How to clean ninja coffee bar maker and turn the clean light off
Cleaning, House + Home

How to Clean the Ninja Coffee Bar

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How to Clean the Ninja Coffee Bar and coffee maker, and how to turn off the clean light! There’s a special process to follow, that’s more than just running the clean cycle. Here’s how!

How to Clean the Ninja Coffee Bar Coffee Maker

How to Clean the Ninja Coffee Bar

If you watched my “How to Use a Ninja Coffee Bar” video, then you know how much I LOVE the coffee maker.

But something that a lot of you Ninja Coffee Bar owners and I struggled with, was that the pesky “clean” light would stay off for a split second, but then it would come back on and stay on.

“How do I Clean this Coffee Maker?”

So after calling Ninja myself, asking what I was doing “wrong”, or if that there was a faulty part in my machine…

the sweet lady that I talked to, asked how I was cleaning it before.

When I explained that I would push the clean cycle button to run its 8-minute cycle (like I did in my “Ninja Coffee Bar Quick-Clean” video here) it was like a light-bulb went off and she responded,

“Ahhh… that’s what it is. So you’re just doing a quick-clean cycle. But that’s not all you need to do. Here’s how to really clean your Ninja Coffee Bar and make that clean light go off and stay off!”

Cleaning Ninja Coffee Bar with White Vinegar

The next question she asked was,

“What are you using to clean your Ninja Coffee Bar?”

And like a shy little girl, I responded with “um.. vinegar?” Hoping she wouldn’t reprimand me for using a household item instead of some fancy cleaner that they recommend.

But she didn’t! She just simply continued on with the instructions of how to clean the Ninja with white vinegar.

Friend, I’m proud to tell you today that this process actually worked and the clean light stays off MUCH longer than it was. Here’s what you need to do, and don’t forget to read my tip and feedback that I recommend after doing this with my very own Ninja Coffee Bar.

UPDATE: I’ve been on the hunt for a coffee machine descaler solution (cleaning solution) to use instead of vinegar and water, to see if it works better.

Well, I’m happy to say that I’ve found one that (based on the reviews) works SOOO much better than vinegar and water, to help keep that “clean” light off! I’ll be trying this myself so I can keep you posted on it too!

Get the Coffee Machine Descaler on Amazon HERE!

Get the descaler HERE!

How to Clean the Ninja Coffee Bar and Turn Off the Clean Light…

Note, this is the LONG-PROCESS for Cleaning Your Ninja Coffee Bar. If you’re pressed for time, don’t hesitate to run a clean cycle once, (or also sometimes called a “flush cycle”) but know that it probably won’t clean it thoroughly and that the clean light will pop back on after about one more use.

Ninja Coffee Bar Cleaning Video

I’ve recorded a quick 5-minute video of the recommended cleaning process, but you can find the instructions below the video for quick reference too…

Ninja Coffee Bar Cleaning Instructions:

  1. Discard any water/coffee grounds from Ninja Coffee Bar
  2. Pour about a travel size mug of vinegar into the water reservoir, and fill the rest with water. (Filtered, Purified or Distilled)
  3. Press the “CLEAN” button and let it run for about 1 minute. Press the “CLEAN” button again to pause the machine.
  4. Let the machine sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  5. Press the “CLEAN” button again, and let it finish the cleaning cycle. (About 5-8 minutes.)
  6. Pour vinegar/water mixture out of carafe and clean carafe, mesh basket and water reservoir with a scrub brush, lightly, if you have one.
  7. Fill the reservoir with water, and press the “CLEAN” button again and let it run the full cycle, without stopping it. (5-8 minutes)
  8. Discard water from the carafe and clean carafe, reservoir, and mesh basket once again.

The “CLEAN” light should stay off at this point, until it’s ready to be cleaned again of course. But it should not come back on after one or two uses, like it does with the quick-clean cycle.

My Tip for DEEP DEEP Cleaning Your Ninja:

If you have and use hard water, the Ninja’s clean light may come back on more often than others. If it has been a while or if you’ve never DEEP cleaned your Ninja with this long-process, it may not hurt to do the vinegar/water mixture and pausing process a couple of times to real combat those hard water deposits inside of the machine.

I would LOVE to hear how this worked for you!

Leave me a note in the comments so we can share with Ninja!

How to Use the Ninja Coffee Bar

If you’re just starting out with your Ninja Coffee maker, and you’re still unsure of how to really use it, don’t miss my “How to use a Ninja Coffee Bar” video that I created for you too!

