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french press cafetiere

What’s the right way to clean a cafetiere?

The cafetiere, or French press is one of the most popular and easiest ways to make great-tasting coffee at home. Its simple design allows you to make quality brewed coffee in an instant.

If you’re a coffee enthusiast it’s essential to know how to clean a cafetiere. This article shows you the easy way to remove coffee residue and extend the life of your cafetiere.

The important thing to remember before you start is that you should clean a French press after every use. This will keep it like new and free of any nasty bacteria that could appear.

How does a French press work?

A French press produces a deep, robust-tasting cup of coffee. Some produce a single serving while others can give up to 8 cups of coffee. You can control the brewing time and extraction process to produce a cup of coffee to your liking.

Brewing with a French press is as easy as making a cup of tea. This classic coffee maker consists of a cylindrical glass or stainless steel jug, a plunger, and a metal mesh filter.

To begin, you add coarsely ground coffee to the bottom of the press. You can grind the beans yourself using a manual or electric coffee grinder or buy ready-ground coffee. Grinding yourself means the coffee is fresh and will have a superior taste. The coarser grind is essential to prevent it from passing through the mesh filter and leaving bits in your cup of coffee.

You then pour hot water (but not boiling or it will burn the coffee) over the coffee grounds, and the brewing process begins. The coffee and water combine to create your beverage.

The metal mesh allows the coffee oils to pass through it, giving your cup body and flavour.

french press cleaning

After allowing the coffee to brew for a few minutes, it’s time to press down the plunger slowly through the coffee grounds. This separates the grounds from the liquid, leaving you with a clean and coffee brew.

To continuously deliver smooth-tasting coffee you need to know how to clean a cafetiere.

Good to know: Ground coffee is increasingly popular with the younger generation 

Millennials make up 16% of all ground and single-serve coffee pod buyers, proving that younger people want quality coffee as well as more mature generations.

How to clean a cafetiere

Cleaning your French press is as simple as making the coffee. You should clean it daily and once in a while give it a deep clean.

Here’s how to clean a cafetiere daily:


Take the cafetiere apart by removing the plunger and mesh filter from the glass jug.


Empty the grounds into the recycled waste container. You can also dispose of the grounds in a compost container but don´t put them directly on your plants as they’re very acidic.

Don´t put the grounds down the sink as they could block the drain.


If the grounds stick to the glass use a wooden or plastic spoon to remove them, not a metal one which will scratch.


Rinse the jug to remove any stuck-on grounds.


Gently scrub the press filter using a soft brush or sponge. Pay attention to both sides of the filter to ensure thorough cleaning and take care not to damage the fine mesh.


Wipe the plunger with a damp cloth or paper towel and make sure to clean the top and bottom thoroughly.


Use warm, mild soapy water to clean the glass or stainless steel container. You can also use speciality coffee machine cleaning products.


If your French press has rubber or silicone seals, ensure they are free of coffee residue. Wipe them clean with a damp cloth.


Rinse all the components again under hot running water to remove any soap residue.


Allow all the parts to air dry completely before reassembling the French press. This prevents the development of any unpleasant odours.

Good to know: Can I put a cafetiere in the dishwasher?

It’s generally not recommended to put a cafetiere in the dishwasher, especially if it is made of glass or has a wooden handle. The high water pressure and heat in dishwashers can potentially damage these parts. If your cafetiere has dishwasher-safe components, like some stainless steel models, you should check the manufacturer’s instructions to see if it’s safe for dishwasher use. If you’re a regular coffee drinker your cafetiere will need a deep clean every couple of weeks to keep it in perfect condition. This should take you about 15-20 minutes excluding the overnight soaking.

Here’s how to deep clean a cafetiere:


Follow steps 1-4 of the daily cleaning process.


Soaking the components overnight in a solution of equal parts water and white vinegar. This can help break down mineral deposits and coffee stains. You can also use a detergent powder.


To remove stubborn stains make a solution of baking soda and white vinegar and gently scrub with a soft brush. If you don´t have vinegar you can use lemon juice, which is an ideal natural cleaner.


Follow steps 5-10 of the daily cleaning process.

3 key points to remember:

  1. Before cleaning your French press, disassemble all its components for thorough cleaning and to ensure that no coffee residue is left behind.
  2. Clean the French press by hand using warm, soapy water. Avoid using abrasive materials that could damage the equipment. Ensure that each part is properly rinsed to remove any soap residue.
  3. After cleaning, let all the components air dry completely before reassembling the French press. This step is crucial to prevent the growth of mould and to care for the materials. Avoid using the dishwasher, especially if your French press contains glass or wooden parts, as the heat and pressure may cause damage.

Regularly cleaning your French press coffee maker will ensure your cup of coffee tastes perfect every time. Knowing how to clean a cafetiere will help keep it in top condition and avoid the transfer of flavours to future brews, maintaining an enjoyable coffee experience every time.

On this note, never use your cafetiere for any other drinks or liquids apart from brewed coffee. A cafetiere is not suitable for making instant coffee – stick to the traditional method!

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