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Bachelor on the Cheap: Cleaning the Coffee Pot

Mike Thayer 2016 (2)By Mike Thayer

I'm an everyday coffee drinker, sometimes two cups in the morning, sometimes four - hello bathroom!  I'm pretty much done drinking coffee before I clock in for work in the morning (I'm an early riser), then it's water or a soda for the rest of the day.

So how often are you supposed to clean your coffee pot?  You do clean it right?  I mean, there's more to keeping it clean than just rinsing the pot and the basket out....

20170713_120152I give my coffee pot an 'internal cleanse' about once a month using plain old vinegar.  I brew a full 12 cup pot of water combined with a 1/2 cup of vinegar, I do this three times (dumping the pot of hot vinegar water down a drain each time*), then run 3-4 pots of just plain water through to get rid of the vinegar smell.  Brewing vinegar water does a couple things.  1.  Gets rid of scaling/hard water build up.  2.  Gets rid of coffee residue.  Over time, coffee oils leave a residue and if you didn't know, the longer between 'internal cleanses' the more the residue build up and the more bitter your coffee becomes.

*Tip, if you've got any slow drains in your house, that's where you want to dump your vinegar water.  Hot water + vinegar = a faster drain.   Don't confuse that with unclogging a drain.  The hot water & vinegar is a preventive, not a cure.

I don't recommend washing your pot or basket in the dishwasher.  While a dishwasher may clean them up just fine, dishwashers also prematurely age plastic.  The lid for the pot (probably plastic), the handle for the pot (probably plastic) and the basket (most assuredly has some plastic) will suffer long term from repeated dishwasher washing.  Not only that, but the key piece, the basket, may have some operational parts (like springs, and springs are metal) in it and those will suffer from the humidity a dishwasher creates.

I hand wash my coffee pot when required.   

Giving your coffee pot a monthly 'internal cleanse' will give your coffee pot longer life and the most important thing - avoids bitter tasting coffee!  Think about that the next time you have restaurant coffee.......  If it tastes bitter......

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