To clean an electric coffee percolator, fill the water reservoir with a mixture that’s half distilled white vinegar and half water. After turning on the coffee maker, let several cups of the mixture run through, then turn it off and let it set for an hour. Start the machine again to complete the cycle, discarding the vinegar mixture. Run plain water through the percolator a few times until the vinegar odor disappears.
A coffee percolator consists of a pot with a smaller chamber at the bottom, which is placed closest to the heat source. A vertical tube leads from this smaller chamber to the top of the percolator. Just below the upper end of this tube is a perforated chamber; the desired amount of water is poured into the water chamber, and then the amount of coarse-grounded coffee is placed in the top chamber.
After the percolator is placed on the heart source, the water temperature rises until it begins to boil. The hot water is distributed at the top over the perforated lid of the coffee chamber. This water then seeps through the coffee grounds, leaving the coffee chamber through the bottom and dropping back into the lower half of the pot.