How To Clean Your Coffee Maker – Get Rid Of Mold, Germs, And Bacteria

Your coffee maker is full of mold and you are completely unaware of it.

Cleaning the carafe alone won’t help.

With 54% of the population in the USA over the age of 18 drinking coffee every day and more than 85% of the Americans brewing coffee at home, there is a little bit of residue on your machine and it piles up day by day.

Not cleaning it properly can make it even worse.

A study published back in 2011 on NSF tells that most of the people don’t consider their coffee maker a hot bed for bacteria and mold and in reality it is. This study also found that 50% of the coffee makers used at homes have yeast and mold growing in the carafe and reservoirs.

women not feeling well after trying coffee

This study was based on only 22 households. The actual numbers might be even greater than this.

While nothing can energize you better than a hot steaming cup of coffee in the morning, but having a coffee maker with germs, bacteria, and mold growing inside it can be a serious threat to your health.

Kelly Reynolds who is a germ specialist says, “Bacteria can grow in coffee makers since it has a moist environment. Our body may deal with them to some extent but when they grow to high levels, it can cause sickness.”

How to Clean Coffee Maker

The most effective way to clean a coffee maker till date is described by Carolyn Forte, director of Home Appliances and Cleaning Products Lab at Good Housekeeping Research Institute.

The magic ingredient is “VINEGAR” and we all have it in our kitchen.

man cleaning coffee maker

Here’s what you need to do exactly.

Things Required

  • Filtered Water.
  • Your Coffee Maker – Really?
  • White vinegar. Make sure you have enough to fill the carafe.
  • A sponge.
  • Paper filters.
  • Paper towels.
  • Warm soapy water.
  • Uncooked white rice – I’ll explain later. Keep reading below.


  1. Dump & Rinse

For drip-coffee makers…

The first thing to do is scrape out all the old grounds that might be sitting in the brew basket. If there is any coffee left in the carafe, spill it away.

Give the carafe/coffee pot a quick rinse at the sink.

If you are using single cup coffee makers, make sure there isn’t a pod in the machine and follow the procedure as explained below.

  1. Brewing

Fill your coffee maker’s water chamber with equal parts of white vinegar and water.

Also, use a paper filter and turn on the coffee maker.

Let it brew until half the chamber is empty.

  1. Finishing Brewing

Now, turn off the coffee maker and let it sit there for 30-minutes. Meanwhile, you can do other cleaning work in the kitchen.

  1. Rinsing

Next, rinse your machine using a new paper filter to brew a pot of clear water. Repeat this twice or thrice.

  1. Final Clean

Finally, fill the carafe with warm soapy water and add some uncooked rice.

Give the pot a swirl and use the sponge to scrub any leftover gunk.

Rinse it and using a damp cloth, dry the inside and outside of the machine.

Carolyn recommends following the 4th and 5th step every day.

That’s it!

Your coffee maker is free from mold, germs, and bacteria.

What To Do Before You Use Your Coffee Maker?

Every day when you wake up and walk towards the kitchen to make a cup of coffee, it’s better to wash the removable parts of the machine after preparing the coffee. This helps to get rid of oil and grinds.

Wash it with warm and soapy water and don’t forget to dry it with a damp cloth.

Also, keep the reservoir’s lid open so there is no moisture left for germs to grow.

coffee cup on table

Hey, Angela…How many times a month I should wash my coffee maker using vinegar?

Since hard water minerals can build up inside the machine parts, it can take longer to drip. To avoid this just do it once a month. This will keep the coffee maker clean and its parts good. You also want to make sure your coffee basket and filter are cleaned regularly.

Recommended Coffee Maker Cleaning Formulas

So far, I’ve used these three cleaning formulas. They are safe, effective and helps clean your coffee maker in no time.

  1. Urnex Cleancaf Coffee Maker & Espresso Machine Cleaner Powder
  2. Saeco Espresso Machine Liquid Decalcifier.
  3. Keurig Descaler.

While the above-mentioned cleaners/decalcifies are ideal, you can also pick a few from here.

Coffee makers being the 5th ‘germiest’ item in the kitchen, it’s important that you responsibly clean it every month.

With a cleaner coffee maker, it’s time to brew that perfect, healthy and delicious cup of coffee.

Don’t forget to share it ;).

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