In most work environments – or even at home – one of the first things you go for is that morning cup of Joe.
But beware, that innocent-looking pot may be filled with bacteria, yeast, or even mold.
The Ventura County Star reports that without routine cleaning, they can get pretty grimy.
Lisa Yakas, senior product manager of Consumer Products at the National Sanitation Foundation, says that these appliances are relatively harmless as long as clients follow the manufacturer’s cleaning directions.
It’s the pot’s reservoir – the part of the coffee maker that stores water – as one of the dirtiest parts of the kitchen if not cleaned on a regular basis.
A NSF International study of kitchen products in 2011 found that 50% of the sampled reservoirs in coffee makers had mold or yeast.
Yakas recommends that the unused water should always be emptied out and the lid left off to dry out.
There’s also that pot-handle, filled with germs from many hands holding it throughout the day.
Let’s not overlook those office coffee cups. A study by the UN Food and Agricultural Organization found that E. coli and even fecal matter were found in some of the cups.
Health experts recommend you use your own cup and wash it regularly.
Some traditional coffee makers aren’t programmable with a cleaning cycle, in which it’s recommended to clean your coffee maker with the vinegar solution every 40 to 80 uses, which will clear out the mold and yeast.
However, vinegar is not considered a disinfectant by the U.S. Environmental and Protection Agency and doesn’t get rid of all the bacteria that can make a person sick.
Yakas recommends taking out each removable piece of the coffee maker and cleaning it by hand. Some coffee maker parts are dishwasher safe.
The VC Star article offers recommendations by some of the leading coffee makers on cleaning out those systems.