Can a Dirty Coffee Maker Make You Sick?


When it comes to making coffee in the morning, there is no such thing as a clean brewer. Even those at the healthiest level are generally not as clean as they should be. The article will explore what makes a coffee maker dirty and the risks of being improperly operated and cleaned.

How Do We Know if the Coffee Maker Is Dirty?

It is crucial to identify the condition of the coffee maker regularly. Cleanliness is one of the factors that need to be ascertained. The easiest way to determine whether the coffee maker needs cleaning is by looking at the machine’s condition after using it. Visualize if there are any dirty or dusty areas on the device or its accessories. If there are new stains on the machine, this can indicate water spillage, dropped globs of coffee beans or an accidental spill in the machine. 

Factors That Lead to a Dirty Coffee Maker

1. Coffee Maker Spillage

Like any other appliance with moving parts, a coffee maker can also spill the liquid contents inside. The leaks that occur in it are usually due to several reasons, including the perforation of the tube caused by the coffee grounds that have gotten lodged at its edges. Pouring of milk can be another reason for spillage. 

2. Coffee Grounds

Coffee grounds can absorb other substances, such as Teflon. This can bring about contamination of the machine. Apart from that, power surges or electrical failures can cause electromagnetic waves, affecting the coffee maker adversely and cause it to leak or spill. 

3. Water Accidents

When you accidentally knock the water glass over the machine, your coffee maker will suffer a lot of damage and you will have to clean it up immediately. Otherwise, it will be very difficult for you to use the coffee maker normally. The traces of water can cause malfunctioning of the machine. 

Health Constraints When Using a Dirty Coffee Machine

1. Food-Borne Illnesses 

This is one of the most common causes of contamination. An unclean coffee machine can be a source of illness for individuals. Accumulation of mineral deposits, pieces of Teflon and other build-ups can hamper the machine’s working and produce an average cup of coffee. The refractory material used in making the coffee maker can also come into contact with dairy products and other food items, restricting its heating capacity. If there is any spillage on the machine, you will have to clean it and ensure that all the accumulated debris is washed away. 

2. Stomach Pains

When you drink a cup of coffee, the effects are not immediate. However, your body somehow senses the toxins in the beverage and tries to flush them out of your system. This can give rise to stomach pain when you have consumed coffee from a dirty machine. The amount of toxins and residuals is directly proportional to the amount of pain that you might feel. 

3. Malnourished State

People who drink coffee have to suffer from malnutrition. This is because the caffeine in the beverage contains a small amount of toxins that can seriously affect the body’s metabolism. Moreover, some coffee waste that is left on the machine also has some effect on your body.

How To Clean A Coffee Maker 

You must clean the coffee maker regularly. Using a coffee maker that is not properly cleaned can cause you to fall ill. You have to empty the waste and grounds every time you use the machine. Also, the water filter should be cleaned regularly because any leftover material can encourage bacterial growth in stagnant water and cause serious health risks.

Steps For Cleaning A Coffee Machine 

The coffee machine requires an adequate amount of cleaning. It would be very useful to know how to clean a coffee maker properly. Here are some easy steps for you.

1. Empty the pot

Ensure that the pot is clear of any debris or dust. This will make it easy for you to clean other parts of the machine. 

2. Clean the carafe

The carafe is the container that holds the water for making coffee. First of all, fill it with water and add a small amount of vinegar to it. Let the mixture soak for 15 minutes. Use a clean cloth to wipe off the inside and outside surface of the carafe. Next, rinse it thoroughly with plain water and dab dry with a clean cloth.

3. Remove the basket, filter and lid

Remove the basket, filter and lid from the coffee maker. Use hot water to wash away unwanted particles left behind or use a mild detergent and warm water mixture. Do not use abrasive chemicals to clean these parts. Rinse them thoroughly and dry them off with a soft cloth.

4. Clean the brewer

The brewer is a small part of the coffee machine that sits on top of a glass carafe. Heat some vinegar and use a clean cloth to wipe off any residue that was left behind. You can also use a clean wet cloth to ensure that all areas are covered and free from dirt. 

5. Clean the power button

Most coffee makers have a power button which is usually located at the front in an accessible place. Rinse it with a wet cloth and ensure that the entire surface area is clean. 

6. Clean the filter basket and screen

Clean the filter basket and the screen with warm water to wash out debris or residue in it. Then, use a pipe cleaner to clear out any coffee grounds on the screen. Ensure that the filter is also cleaned and remove any burnt coffee grains. Don’t use any rough material to clean these parts.

7. Clean the lid and buttons

The lid is the top-most part of the coffee machine which is used to brew coffee. The brew buttons are used to start and stop the brewing process. Both these parts can accumulate a lot of residues when they are not cleaned properly. Use hot water to rinse off any debris that has accumulated.

8. Rinse out any residue from the pot and filters

Use plain warm water to wash out any leftover residue in the pot and filter basket. Rinse the parts thoroughly for effective reuse. 

9. Clean the outside of the machine and carafe

There is a pre-filter on your coffee maker which needs to be cleaned before you use it again. You can clean this filter by lifting it out of its holder and rinsing it with warm water. 

10. Clean the inside of the machine

The inside of the machine is ready for cleaning. Use hot water to remove any residue, dirt or stains that might have accumulated on the inside of the coffee maker. You can also use warm water with a mild detergent and a cloth to wipe off any accumulated stains. 

11. Clean the water filter

The water filter is a crucial part of your coffee maker because it prevents harmful microorganisms from getting into your drink. Before you clean the water filter, fill up the pot and heat it to about 200 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Then, pour the mixture of hot water and vinegar through the water filter to clean off any residue or debris left behind. Make sure that you rinse it thoroughly with warm plain water before placing it back in place. 

12. Turn on the coffee maker to ensure that it is functional

Turn on the coffee maker and use plain tap water to make a small pot of coffee to ensure that it is functional after cleaning. 


Cleaning the coffee maker regularly will help in boosting up your mood and prepare a delectable cup of coffee at all times. Use the tips on how to clean a coffee maker which has been mentioned above. These tips will be helpful to make your day better. At the same time, ensure that you don’t clean your machine with abrasive chemicals or cleaning agents because they can damage the internal components. 


Q. Can bacteria grow in coffee makers?

A. Yes, there is always the chance that bacteria will grow in the coffee maker. The taste of a poorly cleaned coffee maker can make people sick if it is contaminated with moldy beans or other bacteria-filled particles.

Q. Are there any steps that I can take to keep my coffee maker clean?

A. There are simple steps that anyone can use to keep their coffee makers clean and safe for use. First of all, they should clean the coffee maker after each use to avoid mold and bacterial buildup. Regular cleaning will also help in keeping your coffee maker in good condition for a long time. Use hot water and soap solution for cleaning the external and internal parts of the machine.

Q. What happens if you don’t clean the coffee maker?

A. You will most likely get sick. If you don’t clean your coffee maker at all, bacteria and mold will likely grow and spoil the coffee. Additionally, some companies sell machines with special filters that need to be changed out regularly. When these portafilters and their filter baskets are not changed, the chance of contamination grows.

Q. How much time does it take to clean a coffee maker?

A. It takes about 15 to 20 minutes to clean a coffee maker. You can clean it once a week or once a month depending on how frequently you use it.

Q. What are the best ways to clean my coffee maker?

A. The best way to clean your coffee maker is by using vinegar, baking soda and hydrogen peroxide as the main ingredients of your cleaning solution. These ingredients will help remove any stains and odors from your machine without damaging the internal components.