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How to Clean a French Press

Written by: John Beans | Last Updated on April 17, 2021

Not sure how to clean a French press correctly? We show you how to do it.

French presses make delicious coffee, and you shouldn't be afraid to use them just because they get dirty quickly. Although French presses aren't complex in their construction, the metal filter of the French press can quickly get clogged with small coffee particles.

To ensure that bitter coffee residues don't spoil the taste of your favorite drink, we'll tell you how to properly wash your French press. To get started, watch the video below.

How to Clean a French Press Easily

The main thing to consider when washing a French press is the coffee grounds, which should only be thrown into the trash can, not into the sink.

When you are finished drinking your coffee, be sure to wait for the French press to cool down. Otherwise, you could burn yourself.

Then remove the coffee grounds. It is most convenient to do this with a silicone spoon; it is not recommended to clean the press with a metal spoon.

For daily maintenance, simply add a few drops of dishwashing detergent and some warm water to the glass flask and pump the plunger up and down several times.

Pour out the water and scrub the sides of the flask with a sponge. The filter must also be flushed periodically.

Take apart the filter (it's not difficult) and clean each part with a paste made from baking soda and a little water.

If there is too much plaque built up on the filter and the sides of the flash, then vinegar will come in handy. Add a mix of equal parts vinegar and water to the flask and rinse each part of the press separately. Rinse the French press under running water and put all the pieces back together.

If you clean your press often (and right after using it), there will be much less buildup and you won't have to disassemble it as often.

Effective Ways to Clean a French Press at Home

The following guidelines are fine if your French Press is very dirty. We will look at several ways to clean coffee grounds from a French press.

1. Clean the French press with citric acid

It is not difficult to clean the flask of a French press, but you will have to tinker with the plunger. Disassemble the lid and plunger into parts by unscrewing the rod at the base.

Take a picture before disassembling so you'll remember how to put it back together.

Cover the parts with citric acid and put them into a container with hot water and leave overnight. Alternatives to citric acid are lemon juice and vinegar. Then scrub the parts with a sponge and fully rinse them.

Likewise, you can remove brown deposits from a glass beaker:

  1. Put citric acid in the flask and pour boiling water over it. Close the lid and set aside overnight.
  2. Rinse with running water in the morning.
  3. Remove the remaining deposits with a napkin.

2. Use baking soda with citric acid for stubborn dirt

Using baking soda and citric acid will help you to remove heavy deposits from your French press. Here's what to do:

  1. Disassemble the plunger and French press filter.
  2. Pour baking soda and citric acid into a deep container. Fill it all with boiled water - a violent reaction will occur.
  3. Place the disassembled parts of the French press in the solution for a few minutes.
  4. Take out the parts of the French press and clean them with a sponge. Be careful not to burn yourself.

Not every method will help clean a French press of strong coffee deposits the first time. If necessary, the cleaning procedure should be repeated, or it is even better to do periodic cleaning to prevent heavy contamination.

3. Use salt

Rinse the French press flask with hot water, add salt and fill with hot boiled water. Lower the plunger of the French press. After half an hour, the concentrated salt solution will remove the coffee deposits. Then rinse the flask, plunger and French press filter with water.

4. Use citric acid

Citric acid is effective for cleaning your French press. It helps to remove not only plaque, but also an unpleasant odor. It is quite simple to use:

  1. Pour 5-10 g of citric acid into the bottom of the flask.
  2. Fill with hot water and lower the piston of the French press.
  3. After 1-2 hours, drain the solution. Rinse the parts of the French press with water.
  4. Wipe the remaining dirty areas with a sponge. Rinse everything again and wipe dry.

You can also use fresh lemon to clean your French press. Cut it into wedges. Wipe the plaque parts of the piston with sliced lemon. Then put the lemon wedges on the bottom of the French press, fill with hot water and lower the plunger. Leave it on for a while, and then rinse everything well.

The Team That Worked On This Blog Post

Patty-Cramer-Editor-Coffee-Consultant-at-MyFriendsCoffee

Editor & Coffee Consultant

Patty Cramer

I'm the coffee consultant at MyFriendsCoffee. I've been in the coffee business for over 21 years and still have a passion for coffee. My most important skill is that I know how to organize work processes.

John Beans Editor & Founder

Resident Editor-in-Chief

John Beans

I’m the resident Editor-in-Chief of MyFriendsCoffee. For more than 5 years I tried a large variety of coffees from different brands and master 7 ways to brew coffee and am not going to stop there. I switched my first coffee maker with a professional espresso machine and now my kitchen is filled with various coffee equipment.

Tessa Dixon – Beginner Barista & Content Creator

BArista

Tessa Dixon

I was born in Seattle, and this city has a strong connection to coffee culture, so it's no wonder I decided to become a barista! I’ve learned many ways of making coffee and now I know how to make any coffee delicious.

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