How to Clean a French Press

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Have you ever wanted a cup of coffee so bad, but as soon as you take a sip, a weird aftertaste ruins your drink? And all you have to blame is your French press. Well, you might not be cleaning it as often as needed, which is what’s causing that aftertaste.

Don’t worry; we’ll show you how to clean a French press coffee maker and tell you how often you need to do it. You don’t have to drink any ill-tasting coffee cups anymore!

Why Should You Clean Your French Press After Every Use?

Unlike cast iron pans or wooden spoons, which don’t trap bits of food, your French press likely traps some coffee grounds inside that you can’t see. The material on the inside might be collecting leftover coffee grounds or a thin film of oil that could ruin the taste. Aside from ruining the taste, you’ll start noticing mold growing after a while.

The fastest way to eliminate the unpleasant flavor is to clean the French press right after you finish your coffee. Try not to wait to make sure nothing sticks on the surface.

How to Clean a French Press Easily?

Now that you’re willing to clean your press, let’s get down to business to defeat the grounds! Cleaning the French press should happen on two occasions: every day and every week. After your daily cup of coffee, you’ll give the press a quick wash.

Then, you’ll deep-clean it once a week to ensure there aren’t any stubborn bits inside. We’ll show you how to do both below:

Tools You’ll Need

  • Hot water (for first wash)
  • Water from the faucet (for rinsing)
  • Soap
  • Spatula
  • Brush or soft sponge
  • Sieve (to catch wet coffee grounds)
  • Dishwasher (if available)
  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • Drying rack or microfiber cloth

How to Clean Your French Press After Every Use

  1. Start by drinking all your coffee—you earned that! Then, leave the French press to cool.
  2. The first to go are the used grounds. Remove the plunger and rinse the carafe with hot water before letting the contents run through a sieve. This will help you remove the grounds and save your sink from clogging. Use a spatula to scrape the wet grounds from the glass if needed.
  3. Fill the carafe with hot water again. This time, add soap like how you add your coffee grounds. Then, plunge until bubbles form, and dump the soapy water.
  4. Take out the plunger and scrub it to remove the coffee grounds from the plate and the mesh filter. After that, rinse until the water comes off clean. Work on the carafe next.
  5. Now, you can have coffee!
  6. Let the French press dry if you’re not looking to make another pot. Don’t put the wet plunger and carafe together immediately to prevent mold from forming. When the press is dry, you can store it correctly for your subsequent use.

Using the dishwasher for this is relatively easy. You can place the plunger and the carafe on either rack, as long as nothing scratches them. After that, let the dishwasher do its thing. You’ll notice that some stubborn grounds can get caught between the plunger’s other components. That’s why you need to deep-clean the French press once a week.

Though disassembling the plunger can work for every quick clean, it’s unnecessary if you don’t leave the grounds and the coffee in the carafe for too long.

How to Deep-Clean Your French Press

  1. Drink all your coffee first and let the coffee maker cool. Don’t forget to take out the coffee grounds like you do every day.
  2. Instead of filling the carafe with hot water and soap, disassemble the plunger. For most models, you twist the handle to loosen the plate from the rod. You will be left with the following:
  • the handle
  • the mesh filter
  • the cross plate
  • the spiral plate
  • the lid
  • the carafe

Tip: Be careful while handling the mesh filter. It can fold, fray, or ultimately, cut you.

  1. Now, you can put the parts in the dishwasher. All of them could go to the silverware basket, aside from the carafe. If you don’t have a dishwasher, you can opt for the hot water and soap mixture.
  2. Check if there are leftover clumps or stains. If you find them, proceed to the soaking part.
  3. Since you’ll be deep-cleaning the components, you’ll run into some muck that simple scrubbing might not take off. You’ll need something more potent if you have hard clumps, mold, or stains. Make sure to have baking soda and white vinegar ready.
  4. Soak the mesh filter in a pasty mixture of baking soda and hot water for a few minutes. Same for the two plates.
  5. Then, soak the rest of the components for a few minutes or overnight in a mixture of water and vinegar, depending on the stubbornness of the build-up.
  6. After waiting, rinse them under running water or carefully scrub them with a brush or a sponge. Rinse until water comes off clean.
  7. Then, air-dry them by letting them sit aside. If you need to store them ASAP, we recommend using a microfiber cloth to wipe them dry.
  8. When you finish drying them, you can put them back together.

Tada! You’re done for the week! You can make another pot if you don’t mind rewashing it. Nonetheless, making sure to deep-clean your French press will guarantee a longer life and more cups of delicious coffee in the future.

Final Thoughts

Taking care of your French Press requires cleaning it as often as possible, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. Just follow the easy steps of dump, wash, and dry, and repeat the process every time you use the press.

As long as you deep-clean it weekly—or less frequently, depending on how often you use it—, it’ll keep giving you fresh coffee!

About Emily Leake

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