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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.)

clutter

Imagine a perfectly organized home — everything in its place, all pretty and easy to find. No rummaging through drawers to find the extra batteries. No Monday morning panic as you toss out half your closet searching for the jacket you really want to wear. NO MESS. These 3 cleaning resolutions can make it happen.

1. “I will only keep what I use and love.”

This is the only step that actually takes work, but it makes the rest of your life easier.
We only really use a fraction of the stuff in our homes. The rest is crammed into cabinets, leaving no space for what we really need. (Perfect example: we know exactly where to find Grandmother’s fine china, but take 5 minutes to find the wine corkscrew.)

Make it easier: get rid of anything you haven’t used in the last year, because if you didn’t need it then, you won’t need it now. Make three piles: throw, give away, or store. Feel guilty for tossing something expensive? Consider the price of real estate in Sydney – and how much that item is costing you in square inch of clutter.

You can keep some things for sentimental value, but curate your collection. And if you store something, label the box and place in higher shelves. Save the easy-access cabinets and shelves for stuff you use every day.

2. “I will create storage that works for me.”

Sick of rummaging through several drawers to find that one little thing you need? Aside from the usual office supply trays, boxes and pouches, you can get interlocking dividers that let you customize your spaces. Small boxes and pouches. Try thinking out of the box (pardon the pun): use ice cube trays to store earrings or extra buttons, or hanging shoe organisers for craft or kitchen tools.

Shopping tip: don’t buy organizers until you know what you’ll keep and where to keep it, and go to the store armed with your shelf or cabinet dimensions.

Make it easier: you know how they say the secret of a successful store is “Location, Location, Location” – well it’s the same for storage, too. Place extra batteries in the drawer near the TV remote. Keep a “catch-all” basket near the front door where you can empty pockets and drop keys, coins, ID cards, or whatever you’re likely to look for when you’re on your way out again.

3. “I will clean as I go.”

Instead of waiting for clutter to pile up, just do little “mini cleans” as you walk across the room. Sort out and toss the papers on your desk while waiting for your computer to power up. Wipe the kitchen sink while soup simmers on the stove. And while you’re dressing up and discover a shirt you hate or doesn’t fit, toss it into a ready box labeled “For Giving Away” instead of shoving it back into your closet.

Make it easierTo help you with your mini cleans, keep cleaning tools accessible! Don’t store all your mops and rags in a cabinet, only to be opened on dreaded Cleaning Day. Make it easy to spot-clean areas. It can be as simple (and as pretty) as three small wicker baskets, each filled with two rags and watered-down cleanser or disinfecting solution in small clear spray bottles. Keep one in the kitchen, the living room, and the bathroom. So, you can spritz or dust an area as you pass through it, or after you use it. Or, you can fill a tin pail with smaller bottles of your favorite products, rags, and a pair of gloves – easy to pick up when you’ve got a cleaning emergency.