Romey's Ramblings

Random musings of Jeromey Balderrama

Is the Ninja Coffee Bar A Dud?


2017-04-05 23.03.19

Last Christmas I got my wife a new coffee maker and settled on the Ninja Coffee Bar (ours was Model CF081).  When we first bought it, we were extremely happy with it. It was consistently making great coffee.  Now about 4 months later, we’ve seemed to have stumbled into what’s becoming a common issue with the coffee maker.

Recently the display has gone to display “CLN” (which stands for Clean) and has really prevented the coffee maker from working or brewing consistently. After following the directions to clean the coffee maker, the clean notification never turns off.  I tried to Google this information over the last few days but hadn’t seen anything definitive on the web. I had to dig a little deeper to find numerous comments on their Facebook Page and on Amazon Reviews.  There seem to be a significant amount of users complaining about the issue, and each comment on Facebook has been met with the same canned response, asking users to private message them a number on the plug prong and that they’ll email you specific instructions on how to clean it.  Presently I’m awaiting those instructions, but I have my doubts that there’s a magic sequence that solves the problem.  Based on updates from other commenters, it seems they are recommending that people clean with their specific cleaning solution (now that’s convenient), and in some cases, they are sending out replacement units (although I’ve heard that some users are being charged a $20 shipping fee).  I’ll provide an update once I hear from their support.


If you are experiencing this issue, be sure to click on the comments on the above Facebook post.

This is starting to seem like a systemic problem, something that only is now appearing to really manifest itself with these coffee makers being in the wild for a few months.  I’m not sure if this has been fixed in later models, but people are presently commenting on the same issue in the Amazon reviews of the current for-sale model. I’m not sure if their cleaning sensor is malfunctioning, or if there are genuine issues with calcium buildup that is not being solved by their cleaning methods. Nonetheless, this is pretty disappointing.

Are you a Ninja Coffee Bar user and experienced this problem? Do you have any tips in how to solve this?

Update: Ninja Support did send me a link to a PDF that had cleaning instructions that differed from the manual, that had specific details of how to execute post-clean flushes.  The key was that the flush had to executed within 15 minutes after a clean cycle, or it had to be started all over again. We’re a few days into making coffee again.

  • Kevin Arabian

    While researching the same issue, I ran across your article. Would you please post a link to the PDF or post the specific “new” cleaning instructions.

  • Lillian

    Mine just did this today. It was the first time I got this message. I have had my pot about 3 months. I have a whole house filter and should not be getting any scale. I went ahead and follow the cleaning instructions in the video and the CLN message is still there.

    • Maureen Murray

      just started today–machine is one month old….

  • I’ve had the same issue for months now. I also got mine this past Christmas. Initially, I thought it might be my water so I started using filtered bottled water and still always says “Clean”. I now run clean cycles every other day and the CLN light never turns off. I am hopeful that whatever this PDF is of other cleaning instructions will work…if they’ll ever send it to me.