Do not use a cleanser or vinegar to clean the inside of your thermal carafe brewer’s tank, as it will break down its internal lining over time. Instead, simply wipe the exterior surface with a warm damp rag and use salt and ice cubes to remove any mineral buildups within its tank. If you own a thermal carafe brewer, add 1 oz. Kosher salt into your machine’s tank along with 4-5 cubes from an ice tray filled with distilled white vinegar. After removing this mixture from your machine, rinse thoroughly with 2 cycles of distilled white vinegar.

If the light on your brewer’s ‘Descale’ indicator flashes during usage, simply follow the steps outlined in 6a above before running an automatic self-cleaning cycle through your machine.

Make sure that you clean the outside surface of any carafes with a warm damp cloth before use in order to prevent mineral buildups over time. Remember to fill them no higher than the water level marker when filling up for coffee in order to avoid overflow!

For best results, make sure that your Bunn coffee maker is descaled at least once every 60 days using 1 oz. salt and 4-5 ice cubes filled with distilled white vinegar per tank along with 2 cycles of distilled white vinegar.

How to Maintain Your Machine After You’ve Finished Cleaning 

Cleaning a Bunn Coffee Maker Once you have completed the process of descaling your Bunn coffee maker, simply rinse out its tank and spray arm with clean water before refilling it with fresh cold water. Place filter funnel back into place and add 2-3 tablespoons of ground coffee along with the desired amount of decaf or flavored grounds. Fill the carafe with cold distilled white vinegar and run through one cycle in order to remove any residual taste from internal components. Drain and refill your machine’s tank once more before running two cycles of fresh cold water in order for it to become fully saturated and ready for use!

How do I Remove Hard Water Buildup?

If removing the hard water scale is proving difficult, make a mixture consisting of 1 cup warm distilled white vinegar, 1/2 cup baking soda, and 1 teaspoon dishwashing liquid. Pour mixture into machine’s tank and let soak for approximately 30 minutes before flushing 2-3 times with distilled white vinegar.

In order to remove any residual taste from thermal carafes, simply wipe the exterior down with a warm damp rag and add a few ice cubes along with a shot of plain white vinegar to the water level marker. Run through one complete brew cycle in order to flush out any minerals that may have been dislodged during the descaling process. Refill tank once more with fresh cold water before running another two cycles of fresh cold water through the machine in order for it to become fully saturated and ready for use!

How do I Drain My Thermal Carafes?

Since the inner lining of the thermal carafe’s protective lining is damaged by salt and ice, we recommend draining them in a sink or other container without any cracks. Rinse the inside with plain cold water before making coffee to prevent any residual taste from ruining future batches. If you need to clean them further, mix 1 cup warm distilled white vinegar with 1 teaspoon of dishwashing liquid before flushing your machine’s tank multiple times before each use.


Q: I have a Bunn coffee brewer that doesn’t seem to be pumping water into the brew funnel, is it broken?

A: If you haven’t used your machine in some time, check pump pressure by removing spray head and taking off bottom cap of brew funnel. Fill the bottom portion with water (no more than 1/3 full) & run pump on high for 5 seconds. Repeat if necessary until water runs out top of pump. Make sure there are no kinks in the hose where it attaches to pump on underside of brewer. Also make sure there’s no clogging inside the pump itself (remove hose completely from feed tube). If none of these steps resolve the issue, then unfortunately your pump assembly is broken and needs replacement .

Q: My Bunn coffee maker is leaking water out of the bottom?

A: This issue can have a few different causes. Run your machine on high for 5 seconds to see if water begins to fill up base. If it does, there’s either a crack in the base or seal between carafe and base. Remove carafe from unit and check both for cracks. In order to resolve this issue, you may need to replace one or both parts depending on the severity of the damage done.

Q: I am looking for replacement filters for my Bunn Coffee Maker?

A: Please note that our current model BUNN brewer uses a different filter basket than the older models. We recommend checking with Bunn-O-Matic directly to purchase a pack of filters for your current model.

Q: I have a 2 year old Bunn Coffee Brewer and it has stopped working?

A: In order to get the most from your machine, make sure you descale at least once every 3 months using fresh water and white vinegar. If this does not resolve the issue, it could be due to mineral buildup over time which may require carburetor replacement.

Q: Do I need to buy a whole new coffee maker if my carafe breaks?

A: Unfortunately, if these parts are broken, yes you would have to purchase a new machine in order to use them again.

Q: How often should I clean my thermal carafe and BUNN Coffee Maker?

A: In order to keep your carafe looking new for years to come, we recommend hand-washing them with warm soapy water; towel drying after each use. Be sure not to leave liquids in the inner lining, especially for periods of time. This can cause dangerous chemical reactions.

Q: Can I run vinegar through my coffee maker to clean it?

A: As mentioned above, if it is time for descaling, we recommend the use of distilled white vinegar mixed with water. When making our coffee maker operate at its optimal level, be sure to use fresh water in daily operation.

Q: How do you get the vinegar taste out of a Bunn coffee maker?

A: The best way to get rid of the vinegar taste is to rinse it out with water after using distilled white vinegar. It should not take long for the taste to dissipate, but if you continue to notice the vinegar flavor after repeated rinses, there may be residue left behind; descale your machine as a necessary conclusion.

Bunn coffee makers are a popular choice for many coffee drinkers. They make great-tasting Cleaning your Bunn coffee maker is a breeze, and it’s important to do on a regular basis if you want to keep your machine running in top condition.

We’ve outlined the steps you need to take below, so follow along and your coffee maker will be good as new in no time. How to Clean Bunn Coffee Maker? If not, now is the perfect time to start!

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