By in Food

The Best Part of waking up…

“The best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup,” if you’re a real coffee drinker like me, I’m sure you remember that jingle with words written by Susan Spigel Solovay and Bill Vernick, set to the music of Leslie Pearl. For years I found myself singing that jingle as I sat down to my first cup of coffee in the early hours of the morning, of course I never did it justice the way Aretha Franklin, Randy Travis, and other famous singers have. I really don’t need an alarm clock to wake up at 4 AM every morning after four or five hours of sleep because the sweet aroma of freshly brewing coffee wafting through my open bedroom door has me wide-awake in a flash. Drinking coffee is actually good for you , but your coffee maker may be making you sick.

Breeding ground for mold and coliform bacteria

A research study conducted in 2011 by NSF (National Safety Foundation) International reports that the reservoirs on roughly fifty percent of home basket and carafe coffee makers contain yeast and mold growth and ten percent of them contain coliform bacteria. Kelly Reynolds, a household germ specialist for the University of Arizona, told reporters, “(Coffee makers) are certainly a moist environment where mold and bacteria are known to grow in high numbers.” She went on to say, “Our bodies can deal with them, but at some point they’ll grow to levels high enough to cause sickness.” Believe it or not, the reservoir of your coffee pot contains more bacterial growth than your bathroom’s doorknob or your toilet’s seat.

Cleaning and Sanitizing your Coffee Maker

There are commercial products available on the shelves of most supermarkets, hardware stores, and home centers for cleaning and sanitizing coffee makers, but they are expensive and don’t really do the job they’re suppose too. According to Carolyn Forte, the director of Good Housekeeping’s Home Appliance and Cleaning Products Lab at the Good Housekeeping Research Institute, the magic solution turns out to be vinegar and water, which, in addition to sanitizing your coffee maker, it decalcifies it as well, removing all the calcium deposit left behind by the tap water. The carafe, lid, and filter basket should be cleaned daily in warm, sudsy water and the coffee maker should be sanitized and decalcified once a month if used with hard water and every two or three months if used with soft water. The bottom line is that it all depends on how often you use your coffee maker, if you use it every day, then clean and sanitize it once a month regardless of the type of water is being used, the same basic rules apply to pod-based machines like the Keurigs.

Steps in Sanitizing and Decalcifying Your Coffee Pot

  • Fill the water reservoir with a solution composed of 50 percent water and 50 percent white vinegar.
  • With a paper filter in place, turn the coffee maker on and let brew until the solution in the carafe reaches the halfway mark.
  • Turn the coffee maker off and let set for at least 30 minutes.
  • Turn the pot back on and finish the brewing process.
  • Flush out the machine by brewing two pots of plain water, using a new filter each time.
  • Clean the carafe by filling it with warm, sudsy water and adding a little rice as an abrasive, swirl the solution around in the carafe. If necessary, use a scrubber sponge to remove any gunk left behind by the soapy water and rice, before rinsing and drying the carafe. Remember that this step, along with cleaning the outside of the coffee maker should be done daily/

Image Credit » "Folgers Logo" by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia -

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BarbRad wrote on January 18, 2015, 12:02 AM

That's useful information. I'll pass it to my husband. He's the coffee drinker at our house.

peachpurple wrote on January 19, 2015, 2:56 AM

We used to be coffee drinkers until we started to have insomnia

carolyn wrote on January 19, 2015, 6:28 AM

I will have to think again about buying a coffee machine. Perhaps it is best with water from the kettle.