how to clean a french press: coffee maker by the sink
Coffee Basics

How To Clean a French Press – Daily and Weekly Advice

how to clean a french press: coffee maker by the sink

There’s nothing like a delicious cup of freshly brewed coffee from a French press. This coffee tool draws out some of the best flavors and makes it easy to enjoy artisan coffee without making a visit to your local barista. But home brewing also means home cleaning. As in, you’ll have to clean that wonderful little coffee tool every now and then.

Fear not, French press cleaning isn’t very complicated and doesn’t require any fancy tools. Here’s an easy-to-follow guide on how to clean a French press — including daily rinsing instructions as well as tips for deeper weekly cleaning.

How Often Do You Need To Clean French Press Makers

We get it, cleaning isn’t your favorite part of enjoying coffee. It can be a drag trying to clean multiple parts, especially if you need to rush out the door to more important things. However, cleaning your French press is an important part of ensuring each cup tastes its best.

In general, you should clean your French press daily. That doesn’t mean you have to do a deep scrub every time, but you should at least rinse the vessel, strainer, and plunger every day. If you don’t clean your French press, you may find mold on the fine mesh filter or get hard water. Since these coffee machines don’t use paper filters like pour-over tools and drip coffee makers, you may also have built-up coffee grinds stuck in various parts. 

At the very least, you should dispose of the used coffee grounds after each brewing. You should also try to do a deep clean of your French press each week if you’re using it daily. 

Things You Need To Clean a French Press

When it comes to cleaning your French press, you don’t need any special tools or materials. You probably have most of what you need in your kitchen already.

Here are the main materials you’ll need to clean your French press:

  • Hot water
  • Dish soap
  • A Spatula or plastic spoon
  • A sponge or bottle brush
  • Paper towel or a dish towel
  • Baking soda and white vinegar (optional)

How To Clean a French Press – Daily Maintenance

man disassembling a French press

For the best coffee every time, it’s a good idea to clean out your French press after each use. That means doing a quick and simple clean when you’re done downing the java.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to cleaning your French press daily:

  1. Let the French press cool to room temperature — don’t learn the hard way as we did!
  2. Disassemble the French press by removing the French press filter, lid, and plunger from the carafe.
  3. Use a spatula or a plastic spoon to scoop out most of the grinds. Don’t use a metal spoon as you can scratch the glass carafe or stainless steel surface. It’s best to put the grinds in the trash can — or your compost bin! — rather than down the sink to avoid clogging or damaging your garbage disposal.
  4. Squeeze a few drops of soap into the French press, add hot water, and swirl it around. You can also use the plunger to work the soap in.
  5. Dump the soapy water and rinse. Swirl and plunge again to remove any left-over suds.
  6. Use a sponge or bottle brush to scrub the sides of the container and the plunger. Rinse once more until all the soap and grinds are gone.
  7. Dry the French press completely or set out the individual parts on a paper towel or drying rack to air dry if you have to head off to work. Make sure to reassemble it before brewing your next cup.

How To Do a Deep Clean

French press machine with coffee

Every now and then, you’ll want to do a deeper cleaning of your French press coffee maker. This is especially important if you’ve skipped the daily washing — we’re not judging you, we promise. You can do a deep clean once a week or when you start to notice hard water marks or build-up.

It’s also important to deep clean your French press if you really enjoy the nuanced tastes of different types of coffees. Coffee oils can build up in machines that aren’t well-maintained, leading to rancid coffee flavors with the next brew.

To deep clean your French press, use baking soda and water. In a bowl, combine a few teaspoons of baking soda with enough water to create a paste. Apply the paste using a sponge and scrub gently. Rinse until it’s sparkling clean! You can also use a mixture of equal parts vinegar and warm water to remove hard water stains and stuck-on coffee grounds. 

It’s also a good idea to set time aside to clean all of your coffee tools. You can do this weekly or every few days depending on how much you use your coffee tools. Along with your French press, think about cleaning your coffee grinder and coffee storage containers.

Fall in Love With Coffee

Learn more about the world of coffee here at Cup & Bean. Our guides aim to help you brew coffee better — with brewing method guides to whipping up the perfect cup of coffee using a Chemex, crafting an espresso, or sipping a cold brew blend. Plus, it’s easy to discover different flavor profiles from various countries with our country guides to different coffee types. With so many options, there’s a new way for you to enjoy your coffee beans.

After chasing down everything there was to know about tea on the Cup & Leaf blog, I'm now exploring the world of coffee. From different types to countries with the best brews and everything in between, I'll be your guide on this coffee discovery.