If you are an avid coffee drinker, you are probably making multiple trips to the kitchen to get your dose. But have you ever thought about how dirty you can put the coffee maker in your home or office after all those uses?
Be it the single-serving Keurig, the Nespresso machine or a traditional coffee maker, it is important to keep these appliances clean to prevent the growth of bacteria, yeasts or even mold.
Lisa Yakas, senior product manager for Consumer Products at the National Sanitation Foundation, says these appliances are relatively harmless as long as customers follow the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions.
However, without routine cleaning, they can become quite dirty.
Mold and yeast like to grow in their coffee maker
Yakas points to the water tank, the part of the coffee maker that stores water, as one of the dirtiest parts of the kitchen if it is not cleaned regularly.
“He was not on his radar,” Yakas said of the families involved in the study.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In the US, foodborne yeast and mold can be a source of sensitivity for people with allergies and can even cause infections.
Yakas recommends always emptying unused water in the tank and leaving the lid open to dry.
“Some of these organisms like these humid and humid places, that’s where they like to grow,” said Yakas. “If you eliminate that moisture completely … then you eliminate its conditions to grow.”
Its motto is “keep it dry and clean.”
Other germs appear in and around your coffee maker.
Chuck Gerba, a professor of microbiology at the University of Arizona, said coffee rooms have more bacteria than bathrooms in most office buildings.
If the office has a coffee maker, Gerba says that the first thing that becomes more germinal is the handle of the coffee maker. However, in a single-use machine, it says that the top of the machine where people put the plastic capsule has the most germs.
“When you use the machine, it could enter your coffee,” he said.
Gerba also said that another great source of germs is coffee cups, especially if they are shared among coworkers. A In the 1997 study, he co-authored the office coffee cup exam and discovered that E. coli and even fecal matter were found in some of the cups.
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According to Gerba, the sponges that people used to clean their cups actually contaminated them. If the office has a dishwasher, it is recommended to use it.
“The dishwashers work very well because you have a high temperature and it dries,” he said.
However, if the sponge cannot be avoided, Gerba says that it is important to dry the coffee cup with a paper towel instead of using a cloth or letting it dry on a rack.
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How to clean your coffee maker: Keurig, Nespresso, Black & Decker, Mr. Coffee
Both Gerba and Yakas say that the heat from the coffee maker can kill most germs, but it should not replace ritual cleansing or decalcification, which should happen every one to six months, according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
“While it is possible that the heat of coffee preparation kills some microbes, why take a chance?” Yakas said. “We think it is better to go to the source and keep the coffee maker clean.”
So, here is how to properly clean your coffee maker according to the product manufacturer:
Keurig: Turn off the Keurig and empty the water tank, removing the filter. Pour the Keurig descaling solution into the reservoir. After pouring the entire solution, fill the empty bottle with water and add it to the reservoir. Turn on the Keurig again, place a cup, perform a cleaning preparation with 10 oz. Prepare the size and then pour the contents of the cup. Repeat until the “add water” light comes on. Let the Keurig stand for about 30 minutes (with the power still on) and then rinse the tank thoroughly. Fill the tank with fresh water and make at least 12 cleaning beers.
Nespresso: Rinse and clean the water tank before filling it with fresh water and then put the water tank in place. Rinse the cup holder and place a container of at least 0.5 liters below the coffee outlet. Then open the machine head, allow the used capsule to be ejected, and empty and rinse the capsule container. Close the head and turn the lever until it is in the “locked” position. Press the button three times in two seconds, the button should start flashing quickly. It will take less than two minutes for a flow to flow out, then the cleaning procedure will run automatically for five minutes for three cycles. The company urges consumers not to use any cleaning agent or vinegar in the process. The company offers its own descaling products to use instead.
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Black & Decker: the coffee maker will indicate when it is time for a cleaning cycle. Fill the tank with equal parts of white vinegar and cold water, then place a paper filter in the filter basket and close the lid. Press the automatic cleaning button on the control panel. Approximately half of the liquid will be poured into the pot immediately, but the second half will take about 30 minutes. When the process is finished, the pot must be full and the coffee maker will turn off automatically. Before making coffee again, run another cycle with cold water only.
Mr. Coffee: some traditional coffee makers are not programmable with a cleaning cycle, in which it is recommended to clean your coffee maker with vinegar solution every 40 to 80 uses. Instead of using the automatic cleaning button, turn on the coffee maker until the jar is full for three cups. If it is off, wait 30 minutes, then turn it on again and prepare the rest.
Gerba said that vinegar will eliminate most of the mold and yeast, but the U.S. Environmental Protection and Protection Agency does not consider it a disinfectant and does not eliminate all the bacteria that can make a person sick.
That is why Yakas recommends removing each removable piece from the coffee maker and cleaning it by hand. Some parts of the coffee maker are dishwasher safe.
Follow Adrianna Rodriguez on Twitter: @AdriannaUSAT.