Top critical review
Good maker, but hard to clean
January 21, 2016
Had I posted this review 5 months ago when I purchased it, it would have easily been 5 stars. Today I see I never reviewed it, so I shall now. This unit is terribly hard to keep clean and I am in ongoing e-mail conversations with Cuisinart about this fact. The black plastic, interior unit (the "coffee holder") has so many nooks and crannies, you can never get it satisfactorily clean.
Based on the manual I was running the half water/half vinegar self clean cycle once a month since August. In between self clean cycles, I would also wipe the interior with "warm, soapy water" (again, the manual) every so often to clean it.
I thought this was satisfactory until 4 days ago. Our morning coffees had "floaties". I dumped the coffee and began to inspect the interior while over the sink. I began to see all the areas I really could not reach. What I could reach, I found massive coffee residue build up. I began to tackle the interior with warm, soapy water and scrubbing the best I could, using rags, dish brushes, and even an old toothbrush. This was producing massive black flaking. I then let white vinegar soak in the reservoir.
Rinsing, I found more and more black flaking flowing into the sink with every dump of water through the black reservoir. Now it never stops. I have created a monster. Every towel I use to wipe and dry to view my progress, comes away black as soot. My wife is now 'grossed out' and will not drink from the DCC-3000 any longer.
I never dreamed this DCC-3000 would be so difficult to keep clean, even following a good cleaning regime previously. Why does the 'self clean' cycle not really clean the unit? Why am I having to roll up the sleeves and really scrub? And with an old toothbrush? It's only been 5 months of ownership. It shouldn't be this difficult.
Edit, January 27, 2016: Since writing this, Cuisinart has suggested that using only vinegar and water while utilizing the unit's self-clean cycle may not be enough to keep the DCC-3000 clean. I am now being told that to truly clean the interior to utilize a product like CleanCaff for the coffee residue. I wish when I had asked how best to keep clean 5 months ago, this advice had been given back then. Instead for now, Cuisinart is going to replace this unit with another DCC-3000 for my troubles, even though nothing is technically wrong with the unit. I thought that was a nice act. They even waved their $10 processing fee.