Easy way to clean a French Press...

… and I wonder if I’m the only person to whom this wasn’t immediately obvious?

Washing a French Press coffeemaker like any other dish doesn’t work because of the goldarned screen–it’s nearly impossible to get all of the coffeegunk off it. Likewise, putting them through the dishwasher is no good because loose bits of food work themselves between the screen and the pusher.

So why didn’t I ever think of putting water and soap in the jar, then putting the top on, and pumping it up and down? Forces soapy, particle-free water through the screen, which clears away coffeegunk without depositing anything else.


The dishwasher works for me… I usually unscrew the screen a few turns so it’s loose, and I don’t usually have any problems with other stuff getting in there.

Oooh, I hadn’t thought of that either. Usually I just take the whole thing apart, and scrub & pick at it until all the coffee is gone.

Another French press tip: if you want to froth milk for a latte or similar drink, pour hot milk into the carafe, put the cover on & pump the lid up & down just like when you clean it. I didn’t think of that one myself either, but learned about it on the 'Dope.

Commercial coffee pot cleaner like Squeek’n Clean or Clean That Pot works really well - the stuff’s designed to dissolve coffee oils and buildup.

… the screen… unscrews?

I don’t really understand what’s so hard to clean. I take the press part out and rinse it then rinse out the carafe, that’s it. Once in a while I’ll put the whole shooting match through the dishwasher for good measure but I’ve never had a problem…especially with food in the dishwasher getting caught in the screen.

Yes, sunshine, it does. :smiley:

For me, the hard part is dumping out the grounds. We have a septic tank and dumping grounds down the sink is a no-no. So we take it outside, and rinse out the grounds with the hose…much to the delight of our shrubbery.

Sure does. The whole screen assembly comes apart into three pieces, plus the lid part. I don’t have a diswasher, and since I handwash it, I take it apart and wash each piece and then put it back together.

Wash it? Like with soap or detergent? You heathens, some of that gunk ends up in your coffee.

All they need is a rinse-out after each use, and give the screen a scrub with a brush once every now and then to unclog the pores.

But congrats all on using the best domestic coffee making technology; those household espresso machines are simply dire, not to mention wasteful and expensive.

That’s like saying you shouldn’t use soap or detergent on your dishes since some of it might end up on your food.
If you rinse it well, it’s fine.

Dry clean first. Then press.

No. The bitter old-coffee-gunk taste bugs me. Yesterday’s cup of coffee, after I’d figured this out, was the best-tasting I’ve had since the thing was new. I know some people think teapots and coffeepots should never be washed, but I disagree with them.

Best way to clean a French press:

Just don’t use the damn thing! I still haven’t made a passable cup of coffee with a French press.

But that’s only food. This is coffee!

You’re using the wrong coffee. There’s really nothing else you can be doing wrong. Plungers make the best coffee outside Italian or French cafes.

I just swish some water around in the carafe to loosen all the grounds and then pour them through the removable convex sink screen which sits over the opening to the drain. Once all the grounds are in the screen, I turn it upside down and dump the grounds into a paper towel which then gets scrunched up and folded over to enclose the grounds in a pouch. Then I toss it in the garbage.

For cleaning, I take the entire thing apart (which includes unscrewing and separating the screen, Sattua :wink: ), and clean each piece with a scrubber sponge that has a little Dawn dishwashing liquid dribbled on it. I rinse everything thoroughly, dry with hand towel and reassemble. Takes about five minutes start to finish. No biggie.

In particular, the grind must be very coarse. If you use fine grind, like for a conventional filter, you’ll get dregs in your coffee.