For 16 years of my life, I lived under the assumption that coffee pots, cups, and spoons should not be cleaned. A bizarre (now terrifying) belief held by my parents that didn’t last long after I moved out. After I moved out I found myself search for how to clean a coffee maker. It’s been nearly 10 years since I’ve feared mocking over cleaning a coffee pot, but it still leaves me wondering. How often is really necessary? I know families that must clean their machines after each use, some that clearly subscribe to my parents school of thought, and some that like me, fall somewhere in between. So, who’s right?
How often should you clean your coffee pot?
I’m sure we all know how to clean a coffee maker, but so few of us know how often. Coffee pots are germ and bacteria factories. Certain models are even susceptible to algae, mold, and fungus. Overall, they definitely should be cleaned. This study from the NSF talks about how coffee pots are the 5th most germy place in your kitchen, and worse, they tend to harbor more serious germs than you might think. There is very little data about how often they recommend cleaning your coffee pot, so we’ll use the rule of thumb from most household authorities. You should be completely cleaning and disinfecting your basket and carafe coffee pots every month. That’s on top of rinsing the basket out each use and cleaning the carafe with warm sudsy water every day.
Now, those numbers are just for your standard basket and carafe pots. The cleaning schedule for other coffee types carries.
Moka Pot: Clean after every use. Replace gasket every 3 months or 90 uses. Replace the filter as damaged.
Perculator: Clean after each use.
Bodum Press: Clean after each use. Replace screen every 6 months or as needed.
Pour over: Clean after each use. Replace as damaged.
Chemex: Clean after each use.
Espresso: Clean wand, filter, and basket after each use. Completely disinfect every 30 days.
Cleaning affecting the taste of Coffee
You might think the most common excuse I hear for not cleaning the coffee pot is: “not enough time” but, no, it’s that cleaning affects the taste of coffee. It’s true, the taste of coffee will become clearer and less bitter when cleaning out your pot. For those who enjoy the bitter taste and body that an uncleaned pot will produce, I recommend stepping up to a darker roast to give you the body you’re craving.
How to clean a coffee maker
p style=”text-align: center;”>By far, soap and water are the best methods for cleaning your machine. The same as your plates and other kitchen surfaces. It removes dangerous mold and bacteria without leaving dangerous chemicals as residue. For internal parts, water reservoirs, wands, and other items that would be difficult to clean with basic soap and water, we recommend using a professional cleaning solution or vinegar. We recommend a natural based professional cleaner at least once a year for all systems with water tanks. This will keep your water lines clean from Lyme and other buildups.