Christmas came and went and along with the multitude of scarves and hats, were other gifts. One of which was a new coffee maker for my better half. I am not a coffee drinker, preferring instead to pollute myself with mass quantities of Diet Dr. Pepper. At this point it's my only vice so cut me some slack. Hubby and middle daughter though love coffee and sometimes hot tea and the oldest and youngest kids like to use it for hot chocolate. I agonized over what brand and type to buy, especially since I don't use it myself and finally settled on one that does both the little cups and 12 cup pot.
The hubby was excited, he plugged it in and prepared to make the first pot of coffee in his lovely new machine. I should stop here and say that we are both kitchen gadget addicts and really need intervention. We have not just an ice cream maker but also a snow cone maker. If it's shiny and makes food we're all for it. This machine was everything we love in a gadget, it had little lights, shiny chrome and little compartments that you could take out and add to make your own pods or to use the commercial ones. Exciting!
The inaugural pot of water went in and began bubbling out through to the pot. It was at this point that we all began to smell melting plastic. Was the unit on fire? No but it stank. My friend Google hooked me up with a multitude of complaints about this "off gassing" smell. There was no way we could use it until the stink was gone. So we began following recommendations from other disgruntled coffee consumers and ran vinegar through. This was followed by more vinegar and then in a desperate moment someone's suggestion of rubbing alcohol was followed, but to no avail. Running the baskets and other parts through the dishwasher had taken away their smell but the odor that was stifling us was coming from the reservoir it'self. I began just pouring pot after pot of water through it. Every time I'd walk through the kitchen I'd run another pot of water in hopes that eventually the smell would leave.
We wrote to the manufacturer who promptly replied that this was a unheard of problem (yeah right!) and that the only thing they could recommend would be to wash the baskets and such with baking soda. This was in spite of our email stating that the removable parts were odor free. Finally in frustration I posited to my husband that the solution might be to run a little baking soda through with the water. This was the beginning of what I will can baking sodageddon. I left to run into town and my husband, who, bless his heart, is not a regular baking soda user decided my half baked idea was the answer. I should have specified how much "a little" baking soda was. He heated water and mixed in the baking soda. As he poured though it dissolved and he thought he should add more. More turned out to be half a box.
When I came home there was quite a soda explosion in the kitchen. I swear I will be finding little spots of dried baking soda for the next several years. I have never been so glad to have white walls. The machine of course stopped working. The hubby took it downstairs and began disassembling it. He would take it apart blow it out and put it back together several times over the next week. Occasionally we would yell exclamations of disgust or he would emerge muttering to try it, then disappear again into the basement. Once he thought he had it fixed only to find that while the water was making it to the pot, it was running from under the control panel. Finally he emerged victorious from the basement with a slightly more dinged up but working coffeemaker.
On the one hand I feel bad that I got him what turned out to be an expensive, stinky, frustrating gift. On the other hand he received an invaluable education in small appliance repair. So I'll call it a positive experience.
Hubby on the other hand might not be so upbeat about it. Oh and I will say this, that half a box of baking soda took the smell right out of the coffeemaker, but I wouldn't recommend going that route!
I hope all your Christmas was warm, wonderful, and filled with love!