Have you ever stopped to wonder exactly who is cleaning your workplace’s coffee machine? If it isn’t you and you’ve never seen anyone else do it, the chilling answer may be… “nobody” (yuck).
Coffee machines are one of those frequently neglected but regularly used parts of the office which simply get overlooked in the day-to-day running of things. Everyone assumes that somebody is taking care of it, but everyone thinks it’s somebody else’s responsibility.
This leads to very poor hygiene. In fact, University of Valencia researchers recently discovered that office coffee machine trays can contain anywhere from 35-67 different types of bacteria (source). That’s a lot of nasty stuff to swallow with your morning dose of caffeine…
So, how should you go about cleaning your workplace’s coffee machine? This question is certainly not simple. Just to get a cup of joe can require a master’s degree in particle physics in some instances. Which means that cleaning a coffee machine can be a somewhat daunting prospect. With so many different types of machine to contend with, coming up with general steps isn’t easy, but we do have some approaches which will help make your coffee machine more sanitary…
1. Read the manual
Reading the manual which came with your coffee machine won’t be the most exciting 45 minutes of your life, but it will give you the knowledge you need to give your precise machine a good clean, without seriously messing things up. This knowledge can then be passed onto your employees, colleagues or cleaning team who can take the reins from there…
Pro tip: if the physical printed version of the manual has gone missing then try Googling the make and model of the coffee machine and you might be able to find a PDF copy of the manual online, either from the manufacturer’s own website or a random manuals website.
2. Embrace vinegar
If you can’t find the manual or don’t have time to do your homework, making use of vinegar is one of the best ways to give your coffee maker a decent cleanse – whatever the type. Gunky build-up from old coffee and machine oil won’t make your next cup of coffee taste spectacular, but acidic vinegar is great for blasting this nastiness away, without tainting your cuppas with a chemical tang. Simply mix 1 part white wine vinegar with two parts water and run the mixture through your machine as you would when making a regular coffee. Rinse through with a cycle or two of plain water once you’re done to remove the vinegar smell – and hey presto! – a much cleaner machine. It’s always best to double-check the manufacturer’s instructions if you can though, just in case they suggest or recommend a different process with different ingredients.
3. Explore settings & clean buttons
Many modern coffee machines will come with a self-cleaning mode, but this doesn’t mean the exterior will magically be cleaned. Typically a heavily used piece of office equipment, the coffee machine comes into contact with hands and fingers all day, so cleaning its buttons and surfaces on a daily basis is crucial for keeping germs and bacteria at back – and keeping your workforce healthy. A simple antibacterial spray or wipe should do the trick.
4. Rope in employees to regularly clean the coffee pot
When it comes to more day-to-day cleaning, if it’s a coffee machine with a coffee pot then ask employees who regularly use it to remember to give it a quick clean before using it – ideally once a day at least. Perhaps it can become an office habit that the first person to make the first pot each day must remember to give it a clean before they stick it on. Not everyone drinks coffee (and some may prefer the granules/kettle variety, meaning that they won’t use the coffee machine), so it’s recommended that only the regular coffee machine users are involved with this.
Need more expert cleaning support? With 30 years’ commercial cleaning experience in and around South Wales, we can keep everything – from your coffee machine to your carpets – in pristine condition. Set up your new cleaning rota or book a one-off deep clean today on 029 2067 9323.