clean coffee maker

How to Properly Clean Your Coffee Maker

One of the world’s most popular beverages, coffee has gained even more notoriety lately; thanks to increased evidence of health benefits related to its antioxidant compounds. Unfortunately, the average cup of Joe can also play host to some unsettling contaminants that have the potential to negatively impact your health. If you brew at home, learn how to properly clean your coffee maker to eliminate mold, bacteria, and other potential toxins.

Disturbing Statistics

According to a 2011 study, the average cup of home-brewed coffee is likely to contain a host of microorganisms that would make the average person’s lips curl. Conducted by NSF International, the research showed that about half of coffee makers have mold and yeast growing in their reservoirs, while another ten percent harbor coliform bacteria. This same study showed the average home coffee reservoir contains more germs than toilet seats and bathroom door handles.

Cleaning your Home Coffee Maker

Microorganisms need moist nooks and crannies to reproduce. Calcification can create these places within a coffee maker and hasten mold and bacteria buildup. To minimize the risk of contamination and improve the taste of coffee, experts recommend that people decalcify their home brewing units at least once a month based on the following guidelines:

  • Fill the unit’s chamber with equal parts filtered water and white vinegar.
  • Using a clean paper filter, allow the coffee maker to brew until half the chamber is empty.
  • Turn the unit off and let it sit idle for half an hour; then, finish brewing.
  • Brew a pot of filtered water to rinse the machine. Repeat this step.

Things to Consider

To effectively eliminate mold and bacteria from your coffee, it’s important to thoroughly clean your carafe in addition to your coffee maker reservoir. You should also use properly filtered water to reduce the risk of recontamination and minimize calcification. A Pelican countertop filter, 6-stage RO system, or whole house water filter can provide cleaner, better tasting water for your coffee brewing needs. You can also decrease the rate of calcification by investing in a water softener alternative with salt free technology for your home.