Most people don’t think of their coffee pot as one of the germiest spots in their kitchen, but studies show that coffeemakers are a hot bed for bacteria and mold. Coffeemaker’s reservoirs probably have a higher germ count than some spots in your bathroom with such germs as yeast, mold, and coliform bacteria. Here’s how you can keep your traditional carafe coffeemakers and single-serve machines clean and your coffee tasting great:
Each time you use it: Wash the removable parts of your coffeemaker to remove coffee, grinds, and oil. The pieces should be dishwasher-safe, but you can also wash in the sink with warm, soapy water. It’s a good idea to wipe down the outside and the warming plate where spills can burn on as well as leave the reservoir’s lid open use so it can thoroughly dry out.
Once per month: “Decalcify” and cleanse the hard water minerals that build up in your machine’s inner workings causing your coffee to take longer to drip. To do this, fill the reservoir with equal parts vinegar and water, and place a paper filter into the machine’s empty basket. Place the pot in position to “brew” the solution halfway. Turn off the machine, and let it sit for 30 minutes. Turn the coffeemaker back on to finish the brewing, and dump out the pot of vinegar and water. Rinse everything out by brewing a full pot of clean water with a new paper filter. Repeat this cycle once. If your carafe is a bit stained, you can fill it with warm, soapy water and a little rice. Swirl the mixture to loosen any gunk and use a sponge to remove debris. Rinse it out and let it sparkle.