My parents bought a Keurig, and I have to say I liked using it when I would come visit them. Quick, easy, and no mess.
It’s even kind of fun to go shopping for them and sifting through the countless varieties like a buffet of caffeinated goodness.
But then I would ask myself things like what substance is that lid made of that is poked at the top to allow the piping hot water to enter the cup? Do chemicals or even toxins get released through this process?
I also wondered to what degree does the Keurig harbor mold and bacteria, since the rubber tubing and internal water tank of the brewer cannot be drained.
Just leave a cup of water out for a few days or a couple of weeks and look at discoloration and biofilm that develops to see what I’m talking about.
It seems more than likely that bacteria and mold are setting up shop inside those areas where it is dark, warm, and moist. Another possible mold-magnet is the black rubber ring on the bottom of the exterior water container. If there’s green or black slime that probably means biofilm. Gross.
Donna Duberg, M.A., M.S., an assistant professor of clinical laboratory science at Saint Louis University said, “Bacteria forms a slick biofilm when grown in moist, dark places, and so do molds.”
No, your coffee bean’s antibacterial action is not enough to kill these microbes that are floating through the system. Duberg said, “There is research which shows that it is only about 50 percent effective in killing bacteria, such as Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus mutans, and molds.”
No, your water is not getting hot enough to kill all microbes that are living in your coffee system. For that to happen, the water would need to reach boiling temperature and stay there for one minute.
And, for heaven’s sake, wash your workplace coffee mug with dish soap and water. Researchers found that half of workplace coffee mugs were contaminated with fecal bacteria.
Can you clean the Keurig? The first step is to empty out the exterior water tank and look inside the tank. Does it feel slimy? Clean and dry that tank and run a few cycles of diluted vinegar through the Keurig. Good luck with that.
One person said, “I could still smell a moldy aroma after doing quite a few vinegar cycles. There were also black, floaty things in my cup even when I just brewed hot water.”
Plastic K-Cups Conundrum
The Plastic – The K Cup is a composite plastic, #7. Although this is technically BPA-free, the chemicals from the composite plastic are not safe, and they still have estrogenic activity. As long as I mentioned fake estrogens coming from the plastic in your K-Cup, don’t make a bad situation worse by adding soy milk to your coffee!
The Cups Are Non-Recyclable – This is a big problem for the environment since we have seen an explosion in the use of single cup coffee makers, like Keurig, in the last few years. MotherJones.com reported, over 8.3 billion K-Cups a year are discarded, enough to circle the earth 10.5 times!
The Lid is Polyethylene Coated Foil
(look at picture below)