How to clean your single-serve coffeemaker

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We all need a cup of coffee (or two) to get going in the morning. A fancy single-service machine can whip you up an espresso or café mocha in seconds, but unless you clean it properly, you’ll be starting your day with a side order of bacteria. In fact, it’s one of the top 7 surprisingly germiest things in the kitchen.

The gross facts

Cotton swab tests of 28 single-serve machines showed more than 50% had swarming bacteria colonies in the water tank, coffee pod compartment, spout and tray. And these weren’t your garden-variety germ, either. Researchers found e. coli, staphylococcus, streptococcus, pseudomonas aeruginosa, and mold. Exactly the stuff in your toilet bowl, but you’re having it for breakfast.

After use:

Leave the reservoir lid open so it can dry out. Germs love moisture! Throw out any water, wash removable parts with soap and water, and wipe the surface.

Once a week:

Single-cup coffeemakers have more components than a standard drip coffeemaker. Check your user manual to see which parts are dishwasher-safe, and then clean the others with an old tooth brush and vinegar.

When you can: Descale your coffeemaker. Water leaves mineral deposits that can interfere with the machine’s performance and affect the quality of your brew.

The dirt factor:

They all make coffee, but some single-serve machines are harder to clean. Here are the reviews.

Keurig:This was one of the easiest to clean, with little to no dripping after a cup finished brewing. For deep-cleaning and descaling, try this cleaning tip.

Krups Nescafé Dolce Gusto: Unfortunately, this baby drips after brewing. You also need to find a mug that fits perfectly into its tray, or you’ll splash all over your kitchen counter too. To deep clean, watch this cleaning video

Cuisinart SS-700 Single Serve Brewing System: It’s just as easy to clean as the Keurig. You need to regularly descale it.

Bosch Tassimo T65: The T-discs The T-Discs drip after brewing, so get your kitchen counter rags ready. But deep cleaning is relatively easy (as this video shows https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIU9JbVp6Qc ) and you don’t have to deal with Keurig’s needles

You wash the pot, but nearly half of coffeemakers hide yeast and mold in the water reservoir. Every week, pour 4 cups of undiluted vinegar into the reservoir, leave it for 30 minutes, then percolate. Run three cycles of fresh water through the machine.

(Excuse us as we go clean out our coffee machines now.)