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Here’s How To Clean a French Press the Right Way

One of the best things about French press coffee is how easy it is to make. Add hot water to coarsely ground coffee, wait a few minutes, press the plunger and you’ve got bold, tasty coffee that’s ready to go. A French press is a great option for anyone with a rushed morning routine who wants something better tasting and less wasteful than a Keurig but more convenient than pour-over. The catch is that cleaning a French press can be tedious. The grounds often get stuck to the bottom of the carafe, making them hard to scoop out. Fortunately, cleaning a French doesn’t actually have to be hard.

If you want to learn how to clean a French press, read on for our handy step-by-step guide.

french press

In a pinch, you might simply fill your carafe with water and dump the coffee grounds down the drain. But this isn’t a great idea because coffee grounds can lead to clogs in your sink. Or you might try banging the French press against the trash can to get the grounds out, which risks breaking the entire thing. Fortunately, all you need to quickly clean a French press without breaking anything or clogging your sink is a fine mesh strainer.

fine mesh strainer


How To Clean Your French Press Between Uses

Once you’ve made the coffee and poured it into a mug, start by filling your French press with water. Then, swirl it around. This will help loosen the grounds that are stuck to the carafe.

how to clean a french press

Next, pour it out over the fine mesh strainer. This will catch most of the grounds. A small amount of the grounds may flow through, but this is unlikely to cause problems for your sink.

how to clean a french press

Once you’ve collected the grounds, you can dump them out in the trash. Or, if you have a compost bucket, that’s even better, as coffee is a great addition to a compost pile.

how to clean a french press


How To Clean Your French Press Thoroughly

Between regular uses, it’s a good idea to deep clean your French press. Stale coffee odors that collect on the strainer can affect the flavor of your coffee. If you use your French press daily, aim to clean it weekly. It only takes a minute or so to thoroughly clean your French press.

First, start by unscrewing the metal filter.

how to clean a french press

Most French presses have three-layer filters. The first disc holds a mesh filter in place, and the last layer is a porous metal disc. These layers can be unscrewed from the metal post that holds them in place, and you can rinse them off. If they’re particularly dirty, use a sponge and wash them as normal. If you have a dishwasher, you can use that as well once you’ve separated the pieces.

Then, screw the pieces back together. In most French presses, the pieces will be reassembled as they appear in this photo, with the cross plate on the bottom, the mesh filter on top of it, and the spiral plate on top of that.

how to clean a french press

You should also wash the carafe with a sponge. If your French press is small and you can’t reach inside with the sponge, you can also add a couple of drops of dish soap, place the plunger over it and press it up and down. The soapy water will help clean the carafe.

how to clean a french press

And that’s it! Who knew learning how to clean a French press would be so easy? But remember, the best French press (no matter how clean) is nothing without the best coffee to go along with it! For that, be sure to check out our article on the best coffee brands as well.


How To Choose (and Use) a French Press