If you’re searching for how to clean a coffee maker with bleach, we should start by telling you that this may not be the safest idea. Bleach can be a dangerous chemical that’s unsafe for consumption, even if it’s been diluted with water.
The problem with cleaning the inside of a coffee maker with bleach is that it doesn’t have the opportunity to dry out completely, which can lessen the effectiveness of the clean. When the bleach doesn’t have the opportunity to dry, it may get caught inside the machine which can cause damage to your coffee maker and potentially make you sick, too.
That said, in this article, we’re talking about what dangers are lingering in your coffee maker and how you can effectively clean it out without risking damage by bleach.
Coffee Maker Cleaner Options
Why Do Coffee Makers Need to be Cleaned?
If you’re reading this, you’re probably a coffee lover just like us. So, cheers! There’s nothing better than the first, hot cup of joe first thing in the morning.
Heck, a hot cup of coffee sounds good just about any time of the day, right?
The point is, we use our coffee makers all the time, usually at least once a day. Have you ever stopped and thought about cleaning your coffee maker?
And if that stat didn’t get you to sit up straighter in your chair and pay attention, this one will: the study also found that there may be more germs in your home coffee maker reservoir than bathroom door handles and toilet seats. Again, yikes.
Now that you know that coffee makers are a common breeding ground for germs and mold, let’s talk about how to properly clean your coffee maker without creating any additional hazards.
Can You Clean a Coffee Maker with Bleach?
We warned you of the hazards of cleaning a coffee maker with bleach at the beginning of the article, but there’s still potentially a couple of places to use it. You can use bleach to clean the outside of your machine and the carafe, but you should not use it inside the machine.
Keep in mind that while it’s generally ok to clean the outside of your coffee maker and the carafe with bleach, you still need to take necessary precautions due to the caustic nature of the chemical. Bleach can be dangerous to your lungs when inhaled, and it can also cause irritation to the eyes and nose.
The outside of the coffee maker isn’t the biggest concern since the inside of the coffee maker is where the germs and mold have the proper breeding environment. And since bleach can be dangerous if ingested, it’s best to keep bleach out of anything that you plan to eat or drink out of.
One thing to consider is that eventually your coffee maker will get to a point where it just needs to be replaced rather than cleaned. When you get to that point, check out our article on how to dispose of a coffee maker.
Safe Ways to Clean Your Coffee Maker
If you came here looking for how to clean a coffee maker with bleach and are now feeling discouraged by our advice to keep bleach out of it, don’t be—we have several other options for you that are safer.
Let’s talk about some safe bleach alternatives next.
How to Clean a Coffee Maker with Vinegar
Vinegar is a safe and effective way to clean all parts of your coffee maker and it’s also cheap and convenient. Unlike with bleach, if you end up leaving some vinegar behind in your reservoir, it won’t cause you any harm; you’ll simply be left with sour coffee!
Here’s how to use vinegar to clean your coffee machine:
- Mix equal parts white vinegar and water to completely fill the reservoir
- Run the solution through your coffee maker using the longest brew option possible
- Then run another brew cycle using just plain water
- Check to see if the vinegar smell/taste lingers, if it does, go ahead and run additional cycles
How to Clean a Coffee Maker with Baking Soda
You probably have a box of baking soda lying around your house, which is great news because it can be a wonderful cleaning agent to help combat the germs and mold lingering inside your coffee maker.
Again, this is an affordable, safe, and effective agent to use on both the inside and outside of your machine.
Here’s how to clean your coffee maker with baking soda:
- Mix one cup of water with one-quarter cup of baking soda and add it to your reservoir
- Run a full brewing cycle, allowing it to break down mineral build-up and cleanse away grime
- Repeat the brewing cycle with plain water until the baking soda is no longer detectable
Additional Coffee Maker Cleaner Options
In addition to cleaning your coffee maker with common cleaning agents like bleach, baking soda, and vinegar, there are also several specially made coffee maker cleaners available on the market. We’ll run through a few of our favorites:
Affresh Coffee Maker cleaner comes in the form of a tablet that you drop into your reservoir along with water. The cleaning agents get to work fighting hard water residue and mineral build-up.
This is a non-acid coffee maker cleaner that’s highly rated for removing even the toughest coffee stains and residue both on the inside and the outside of your coffee maker.
The Urnex Coffee Maker cleaner is a safe and effective powder cleaner that gently removes coffee stains and buildup without leaving a bitter aftertaste.
Final Thoughts on How to Clean a Coffee Maker With Bleach
While we don’t recommend running bleach through your coffee maker due to the risk of ingestion, we hope that you found this article useful and gained more information about safe and effective coffee maker cleaning methods.
Whether you choose to grab vinegar or baking soda out of your cleaning cupboard and get to work, or you purchase a cleaner that’s specifically designed to clean your coffee machine, cleaning your coffee maker will bring you a number of benefits.
From better tasting coffee to a reduction in mold and other hazards, it’s important that you maintain a coffee making cleaning schedule to ensure you’re sipping only the best brew every morning.
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