Imagine taking millions of bacteria into your system with every sip of your cup of joe. That’s what happens if you fail to clean your coffee maker after every use or skip out on the long-term maintenance of descaling.
So, before pouring your next cup, think long and hard about when you last cleaned your machine—or if you’ve even cleaned it at all since buying it. Of course, if you even have to think about these things, we suggest you temporarily stop making coffee using your appliance until you’re sure it no longer houses colonies of bacteria.
According to Freshpresso, bad things can happen when you ditch the cleaning and maintenance of your machine. That’s what we’ll talk about today to ensure you don’t take these matters lightly.
Failure To Clean Immediately After Use
Molds in households often inhabit unclean coffee makers. They often make their homes in the carafe or reservoirs of these appliances more than any gross sponge or icky dog food bowls. That tells you how filthy these things truly are.
Of course, we haven’t even gotten to the more gag-inducing parts yet. Germs just thrive in some coffee machines more than others. That is particularly true for coffee makers meant for public use, such as hotels and restaurants.
Let this serve as a reminder to check these appliances before using them to make your coffee. It’s likely been eons and a million cups since they were cleaned, so better try your luck with another beverage. Or better yet, order your Java from Starbucks down the road.
Coffee makers used daily need cleaning after every use. They also need a deep cleaning once every month for the daily maintenance to count. Although daily washing does the job during a brand new coffee maker’s first month of use, it’ll be rendered inconsequential if you fail to deep clean regularly in the months that follow.
Failure To Deep Clean Your Coffee Maker
To deep clean a coffee maker means to descale or thoroughly clean the appliance’s inner workings. What happens if you don’t do it? That’s what we’ll discuss in this section.
After a month, the inner workings of your brand new coffee maker will start to develop calcium and limescale. While non-toxic, these residues can severely affect the quality of your coffee, and nobody wants that.
What happens is limescale insulates water coming from the heat source, keeping it from reaching the ideal temperatures for brewing coffee. When water temperature fails to reach between 195 degrees Fahrenheit and 205 degrees Fahrenheit, you’re in for some poor-tasting brew.
That’s because a full extraction of flavors won’t take place and coffee just ends up tasting bland. Not to mention, it won’t be hot enough for most of us to enjoy.
Then, there’s the fact that a reduced heating capacity also means double workload for the coffee machine. Increased electrical consumption and machine malfunction are among the possible issues that could arise from this.
So, limescale may not kill you, but it’s practically a death sentence for your machine. It’s presence also means the coffee produced by your appliance won’t be anything special.
How To Descale at Home
If it’s been a while since you descaled or haven’t descaled at all, get to it first before brewing the next batch of coffee. If your coffee machine’s instruction manual doesn’t specify a particular descaler, that means a homemade solution is in order.
Ideally, this would be two tablespoons of citric acid and four cups of water mixed inside the reservoir to break down the limescale. Repeat as needed, and then flush with water to remove the residue effectively.
Most sources recommend vinegar as the acid of choice for this cleaning procedure, but the high amounts of acetic acid in it can sometimes be too strong for the coffee maker’s parts to handle. It might even corrode and damage the inner workings of the appliance. There’s also the fact that it smells bad when not rinsed properly.
Most high-end coffee makers have specific descalers that work best for them. These recommended descalers significantly reduce the chances of harmful toxic substances introduced to your machine, making them the only choice where these particular brands are concerned. Going for third-party descalers could put your appliance’s parts at risk of being corroded over time.
Descaling varies depending on the machine. Take note that anything written in the manual should be prioritized when it comes to this process. If you can’t find anything specified there, that’s when you use the DIY method. But do refrain from using vinegar as much as possible.
Cleaning Matters When Making Coffee
You wouldn’t be a coffee lover if you didn’t consider hygiene and sanitation factors in the coffee-making process. Aside from that, cleaning after every use and deep cleaning monthly can significantly affect the taste of your coffee.
There’s also the fact that daily and monthly maintenance processes don’t just influence the safety and taste of your coffee but also the durability of your coffee maker.