How to Clean a Senseo

Updated April 17, 2017

Leftover coffee oils and mineral deposits can ruin the taste of your coffee and shorten the life span of your Senseo. As water is heated, minerals are left behind on the inside of your Senso in the form of white or grey residue known as scale. Untreated scale can ruin the heating unit in you Senseo. The remaining oils from coffees past can infiltrate your new coffee and cause it to turn rancid during the heating process. Cleaning your Senseo on a regular basis is important to prevent scales and limit the amount of leftover oil. This ensures a great cup of coffee instead of a cup full of sludge.

Unplug your Senseo. Cleaning an electrical appliance while it is plugged in is extremely dangerous.

Dip a clean towel or sponge into warm water and wipe down the outside. Wipe off any smudges, fingerprints and coffee drippings.

Remove the coffee output unit. The output unit is composed of the pad holder (where the coffee pods are placed to brew coffee) and the drip tray (it runs the hot water to the coffee pod in the pad holder).

Lift the Senseo lid to expose the output unit. Grab the handle of the output unit and pull it toward you to remove it from its frame. A small handle will enable you to remove the pad holder from the output unit. Pull the handle on the front of the output unit toward you and slide it downward. Remove the pad tray from the output unit. When all of the parts have been removed, wash the individual pieces is warm soapy water.

Remove the cup tray. The cup tray is the small metal grate that your coffee cup sits on when the coffee is being dispensed. Gently lift the cup try up to remove it from the base. It can then be washed in warm soapy water or in the dishwasher. If the heated surface underneath the cup tray is dirty, it can be wiped clean with a warm soapy towel.

Remove the top of the reservoir. Wipe the inside of the water reservoir with a warm soapy towel. Cleaning the reservoir on a regular basis helps prevent scaling.

Eliminate scaling by filling the Senseo with water to the "Max" line on the reservoir. Add descaling agent in accordance to the directions on the package. Most descaling agents are added in addition to water. Put a bowl under the output and turn on the machine. As the machine runs it will pump the descaling agent through the parts and remove any mineral build up that causes scaling. This process may need to be repeated more than once to ensure the Senseo is clean. When you are done descaling the machine, repeat the process with plain water. This will flush the system and remove any residue left behind by the descaling agent.


Descaling agents can be found in the cleaning aisle of most grocery stores. If you are uncomfortable with using a commercial descaling agent, vinegar and water can be used instead.


Make sure to get all of the soap out of the reservoir before making fresh coffee. Leaving soap residue in the reservoir can ruin your coffee and make you sick.

Things You'll Need

  • Clean towel or sponge
  • Water
  • Dish washing liquid
  • Descaling agent (optional)
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About the Author

Based in Los Angeles, Calif., Sameerah Blue has been writing professionally since 2000. She has been a contributing writer for "Step Magazine," "Rapport Magazine" and "Highland Park News." She is also a writer and editor for the blog