I can hardly function without my morning brew, so I investigated how to keep my Keurig clean and mold-free.
Coffee has become an essential part of modern life. I can hardly function without my morning brew. Keurig coffee makers are popular home coffee makers because they brew single cups of gourmet coffee in just a few seconds. But in order to keep the Keurig functioning properly and the coffee tasting great, it is important to clean the machine from time to time. Here are some tips to help you get the most from your Keurig.
Signs That It's Time to Clean Your Coffee Maker
Here are the telltale signs that your coffee maker is overdue for cleaning:
- mold (either visible scum or smell only)
- slow drip
- calcium buildup on parts
- unusually bitter-tasting coffee
- mold allergy symptoms (sneezing and headaches)
Did you know that routine cleanings will help ensure great-tasting coffee, coffee maker performance, and a germ-free machine? An uncleaned coffee maker can harbor mold and other harmful germs. A National Sanitation Foundation study found that kitchens were the “germiest” places in the home. The study went on to note that kitchen items, including coffee maker reservoirs, have higher germ counts than a bathroom doorknob or light switch. Yuck!
Are Keurig Coffee Makers More Likely to Have Mold Issues?
No. In 2014 an article published in an alternative health magazine claimed that Keurig machines were designed in such a way that mold is more likely to build up. This is not true. While Keurig machines can develop mold, this isn't unique to Keurig coffee makers. All brands can become moldy if not cared for and cleaned properly.
How to Clean Your Keurig Coffee Maker
Are Any Parts Dishwasher Safe?
The water reservoir of your Keurig may be dishwasher safe. Remove it and look for those words embossed on the outside or inside. If yours can be washed in the dishwasher, go ahead and run it through a cycle. While that's cleaning you can wash the other parts by hand.
Use White Vinegar or Baking Soda and a Toothbrush.
Keurigs and other coffee makers can get clogged with hard water buildup. This accumulation leads to poor performance. The best way to remove buildup is to flush it out with white vinegar or baking soda. This process is called "descaling."
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- If your reservoir is not dishwasher safe, pour an equal mixture of white vinegar and water. Alternately, fill the reservoir with water and add 1/4 cup baking soda. in Let sit for a few minutes. Use a toothbrush or round-tipped brush to scrub around the inside and bottom. This will clean the reservoir and the water intake hole.
- Run this solution through the machine with no K-cup inserted. If your Keurig has never been cleaned or is badly clogged, you may need to repeat the process more than once.
- Once you have run the white vinegar solution through your machine, run plain water through three or four times to rinse all of the vinegar.
- NOTE: If your Keurig is not for single servings and has a large reservoir that is never empty, you will need to rinse the reservoir out or run many more plain water operations through your machine.
How to Care for Your Keurig Coffee Maker
Always Use a Clean Cup to Fill Your Machine.
Using a dirty cup can introduce bacteria and mold, which can affect the taste of your coffee and possibly impact your health.
Leave the Lid Open When Not in Use so the Reservoir Can Dry.
If you use a Keurig Mini or other single-serving coffee machine, consider leaving the reservoir lid open when not in use. This will allow the water tank to dry. A wet tank that is not used for a few days will is an ideal environment for mold, which would end up in your coffee the next time you use your machine.
Remove and Clean the Platform Tray for Mugs From Time to Time.
Excess water and coffee drain into this tray and can cause gunk to develop. If you use your Keurig often, this tray will likely contain standing liquid and mold. Use a damp cloth and some dish soap to wipe any water away.
Use Bottled Instead of Tap Water.
Bottled water has fewer minerals than tap water and will cause little or no buildup in your machine. Bottled water can be expensive, however. An affordable alternative is to use a water filter, which will remove most of the mineral content.
Wipe the Coffee Maker Dry After Use.
Use a paper towel to wipe the inside of your Keurig dry after use. Mold is less likely to develop in a dry environment.
Thanks for Reading!
I hope you found this article useful. What has worked for you? Which devices or parts are really tough to clean? Please share your tips and experiences in the comments section below.
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© 2011 Art Vandelay