Want Better-Tasting Coffee? Try Cleaning Your Coffee Maker


Fear not; I've got the solution for cleaning your favorite appliance.

Our coffee maker is by far the most used appliance in our kitchen! There’s nothing like starting the day with a steaming cup of freshly brewed coffee. No effort can be spared in pursuing the perfect brew: artisan beans, extravagant machines, and fancy grinders.

But when was the last time you thoroughly cleaned your coffee maker? Mineral deposits and oils build up over time, affect the taste of your morning joe, clog your machine, and can cause health issues.

For as often as we all use our coffee makers, how often do we thoroughly clean them?

how to clean your coffee maker graphic

Gross but true coffee maker cleaning fact: Most coffee makers are crawling with germs and growing mold, experts say.

According to an NSF International study, the reservoir of a coffee maker is the fifth germiest place in the average home. Yeast and mold were found in half of the makers tested because most coffee maker reservoirs’ warm, moist environment is ideal for germs and bacteria to grow.

We can all agree this is pretty disgusting, but it can also be harmful, especially to those with allergies and asthma. Worse yet, mold spores, bacteria, and even E.coli can reside in your coffee maker, causing various health problems like allergies, flu-like symptoms, and gastrointestinal issues.

Luckily, Lisa Yakas, senior product manager of Consumer Products at the National Sanitation Foundation, says that these appliances are relatively harmless as long as clients follow the manufacturer’s cleaning directions.

pouring cream in coffee

Time to give your coffee maker some love and attention! Follow these easy coffee maker cleaning steps:

1. Remove the basket, carafe, and any other removable parts. A quick rinse is not enough to rid the components of the residue buildup that may be responsible for your bitter brew. Hand wash with warm, soapy water or put it through the dishwasher. For tough stains, fill your carafe with two parts hot water to two parts baking soda, and soak overnight.

2. Scrub off the nasty buildup on the hotplate with a sponge, a baking soda paste, and a bit of water.

3. White vinegar is the key to decalcifying your coffee machine, i.e., ridding it of mineral deposits. Fill your coffee maker with a solution of half water and half vinegar. With an empty carafe and a clean, empty filter in the basket, please turn on the brew cycle; let a few cups run through, and then turn it off. Let the solution sit for 30 minutes, then restart and complete the process. Discard the vinegar solution. Run two more brew cycles with fresh, clean water.

4. Wipe down the machine’s exterior with a wet sponge or, even better, a clean paper towel.

Tip! Remember to wash the basket and carafe daily and do a vinegar decalcification monthly to maintain your coffee maker.


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