Almost all hotel rooms have one thing in common: coffeemakers. They’re out there for a quick and easy caffeine fix, but are these hotel room coffee makers hygienic and suitable for sipping?
In general, coffee makers in hotel rooms can pose health risks because they are often not properly cleaned and, by the nature of their design, they can easily harbor bacteria and other harmful germs. However, we may be able to reduce the risk by employing cleaning methods that involve descaling-
Why are they not safe?
We may have thought that by running boiling water through these coffee machines, the risk of bacteria or other undesirable elements would be practically eradicated. But is not the case. Many coffee pots do not actually boil water . The maximum temperature reaches 88ºC, which is well below the degrees needed to boil. This is due to the optimal brewing temperature for coffee (which is sometimes lower than the optimal temperature for tea).
The good news is that we don’t actually need boiling water to remove many harmful substances. The bad news is that we need those high temperatures to be around for an extended period of time to remove these harmful substances, and coffee makers may not be able to provide that.
Also, the big concern is that the environment these coffee makers create is perfect for germs. Coffee machine tanks are dark, damp environments that allow mold to grow. As if that weren’t enough, coffee makers are sometimes best hidden in a dank drawer or cabinet near a hotel safe, which probably only makes things worse.
Is the home coffee maker cleaner?
Keep in mind that hotel housekeeping isn’t going to spend a lot of time (to say the least) in many cases thoroughly cleaning coffee pots. They may even forget to clean the cups, which is one of the reasons we may want to bring our own disposable cups or cups when we travel.
We are sure that we would not bet that a coffee pot is as clean as one in our kitchen and we assume that it is a breeding ground for all kinds of germs. However, in one study, none of the volunteers placed a coffee maker in the top 10 when asked about the places where the most germs are generated.
So there is definitely a real disconnect between perception and reality when it comes to how dirty these coffee machines can be.