Mold In Coffee Pot: How To Remove And Prevent

A moldy coffee pot is not the first thing you want to see when you go to make your morning brew. If you’ve already made your brew before spotting the mold, you’ll need to throw it away, and if you were just about to, the pot will need a good clean first.

So why has your coffee pot become moldy in the first place? What kind of mold is actually growing in there and how can you stop it from happening again?

In this article, we will be answering these questions and more, so keep reading.

coffee pot mold

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Why do coffee pots get moldy?

Mold spores can settle and grow on many surfaces, the glass or plastic of your coffee pot being no exception.

As long as mold has just a few things, it can grow practically anywhere. All it needs are the following:

  • A source of nutrients
  • Adequate moisture levels
  • An ambient temperature between 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit

As you can see from the list above, your coffee pot makes for a fairly comfortable place for mold to call home. It has plenty of moisture from the liquid from leftover coffee or steam that has condensed, its nutrients come from tiny coffee grounds and most coffee pots are kept on kitchen counters in a temperature-controlled room.

What kind of mold grows in coffee pots?

There are several varieties of mold that can grow on foodstuffs and within the home in general, these are Cladosporium, Penicillium, and Aspergillus.

You have almost certainly seen the majority of these molds at some point, growing on foods or bathroom ceilings.

They come in shades of white, black, green, blue, orange, and even red, and are often described as appearing “powdery”, “velvety” or even slimy in texture.

Whilst these strains are the most commonly seen, there are thousands of strains, so you should never assume you know which mold you are dealing with by sight alone.

Can you get sick from coffee pot mold?

Yes, unfortunately, sickness from mold ingestion or inhalation is a very real concern. Many of the thousands of strains of mold that exist are entirely harmless to humans, but some can produce a metabolite called Mycotoxins as a defense mechanism whenever they feel threatened.

Ingestion or inhalation of small amounts of mycotoxins is unlikely to cause any major harm in healthy individuals but can be a concern for people with suppressed immune systems.

If ingested or inhaled (via the mold’s spores) in large enough quantities, or over a prolonged period of time, mycotoxin exposure can create the following symptoms:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Gastrointestinal discomfort
  • Brain fog
  • Breathlessness

For people with allergic asthma, exposure to mold spores can bring on an attack, and in highly sensitive people, exposure to mycotoxins can cause liver damage, cancer, and in rare circumstances, even death.

The reality is that in the majority of cases, most people would not continue to drink coffee from a pot that was covered in mold. However, if not investigated properly, your pot could be harboring a colony without you noticing for some time, so it’s worth checking frequently for any signs of mold buildup.

How to clean a coffee pot of mold

When it comes to killing mold, there are plenty of household products that will make short work of a colony. However, some of them would be best avoided if you are cleaning anything that will be used to contain foods or drinks. For example, hydrogen peroxide and bleach are great at killing mold, but you don’t want any residue of these corrosive and poisonous chemicals on your cups before you use them.

With that in mind, you are left with two highly effective, environmentally friendly options, Vinegar or baking soda. For really stubborn mold, you can even use a mixture of the two.

Before you begin cleaning up it coffee pot, remember to wear protective equipment such as a breathing mask, rubber gloves, and eye protection. You really don’t want to be breathing in mold spores if you can help it.

Vinegar method

To clean a coffee pot of mold using vinegar, use the following steps:

  1. Make a solution of 1 cup of white (distilled) vinegar to two cups of tap water.
  2. Pour the solution into a spray bottle, and liberally spray the entire coffee pot, inside and out (paying attention to any lips or seals).
  3. Leave the vinegar/water solution to work for 5-10 minutes. This will be long enough to kill any mold it comes into contact with.
  4. Wash the coffee pot thoroughly with warm water and detergent. This will remove any mold residue and remove the scent of the vinegar.
  5. Leave to dry fully before storing it.

Baking soda method

The method for cleaning a coffee pot with mold using baking soda is very similar to cleaning with vinegar.

To clean a coffee pot of mold using baking soda, use the following steps:

  1. Make a solution of 2 cups of water, to two tablespoons of baking soda.
  2. Pour the solution into a spray bottle and shake to mix.
  3. Spray the solution liberally all over the coffee pot, making sure all lips and seals are covered.
  4. Leave the solution to dry, this may take anywhere from ten minutes to an hour depending on the heat of the room.
  5. Rinse the coffee pot under a running tap to clean off any leftover solution.
  6. Leave to fully dry before storing away.

Which vinegar is best for cleaning coffee pots?

To effectively kill mold using vinegar, there are two options, white distilled vinegar, and specific “cleaning” vinegar.

There are other kinds of vinegar available to clean and kill mold, such as malt vinegar, however, these are not the best options, as they tend to have stronger smells and can leave a taste in whatever you have cleaned.

Using distilled vinegar is a better option, especially if you are cleaning something used to store food or drink, as it will be less likely to taint the consumables contained within it.

How to prevent mold from growing in coffee pots

The easiest way to prevent mold from growing in a coffee pot is to take away everything mold needs to live, including moisture and nutrients.

To prevent the buildup of mold growing in a coffee pot, use the following measures:

  • Clean your coffee pot after each use to remove coffee particles that mold can feed off.
  • Ensure the pot is dried fully before storing it.
  • If possible, keep the coffee pot in a location that receives natural sunlight. The sun’s UV rays will kill mold and its spores.
  • Deep clean your coffee pot once every two to three months to ensure no mold is growing in any lips or seals.


Mold can easily grow in a coffee pot if it is not thoroughly cleaned on a regular basis. The mold that can grow has the potential to be hazardous to human health, so making sure your coffee pot is mold free will allow you to enjoy your coffee without fear of becoming Ill.


Chris Walker

Chris Walker has struggled for several years with mold after buying his own property. After finding the solutions to several issues around his home, he decided to create this site in order to answer as many questions about mold and mildew as possible to help others dealing with the same problems.

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