34 thoughts on “How to Clean the Ninja Coffee Bar

  1. Nancy Clary says:

    My “clean” light is on, but doesn’t work at all when pushed to start the process. I’m on my second cleaning with vinegar, using (pushing) one of the other coffee brewing buttons to get it to start. Clean light still on. I’ve unplugged the entire coffee pot and thought it would reboot. No luck. Very frustrating.

    1. Jessica says:

      I’m sorry! I hope you were able to get it to work eventually? I’d love to hear what ended up happening if you tried it again. If it didn’t work, I’d give Ninja a call. They’re super helpful when I call in with questions!

    2. Allie B says:

      You won’t hear it start to work immediately. You have to push the clean button and wait just a bit before you hear any action.

  2. C L says:

    I had the issue of the clean light coming on 10 days after I started using it. I did the quick clean and again in 5 days, clean light was on so I have been repeating the process for weeks now. I only use bottled water when brewing coffee so why is this happening so frequently? I am in the middle of the deep clean now using bottled water and white vinegar, which is what has been used from the beginning…..stay turned, will let you know when it comes back on again.

    1. Jessica says:

      I hope it works for you this time!!

      1. C L says:

        Nope. 3 days later it is back on, worthless coffee maker. Maybe ninja needs to stick with blenders only

    2. C L says:

      today the clean light came back on which is 3 days after the last clean cycle. I only drink 1 or 2 single cups per day which means I had a max of 6 single cups before I have to clean it again. This is a brand new unit and a piece of crap coffee maker so now going to social media to spread the word.

      1. Mark Bernard says:


        1. C L says:

          I think I found the remedy. Purified water, starting using it about a month ago after the clean light was on once again…….it has not come back on since.

          1. Andrea ordodi says:

            Why is my clean cycle an hour as opposed to what you refer to is about 8 minutes? Also when I press the clean button to posit it actually stops. I will see when I press it again if it starts from the beginning or just continues.

          2. Jessica says:

            Hi Andrea! We could have different models??

    3. Jj says:

      I have hard water and the clean light comes on for me every 3 days if I use the regular faucet water. I started buying water and it only comes on about once a month. I think its dumb to buy water, but if it is going to keep my Ninja at 100%, it’s worth it. Instead of using gallons and gallons on vinegar to clean it 2 x’s a week, I just buy water. It pretty much evens out.

      1. Jeffrey Johnson says:

        People please. Purified water is tap water just filtered. If you plan to use this bottled tap water. I suggest the PUR water filtration jug it holds almost 2 gallons sits in your fridge has a 8 part filter and will save you tons of money. But when i press my clean button it starts the timer at 59.00 minutes runs for about 2 then stops until timer ends and re starts on Its own. And i use this water everyday 3 pots a day love my ninja

    4. Zander Wyatt says:

      Bottled water still has minerals in it. Just minerals that taste good. You don’t want to use distilled water because it won’t have the flavor. Anyway, using bottled water will still clog up your machine over time. My problem is similar. I am filtering the water and using the fancy descaler. My machine automatically takes an hour to clean and it only lasts a week before the light comes on. I think the machine is just really sensitive. Moving forward I am just going to clean it once every 2 weeks and be done with the light

    5. Glenda Flint says:

      I love this coffee maker…my problem..the clean light goes off after the first rinse. If I try to rinse a second time it starts the whole clean cycle all over again.??? I follow the exact cleaning instruction. Should I just be satisfied with one rinse?

  3. Katie says:

    I have went through and cleaned my Ninja coffee maker three times today, with vinegar…. the light stays on. I’m starting to think there’s something wrong with my machine

  4. Lora New says:

    I’ve cleaned thoroughly with vinegar. I brewed 2 pots of coffee and its back on. This has been going on for 3 weeks now. I tried ignoring the light but it affects the brewing cycle some how. The coffee tastes horrible. I’m ready to buy a simple Mr. Coffee .

    1. Jessica says:

      Aw, I’m sorry Lora. Thank you so much for letting us know!

  5. Wendy says:

    Wondering why you recommend pressing clean to pause machine after 1 min, when the machine seems to pause itself after 1 min. Also after I did that and pressed clean to resume the clean cycle it did not take 5-8 min, ithe time on the clock was 30 min.

    1. Jessica says:

      Hi Wendy! They told me to pause it after one minute, to allow the vinegar mixture to sit in there for a while. If I didn’t pause it, it wouldn’t sit in there long enough. Do you have the same model of coffee machine that I do? Or is it different one? I know they may clean a bit differently, depending on the models. 🙂

  6. Ron davis says:

    My ninja starts clean cyccle hen stops. Also then indicates 4.00hrs andgcyles on. And then eventually sys flush. Flush twice ma have the lightback on again. Going by what you have said only 30 minutes should be all the time it says.

