How To Clean A French Press Coffee Maker

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Key Takeaways:

This is how you can clean a French press coffee maker.

Step 1: Empty the grounds from the carafe and rinse it with hot water.

Step 2: Also, rinse off the plunger and filter without unscrewing the pieces apart.

Step 3: Add a few drops of soap into the carafe and Fill it half-way with hot water

Step 4: Now put in the plunger, and then gently plunge it up and down a few times to help get off any remaining grounds and oils.

Step 5: Rinse all pieces of the French press thoroughly before setting it aside to dry.

There’s no doubt about it—Americans love their coffee! But why settle for an ordinary cup of Joe from a drip coffeemaker when you can brew a pot of coffee worthy of a king? That’s what you get with a French press—finely flavored espressos, cappuccinos, and lattes without paying top dollar for a barista to whip up your drink at a coffee shop.

But, just as failing to clean the basket of an automatic drip coffee maker can result in stale tasting brew, using an unclean French press will do the same thing.

While some think that simply rinsing out their press pot with hot water will do the trick, you actually need to cleanse it well to keep stale odors and flavors at bay.

The culprit is the large amount of oils extracted from coffee grounds while using a French press, which tend to cling to the carafe and filter unless soap and a bit of scrubbing are involved.

Fortunately, cleaning your French press is actually quite easy. Simply follow these step-by-step instructions to ensure you get many years of use from your French press.

What You”ll Need

  • Spatula
  • Dish soap
  • Water
  • Sponge and/or bottle brush
  • Baking soda (optional)
  • Vinegar (optional)


We’ll first look at how you can clean your french press effectively and quickly after each brew. Then, we’ll move onto the deeper cleaning you should be giving your press every few weeks for maximum flavor balance and filter efficiency.

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Daily Cleaning Of Your French Press - After Each Brew

  • Finish your coffee, and let the French press cool down.
  • Empty the grounds from the carafe using either your hands or a spatula. Avoid using a metal spoon, which might break the glass. 
  • Dispose of your coffee grounds, rinse out the carafe with hot water, rinse off the plunger and filter without unscrewing the pieces apart, and then put a few drops of soap into the carafe.
  • Fill it half-way with hot water, put in the plunger, and then gently plunge it up and down a few times to help get off any remaining grounds and oils.
  • Pour out the soapy water and rinse all pieces of the French press thoroughly before setting it aside to dry.

How To Deep Clean Your French Press

Daily cleaning is the ideal way to keep your French press coffee maker in good condition, but you should also deep clean it once a week. 

Step 1: Start by completing the daily cleaning process. Then, disassemble the French Press.

Most French presses can be broken down into 5 components:

  • Pitcher
  • Cross plate (the plastic or stainless steel bottom piece of the plunger)
  • Mesh filter (the middle piece of the plunger)
  • Spiral plate (the stainless steel top piece of the plunger)
  • The plunger rod/lid assembly


Step 2:  Once you’ve broken down the press into its component pieces – Clean each part individually with a thin paste made from baking soda and water. Scrub the pieces using a sponge or bottle brush.

If you’ve got particularly stubborn stains, let the paste sit for a few minutes and then scrub.

Step 3:  To get rid of the hard water buildup inside the coffee maker, use a solution made of equal parts vinegar and water. Use the solution to scrub the interior and exterior of the carafe and disassembled components; rinse thoroughly.

Step 4:  Reassemble and allow the coffee maker to dry or use it to prepare delicious coffee as usual and enjoy.

A good cleaning routine keeps your brewer functioning at peak condition, keeps it looking brand new, and ensures your coffee’s as pure and untainted as it can possibly be. The steps outlined in this guide are quick and easy to implement—a small cost for better coffee and a happier french press. 

Written by:
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Amit Gupta

Hi, my name is Amit Gupta, and I am the owner and contributor at Cafeish. My obsession with coffee started when I received my first French press as a gift almost ten years ago. Since then, my love of coffee – and the number of coffee gadgets I own – has grown considerably.

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