Mold in your home in any capacity is unsettling.
Mold can lead to illness or other health-related issues if you aren’t careful.
Molds thrive in warm, damp environments.
This fact makes your coffee the prime breeding ground for many types of molds.
However, there are steps to take to ensure that you keep your coffee machine free from molds as best you can.
Continue reading for more information on the causes of mold in your coffee maker, ways to clean the mold from the maker, and how you can prevent mold growth in your small appliances.
How Gross your Coffee Maker Really Is
Coffee makers are perfect habitats for molds because they get very warm and wet, then if you let them sit long enough, the damp and warm environment allows for molds to grow from the coffee residue left behind.
Before we get into how to prevent and clean the mold in your coffee apparatus, let’s talk about what mold is.
What are Molds?
Molds are naturally occurring organisms that are a part of the fungi family.
They vary in coloring and type, but all types of mold need water to grow.
When excessive moisture accumulates in an environment, including in your coffee maker, mold grows.
Mold and Yeast Like to Grow in your Coffee Maker
The reason why molds and yeasts like to grow in your coffee maker is that the environment, especially when left unchecked, is the perfect place for them to thrive.
Many people do not clean their coffee makers, french presses, cold brew makers, and espresso machines often enough.
Be sure to clean and dry your coffee-making machine very frequently to prevent molds and yeasts from forming.
Other Places Germs Appear in and around your Coffee Maker
Most of the time, coffee makers are stored in the kitchen.
Many times they are on the kitchen counter where they stay 24/7.
This is great for convenience, but not so great for keeping the appliance and the area around it free from germs.
If it is too close to your stove, food residue can get on and inside the coffee maker, which is not ideal.
Your coffee carafe can also become molded if it sits too long.
The reusable basket is commonplace for mold to grow inside a coffee maker because it is easy to forget to empty it.
Another big culprit of mold in a coffee maker is the Keurig.
Because of its convenient design, you do not have to pour the water out of or into the reservoir each time you use it.
If you do not use it often, this could be an issue regarding mold.
It is very important to clean out all parts of the coffee maker to prevent mold from growing.
Can Drinking Moldy Coffee From a Coffee Maker Make You Sick?
Drinking coffee from a moldy coffee maker can cause some health issues if you do it often enough.
However, one time is not going to do anything detrimental to your health beyond making your stomach feel a little unsettled.
Health Issues Caused By Coffee Maker Mold
Some common health issues caused by ingesting mold and being around the mold in your home are skin rashes, sneezing, runny nose, headaches, dizziness, and asthma attacks.
However, ingesting mold that grows on foods, like in the case of mold in a coffee pot, can mainly just make you ill.
It is important to try not to ingest moldy coffee or brew coffee in a moldy coffee maker because you do not know what kind of mold is growing.
Some types of molds that grow on foods are very toxic to humans and come with severe health risks. It is always best to err on the side of caution in these situations.
Mold in Coffee Maker Symptoms
So, now that you know what mold is and how it begins to grow, let’s go over some ways to prevent it and how to know if there is mold in your coffee maker.
The first way is obvious.
You see the mold growing in the carafe, the reusable filter, the reservoir, or other components of the machine.
Another way to tell that the environment is not quite right is by the taste.
If your coffee starts to have an odd taste or you notice a mild smell coming from your coffee pot when brewing, it may be time to do an inspection of the maker and find the culprit.
How to Clean Mold in Coffee Makers
There are a few ways you can go about cleaning your coffee maker, depending on the type of appliance.
For all coffee makers, you should do a daily rinse and dry at the end of each day.
This is best done with mild soap and warm water.
However, you should also perform a deep clean every so often.
Descaling is another common method of cleaning coffee makers to get your best brew, but this has to do with eliminating mineral build-up in your coffee maker, not necessarily a mold infestation.
Step-by-step instructions on cleaning a traditional coffee maker:
- Take apart the components of the coffee maker
- Hand wash each piece gently with mild soap and warm water
- Be sure to wash the grooves and corners, where mold can often hide and grow
- Rinse the pieces, then place on a rack or dish towel to air dry
- Wipe down the body of the machine and the reservoir to ensure a complete clean
- Place all components back together to be ready for your next use
Cleaning a traditional coffee maker is very easy and only takes a few minutes out of your day.
