Have you ever noticed the coffee you brew every morning tastes different than when you purchase the same thing at a coffee shop? It is not such an uncommon problem. Regular monthly cleanings of Coffee Makers may be one of the most unknown of kitchen rule of thumb.
Why is it so Important to Clean your Coffee Maker Monthly?
Impurities, hard-water deposits, and the oily residue of coffee can build up over a period contributing a terrible taste to your daily brew. Bacteria and mold thrive in dark, damp areas making the water reservoir and piping system the most germ friendly areas of your coffee maker. Since these areas cannot be seen they are often overlooked. Other common misconceptions are that the water is hot enough to kill bacteria (false) or that the acidity of the coffee itself kills bacteria. The acidity of coffee is only enough to kill about half the bacteria present leaving the ones that can make you sick survive.
“Are there germs in our coffee makers? Yes. Will they make us sick? Maybe, if there are enough of them, and especially if we don’t clean our pots often enough.”
Donna Duberg, M.A., M.S., Assistant Professor of Clinical Laboratory Science at Saint Louis University
Cleaning Your Coffee Maker: Best Practices
Soak any removable parts (coffee pot, grind holder, etc.) in warm soapy water and scrub. Replace in machine.
Fill your water reservoir with a mixture of half Warmed Water and half White Vinegar. Brew through your machine for about half of your brew cycle. Stop the machine. This will allow the vinegar to remove any buildup in the pipes and properly disinfect the entire machine. Let sit for 1-2 hours. Finish brewing cycle. Run warmer water through machine 2 additional times to remove smell and taste of the vinegar.
This process takes little to no preparation aside from having White Vinegar and only takes about 2 effortless hours and ensures excellent, healthy coffee for another month.
Other Tips and Advice
-Use slightly warmer water. While your Coffee Maker may not warm cold water up enough, water warmed prior to being put in the reservoir may. It also helps brew the pot at a warmer temperature, maximizing flavor.
-Coffee Mugs also tend to be a haven for bacteria (Especially in the work place). Remember to clean them with hot soapy water and allow to air dry.