With more than half of adults in the U.S. and Canada drinking coffee on a daily basis, coffee makers are found in many homes today. 

Choosing a Coffee Maker

Because of concerns about the product quality and safety of home appliances like coffee makers, NSF International developed several protocols under its Home Product Certification Program, including NSF Protocol P203:  Residential Coffee Making Devices. This protocol establishes strict criteria for coffee makers intended for home use,  addressing issues like product design, construction, materials and cleanability. As part of its certification, NSF also checks labeling and packaging information and validates any marketing claims being made for the product. Products certified under this protocol are eligible to display the NSF Certified for Home Use mark.

Cleaning and Maintenance of Coffee Makers

A 2011 germ study conducted by NSF International found that coffee reservoirs ranked as the fifth germiest place in the homes sampled. You can limit the potential for organisms to grow by establishing regular cleaning procedures:

  • Wash removable components (filter baskets, carafes) after each use in the dishwasher (if marked dishwasher safe) or by hand in hot soapy water, rinsing thoroughly to remove all soap residue.
  • Wipe outer surfaces of the unit daily with a clean, damp cloth.
  • Clean internal components of the coffee maker every 40 to 60 brew cycles or at least once a month.
  • Check your owner’s manual for cleaning procedures recommended for your unit.

Tips for Using Coffee Makers

  • Although leftover brewed coffee (black) is not considered a perishable beverage that requires refrigeration, reheating coffee can make it bitter. To reduce waste, consider brewing only as much coffee as you can consume in a single setting.
  • Since water quality can affect the taste of brewed coffee, check the manufacturer’s manual for recommended water type (purified, filtered, chlorine-free, etc.).
  • If you choose to filter your own tap water, make sure the system is certified to remove contaminants in your water supply.
  • When purchasing freshly ground coffee, purchase only what you can use within a week to 10 days, and store the grounds in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.
  • If purchasing a larger quantity of coffee than you can use in a week, place the unused portion in an airtight bag and store in the freezer until ready to use. For best quality, don’t leave coffee in the freezer beyond three to four weeks.