Think your coffee maker cleans itself? There’s probably bacteria in there

DeLonghi Nespresso Lattissima
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends
When’s the last time you cleaned your coffee maker? If the answer is, “Uhhh …” you could have millions of little friends hanging out in the drip tray, according to a recent survey in Scientific Reports.

Microbiologists at the University of Valencia in Spain took samples from the drip trays of nine Nespresso machines, which use capsules similar to Keurigs. Between 35 and 67 different bacteria genera were basking in the trays’ leftover coffee.

That’s genera, not species — and if you remember from biology class that King Phillip Came Over From Great Spain (if you don’t, that’s the mnemonic for the order of taxonomy: Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species) — genera (the plural of genus) come before species, and there were several different kinds of species in many of the genera. Sickness-causing pathogenic strains were also present.

Bacteria were found regardless of how often users brewed coffee or what type they made. While a CBS investigation earlier this year discovered one-cup makers had staphylococcus, streptococcus, bacillus cereus, and e-coli, it’s not just these capsule models that likely have bacteria. In fact, coffee mugs are contaminated, too. “In our studies, half had fecal bacteria in them,” microbiologist Dr. Charles Gerba told Fox News in 2013. “People probably contaminate them when they wipe them out with sponges or cleaning cloths.” (Yeah, your sponge is probably filthy.)

Luckily, there’s a fairly easy fix. Washing your machine every week with warm water, soap and maybe a tiny amount of bleach would “decrease bacterial densities to very low values,” study author Manuel Porcar told Quartz. While you may think your coffee maker gets hot enough to self-clean, water actually needs to reach boiling to kill those germs, says Donna Duberg, an assistant professor of clinical laboratory science at Saint Louis University.

Running the parts through the dishwasher on the sanitize cycle is a good start, but Duberg tells Fox you should still run one part water and one part vinegar through the machine monthly. “Vinegar is five-percent acetic acid and actually disinfects the coffee maker, killing almost 100 percent of bacteria and viruses and most of the fuzzy molds,” Duberg says. Interrupt the cycle halfway through, leave it for an hour, then start it up again. Repeat, then follow with two cycles of clean water. And throw out that sponge, or zap it in the microwave.

Emerging Tech

Scientists use bounced lasers to determine whether a glass of water is pure

Scientists have come up with a high-tech method to work out whether water is pure using bounced lasers and sonar technology. Here's how it works — and what could make it so useful.
Deals

Breville coffee makers get over 50% off discount for Amazon Prime Day

Looking for a no-frills drip coffee maker that will save you time and energy in the morning? Now's your chance to score amazing deals from the kitchen appliance company Breville. Take advantage of these limited time offers.
Smart Home

Sinus problems? These humidifiers will help you breathe easier

Dry air in the home or office can cause a multitude of health issues. Thankfully, powerful desktop solutions and robust home humidifiers are available if you're looking to improve the air quality of your home.
Deals

Amazon sweetens up the Cuisinart Programmable Coffee Maker with a 61% price cut

The Cuisinart Programmable Coffee Maker DCC-3200 is now selling at a discounted price of $71 on Amazon. With this 61% price cut, you actually get more in savings for a feature-laden coffeemaker.
Deals

Cook with precision using the Joule Sous Vide machine, now 30% off for Prime Day

Cooking sous-vide involves the process of cooking vacuum-sealed food in a water bath. Two models of the Chefstep Joule sous-vide tool are being sold on Amazon for $179 and $199 each, but for Prime Day they're getting 30% off.
Deals

Amazon drops up to 57% off prices of Shark upright vacuums for Prime Day 2019

Amazon Prime Day 2019 is finally here. Enjoy shocking discounts that are worth the wait, just like these deals on Shark upright vacuums. Get more than half off their usual prices when you order within the 24-hour period.
Deals

Save up to 49% on professional-grade Vitamix blenders during Amazon Prime Day

Simplify life in the kitchen with a full-functioning blender that can whip up quite a list of concoctions that are not limited to dessert. Two Vitamix professional grade blenders are on sale just for Prime Day 2019.
Deals

The best Prime Day smart home deals: Echo, Blink, and Google Nest discounts

Amazon, Walmart, and Google Nest played a hard game with pre-Prime Day announcements and enticing early smart home deals. Now the pre-game show is over Amazon, Walmart, and Google Nest have rolled out their best Prime Day 2019 deals.
Deals

Amazon offers up to 45% discounts on Levoit Air Purifiers on Prime Day 2019

Now that Amazon Prime Day 2019 is upon us, it is time to enjoy exciting discounts on small appliance and more. Check the massive price cuts on Levoit air purifiers where you can get one for up to 45% off.
Smart Home

Price plummets on the Dyson V7 Animal Pro+ cordless vacuum on Prime Day

Dyson has homes with pets in mind with the V7 Animal Pro+ cordless vacuum. This versatile stick vac comes with extra cleaning tools for the whole house. You can get up to 30 solid minutes of cleaning power with the rechargeable battery.
Smart Home

Anova vs. Joule: Find the right sous vide for your home

Anova vs. Joule: Which sous vide device is right for you? Our guide goes through important features, power, smart abilities, pricing and more to see what model comes out on top for your culinary projects.
Smart Home

Google Home Mini vs. Amazon Echo Dot: Which smart speaker should run your home?

We put the two most popular smart home speakers — the Google Home Mini and the third-generation Amazon Echo Dot — together and tested them on appearance, audio, and abilities. So which should you buy?
Deals

This Prime Day Lightning Deal on Neato’s D4 robot vacuum saves you 40%

Prime Day 2019 is shaping up to be a banner year for sales on smart home products, including robot vacuums. However, the deal we uncovered for Neato's D4 Robot Vacuum is time-limited and only while supplies last, so act fast.
Deals

Best Prime Day mattress sales: Tempur-Pedic, Sealy, and Amazon deals

The best Prime Day deals are here, and some of the very best discounts this year are on mattresses. With price cuts from Tempur-Pedic, Cocoon, and Helix, now is a great time to score some savings a new bed.