Everyone loves a good cup of coffee; I know I do! It just so happens to be that coffee makers are a staple in most kitchens, from those living in small apartments to those living in 10-bedroom houses.
Most people will have at least a few cups of brewed coffee a day, so it makes sense to keep your coffee maker in tip-top shape, doesn’t it?
Something we all tend to forget is to clean our coffee makers. Do you know the last time that you cleaned out your coffee maker?
Chances are it was a long time ago, or maybe you never have. Coffee makers are moist and dark places where bacteria and mold love to grow.
In order to safely satisfy your coffee addiction, you need to give your coffee maker a good clean, and we’ll show you how to do it.
How To Clean a Coffee Maker With Bleach?
The easiest way to clean a coffee brewer with bleach is to use one tablespoon with one gallon of water. Pour the solution into your coffee machine via the filter. Pour in some fresh water and run your machine through a drip cycle. Now you need to let everything cool down and then rinse your machine with plain water for a few cycles to ensure all traces of bleach have gone.
When Using Bleach, Understand The Precautions
People will say bleach isn’t good to cleanse your coffee machine with, and it is important that you know the precautions before you start.
Bleach can let off harsh fumes, which is why you should always wear a mask and gloves to avoid the bleach burning and irritating your skin.
Bleach can also take the color out of clothing, leaving you with white spots of darkened clothing that you cannot get out.
Bleach is commonly used in commercial settings to clean and disinfect, which is safe as long as you are following the instructions and take safety precautions when using bleach.
The fumes can damage your eyes, skin, and lungs, so ensure you work in a well-ventilated area like outside if possible otherwise, ensure all windows and doors are open.
Using Bleach To Rinse Your Brewing Machine
It is important to note that you never put bleach straight into the coffee maker; it needs to be mixed with water first each and every time.
Now you might think that 1 tablespoon to a gallon of fresh water is not much and feel you need to add more bleach, but in fact, bleach is a very strong cleaner, and adding more bleach than recommended can actually cause problems for your machine and leave mineral deposits behind.
Now you can run a full cycle through your coffee machine once the bleach has been added to the water reservoir.
You need to allow the mixture to fill your coffee pot right up so it gets a full clean.
Once your coffee pot is filled up, you need to turn it off and let it sit for about 30 minutes to allow the bleach to do its job.
Now you can turn the machine back on and let it run through a full cycle until you have used up all your mixture.
It might take several cycles to use up all the mixture, but it will depend on the type of coffee maker you own.
If you live with other people, ensure you don’t leave the machine unattended without leaving a note or informing them that there is bleach going through. Ingesting bleach can make people very sick.
Cleaning With Hot Water
Now is the time to get a gallon of hot water and let it run through the coffee machine.
This might take a while, which is why it’s best to use hot water, so you don’t have to waste time waiting for the machine to heat the water.
This needs to be repeated until you have gone through the water completely, and using a few gallons of water is best to ensure you don’t leave any bleach traces behind.
After doing that, you can smell the last batch of the water to make sure there is no smell of bleach still lingering around.
Bleach has a strong odor even when very diluted, so if you cannot smell any, then you are good to go.
Some commercial restaurants will test the PH level to ensure it is safe to drink.
Now On To The Drying
You want to air your machine for a full 24hrs if you can. Open all the lids and doors and remove the coffee residue tray and clean completely.
As the machine dries, if bleach has been left behind you will see small traces of white spots, which indicate bleach is still remaining.
This can be fixed by running another cycle of freshwater through.
Is Bleach Actually Safe To Clean With?
Bleach is perfectly safe to clean with as long as you follow instructions and use it properly.
Bleach is a great disinfectant; it can kill bacteria and germs and works well to sanitize surfaces.
Bleach will not work if the machine actually has dirty grime in it, so make sure all the parts you can reach are cleaned with a cloth first before adding any bleach. Dirt can actually make bleach lose its effectiveness at disinfecting.
When Do I Clean My Coffee Maker?
Most people will notice a bitter or acidic taste when they taste their coffee and assume this means it’s time to clean it.
Unfortunately, if you are tasting the bitterness in your coffee, then it is already well overdue for a clean.
The taste is actually build-up that has come from bacteria that are growing. There might even be mildew growing rapidly by this time.
If you allow this to go on you can become sick from drinking the coffee, and your machine will simply clog up and shut off completely.
Regularly cleaning your machine will prevent this from happening. Many experts state that cleaning your machine is just like flossing your teeth.
