How to Clean a French Press: Step-by-Step Instructions

Are you unsure of how to clean your French press properly? Learn how to through our in-depth, step-by-step guide below.
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Last updatedLast updated: September 24, 2021
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When you make coffee with a French press, you’re going to end up with a cafe-quality brew in just a couple of minutes! Face it. We all want a quality cup of joe in the morning, and some of us need it just to wake up. However, espresso makers and complex coffee machines are expensive, bulky, hard to use, and generally impractical for most households out there.

The French press is one of the most popular coffee tools out there. Many connoisseurs and coffee enthusiasts enjoy using it for a simple cup of brewed coffee that boasts a wide and intense flavor profile. Using a French press is one of the easiest ways you can improve the quality of your home-brewed coffee Trusted Source Step aside, barista: how to make a decent cup of coffee at home | Coffee | The Guardian Using the French press, AeroPress, Clever Dripper and V60 are just some of the ways to make a good coffee at home. www.theguardian.com .

However, after making your coffee, you might notice that your press is filled with coffee grounds that seem impossible to clean. And while it might seem like a complicated task, it’s actually fairly easy.

In this guide, we lay out all the steps of how to clean a French press coffee maker, the tools you’ll need for the job, along a couple of tips you can use to keep your French press clean for much longer!

Tools and Materials You’ll Need

How to Clean a French Press: Step-by-Step InstructionsWhile many people don’t know how to clean a French press, it’s actually fairly simple. Unlike espresso machines and other coffee makers, you do not need any special tool to clean a French press. Once you have all these materials, you’re ready to get started!

To effectively clean your French press, all you need is;

  • Dish soap
  • Spatula
  • Sponge
  • Water
  • Sponge or bottle brush
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar

How to Clean a French Press: Instructions

1.   Removing the old coffee grounds

How to Clean a French Press: Step-by-Step InstructionsTo start, you’re going to have to finish your coffee and remove the coffee grounds. If there’s leftover coffee in your press, simply pour it over the sink. Remember, before scooping out the used grounds, you have to let the French press cool. Not only will a hot French press hurt your hands, but suddenly exposing it to cold water can result in glass breaking.

Once you’re done with your coffee and ready to scoop out the grounds, we recommend using a rubber spatula for the job. Many people prefer using metal spoons for the task, but we advise against this since metal spoons can potentially break the glass.

It’s also important to throw your grounds in the compost or trash bin. A couple of coffee grounds in the sink seems like no real problem, but they could potentially clog your sink and cause problems over time. And if you don’t want to throw them in the bin, there are many other ways you can utilize used coffee grounds Trusted Source Grinding away: 11 ways to reuse leftover coffee grounds | Australian lifestyle | The Guardian If you’ve been making more coffee at home lately, there are plenty of uses for your daily brew’s remnants – from composting to cleaning. www.theguardian.com .

2.   Disassembling and washing out

How to Clean a French Press: Step-by-Step InstructionsAfter removing the old grounds, remove the plunger, leaving just the carafe. From there, you can use water to wash out any of the additional coffee grounds left inside. Additionally, you can also remove the carafe to give the outside a more thorough cleaning.

After cleaning the carafe, hold the plunger and run it under water to remove other leftover grounds. Coffee grounds tend to get stuck in between the different filter plates, and you should clean them out regularly to avoid clogging. Sometimes, filters will wear out over time, regardless of how well you clean and maintain them. If that’s the case, we recommend buying replacement French press filters.

3.   Scrubbing clean

How to Clean a French Press: Step-by-Step InstructionsAfter rinsing out all remaining grounds, it’s time to start scrubbing. A convenient way to give your French Press a light cleaning is by filling it with a couple of drops of dish soap and some water. Then, use the plunger to pump it up and down and create bubbles before rinsing out.

For a deeper clean, you can also use a scrub or a bottle brush cleaning set to wash off any dirt and coffee left in the carafe.

4.   Deeper cleaning

How to Clean a French Press: Step-by-Step InstructionsSometimes, you need a deeper clean, especially if you’ve had your coffee press for a while. If you’ve been wondering how to clean a French Press deep, you will still have to do the above steps, but you can follow it up by disassembling the plunger.

Once you’ve disassembled the plunger, clean each individual piece with baking soda and water. It’s best only to add a little bit of water, enough to turn your baking soda into a paste.

Using a sponge or brush, lightly scrub all the pieces until they are squeaky clean. This is also how to clean a moldy French press that has been stored away for some time.

If there’s a water buildup in your French press, you can use a half vinegar, half water solution to clean it out. Use the solution to scrub the interior and exterior of the press before rinsing thoroughly.

5.   Drying all the parts

How to Clean a French Press: Step-by-Step InstructionsSince there are metal components in your French press, it’s very important to dry out all the parts before reassembling them. If you’re learning how to clean a stainless-steel French press, this part is very important to avoid damaging the metal.

If you can use a towel to dry out the press, this would be the best method. However, you can also leave it out on a drying rack to dry naturally.

6.   Reassembling everything back together

How to Clean a French Press: Step-by-Step InstructionsLastly, you’re going to need to reassemble all the parts. If you only did a light cleaning, this wouldn’t be too hard. However, if you did a deep cleaning, the process might be a bit more complicated. The best solution is to take note of how everything came apart when you disassembled the press to make it easier to remember and figure out how to put everything back together.

Keeping a French Press Clean for Longer

Here are a couple of quick tips you can use to help keep your French press clean for longer;

Use Coarse Grinds

How to Clean a French Press: Step-by-Step InstructionsFirstly, we highly recommend using coarse coffee grounds for your French press. It’s easy to find the best way to clean a French press if you use the right type of coffee. Fine grounds can clog up the filters and other components of the press, requiring you to clean it more often.

To ensure that you make the best coffee in your French press and you won’t have to clean it too often, check out our list of the best coffees for French press brewing.

Use Soft Brushes

When cleaning a French press, it’s always best to use softer brushes. Stainless steel brushes and other hard materials can scratch the glass, plastic, and steel of your French press. This won’t affect the way it brews coffee, but it can completely ruin your favorite coffee maker.

Maintenance is key when cleaning a French press, and the better you maintain your press, the longer it will last, and the less you have to clean it. For more tips about using your French press, check out our guide on how to use a French press the right way.

Final Thoughts

For many coffee connoisseurs and experts, the French press is one of the best ways to brew coffee at home. All you need to brew your coffee with a French press is hot water (or cold water if you’re cold-brewing) and high-quality French roast coffee beans. If you aren’t sure which coffee beans to put in your press for a rich flavor, it would be best to check out the different French roast coffee brands available.

And while many coffee lovers use a cafetiere for their morning brew, many people are still unsure when it comes to how to clean a French press. But with our guide, you’ll find that cleaning a French press is simple, easy, and lots of fun!

References

1.
Step aside, barista: how to make a decent cup of coffee at home | Coffee | The Guardian
Using the French press, AeroPress, Clever Dripper and V60 are just some of the ways to make a good coffee at home.
2.
Grinding away: 11 ways to reuse leftover coffee grounds | Australian lifestyle | The Guardian
If you’ve been making more coffee at home lately, there are plenty of uses for your daily brew’s remnants – from composting to cleaning.
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