Today is cleaning day for my coffee maker, so I figured I would detail the process that I use. I use the Cuisinart DCC 2000, a 12-cup coffee maker. The manual suggests doing a cleaning once-a-month. Since I'm the only coffee drinker in the house and restrict to mornings only, I clean every other month on odd numbered months.
The first thing I do is scrub all of the removable parts with normal dish soap and water. This includes: gold tone filter,filter basket, reservoir, grate, and tray. After cleaning thoroughly I rinse even more thoroughly! Note: between these bi-monthly cleanings I generally just rinse the parts with hot water. I want to avoid cleaning solutions as much as I can. Who wants to drink soapy coffee?!?
Next up I fill the water reservoir just under the 4-cup mark with plain old nothing fancy white vinegar. I top it to the 12-cup mark with regular tap water. Then press the clean button and start. It seems like it takes a little longer to get going pressing the clean button than a normal start. This is either because it really is doing some kind of cleaning or I'm just not used to ever making a full 12-cups of coffee. The later is more likely.
Once the cycle completes I let it sit for 10-15 minutes then dump the vinegar/water solution out. I once again thoroughly rinse everything with tap water. After the rinse I dry everything out with paper towels, mainly to be sure I've got rid of as much of the vinegar/water solution as possible. I run through one more full 12-cup clean cycle, but this time with just plain tap water. Let it sit, rinse, and dry, then it's done!