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The disgusting truth about your coffee machine

Owners of coffee pod machines could be drinking more than a delicious caffeinated beverage each time they serve up a cup.

Potentially harmful bacteria might be on the menu alongside some potent mould if people aren’t regularly emptying and cleaning their machines, kitchen appliance cleaning specialists say.

One risk factor is re-using stagnant water that has sat inside the machine in between uses, adding to any nasties already stuck to the inside of unsterilised inner pipes, Sydney-based cleaning company Mr Meticulous owner Marc Hamilton said.

Coffee machine shown as owners of the appliance are warned of how disgusting they are. Pictured is a stock image of a coffee pod machine dispensing a drink.
Coffee pod owners have been warned about the risks of their dirty appliances. Source: Getty Images, file

“I don’t think people are consciously choosing to clean them until they break or clog up, then they’re forced to find out what’s wrong and why the liquid isn’t coming through,” he told Yahoo News Australia.

“Because the coffee grounds get harder and harder, it’s like veins in a body, things just get blocked.”

To avoid creating such issues, people should be running a chemical wash through their machine at least once a month, and ideally flushing their machine out with water after every use.

“After you make your coffee, you press the button again and it pushes hot water through it, and that will clean it,” Mr Hamilton said.

“If you were to do that, your machine would stay relatively clean. But no one does.”

‘Water is the problem’

Mr Hamilton said he thought it was unlikely coffee from a dirty machine would cause any health issues, but the same might not be able to be said for the water.

“The water in the pipes and reservoirs, if that’s not cleaned or flushed, there will be bacteria in that. Because it gets heated and then cools down,” he said.

“Things can get mouldy so quickly.”

A photo of a coffee pod machine. Cleaning specialists are warning people to clean their appliances more often.
Experts have advised coffee drinkers to clean their pod machines more often. Source: Getty Images, file

He thought it was more common for people to purchase a new coffee machine for their home if their machine suddenly broke.

“They’re all so new, and when they break down you can just go and get a new one. They don’t cost much, it’s a no-brainer,” Mr Hamilton said.

How often should you clean your machine?

Abi Guvaju, from professional cleaning service Nice And Clean, told Yahoo News Australia owners of coffee pod machines were not cleaning their appliances anywhere close to enough.

“I would advise people clean it every day. After every use they should wipe it off and if they’re worried about deep cleaning, once a week is the best option,” Mr Guvaju said.

He said a thorough clean once a week should be enough to stave off any serious threat to people’s health.

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