    1. Jessica says:

      Hi Ron! Do you have the same model of the one I’m using? Sometimes I think the Ninja could operate differently based on the kind it is. (I have the CF091 model!)

  7. Chris says:

    The clean light is on, nothing happens. Left on all night, nothing happens. Cannot get switch to turn off. Can not get clean light option to turn off.

    1. Jessica says:

      Hi Chris! Well shoot. Did you do vinegar/water and run the clean cycle for one minute and pause it, and let it sit all night?

    2. Laura Crawford says:

      Same I have done a. Lean cycle Luke 6 times and 2 four hour cleans . I talked to Ninja she ended up saying well as long as the machine works it’s fine . I use to clean it the light would go off but now it will not go off I’ve tried everything .

  8. Patty says:

    Frustrated by the ever-present blinking orange light, I tried this deep cleaning method. I ran the vinegar-water mixture through three times – the first time I let it sit for an hour. The second I let it sit for thirty minutes. Third time, I ran it straight through. I used a stronger mix, half vinegar, half water. I cleaned everything – water reservoir, basket, the platform below the reservoir. I have just run the (filtered) water-only through the clean cycle for the fourth time. That dang light is still blinking. I give up.

    1. Jill says:

      Hey. So when I push the Clean button it does run for a minute and then has a timer that says 55mins. Is that all of these machines? I’m confused about this “quick cycle” as mine always takes an hour or more to “clean”

      Would it hurt to use 100% vinegar? I feel like putting my sink water back in is not solving any problems. Haha

      1. Jessica says:

        Hi Jill! Well, there are different models of Ninja Coffee Bars, so it’s possible that ours could be a bit different. I know what you mean about wanting to use all vinegar. I’m not sure if it will hurt it??? But it’s something that I definitely want to try!

  9. Ann says:

    Thank you so much for this information. Like you, I never did a deep clean and have had the pot three years. Instead of vinegar I used a descaler today and followed your instructions. So far so good. If the light comes back on after two or three pots of coffee, I’ll be back.

  10. Jnett says:

    I have the Ninja Coffee Bar that I just push the button once and it does all the pausing on its own..BUT it take approx. 3 hrs…ugh. AND you have to wait around until the end of the “clean” cycle when it indicates “FLSH” (flush) you have 15 mins to dump carafe, and rinse as well as the water reservoir and replace with fresh clean water. It will then run fresh water through once and the “Clean” light will turn off. Mine stays off approx 30 to 40 “brew cycles” before coming back on. CAUTION: if you don’t complete the 15 min flush cycle in the time allotted the machine turns off, the clean light is still illuminated and you have to start all over….yes that’s right …start the 3 hr process over..which is an epic FAIL!! Trust me in this because I have done it twice. Also I read somewhere that it will allow you to brew coffee a certain number of times with the “clean” illuminated but once it reaches that number the machine will not brew again until cleaned. I have not experienced that as of yet but usually if it comes on I confine myself to the house for 3 hrs and the kitchen area for the last 30 mins to make sure I don’t miss the flush cycle.

  11. Judy Small says:

    When I push clean on my Ninja machine, the process takes an hour to clean. I use vinegar as directed and the light comes on a day later. I use the descaler solution and the light stays off sometimes, a week, sometimes 2. When I do clean, I use just water 3-4 times with clean cycle afterward. I rinse out each part also. The light does not stay off for more than 2 weeks. If there’s a better descaler than others, I would love to hear. If there’s anything else I could be doing, also would love to hear. If theres no other suggestions, say so and I will buy new. My machine is only a year old.

  12. Billy says:

    I tried your long cycle clean suggestion with descaler and with vinegar. Light came back on next day. I remembered a product called CLR. Using 1/4 cup CLR TO 8 parts filtered water, I ran the cleaning process with the normal clean cycle. I rinsed and cleaned twice. It has been a week and counting with no clean light! CLR is about 5 bucks. Its works! So ditch the white Vinegar and other pricy de scaler product for CLR.

    1. Jessica says:

      That’s great! I love that CLR worked for you, thank you! Other readers, if you’re wondering what CLR is, you can get it HERE!

    2. Kaela Maculan says:

      I did 1 cup clr to 10 cups of filtered water. After the clean cycle I ran 6 classic brews of just plain filtered water and voila no clean button.

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