I’m writing this post as a learn-from-my-experience lesson for my friends who may be coffee and tea drinkers who might use coffee and tea makers. Of course, most likely you all are much better housekeepers than I am, and this would NEVER happen to you. I’m pretty ashamed that it happened to me, but I’m learning to deal with the fact that I am NOT a model housekeeper, and I think I’m okay with that. I mean, I can do okay on the surface level, keeping laundry going, and more or less done, washing dishes, cooking, sweep and vacuuming I can mostly stay on top of. It’s the little things that get away from me like scrubbing baseboards and cleaning the coffee pot. Oh and dusting… it seems like such a pointless chore when 2 hours after the fact, every surface is covered in dust AGAIN! Occasionally I’ll make myself do it, but I don’t like to. 😉 Ha! That comes as no surprise to most of you I’m sure, but in case you had the outlandish idea that I was somehow a lil miss “martha stewart” well…. this story will cure you of that delusion. 😉
I used to be better about cleaning the coffee maker. I’d run a pot of vinegar through and flush with several pots of water. That’s the way it’s done, and it works. 🙂 As long as you do it. Somewhere along the line… I dunno, baby 2 or 3… the coffee pot cleanings fell to the bottom of the priority list. COFFEE itself was at the top of course, but as long as the maker kept performing, I mostly didn’t think about it.
Some time ago Stuart bought some CLR to remove some mineral deposits on a shower head. I was reading the back and it said that it could be used for coffee makers to clean out the water deposits there as well. It occurred to me that I should do that sometime, because I know that the water here is VERY hard, and I figured there was “stuff” building up in there. By the way… this was at least a year ago, perhaps more, that Stu bought that stuff. We don’t even have that same shower head any more, and the CLR container was very crusted with dust. It crossed my mind from time to time, and was always a “I need to do that…. later” kind of a thought.
Well, Friday came and when I poured my last cup of coffee and nuked it to warm up, I saw, to my horror, a dead moth floating in my coffee cup. The fact that this was my last cup REALLY grossed me out. Because that meant that, most likely, this moth had been attracted to the clock light on the maker and fluttered in there sometime during the night and perished in the freshly brewing coffee when the timer went off. Which also means that I had been drinking moth-coffee all morning!!! EEEEEEWWWWWWWW!
Why that dead bug got me motivated to clean the INSIDE of the pot which it had absolutely nothing to do with is beyond me, but for whatever reason, I just HAD to clean the whole thing after discovering the moth. And that’s the last I’m going to say about that wretched beast! It turns my stomach just to think about it, blah! I hope that the new pot (which is scheduled to arrive today, yay) will not have a clock with a moth attracting light on it. Because this wasn’t the first moth to die a caffeine induced death, but it IS the first one I didn’t discover till after the coffee had been consumed, gross!
At any rate, I grabbed the dusty CLR container, read over the coffee maker cleaning instructions, and got to work. It worked, let me tell you. The first run through with the CLR produced a bunch of gunk floating around in the pot. Then I was supposed to run 4 pots of clean water through to get all of the CLR and other stuff out.
I wan’t too concerned about it when the first couple of pots had lots of floaters, cause after all it had been “awhile” since the maker had been cleaned. (ahem) BUT I was a little unsettled by the look of the floaters. I mean… hard water is one thing, but I really wasn’t expecting brownish stuff at all. And by the time I got to the 4th pot of clean water and it wasn’t coming through “clean” at all, I was quite concerned as well as officially grossed out for life! I even thought that I might just have to give up coffee as penance.
SO I decided that a good ol vinegar rinse would surely loosen up any of the rest of that “stuff” that might be trying to get through. Rinse I did. And ran about 8 more pots of both water AND vinegar through that ridiculous machine and STILL there were nasties floating in the water. Ugh!
Out of desparation I dug out the old bottle brush from under the sink and started scrubbing away as much as I could reach in that reservoir. And here is lesson number one…. well, maybe two… one would probably be CLEAN YOUR MACHINE!!!! Ha ha! So lesson number 2 is get a machine where you can see/reach all the spots in the reservoir. Ours unfortunately curved up around the front of the pot, so there was NO way, even with the bottle brush, that I could reach those skinny little front sections where the water level windows were. *sigh* Let me tell you though, the brushing sped things up quite a bit. When I took the sprayer from the sink to the reservoir and then dumped it….
Well, lets just say I nearly took a vow to NEVER have a drop of coffee again after I saw what was flowing out of that thing. Eww, eww, ewwwy, ewwwww!
It was at that point that I was pretty sure a new coffee maker was in my future. Because even if I could get a pot of water to come through clean… I wasn’t sure I’d ever get over the impression of that nasty stuff coming out of the machine. Not that I had to worry about it. Even after the vigerous scrubbing and spraying and dumping and cycling through, there was always floaters in the pot.
I’m still trying not to think about that TOO much… I just don’t want to go there.
After explaining the situation to Stuart that evening, he agreed that we needed a new machine. Fortunately he did the research and found a great option on Amazon. Cause when I went to our “amazing” Wal-Mart, of course they had nothing that would work. Actually they had one on display that I thought would work, but none on the shelf. Surprise! I knew I shouldn’t have gone there. 😉
Anyway, I’ve borrowed the coffee pot from “the white house” that also got a thorough vinegar cleaning, for a couple of days till our new machine comes in. And with Stuart’s help, I will certainly be cleaning out our next coffee maker at least once a month. 😉
Viva le Coffee!