A Barista Explains How To Properly Clean A French Press Coffee Maker

We all love coffee — it's what makes the world go round. According to Statista, 74% of Americans have at least one cup of coffee every day. While many of us rely on the ol' tried-and-true coffee pot, others like to get a little fancy and use a French press to make that sweet caffeinated nectar. French press-made coffee is typically better tasting because the grounds steep in the hot water longer than usual, which enhances the flavor. With all that rich coffee flavor, what isn't there to love about the French press? Well, that would be knowing how to clean it.

To help you get your French press looking squeaky clean, we've included a few tips from barista and Homes and Gardens editor Laura Honey. "Just like you would your coffee cup, saucepan, and plate, clean your French press after every use," she wrote on Homes and Gardens. It's highly recommended you wash each piece by hand, though you can put it in the dishwasher, but only if the manufacturer says it's okay.

Loosen the coffee grounds first

Before you start washing the French press, it's important to loosen the leftover coffee grounds at the bottom of the carafe, Laura Honey explained on Homes and Gardens. Otherwise, you risk clogging up your sink. Use a plastic or wooden spatula to loosen the grounds, then fill your carafe with warm water and leave it to sit, which will help shake the grounds free. Once you're finished with your coffee, dump the watery grounds into a strainer. "This will get more of the grounds out of your carafe than a spatula, leaving you with an almost clean jug," Honey wrote. 

To wash the carafe, fill it with hot water and dish soap, then wash it using a sponge or a very soft cloth (you don't want to scratch the glass). As for the plunger, dunk it into the carafe. "This normally frees the last of the stray grinds from hard to reach areas," Honey explains. For the additional parts of the press, go ahead and use hot water and dish soap to get those nice and clean. You can let everything air dry or use a microfiber cloth to speed things up.

Deep cleaning takes a bit more work

As we stated before, you should be washing your French press every day, but it's also recommended you deep clean it once a week to prevent any buildup and residue. Deep cleaning takes a bit more work than your everyday routine, but it's worth the time and effort. Remember, a clean French press is a happy French press. To get started, take the whole thing apart. This is a necessary step to ensure the entirety of the coffee maker is thoroughly cleaned. After the French press has been disassembled, it's time to get to work.

A deep clean is all about taking your cleaning routine a step up. First, give every part of the coffee maker a good rinse with warm water and baking soda, being mindful of the filter. It can start to fray, making it intensely sharp. Then, use equal parts of vinegar and water to rinse away any mineral build-up caused by hard water. Once everything is nice and fresh, allow the individual pieces to air dry before putting the French press back together.