How to Clean a Ninja Coffee Maker – Easy Guide with over 20 Pictures

If you ever wondered how to clean a ninja coffee maker and thought it was difficult, you are in for a treat. We are going to show it is a straight forward process with our step by step guide full of pictures that make it easy to follow.

This cleaning process has to be done regularly because minerals in the water you use in your coffee machine tend to build up inside the tubes. This causes blockage and makes your coffee maker work harder and even ruin it.

This scale that build ups inside your machine can change the flavor of your coffee too. As you can see there are many reasons to clean your Ninja coffee maker when the “clean” lights comes on or before it turn on.

Note: If you also own a coffee maker from another brand you can check our specific step by step guide on how to clean each:

  1. Black and Decker
  2. Braun
  3. Breville
  4. Bunn
  5. Cuisinart
  6. Hamilton Beach
  7. Keurig
  8. Mr. Coffee
  9. Oxo
How to Clean a Ninja CM401 Specialty 10 Cup Coffee Maker

How to Clean a Ninja Coffee Maker

Step 1

You should clean your Ninja coffee maker when the “clean” light turns on. The “clean” button is located at the bottom right next to the “start” button. See picture below.

A thin red light turns on below the word “clean” when it is time to clean it. You can continue to use the machine even though this clean red light is on but it es best you clean it as soon as possible to avoid damage to your coffee maker.

Note: the clean cycle takes approximately 60 minutes to complete. If you cancel or interrupt the process, your machine will not be properly descaled.

Clean light on Ninja Coffee Maker

The key to making coffee is the quality of water. Even if you use the cleanest water, it will naturally leave calcium and other mineral builup behind in the tubes that carry it through the coffee machine. 

When water runs through the machine, these deposits collect to form patches of limescale, which can block the tubes and clog the Ninja coffee maker. This can ruin your machine or change the flavor of the coffee being made.

In picture below, one of these tubes cut open so you can see where minerals tend to build up. This process of cleaning removes this limescale patches so water flows more freely.

Inside of Coffee Maker pipe

Step 2

Remove the coffee filter (pictured below) from the basket.

Filter of a Ninja Coffee Maker

Step 3

Make sure the coffee basket (pictured below) is clean.

Basket on Ninja Coffee Maker

Step 4

Place carafe (pictured below) below the coffee basket.

Carafe of Ninja Coffee Maker

Step 5

We are going to use White Vinegar to descale the Ninja Coffee maker. With white vinegar you have to use 16 oz or fill to the travel mug line (pictured below).

Fill to the Mug line on Ninja Coffee maker

In the water reservoir lid (pictured below) you can find the amount of white vinegar to use if you ever forget.

Clean cycle instructions on lid of ninja coffee maker

Add the 16 oz of white vinegar to the water reservoir (pictured below).

Add white vinegar to Ninja Coffee Maker

White vinegar to the travel mug line.

White vinegar to the mug level on Ninja Coffee Maker

Step 6

Add the fresh water to the max line (pictured below).

Max Level on Ninja Coffe maker

Step 7

Press the “start” button (pictured below) to start the Ninja Coffee maker.

Press Start Button on Ninja Coffee Maker

Step 8

Change switch to open “drip stop” (pcitured below).

Open Drip Stop on Ninja Coffee maker

Step 9

Turn knob to full carafe (pictured below).

Turn knob to full on Ninja Coffee Maker

Step 10

Press on the “clean” button (pictured below) to start the cleaning process.

Press Clean Button on Ninja Coffee Maker

A 60 minute countdown timer(pictured below) will start on the display of your Ninja coffee maker.

Countdown timer on Ninja Coffee maker

Both the “clean” button light and “start” button light (both pictured below) will stay on during the cleaning process.

Remember that this process takes around 60 minutes to complete so you have to be patient. The machine will pass some white vinegar through the system then pause, then pass some more and continue for 6 minutes. This extended pauses allow for maximum cleaning and descaling.

Important: don’t remove the carafe for any reason during the complete cleaning process.

Both On and Clean Lights turned on in Ninja Coffee maker

Step 11

When the cleaning process is complete the Ninja coffee maker will make bip sound, the clock will display “End” and the clean light will turn off.

