How To Clean A French Press. 3 Quick And Easy Ways

how to clean a french press

The Best Ways to Clean Your French Press

No one wants to drink coffee out of a dirty French Press. Used coffee grounds can infuse your fresh coffee with a stale taste, and old bits of grounds can clog the mesh filter. 

At the same time, the immersion process can cause scale to build up on the inside of the glass carafe. 

How to clean a French Press:
You want to clean your French Press regularly. There are several ways to get your French Press sparkling after every use to make the best cup of coffee. Some top methods include soap and water, vinegar, and baking soda. 

Here’s the lowdown on how to completely clean your French Press.

Here’s how to clean your French Press

You can clean your French Press with multiple simple methods. The good news is that you likely already have most of these basic cleaning products in your kitchen.

Use dish soap, distilled white vinegar, or pure baking soda to get your French Press squeaky clean. 

How to Clean a Dirty French Press 

  1. First, scoop out and rinse the glass beaker free from the coffee grounds clumped at the bottom of the carafe.
  2. Next, slide the glass beaker (carafe) out of its metal frame.
  3. Then, unscrew the mesh filter from the plunger.
  4. Add dish soap to hot, soapy water. Wash all the pieces, including the glass carafe, thoroughly.
  5. Rinse clean.
  6. Place the French Press parts in a dish rack to air dry or dry them with a towel.

Do You Need to Clean a French Press Each Time?

It’s important to keep your French Press clean to ensure you get a good cup of joe.

It would be best if you washed a French Press every time you use it.

That’s because the oils present in the ground coffee beans turn rancid fast. Rancid oils might not only make you sick, but they can make your coffee taste bad.

Old oils leave unpleasant residue on the glass walls, and bits of coffee grounds can clog up your filter. 

Is It Hard to Clean a French Press?

No, it’s not hard to clean a French Press, but you’ll want to take the time to disassemble it and clean it thoroughly every time. The plus side is that if you wash your French Press after pouring out the coffee, it will be clean and waiting for your next brew.

In fact, cleaning it (not just rinsing it out) after each use makes it easier to clean down the line. As a result, you’ll deal with less buildup and scaling.

In just a few minutes, you can give your French Press a fast, light clean and leave it ready for your next use. You’ll thank yourself the next time you’re rushing to make your coffee before heading out the door.

What Things Do You Need to Clean a French Press?

While cleaning a French Press is pretty basic, there are a couple of things that you’ll want to have on hand.

It’s kind of a pain to remove the coffee grounds. You’ll want to get rid of these first.

It’s easiest to upturn the glass beaker over the garbage can or compost tub and tap on the bottom of it with a wooden spoon. Don’t use anything metal or hit the glass hard.

If the grounds don’t come out, you can scoop out the rest of the sediment with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Don’t use a metal spoon since this can scratch or break the glass carafe. 

You can also wipe most of it out with a hand towel or a paper towel.

You’ll also want to have access to hot, running water, soap, and a soft cloth or bottle brush. If you plan to use baking soda or vinegar, make sure that you have these cleaning supplies ready.

How to Clean a French Press with Soap

Cleaning your French Press with soap is simple and easy. You can also follow the same disassembly and washing process with all these cleaning methods.

Once you’ve emptied the grounds into the compost or trash, you’ll want to unscrew and separate all the pieces. It’s a good idea to slide the carafe out of the metal stand so you can clean it properly.

Before you disassemble the plunger, push it up and down in the carafe until the soapy water foams. This helps scrub out the inside and get rid of oily residue and thick sludge at the bottom. 

Pour out the soapy water, rinse the glass body with fresh water, and pump the plunger up and down again. Make sure to use a gentle dish soap since soap exposure can degrade your French Press over time.

Rinse out the glass beaker, the metal plunger, the mesh screens, and the disks. Give the outside of the beaker a once-over. Scrub off any drips or stains that may have dribbled between the beaker and the frame.

Since grounds get trapped between the three French Press disks, you’ll want to remove them and rinse off any visible buildup. Make sure to wash the glass carafe with a little soap, a soft sponge, and lots of hot water. Wash all the parts thoroughly to get rid of any residue. 

Once your French Press is dry, you’ll want to assemble it, so it’s ready to go next time. While this can look complicated, you can just slide the clean carafe back into the metal stand to start.

Set aside the retaining disk with a screw that connects to the plunger. Put the mesh screen filter on top of this disk. Then stack the spring disk on top of that.

When you look at it from top to bottom, you should have a spring disk, mesh screen, and retaining disk on the bottom of the stack.

How to Clean a French Press with Vinegar

You can use vinegar to get your French Press clean if you’re dealing with buildup from hard water. 

Pour the same amount of water and vinegar into a sink or container and scrub the mixture over your French Press with a soft sponge or bottle brush.

Rinse everything clean.

You can also deep-clean your French Press by letting it soak in a vinegar bath for half an hour to eliminate all scaling traces. Rinse and let dry. 

How to Clean a French Press with Baking Soda

To clean your French Press with baking soda, you’ll want to use a good amount of baking soda and mix it with just a little water to make a thick paste. Clean the beaker and pieces with a sponge or bottle brush. Scrub the entire surface with the baking soda paste before rinsing everything off.

Baking soda is a natural, inexpensive, and effective cleaner that gets rid of most normal French Press stains and residue. However, while it’s unbeatable at removing odors, it doesn’t do good a job as vinegar does of removing scale buildup.

Can You Put Your French Press in the Dishwasher?

While it’s always best to clean your French Press by hand daily, it’s all right to place it in the upper rack of the dishwasher for a deep clean cycle on occasion. Remember that the glass carafe could crack if it bumps against a cup or plate. The good news is that you can always get replacement parts if this happens.

How to Clean Mold Out of a French Press

If you’re unlucky enough to have mold in your French Press, disassemble everything and handle it with care, gloves, or a mask if you’re sensitive to mold.

This is a time when it’s ideal for putting the parts into a dishwasher. If you don’t have access to this, soak it in a bleach solution for 15 minutes, scrub all the mold out with an old toothbrush, and rinse everything with water.

Final Thoughts On Cleaning A French Press

While your French Press could last forever, there are ways that you can care for your French Press with hand-washing and gentle, natural cleaning agents. 

Dish soap is best used sparingly but can do wonders to remove oily residue from glass and metal pieces. Vinegar is king for erasing tough-scale buildup from hard water. At the same time, baking soda is a perfect cleaning agent to eliminate difficult stains, odors, or mold.

Be sure to read my full guide on how to brew French Press coffee. I tell you exactly how to make a perfect cup each time. It’s simple. I promise.

How To Clean A Coffee Press Video Tutorial

However you choose to clean your French Press, it only takes a few minutes after every use to have your French Press clean, sparkling, and ready to create a great cup of coffee. 

This short video shows how to clean a French Press in about 1 minute. Give it a look for a nice tutorial.

Christopher Mize

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