How to Clean a Senseo Coffee Maker

Updated February 21, 2017

Senseo brand coffee makers by Philips and Douwe Egberts use a specialised coffee pod system to brew coffee. Rather than traditional coffee holders and filters, Senseo coffee makers have a sealed coffee pod containing pre-measured ground coffee. The coffee pod makes clean up of used grounds easy, as it is entirely self-contained. As a result, cleaning your Senseo coffee maker only requires that you dust the exterior once a week, wash any pieces exposed to the brewed coffee regularly and de-scale the machine at least once every three months to remove mineral deposit build-up.

Turn off and unplug your Senseo coffee maker.

Open the lid, remove and dispose of the pod and then lift the coffee outflow unit up and out of the coffee maker. Remove the pod holder, drip tray, cup tray and water reservoir carefully from the coffee maker. Slide the cover from the front of the coffee outflow unit and remove the splash guard from the water reservoir.

Place all the pieces in the top rack of a dishwasher and wash on a normal cycle with other dishes; or hand-wash the pieces with hot water, mild detergent and a lint-free microfiber cloth. If the sieve inside the pod holder has clogged holes, scrub the sieve gently with a soft-bristled, nylon brush to dislodge any debris from the holes. Rinse all of the pieces thoroughly under running tap water and then set the pieces aside to air dry.

Wipe the metal distribution disk under the lid and exterior with a damp cloth and then return the washed pieces to the coffee maker.

Place a fresh coffee pod in the pod holder, shut the lid, plug in the coffee maker and brew your coffee.

Turn off your Senseo coffee after three months, or after brewing approximately 500 cups of coffee, and remove the water reservoir.

Fill a container with 1 litre of water, add 50 grams of citric acid to the water and mix until the powder dissolves.

Pour the water into the reservoir. Put the reservoir back in the machine and place a large container capable of holding at least a litre under the spout.

Open the lid, place a used coffee pod into the pod holder and close the lid. Press the "On/Off" button, press the "2 cup" button and wait 1 hour. When the cycle finishes, make another batch of descaling solution and repeat the cleaning process with another used pod.

Replace the used pod with another used pod. Fill the reservoir with tap water and press the "2 cup" button to rinse. When the cycle ends, repeat the rinse with another used pod and additional water.

Dispose of the used pods. Remove and clean the pod holder with soapy water and soft-bristled brush and rinse it thoroughly. Air dry the pod holder, return it to the machine, place a fresh pod in the holder and begin brewing.


If your machine has a scale monitoring system, de-scale the machine immediately when the display shows the "CALC CLEAN" message.


The cup tray has extremely sharp edges. Use caution when handling it. Always conduct two descaling cycles and two rinse cycles to remove all mineral deposits and citric-acid based solution from your machine. Never use harsh or abrasive cleaners, or de-scalers based on mineral acids—acetic, sulphuric, hydrochloric or sulphamic acids—to clean the machine. In addition, never harshly scrub or brush the inside bottom of the water reservoir as doing so can damage the valve.

Things You'll Need

  • Dishwasher (optional)
  • Water
  • Lint-free microfiber cloths
  • Mild detergent
  • Soft-bristled nylon brush
  • Powdered citric-acid based de-scaler
  • Containers
  • 4 used coffee pods
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About the Author

Based in Southern Pennsylvania, Irene A. Blake has been writing on a wide range of topics for over a decade. Her work has appeared in projects by The National Network for Artist Placement, the-phone-book Limited and GateHouse Media. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Shippensburg University.