If you leave food there too long, it grows bacteria. Flossing, just like cleaning a coffee machine, will prevent this.
The frequency of cleaning will depend on how often you are using your coffee machine, but small cleans should be carried out each and every time you use your machine.
If you are storing your machine, it is best to carry out a clean before storing and another before you use it to ensure that there is no grime or dirt inside.
Is Your Coffee Machine Turning Into A World Of Germs?
Here s what you can do to make sure that your coffee machine is not a new world of germs.
For everyday use, you need to throw away the dirty coffee grounds and the filter.
This is best done after each use, and use a damp, clean cloth to wipe over the reservoir and the basket.
At the end of the day, you need to wash the components of the machine that are removable.
These can be washed in hot water and a little dish soap. Rinse thoroughly and leave the machine and parts to air dry overnight.
Each month you want to be carrying out an internal clean, which will help to decalcify the parts.
What Happens If I Don’t Descale My Coffee Machine?
Descaling is the process of cleaning where buildups of calcium and limescale are removed from the machine.
This is a chalky white, hard deposits that can be found inside the machine, and it can cause problems with the drip operation.
Limescale and calcium deposits are not harmful to ingest but leaving the build-up inside your machine can make your coffee taste terrible; the water cannot reach the right heat as the limescale building up will actually insulate it from the heating element.
Descaling is the cleaning process that removes the buildup of calcium and limescale.
The latter is a hard, off-white, chalky deposit found in your coffee maker that can affect its drip operation.
It can also stop you from getting the full flavor of your coffee beans and make for an unpleasant tasting and cold coffee.
Can I Use Bleach To Descale?
Bleach is great for cleaning, but it cannot remove hard build-up deposits of lime and calcium.
If your coffee maker is showing a red warning light, it can mean you need to descale the coffee maker.
If you apply bleach to the build-up of calcium and limescale, it might appear as though it is disappearing.
Don’t be fooled; the beach is only taking the color away and actually bleaching it. If you run your hands over the bleached limescale, you will be able to feel it there still.
Basically, it just makes it harder for you to notice it.
A commercial descaler or a vinegar rinse works well to descale your coffee machine and is safe to use in your machine.
You might need to do this several times to remove all the build-up, especially if the machine hasn’t been cleaned before.
Using Vinegar To Descale Your Coffee Machine After Cleaning With Bleach
First, you need to empty out the machine and rinse it. Get rid of all the coffee grounds if you haven’t already in the bin, do not wash these down the sink.
Now you can fill the machine’s chamber with white vinegar halfway, then finish it with fresh, clean water, now you can start a full cycle.
When the machine is halfway through, turn off the machine and let it sit for one full hour.
After that, you can finish the brew cycle and pour out the vinegar solution and rinse the chamber out.
Now you need to fill the chamber with water and let it go through a full cycle. After that, the machine will need to cool down and then repeat the steps above twice more to remove the vinegar taste lingering in the water.
If you don’t want to use white vinegar, you can buy a commercial descaler that works roughly the same way as the vinegar.
When it comes to cleaning your coffee machine, once you see the dirty water coming out, you will be satisfied that the bleach has done its job.
There is nothing worse than drinking coffee that tastes bitter and dirty.
The best advice to give anyone when cleaning their coffee machine is to make sure you do not let it get so bad in the first place, so the cleaning will be easier next time.
A coffee maker is truly a modern invention we all feel we cannot live without.
9/8 It is important to take care of the machine and your health by carrying out regular cleans.
Now you can go and enjoy your freshly brewed coffee knowing the machine is all clean and the brew is fresh and tasty.
As long as you are taking good care of your machine, it will repay you with fresh, hot coffee ready right when you need it.
Read about the best coffee nook ideas next.
Frequently Asked Questions About Cleaning a Coffee Maker with Bleach
Can I Use Undiluted Bleach To Cleanse My Coffee Brewer?
This is not a good idea to use bleach undiluted for this purpose. It is unsafe and can take ages to get the product out of the machine. It can also badly damage the machine and its components. Bleach is already powerful enough diluted. Always dilute the bleach as per instructions.
Do I Have To Clean My Coffee Machine?
Bacteria and mold love coffee machines, and if these germs get into your cup of brew, they can make you very sick and cause long-term health problems. Not only for your health but also for the life of your coffee machine, it is important that you clean it every few weeks and carry out descaling every three months.