Though it may seem like an inconvenience, it is one of the best ways to keep mold spores at bay.
Here is a step-by-step tutorial on cleaning a Keurig.
- Open the lid, dispose of any single-use pod left behind, then remove the pod holder and funnel. This part can be tricky, but be gentle so you don’t break any part of the machine.
- The funnel and the holder are dishwasher safe on the top rack, but you can also hand wash them then let them air dry.
- Remove the drip tray and drip tray plate. Wipe down with a damp cloth or sponge. Rinse then air dry these components. These are also dishwasher safe if you prefer.
- Remove the water reservoir. Take care to clean it gently with warm sudsy water. Let it air dry.
- Take a damp sponge or cloth and wipe down the Keurig’s exterior.
- Once all parts are washed and dried, reassemble the Keurig for the next use.
Other coffee makers like Nespresso makers, french presses, cold brew coffee makers, and pour-over systems have their methods to clean them.
Be sure to read any manufacturer instructions on cleaning these items before doing so.
However, a good rule of thumb is to never wash any piece in a dishwasher unless the factory instructions say you can.
Clean their components daily and deep clean them weekly.
Air drying is the preferred drying method because wiping with a cloth may leave a little fluff in the components, which would come out in the next brew cycle.
How To Remove Algae From The Keurig Reservoir
Algae in the reservoir is a very common issue amongst Keurig users.
It is a branch of the fungi family that grows in water and can photosynthesize.
This is why your Keurig is a good place because not everyone throws out the used water from the reservoir after each use.
Instead, it sits on the counter where the sun is, thus creating algae.
Remove it, then rinse with warm soapy water and gently wipe it down.
Be sure to get all the corners of the reservoir.
Once you finish washing it, let it air dry.
Wash the lid in the same manner as it can also grow on the lid.
Tips for Keeping a Coffee Maker Clean
Here are a few tips for keeping a clean coffee maker.
It can be a struggle and at first, you may find it inconvenient, but it will improve the quality of your at-home brew and extend the lifetime of your coffee maker.
- Regularly Clean The Coffee Maker With White Vinegar To Prevent Mold
- Regularly Clean and Dry the Removable Parts
- Regularly Change the Water To Keep Mold Away
- Keep the Reusable Coffee Filter Clean and Dry
- Maintain a Clean and Dry Environment to Prevent Molds from Growing
- Throw out Single-Use Coffee Pods Immediately After Brewing
How Often Should you Clean your Coffee Maker?
Cleaning your coffee maker each day is the best course of action against mold.
However, you only need to do a simple soapy water rinse and air dry when you clean it daily.
You can opt for a deeper clean every three or so months.
Use a descaling solution or a light mix of water and white vinegar.
You can also use lemon juice.
This process helps to get a deeper clean throughout the inner workings of the machine.
When descaling, run the descaling solution through the machine until the vinegar smell dissipates.
This process can take up to an hour.
If you own a Keurig, wipe down the water reservoir and the lid about two times per week.
You can also use the descaling method on a Keurig.
Be sure to use accurate products so you don’t damage the machine.
Daily cleaning for a Keurig coffee maker requires that you dispose of the pod, gently wipe the body and the drip tray, and wash the pod holder and funnel.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most common questions.
How Does Mold Get Inside My Keurig?
Mold gets inside your Keurig the same way it gets inside a traditional coffee maker.
The damp and warm environment is perfect for mold to grow if it goes unchecked.
Remember, molds in your home can be dangerous and lead to adverse health effects like infection, illness, or severe respiratory issues.
However, the risk of these side effects is rather low if you are only dealing with mold in your coffee maker.
Though this may give you peace of mind, it is still not a good idea to let your coffee maker run rampant with molds.
Hopefully, you are inspired to give your coffee maker a thorough cleaning with some of the tips and tricks we shared with you here.
It is the best course of action to protect your coffee maker and coffee from unwanted moldy tastes!