My Coffee Machine Smells Bad

Poor cleaning of the coffee machine (whether of the water tank or the internal pipes) has several consequences, one of which is not very pleasant: the odours from the coffee machine. When the coffee machine smells bad, it is usually due to the accumulation of organic sediments (coffee grounds or milk residues) in some compartment.

How to remove the smell from the coffee machine? In many cases, the solution depends on where the dirt is located, but to eliminate the smell from the coffee machine, we recommend two basic processes, and not exclusive:

  1. Practice a thorough cleaning of all the exterior components of the machine, with the aim of eliminating the visible remains.
  2. Decalcify the coffee machine, even with a special anti-odour decalcifier.

Thorough cleaning of the coffee machine

For this section, we recommend that you read our guide to cleaning coffee machines more slowly, but the most important thing to do to eliminate the odours from the coffee machine is to focus on the external components. The largest amount of waste that can cause odours is usually located in the drip tray, and in the areas near the extraction spout (although this depends on the type of coffee machine you use).

For example, if it’s a pod coffee machine, you may have the problem that your Dolce Gusto coffee machine smells bad. In this type of machine, an area where a lot of coffee residue accumulates, is the part just below the nozzle (where the coffee comes out).

Most of the coffee goes into the cup, but there are always small drops that get stuck to the inside walls or plastic of the coffee machine. And over time, these small drops can become a significant amount of coffee residue.

Our recommendation is not to wait until the pod coffee maker smells bad or shows symptoms of calcification, but to adopt a proactive attitude and practice a light but constant cleaning every time we prepare a coffee. If we do this continuously, it is enough to wipe the outside of the coffee machine with a damp cloth and remember to put the drip tray in the dishwasher from time to time.

The importance of the water tank

One element that we should not forget to clean is the water tank. The water has numerous sediments (in some cities more than others, of course) and over time can give rise to bad smells in the coffee machine.

Sometimes we forget about the remains that accumulate at the bottom of the water tank, or the bottom of the glass jug of the filter coffee machines. To rule out any possibility of bad odours in the coffee machine, we recommend that you wash it from time to time in the dishwasher, or (if it has a small opening, as is the case with the tanks of pod coffee machines) fill it with a little water and some detergent.

Let this mixture stand for several hours, for example from one day to the next, and then empty the tank and rinse it several times to ensure that no detergent remains for the next brewing.

Decalcifying to eliminate bad smells from the coffee machine

If your coffee machine has bad smells, another possible solution could be to decalcify it, not only to remove the lime and improve its operation (something we should do equally frequently) but also to remove any organic remains that may remain encrusted.

Some brands, such as Bosch, sell special decalcifying liquids for when your coffee machine smells very bad. But a normal water softener will also do you a good service, or even the usual resource of cleaning your coffee machine with vinegar.

What about you? Do you know any other tricks on how to get rid of the bad smell from your coffee machine? You can tell us through the comments, or share your problem with the community of readers of our website (I’m sure someone will help you).