How to Clean The French Press: A Detailed Guide

By Evelina •  Updated: 07/04/21 •  6 min read

The Short Answer:

Preferably, you should clean it with warm soapy water and then rinse it. However, if water isn’t enough to get the job done, consider boiling extra water in the kettle and pouring it over the detergent while scrubbing.

Making coffee with the French Press is one of the simplest ways to obtain, what is considered by many to be, some of the best coffee in the world. There is a number who say that it’s easier than using an electric percolator or any other coffee maker and tastes better too.

But the French Press can be a little tricky to clean and maintain properly, which is why we have put together this post all about how to clean your French Press, coffee maker.

We will show you the complete process for a proper clean, the most common problems when cleaning the French Press, and how to reduce the chances of getting them in the future. Then we will finish up by showing you how you can make sure that your French Press coffee maker is maintained properly for years to come.

The French Press

how to clean the french press

The French Press is a coffee maker that has been around for over a hundred years. It’s brewing method is a simple one, which makes it an easy system to clean. The French Press uses no electricity and relies on a carafe and plunger system to brew the coffee.

The popularity of the French Press is easy to understand considering how easy they are to use and their versatility in what can be made in them.

Related Article: The History of French Press

Cleaning The French Press

The french press comes in 3 main parts. The Plunger with the Lid, the Filter (better French Press models have multiple filters as you can see in the photo above), and the carafe which has a handle. These 3 parts come apart quite easily.

After you brewed your coffee the first thing you have to do is to disassemble all the parts from the carafe.

There Are 5 ways you can clean your French Press.

1. Soap And Water

The first way to clean your french press coffee maker is with soap and water. If your French Press is a little dirty, and the plunger seems a little sticky or greasy, then this is the quickest and easiest way to get it back to a shiny state.

Our recommendation is that you use warm soapy water and dissolve some of your dishwashing liquid into it. Give the carafe part a good rinse and then pour some of the solution into the plunger section. Then gently clean the filter of your French Press with a sponge and give it a good rinse.

If you do this with all the removable parts, then you should be left with a perfectly clean coffee maker.

2. White Vinegar

If you find that your French Press is starting to look caked with coffee grime and residue, you can use white vinegar to clean it. We suggest not using apple cider vinegar because it can cause some serious issues with the plunger in the French Press.

We recommend filling your carafe with some warm water and then add a little white vinegar to it. This will help to gently dissolve any of the grease or buildup in the carafe or plunger. You should give all the removable parts a good rinse and then wipe them dry with a towel.

Next you can use another cloth to dry out the plunger.

3. Water And Baking Soda

Another option for cleaning your French Press is to use water and baking soda. This method is also great for removing stains from the carafe, or residue that has built up in the filter. You should fill the French Press carafe with warm water and then add a little baking soda (one tablespoon should be enough).

Let this mixture sit overnight so it can dissolve any of the gunk that’s stuck to your coffee maker. The next day you can simply rinse out all the removable parts and give them a good scrub with a sponge.

4. Vinegar and Baking Soda

This time we are going to use a mixture of vinegar and baking soda. The idea is that the vinegar will kill the bad germs in your coffee maker, while the baking soda creates a chemical reaction to help dissolve any residue.

Fill the carafe with white vinegar and then add a little more baking soda (one tablespoon) to it. Let this mixture sit overnight and then give the French Press a good scrub with a sponge. You can also give your plunger a good scrub with vinegar.

5. Wash it in The Dishwasher From Time to Time

Finally, there is the option of washing your French Press in a dishwasher. This will help to keep it nice and clean. Place all the removable parts of the French Press into the dishwasher and run a full cycle. If the carafe is still dirty, you can give it a quick wash by hand.

Frequently Asked Questions: FAQ

how to clean the french press

What is the easiest way to clean a French Press?

The easiest way to clean a French Press is with hot water and a sponge. You can use soap and warm water. Make sure to remove your plunger, filter, and carafe. Let it soak and then scrub with a sponge.

How often should you clean a French Press?

We recommend that you clean your French Press after every use. This may be once a week or once a month depending on how often you drink coffee.

How do you dispose of coffee grounds in a French Press?

After you’ve finished using your French Press, rinse the carafe and toss the coffee grinds into the trashcan. If you’re going to compost your coffee grounds, keep them separate from the rest of your food leftovers.

Read Also: What to do with leftover coffee grounds?

Last Thoughts

The French Press is a simple and effective way to obtain good tasting coffee, especially when you’re new to the idea of making it at home.

By cleaning your French Press properly it will last for many years, and you can get a lot of enjoyment out of making coffee with it.

It’s worth noting that the best way to clean your carafe will be with warm soapy water and a sponge or brush, but you can also use a mixture of vinegar and baking soda.

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Evelina’s passion for coffee could never been hidden. Having worked as a barista, she learned the true value of the coffee bean and its secrets. As she continued to evolve as a barista, so did her knowledge, techniques on making different coffee blends and most importantly how to operate every kind of gear when it comes to coffee. Having a degree in biomedicine and being a barista, allows her to provide our community with in-depth knowledge surrounding the topics of coffee.