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How to Clean Ninja Coffee Makers: Tips to Follow for a Perfect Caffeine Kick Every Time

Dedicated coffee addict? Then you’ll want to make sure your coffee maker is always running perfectly

If you love your coffee, then knowing how to clean your Ninja coffee maker is essential to ensure you have access to the perfect cup of joe whenever you need it. Ninja is responsible for some of the best coffee machines on the market, offering a huge choice in terms of both the types of coffee you can make as well as the machines with which you can make them.

But what if you wake up one morning and find that your coffee simply doesn’t taste right? Chances are that your Ninja coffee maker needs a good clean. Keeping your Ninja in tip-top condition is vital, not only to make the best-tasting coffee, but also to ensure that your machine can service your needs for as long as possible.

With so many different models on the market, though, cleaning methods from one machine to the next may differ. So, in this guide we provide all the cleaning tips you need to tackle any Ninja coffee maker you own, to ensure a great-tasting cup of joe every time.

What are the signs that my Ninja coffee maker needs cleaning?

We’ll come to day-to-day maintenance further down, but first we’re going to point out the signs to look for that reveal it’s time for a deeper clean.

First, you’ll probably notice a change in the flavor of your coffee. Drinks could taste slightly bitter, be too insipid or have little bits floating in them. If your morning brew just doesn’t taste “right”, it’s likely time for a clean.

Another key warning sign is cloudy coffee and/or white particles and film inside the coffee maker. These are usually the result of mineral deposits in the water; in particular, limescale. If you live in a hard water area then these will be more noticeable. Left unchecked, you risk a build-up of these deposits, which will prevent your machine from working efficiently – and your coffee won’t taste great, either. To avoid these issues, or at least reduce the risk, use water that’s been filtered – a water filter jug will remove the deposits.

Note that cloudy coffee could also be down to you grinding your beans too finely, which means they will pass through the filter and into your coffee cup.

Daily cleaning tips

Whichever Ninja coffee maker you own, you’ll need to follow these daily cleaning tips to maintain a happy machine.

Once your coffee is brewed and the machine is cool, remove the brew basket and discard the paper filter and grounds. If you’re using pods instead of grounds, you’ll need to remove the pod adapter for washing, along with the brew basket. Do note that the pod adapter isn’t dishwasher-safe, so you’ll need to clean it by rinsing in hot, soapy water.

For those using a permanent filter, empty out the grounds and wash the filter in hot, soapy water. Next, clean the frother whisk – either by hand, or in the top rack of the dishwasher.

Lastly, you need to clean the carafe and brew-through lid. Again, you’ll want to use soap and hot water here, along with a bottle brush or cloth to clean the inside of the carafe. Do note that the glass carafe, brew-through lid, permanent filter, brew basket, water reservoir, water reservoir lid, frother whisk and Ninja scoop can all also be cleaned in the dishwasher. And, for best results, the advice is to empty the reservoir after each brew and refill it with fresh water.

Weekly cleaning tips

Once a week, put the water reservoir in the bottom rack of your dishwasher and stand it upright with the opening facing downwards to ensure a thorough clean.

The sliding lid isn’t dishwasher-safe, but it does need to be kept clean. To do this, open the hinged hood on the top of the brewer by pulling up on the left-hand side. Once this is open, you can pull the sliding lid out of the back of the brewer to remove it, before washing in soapy hot water. Dry it thoroughly before reversing the removal process and putting it back in place.

How do I run the cleaning cycle?

Cleaning cycles on Ninja Coffee Makers vary slightly depending on the model you have. Check out our guide below, which has been split by model.

Ninja Programmable XL-14 Cup Coffee Maker (covers DCM200 series)

Step 1: Make sure that the 1-4 Cup button isn’t illuminated and then set your empty carafe underneath the brew basket.

Step 2: Use a descaling solution specifically formulated for coffee makers and follow the instructions on the packet, filling the water reservoir up to the 14-cup line. Alternatively, add 16oz of white vinegar to the water reservoir before topping up with water to the same 14-cup line.

Step 3: Now press the Clean button to start the cleaning cycle, which can take up to an hour. If you need to stop the cycle, simply press the button again. The machine will beep when the cycle is complete.

Step 4: Empty the carafe and clean thoroughly with soap and hot water, before replacing it under the brew basket. Clean the water reservoir in the same way to ensure you remove any lingering traces of cleaning solution.

Step 5: Refill the water reservoir to the 14-cup line and flush the system by running a “14 Cup Classic Brew” with water only. Once this is complete, discard the water and re-clean the carafe.

Ninja Hot & Iced Coffee Maker with Rapid Cold Brew (covers models CM360 and CM371); Ninja DualBrew Hot & Iced Single-Serve Coffee Maker (covers CFP100 series); Ninja DualBrew Coffee Maker (covers CFP200 series); Ninja DualBrew Specialty Coffee System
(covers CFP300 and CFP400 series); Ninja Espresso & Coffee Barista System (covers CFN600 series); Ninja Hot & Cold Brewed System (covers CP300 and CP305 series)

Step 1: Select the Full Carafe size and place the empty carafe below the brew basket.

Step 2: Follow the instructions for Step 2 above for the XL-14 coffee maker, but fill the water reservoir up to the Full line. If using white vinegar, fill to 16oz and then top up with water.

Step 3: Press the Clean button. The clock on the coffee maker will count down the remaining time – it takes an hour for the CM360 and CP models, and 75 minutes for the CM371 and all CFP models; the CFP105CO model takes 90 minutes. When complete, the brewer will beep. Do note that for the CFN series you’ll need to press the Grounds button before the Clean button.

Step 4: Once finished, follow steps 4 and 5 above for the XL-14, filling the reservoir to the Full line.

Ninja Pods & Grounds Coffee Maker (covers models PBO40, PBO40C, PBO41ST and PBO51)

Step 1: Find a saucepan or bowl that can hold 56oz of water.

Step 2: Insert either the Ninja pod adapter or permanent filter in the brew basket and close the lid. Make sure you haven’t left any pods or grounds in the coffee maker.

Step 3: Remove the adjustable cup tray and then place your saucepan/bowl beneath the nozzle.

Step 4: Fill up the water reservoir to the Clean line with either your descaling solution or white vinegar. Now top up to the Max line with water.

Step 5: Put the reservoir back on the unit and press the Clean button. Next, press the Brew button to start the cleaning cycle. The cycle will take around 75 minutes to complete and the machine will beep once it’s done, with the Clean Cycle indicator turning off.

Step 6: Empty out your saucepan/bowl and the water reservoir, and clean both with hot, soapy water.

Step 7: Fill the reservoir to the 24oz line with water and put your saucepan/bowl back under the nozzle. Flush the system by running a “24oz Classic Brew” with just the water to fully clean out the system.

The Clean light on all Ninja coffee makers will illuminate orange when a clean cycle is due. We would also recommend running one if you notice any of the signs we’ve discussed that might indicate a clean is required, though. If the light is still orange once you’ve completed a cleaning cycle, you may need to run it again to remove extra mineral and limescale deposits that could have built up over time.

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