Is It Safe to Leave a Coffee Machine Unattended All Day?

Coffee machines come in a variety of designs.

Depending on the year of manufacture, most coffee machines are fitted with safety switches to prevent them from overheating.

For instance, coffee machines manufactured in the last 30 years are fitted with thermal overload protection shuts to prevent the coffee maker from destroying itself.

So, Should You Leave Your Coffee Maker On All Day Unattended?

Well, in general, leaving new coffee machines unattended does not pose an immediate fire hazard. However, there is a danger depending on what is in its immediate surrounding. For instance, if there are loose electric cords passed close to the coffee pot, then they could melt. This issue will expose the naked cables that could spark flames. What is more, it will not only burn the items in the surrounding, but it may as well damage the countertop. With prolonged heating, coffee will be burned and will taste stale if left for several hours.

What Happens If You Leave the Coffee Machine Unattended?

It is quite common to be carried away once you are engrossed in some activity and forget other tasks.

If that, is you, or you are just trying to work in between tasks, then you are likely to leave your coffee machine overrunning?

Even though most coffee pots are fitted with auto turn-off safety shut, some still do not have this shut-off provision.

If yours isn’t fitted with this feature then your coffee pot will badly be damaged if left all day unattended.

If you are alternating between several tasks in your kitchen, you should set an alarm system that will remind you to check on your coffee brewer after specific time breaks.

You might as well keep a checklist and pin it in a visible place so it keeps reminding you of tasks that are due.

What Happens If You Do Not Attend To Your Coffee Maker Throughout The day?

1. Burning The Coffee Pot

This is the most common result of keeping your coffee machine all day unattended.

You will burn your coffee pot. Your coffee pot will probably crack or even shatter causing a lot of mess to deal with.

This happens especially when there is little or no coffee on the pot. As heating continues, more coffee evaporates until there is no more vapor left in the pot.

The coffee pot is blackened making it hard and tiresome to clean.

To scrub off burnt marks in the pot, use salt, lemon juice, and baking soda.

You will be forced to acquire a new pot if the old one is permanently damaged.

2. Spoiled Coffee

If you left your coffee machine running unattended, you will find that your coffee has turned thick and dried at the bottom of the coffee pot.

As heating continues, more water escapes through the steam making the coffee thicker.

Depending on the type of coffee you are brewing, it will develop a burnt flavor.

3. Wastage Of Electricity

You will waste a lot of energy leaving your coffee machine on all day unattended.

If you are regularly leaving it unattended, you cumulatively waste a lot of energy that reflects on the electricity bill. To cut on this cost, you should only run your coffee maker when necessary.

You should also be environmentally conscious by conserving energy.

4. Fire Hazard

New coffee pots do not pose an immediate fire threat since they are fitted with safety auto-shut.

However, there is a danger to fire flaring up caused by items placed close to the coffee machine.

These include serviettes, napkins, or paper towels placed closed to the coffee pot running hot.

When operating the coffee machine, you should always maintain a clean working environment and keep away any fire hazard items.

It is also important to note that loose electric cords running close to the coffee pot are real potential fire hazards.

The cable casing melt when subjected to persistent heat exposing naked wires that will spark and cause flames.

It is always prudent to maintain power cords away from the coffee machine.

How To Clean A Blackened Coffee Pot

To get the right coffee flavor you must use a clean coffee pot. The coffee pot should be cleaned regularly more so if it has burned coffee inside.

This task might be a tall order without the right cleaning agents and material. Sprinkle salt inside and add some ice cubes and twirl. Salt will stick to the ice cubes.

Pour the ice cubes and rinse. Any traces of coffee stains remaining should be removed by adding baking soda.

Finally, wash with hot soapy water and rinse with clean water.

Three Ways To Prevent A Coffee Maker Fire

1. Keep Running Time Short

One step to prevent fire from the coffee maker is to avoid running it for longer than two hours without attending.

This will surely help nip fire hazards from developing in the first place.

2. Get Coffee Maker With Auto Shut Off

Secondly, you can buy a new coffee machine that has an auto-turn-off feature.

This will automatically turn off after two hours of continuous heating.

This is a handy feature that should be considered when buying a new coffee machine whether you are a first-time or you are looking to upgrade your vintage one.

3. Set Timer

Thirdly, if you are using a coffee maker that doesn’t auto switch off, you can as well consider setting a kitchen timer or some alarm system that will remind you after two hours of brewing your coffee.

You can also consider alternative methods of keeping your coffee warm instead of running the coffee maker all day. These alternative solutions include:

  • Consider using alternative coffee machines that contain thermal carafes. This thermal carafe will keep the coffee hot for two hours and another two hours.
  • Utilize thermos flasks to keep your coffee hot right from the brewing pot. Most thermoses do keep your coffee hot throughout the day thus saving you the hassle of keeping the coffee machine on the whole day. A thermos can maintain your coffee hot for up to 24 hours.

Should You Unplug the Coffee Machine When Not in Use?

The coffee-making machine is not a fire hazard when it is plugged in but not in use.

You can keep it plugged in since it poses no danger.

It is also not cost-effective unplugging it.

Maintaining it plugged in uses minimal energy, cumulatively slightly less than $2 a year.


Keeping coffee machines all day unattended can be a potential fire hazard.

As discussed, this can be prevented by utilizing a coffee machine that has an auto shut-off feature that will go off after two hours to avoid ruining the coffee and posing other fire threats.

In essence, to keep your coffee hot for the whole day, the coffee machine is not the right utility.

Therefore, it is prudent to use thermal coffee machines or thermos flasks that will keep your coffee hot the whole day.