When is the last time you cleaned your office coffee maker (or your own, for that matter?) A study a few years ago found that about half of all coffee makers had yeast and mold growing in their reservoirs. About 1:10 housed coliform bacteria. And most alarmingly, on average, coffee reservoirs had higher germ counts than bathroom door handles and toilet seats.
Why are our coffee makers so dirty?
Many people are sporadic when it comes to cleaning the coffee maker or simply don’t clean it at all. They aren’t sure when it should be cleaned, which steps to take, or what products or items are needed. Some believe that coffee or the hot water itself deters bacteria and removes build-up that breeds germs, but that’s a myth. It takes more than that to clean a coffee maker.
Below, we cover how and when to clean the office coffee maker. Not only will you avoid putting your coffee maker in the moldy majority, but you’ll also come out with better tasting coffee that doesn’t get filtered through dirty machine parts.
You’ll never forget to clean your coffee maker again once you see how simple it is!
How to clean your coffee maker
- Fill the water reservoir halfway with water and the rest with vinegar.
- Insert a paper coffee filter and brew the water-vinegar mixture halfway through–stop when the chamber is half empty.
- Turn the machine off and allow the mixture to sit for 30 minutes.
- Turn the machine on and finish brewing.
- Brew a pot of clear water with a new paper filter, then brew another pot.
- Fill the carafe with warm soapy water and a small amount of rice to gently buff and clean the inside. Swirl it around, then scrub the inside with a sponge. Rinse and dry.
- Wipe down the outside of the machine with a cleaning wipe or damp cloth.
When to clean your coffee maker
You should repeat steps 6 and 7 every day, or after you’re done brewing each time. The trick to keeping your coffee maker truly clean and reducing your chances of consuming mold or bacteria is preventative cleaning and maintenance that doesn’t allow germs and mold to stand a chance.
As for the de-calcifying steps involving vinegar listed above (steps 1-5), those only need to be repeated once a month for daily coffee drinkers or those with hard water, and once every 3 months for those who drink occasionally or have soft water.