Discard the white vinegar from the carafe (pictured below) and rinse it with fresh water.

Discard vinegar from Ninja Coffee Maker carafe

Rinse the basket (pictured below) with fresh water to remove any vinegar residue. Also remove the water reservoir and rinse it with fresh water and place it back.

Rinse basket of Ninja Coffee maker

Step 12

Fill the water reservoir to the max line (pictured below) with fresh water.

Fill Ninja Coffee Maker with Fresh water

Step 13

Turn on the Ninja coffee maker.

Press Start Button to clean Ninja Coffee Maker

Step 14

Make sure the knob is in the full carafe option (pictured below)

Knob on Full in Ninja Coffee maker

Step 15

Press the “Classic” brew button (pictured below) on your Ninja coffee maker.

Press Classic Brew button on Ninja Coffee maker

We recomment doing 2 brews of full carafe of fresh water to make sure any vinegar residue is eliminated from the system.

Note: If the “clean” light is still on after you have done the complete cleaning process it means there is still some mineral deposits left. You will have to do the cleaning process all over again to completely eliminate any mineral deposits.

Cleaning and Descaling Instructions for Ninja Coffee Maker

Following is a pciture of the cleaning and descaling instructions for the Ninja Coffee Maker that came with the product.

How to descale a Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker

Ninja Coffee Maker Troubleshooting Tips

Ninja 12 Cup Coffee Maker Leaking Water

If your Ninja 12-cup coffee maker is leaking water, there may be several reasons why:

  1. Overfilling: Make sure you are not overfilling the water reservoir beyond the maximum level indicated. Overfilling can cause water to leak from the coffee maker.
  2. Faulty water reservoir: Check the water reservoir for cracks or damage. If there is damage to the reservoir, it may need to be replaced.
  3. Loose water tank: Check to ensure that the water tank is properly seated in the coffee maker. A loose water tank can cause water to leak from the coffee maker.
  4. Clogs: Check for any clogs in the coffee maker’s water lines or filter. Clogs can cause water to back up and leak from the coffee maker.
  5. Seal issues: Check the seal on the water reservoir and the coffee maker itself. A damaged or improperly installed seal can cause water to leak from the coffee maker.
  6. Brewing too much coffee: If you are brewing too much coffee at once, it can cause water to overflow and leak from the coffee maker. Try brewing smaller batches to see if this resolves the issue.

If none of these solutions work, contact Ninja customer service for further assistance. They may be able to help diagnose the issue and offer a solution or provide a replacement coffee maker if necessary.

FAQs on How to Clean a Ninja Coffee Maker

Why is the Clean Light still on after the cleaning process?

You may need to run the cleaning process again if there still are mineral deposits in your Ninja coffee maker system. Hard water can cause this mineral deposits to be more diffcult to remove.
Another cause could be that the coffee machine was used ignoring the cleaning light was on. It is best you clean your machine as soon as you see the cleaning light on.

How often should I descale my Ninja Cofee Maker?

This depends on how often you use your coffee maker and the hardness of the water used on the machine. If you use your Ninja coffee maker daily and the water where you live is hard, we recommend you follow our cleaning process every 3 months.
If you use your Ninja coffee maker every other day and/or you use filtered water, you can follow our cleaning guide every 6 months mto keep your machine at optimal performance.

What is Descaling?

Descaling is the process of removing built-up calcium and other mineral deposits from inside of your coffee maker. In addition to cleaning externally your Ninja coffee maker, it’s also important to clean or descale it regularly.
If you don’t descale your Ninja coffee maker regularly, it may affect its performance, could even ruin the machine and change the flavor of the coffe it makes.

How do I clean the glass carafe of my Ninja coffee maker?

With regular use, coffee stains start to appear on glass carafes. If your glass carafe has significant coffee stains it is time make a deep clean.
You can follow our guide on how to clean a glass coffee pot to make look like new again.

Final Thoughts

Running the clean cycle regularly on your Ninja coffee machine is an important task to keep it running at its optimal performance for a long time. It only takes a few minutes every day you use it to clean your coffee maker’s water tank and filter basket.

If you want to make great tasting coffee daily, you should follow the steps shared in this article to do just that.