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Time to Coffee Makerclean your coffee maker? Using it each morning many of us forget to take the time to clean it. If you just heat water in it why do you have to clean it?

Mold and bacteria love a moist environment. Not drying it out between uses can cause growth. If there is still a little water or moisture in the coffee maker during the morning, bacteria can start to grow. In a study from the NSF International on coffee makers half of them had mold and yeast growing in their reservoirs. About ten percent had dangerous bacteria growing. In fact, some coffee makers had higher germ counts than bathroom door handles and toilet seats. If you think with a single-cup coffee maker you can avoid the problem think again. Any moist environment at room-temperature will allow bacteria to grow.

Cleaning Take out the white vinegar as it will help clean and “decalcify” or remove mineral buildup. You can get mineral buildup from regular tap water.

Pod-type or Single-use.

If you have a single-use or pod-type machine pour vinegar into the machine and run it through a few cycles. Then run water through a few cycles to avoid vinegar taste. You need to do this every month. This will also help to prevent any clogs in many nooks and crannies of the machine. Check your machine instruction book for what parts could be put in the dishwasher. YouTube has some videos on cleaning some machines. Make sure you use a clean drinking cup each time to avoid bacteria growth in your cup.

Classic Coffee Maker

If you have the classic coffee maker, pour half water and half vinegar into the brewing chamber and run through the machine until the chamber is half empty. Then stop the machine and let the mixture sit in the machine a half hour before finishing the brewing cycle. Use a paper filter in the brewing chamber. Fill the machine with water and a new paper filter and run through a cycle. Do this twice to avoid vinegar tasting coffee. Run this mixture through every month.

Daily you should make sure you clean your carafe with warm soapy water and soft scrubbie to remove any build-up in the carafe.  If it is dishwasher safe you can use the dishwasher. Clean the lid and filter basket daily, too. Leaving the brewing chamber open to air out or dry can help prevent some bacteria growth.

Cleaning will help your coffee taste better, as bacteria can add a bitter taste. Enjoy a safe cup of coffee or tea.

Author: Pat Brinkman, Extension Educator Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension

Reviewer: Cheryl Barber Spires, Program Specialist Supplemental Nutrition Assistant Program Education, Ohio State University Extension

References:

Cohen, S., {2014]. Are you drinking mold with your coffee? Available at http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news/are-you-drinking-mold-with-your-coffee-120214.html

Strutner, S. [2014). Your coffee maker is full of mold. Here’s how to clean it. The Huffington Post, Available at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/29/how-to-clean-coffee-maker_n_5861026.html

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