If you’re planning to get a new drip coffee maker, you might be asking the common question: “How long will this coffee maker last?”
The answer may not be as simple as you might think, as there are multiple factors to consider in figuring out the lifespan of the machine. But the answer shouldn’t be overly complicated either.
In this article, I’ll share with you how long drip coffee makers typically last, factors that affect their lifespan, and tips to extend their life so you can brew coffee without worries.
What is the life expectancy of a drip coffee maker?
You can generally expect a well-maintained drip coffee maker to last for at least five years. But with that said, the honest answer is that each coffee maker, be it a drip coffee maker or not, will have its own life expectancy based on several factors.
High-quality machines can operate for over 10 years, with some repairs likely to be done on the machine the longer it lives.
If your coffee maker shows some problems just months after purchase, I recommend that you check its warranty and see if the unit can still be replaced.
I’ve seen older coffee machines that are pushing 2 decades, but manufacturing is not what it used to be nowadays. Sometimes I get the feeling that appliances are made to break after a few years (planned obsolescence), so you have to buy a new one.
Factors That Can Affect Your Coffee Maker’s Lifespan
Knowing the factors that can impact your coffee machine’s survival can help you have a better understanding of how long it can last. Here are a few factors to consider when you’re looking for a new coffee maker that lasts:
1. Price Range and Quality
Obviously, you can expect high-end models to be more durable than the cheaper models on the market. But that doesn’t mean you need to break the bank for a long-lasting machine. I know people whose machines’ lifespans went waaay beyond expectations.
Brands known to have good reputations are definitely worth considering if you seek a long-lasting machine. Some drip coffee maker brands that are known to last longer include Bunn, Cuisinart, OXO Brew, Bonavita, Braun, and Wolf Gourmet.
Just like any appliance in your kitchen, regular maintenance goes a long way to prolong a machine’s lifespan. To maximize your coffee maker’s performance and longevity — make sure you clean it regularly as described here.
If you fail to do this, common issues such as mineral buildup (also called “limescale”) can occur, leading to poor-tasting coffee and potential breakdowns.
Tips to Extend the Life of Your Drip Coffee Maker
In order to keep it running smoothly for years, proper usage, maintenance, and care are essential elements for prolonging the life of your drip coffee maker. Here are some tips to help you keep your coffee machine brewing for you for many years.
- Use filtered water: Water quality plays an important role when it comes to maintaining a healthy coffee maker. If you use hard water that contains minerals like calcium and magnesium, these particles could build up over time and clog different components inside the appliance. This is why I recommend that you invest in a good filter system for cleaner water that can then turn into great coffee.
- Regular maintenance: Of course, regular maintenance is a key factor in giving your coffee maker a longer lifespan. Aside from cleaning up after each use, you should also give your drip coffee maker a regular descaling at least once every three months. This is to remove all residue buildup before it can do any damage to your machine.
- Store properly: Make sure you store your coffee maker properly when not in use. Remove the coffee grounds before keeping the machine in a dry and non-humid place. If the coffee maker is stored for a long period of time, it is recommended to flush the machine before using it again.
Signs That It’s Time to Replace Your Coffee Maker
You might feel attached to your coffee maker, especially if it’s served you faithfully over the years. But like most things in life, all good things must come to an end.
Here are a few telltale signs that will let you know when you need to replace your drip coffee maker:
- Slow brewing
- Inconsistent temperature
- Weak or watery coffee
- Poor extraction
Before replacing, though, make sure you do a deep clean. It’s worth a try.
Another reason that you might feel like it’s time for a new coffee machine is that your taste or needs may have changed. For one, your single-serve coffee maker may no longer cater to the growing number of coffee lovers in your home. Or perhaps, you’d want to try to brew with something new, like a French press, AeroPress, pour-over, Moka pot, or a Keurig coffee maker.
How to Dispose of Your Drip Coffee Maker Properly
Once you’re convinced that it’s time to move on from your drip coffee machine, it’s time to throw it out responsibly.
Since an automatic drip coffee maker is an electric appliance, you should treat it as e-waste. Here are a few ways to dispose of it:
- Find out if your waste company accepts e-waste.
- Drop it off at the nearest recycling center.
- Bring it to a Goodwill store.
- Return it to where you bought it (Most manufacturers have their own recycling program).
All in all, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer for how long a drip coffee maker will last. But when you invest in quality equipment and practice regular maintenance (like cleaning after each use), your coffee maker will continue to brew you good coffee far into the future.