What Do You Do With a Moldy Coffee Maker?


Coffee is a type of beverage that is required for a fresh start in the morning. However, the coffee maker in which it is brewed tends to get moldy at times. This mold can be treated with different processes and cleared with hot water, soap and other methods. This article will provide useful details about mold-building, cleaning mechanism of the coffee dispenser and how it is caused.

Mold on a Coffee Maker

Mold is a type of fungus that is commonly found on land, water and other surfaces. They can thrive on almost any substance like paper, food or even other organic materials. 

There are certain types of molds that are hazardous to an individual’s health. These molds can grow on the coffee dispenser, inside the carafe or water reservoir in a coffee maker if they aren’t cleaned regularly. There are various kinds of molds that require different cleaning methods. 

Types of Molds

  • Bacteria is a form of mold that can harm the person who uses an old, unwashed utensil or appliance. These molds can reproduce quickly in coffee makers and can cause gas, nausea, rashes and stomach ache, among other symptoms. 
  • Fungus is another kind of mold that grows on organic material inside the coffee maker. This kind of mold leaves a slimy substance when it’s wet after being exposed to water for several days.
  • Slime molds are types of fungi that smell like ammonia. Although they do not cause illness, they leave behind a foul odor.
  • Yeast is another type of mold that is found on the coffee maker’s piston pump. They begin to generate heat while digesting substances they come into contact with. They also leave a sweet, rotten smell and yellowish-brown color when exposed to the sun for long periods of time.

What Causes a Mold-Infested Coffee Maker to Get Moldy?

Several points determine how a coffee dispenser can get moldy. It is suggested to remove the coffee maker’s casing, clean it well, and place it in the sunlight for three weeks. Another method is putting a few drops of dishwashing liquid in the carafe or water reservoir of the coffee maker. By this process, the chemical used in making dishwashing liquid will kill off the spores from mold.

What Does Mold Look Like? 

Mold is a fungus that usually comes in white, green or gray color. Molds are often visible when it’s damp outside which means the mold has grown by absorbing moisture from the air. Molds are usually wrinkled, so they look like patches of grass or clumps of moss. Sometimes, mold is also called mildew and can grow on almost anything that contains moisture. 

Problems Caused By A Mold Maker 

Many problems can occur when a coffee maker has mold on it. They include

  • Melanosis is a type of skin cancer that can develop from mold. This disease starts with small spots that slowly enlarge and can eventually spread to other areas of the body. 
  • Pulmonary (lung) diseases such as pneumonia, bronchitis, and emphysema can result from inhaling spores from molds around you during the day or night. 
  • Some common symptoms of mold contact are breathing bad air or having difficulty breathing, coughing or sneezing. It is also possible for mold to affect other parts of the body, such as the blood stream, by causing low levels of red blood cells, resulting in fatigue and weakness. 

What Do You Do With a Moldy Coffee Maker?

  • At first, you need to make sure where the mold is present. If it is on the exterior of the coffee dispenser, then it’s going to be an easy clean-up procedure. However, if there are black spots all around the interior, it will be more difficult. 
  • Soaking the moldy coffee maker in a mixture of vinegar and hydrogen peroxide for about 10 minutes can help remove the mold which will also eliminate the odors that it has caused. 
  • You can use a mild detergent and cold water to remove mold from the valve in the water reservoir. This will also help get rid of odors that are present in this area.

Health Risk From Using a Moldy Coffee Maker

Coffee making in a moldy coffee maker is unhealthy because the mold can be absorbed through the skin or ingested. The human body’s immune system tends to suffer due to this phenomenon and makes it an easy target for infections such as colds, flu, and sore throats. Since individuals may be more vulnerable to the harmful effects of these types of chemicals, it is generally not recommended that anyone use a moldy coffee maker.

Steps to Clean Moldy Coffee Maker

Cleaning a coffee maker that has mold or mildew is easier than you might think. This process will effectively eliminate it from the machine, leaving behind a clean and sanitary coffee maker in no time.

1. You should unplug the machine and remove the water reservoir and all its accessories. 

2. Take a bottle of vinegar solution and pour it into the machine, using a funnel if necessary. 

3. Let the solution sit for an hour while giving it a shake at periodic intervals. After the hour is up, run water through the entire assembly to rinse out any remaining vinegar solution.

4. Alternatively, you can use club soda to neutralize any alkalinity left by vinegar inside your device. 

5. When you’re done, clean the rubber gaskets and the outside of the reservoir with warm soapy water. 

6. Once the device is re-assembled, rinse out any remaining water and then fill it with clean water for a final rinse cycle. Then wait a few minutes for any water that may leak from around the reservoir seal to drip down. 

7. Turn the machine on to run a normal brewing cycle without any coffee grounds/filters and see if it works again. If there is still leaking, check your seals and tighten them if necessary.

8. You can also use hot water for the process. Add hot water with a few drops of dish soap, rinse with vinegar and let air dry before use again. 

9. White vinegar works better than any other type of cleaner because it kills a high amount of bacteria and does not affect the plastic material on which it is used. It does not leave any residue behind to attract mold and mildew.

A Word of Warning Before Cleaning Your Coffee Maker

Please make sure that your brewer is completely unplugged before you try to go inside the water chamber. If you receive an electric shock, immediately turn off and unplug all power sources and call for help. 

Tips to Prevent Mold in the Future

1. You should always keep your machine clean and dry (don’t leave it at moisture-oriented places). If you notice that your machine is beginning to grow mold, clean it straight away before it gets out of hand.

2. Regularly check the seals on the coffee maker and replace them if necessary. Remove and clean the water reservoir at periodic intervals and try not to use it for storing food or items that can spread mold, like an old banana peel. The rubber gaskets in the lid are important for creating a proper seal between the coffee maker’s lid and base.

3. You may want to remove the parts of the brewer and give them a good scrub with hot soapy water and a toothbrush or sponge. Rinse all of the parts thoroughly before reassembling. If there is any amount of mold left behind, repeat the process one more time. 


Giving your coffee maker a good cleaning can prevent mold from forming inside. You should get rid of any residual mold after your cleaning process is complete so that the machine will work properly again in no time. Hope this article was helpful and beneficial to your read. Good Day!


Q. How to clean moldy coffee makers? 

A. To clean a coffee maker with mold or mildew on it, you should use a mixture of vinegar and hydrogen peroxide for about 10 minutes. You can also try to soak the mold in hot water with dish soap for some minutes. Use an old toothbrush to scrub out the interior parts of the machine.

Q. Where is the mold present on the coffee maker?

A. The mold in the coffee maker is usually found on the bottom or at the back of the brewing chamber. Mold grows in moist environments and dark areas because it uses light to germinate. 

Q. How can I prevent my coffee machine from getting mold and mildew? 

A. To prevent mold from growing in your coffee machine, you should clean it regularly. To ensure that the water reservoir is completely clean before reassembling your coffee maker, pour a cup of white vinegar in the reservoir and let it soak for an hour. Then remove all parts and rinse with water.

Q. Where can I find a good cleaner? 

A. You can buy a mold and mildew remover at many stores offering household goods. You can use it to clean your coffee maker. Be sure that you wash your hands thoroughly with soap after using the product. 

Q. How to get rid of moldy coffee maker odors? 

A. To eliminate the unpleasant odors, you should put a bottle of vinegar in your coffee maker and let the solution sit for about an hour before rinsing out with water.

Q. Can I use vinegar to clean the inside of my drip coffee maker?

A. You start with cleaning your machine with warm soapy water and gentle pressure. Then, pour white vinegar into the device until it starts bubbling and washes away mold and bacteria that has grown inside the chamber.