When I acquired my first Zojirushi I read somewhere that it might occasionally need cleaning. By the time I received my second Zojirushi water boiler a couple years later, I read it again.
Here we are yet a couple years later and they’re in need of cleaning again. Somewhere along the line I realized I never once wrote anything about cleaning either of the Zojirushi CV-DSC/CV-DYC water boiler units I happen to have.
So, here we go. Something you should always know how to do, and basic maintenance I tend to perform every six to eight months depending on water hardness and ph level.
Using Citric Acid
While some people online have claimed success using baking soda and vinegar, that combination has a propensite for leaving odd smells in the unit. I highly recommend sticking to citric acid.
While I happen to buy the official Zojirushi Citric Acid cleaning packets on Amazon… you’re not obligated to do either. I’ve seen people use other brands of citric acid, and I’ve heard of still others who buy the stuff very cheaply by the pound to save money longer-term. Still, at only about $8 USD for four packets at the time of writing this, It’s a good deal to help your Zojirushi Water Boiler live longer and boil stronger.
I use a small plastic container to mix the citric acid with how water before pouring it into the Zoji unit, but others have no problem pouring the citric acid directly into their Zoji. For what it’s worth, Zojirushi officially suggests pre-mixing.
Cleaning your Zojirushi Unit
The water boiler unit shown above was actually the cleaner of the two I own (yikes.) The other had been in a corporate office for an extended period and shared with dozens of others who used it as frequently as I did.
It may be difficult to see at first, but there’s a lot of calcification at the bottom of this unit and a little on the sides. This is only 6mo between cleanings.
I’ve seen some boilers (Zojirushi and others) with all kinds of stuff floating around inside because they’d never been cleaned. If this is the case with your unit… it may be tempting to just toss it and buy a new one. DO NOT do that. It’ll generally take only two or three cleaning cycles to cleanse the worst offenders! So for less than $10 you can definitely get yours up and running without nasty floaties!
These units are fairly simple to clean. Most Zojirushi units within the past decade or so have a cleaning mode built in which reboils several times to make sure everything inside breaks up properly.
To clean the unit normally, just pour in the citric acid pre-mixed, add water to the max fill line in your unit and let it boil as you normally would. You can activate the built-in cleaning mode of your Zojirushi water boiler by holding down the reboil button until the temperature indicator looks like it kinda bugged out.
Once the boil cycle is completed, or the cleaning cycle returns the temperature indicator back to a normal numeric reading you can empty your Zojirushi water boiler.
It is important however that you run all the cleaned water through the normal spout and not dump it from the top of the unit like abucket. Using the dispense mode allows the citric acid remaining to clean the tubing which leads to the dispenser spout. This will lead to cleaner tasting brews.
Also, while Zojirushi doesn’t officially recommend it, I also suggest running an extra boil cycle with fresh water in your now-clean water boiler in order to ensure everything is flushed out. Once again, running the entire vacuum empty of water using the dispense mode on the unit.
Conclusion - Enjoy Fresh, Clean Water Again
Now that your Zojirushi water boiler unit is completely clean, you can use it as you normally would, boiling up you water for tea, fresh pressed coffee, oatmeal, hot cocoa and anything else you need variable temperature water for.
Have at it!