How To Clean A French Press? [Step by Step]

Quickest Method To Cleaning | Cleaning The Filer & Plunger | Clean The Carafe | Clean By Dishwasher

As much as you want to avoid having unaccustomed machine brewed automatic coffee, or you want to make your own conventional coffee it’s the same thing unless you clean your own French press correctly.

Some may think that simply washing it with hot water helps to keep it clean, well they couldn’t be more wrong than that. In order to get perfect taste and smell, you need to know how to clean a French press quickly and correctly.

How to clean a french press

According to Harvard Health Blog, the unclean oils extracted from the coffee grounds are extremely harmful to health as it raises the cholesterol level. Well, apart from that, it is the main culprit that remains at the carafe even after washing the French press.

And you will be glad to know that it takes a small amount of your time to clean it up and you can have your expected coffee.

4 Effective Ways To Clean French Press

There are several ways to clean a French press effectively. Here I’ll provide effective 4 ways. Let’s start.

1. Quickest Method to Cleaning

Now, if you are on a hurry and you want to clean it in the quickest way possible, here’s how you should clean.

First, clean out the leftover grounds. Then pour hot water on to the plunger and the filter, rinse out the stuck grounds. Then, filling up the carafe with hot water and a little bit of soap, plunge down and up rinsing the insides and removing the stuck up oil and grounds.

And lastly, wipe the carafe or let it dry.

2. Cleaning the Filter and Plunger

While cleaning the French press, you will see that the filter and the plunger gets very sticky and messy as it touches the coffee ground. And here are the quick steps to clean them effectively:

Cleaning the Filter and Plunger

  1. Move the filter away from plunger slightly by unscrewing it.
  2. Run hot water through the filter and the plunger to rinse out the sticky coffee grounds.
  3. Gently rub dish soap or detergent on the rod and screen of the plunger so that the filter doesn’t bend.
  4. Wipe out the top of the French press by cleaning with dish cloth with caution.
  5. Now rinse out the soap of the filter and the plunger with the hot water. The smell of the soap will get removed by now.

3. Cleaning the Carafe

Fortunately, the cleaning of Decanter or Carafe is straightforward, time-efficient and maintainable.

carafe french press

First take out leftover coffee grounds by pouring hot water in the carafe and shake and sip it out by pouring it in the mesh filter, separating the hot water and ground. Throw the leftover grounds in thin polythene and dump it in the trash bin.

Clean the inner glass of the Carafe with dishcloth or sponge both in and out so that every nook is covered. Clean the handles as well.

Now by rinsing it with either hot water or cold water and let it dry or wipe it with a dishcloth.

4. Cleaning By Dishwasher

If you want to clean your French press by a dishwasher, you have to check where it’s safe by a dishwasher. If it then follows the steps below:

  1. First, separate the plunger from the filter and place it on the top silverware basket.
  2. If it can’t be separated, extend it and place it on the top basket.
  3. Insert the carafe of your French on the bottom basket while placing separately from other dishes or utensils.
  4. Set the French press in the normal washing and drying mode of the dishwasher. Wipe it out with a lint-free cloth and you are good to go.

Therefore, these are the ways you can try to maintain and how you can clean a French press.

Common FAQs:

1. How Often Should You Clean A French Press?

However, as there are various categories of French press and the handling process and work procedure is different, it is recommended to clean the French press once or twice a week. 

2. How To Clean A French Press Using Vinegar?

Now if you want to use vinegar for cleaning a French press, first remove the grounds and pour the same amount of vinegar and hot boiling water and let it stay for 6 to 7 minutes. After that, rinse it well by shaking or by plunging up and down rinsing the water through insides and the filter.

3. What Is A French Press?

It’s basically a glass vessel in which coffee is brewed by leaving it in the water for several minutes. This method can be done using either ground coffee or whole-bean. It allows the brewing process to take place over time, while still being able to separate from the liquid at the end of brewing, much like a tea bag. French press coffee is not only extremely easy to make, but also very user friendly. French presses appear in many sizes and layouts. These devices are highly customizable for the French press enthusiast. French pressed coffee is known for its full-bodied flavor that some people prefer over drip or pour over methods of brewing.

A French press, also known as a coffee plunger, is made of two parts: the beaker (or carafe) and the lid/plunger assembly.

The beaker is typically made of glass or clear heat-resistant plastic (like nylon). Both materials allow you to see your coffee grounds and water during the brew process. The shape itself can vary from a straight cylinder with a flared lip, to an hourglass body with handles on either side. Many people choose their French press based on how many cups they want at once. Less expensive presses tend to be smaller in size while high-end products often include larger sizes or additional features like insulated containers for keeping beverages hot

Most French presses come in sizes ranging from one cup (about 4 to 6 ounces) up to a whopping 30 cups.

The capacity may differ from 1 cup to 12 cups(5oz-48oz). A French press can be used as a one time coffee maker or as a coffee maker for more than one serving at once. In France, these presses are known as cafetieres and many companies that manufacture them use this term in their names. As an alternative, you can also use other vessels like an urn or even just another pot if necessary. The result usually quite dark but it doesn’t have the burnt flavor of drip coffee. The French press doesn’t contain paper filters, and the mesh plunger allows oils and a fuller flavor to pass through into the cup.

The French press system is pretty simple, which is probably why it has survived in popularity for so long: put ground coffee at the bottom of a beaker; add hot water; wait; plunge; serve. And that’s it! There are no electrical components or fussy machinery required to make your daily cup o’ joe (or tea, if you prefer). A standard French press yields about four cups when filled halfway. But there are larger sizes available too for when you need more coffee—or just feel like treating yourself.

One of our favorite times of day is after dinner when we sit back and relax while enjoying a nice cup of tea or coffee. We especially love afternoon tea time in winter months when there’s nothing better than a mug of hot chocolate by a warm fire… but that’s another story altogether!

French presses are great because they use coarsely ground coffee. With their simple design, quality French presses provide an affordable way to ensure that you are putting the best ingredients into your coffee machine. The French press is a great way to make coffee because it allows you control over several factors that can affect taste. You can achieve many different types of brews by altering variables like grind size, water temperature, steeping time, and coffee-to-water ratio.

4. How To Use A French Press?

Brewing coffee in a French press is quick and easy, but it’s important to follow these steps for the best results.

1) Bring fresh, cold water to just short of boiling Pour your cold water into your kettle or, if you prefer, use filtered water straight from your tap. Freshly drawn hot water can become bitter when poured over ground coffee. If you don’t have time to let the water cool down properly, at least use filtered or bottled instead of tap water—it will still affect the taste significantly less than using hot water which has been sitting out (and therefore losing its oxygen).

2) Weigh out 4 tablespoons ground coffee per 8 fluid ounces (1 cup) The standard “cup” measurement for many brewers is 6 fluid ounces, but with a French press it’s more accurate to measure in 8-fluid ounce cups. Some presses are even larger at 10 or 12 cup sizes. The 4:8 ratio refers to the weight of ground coffee beans per volume of water.

3) Grind your coffee fresh We can’t emphasize this one enough! Coffee goes stale very quickly after grinding because the natural oils in its cells are released into the air. If you’re using pre-ground coffee, choose an extra fine grind which will work in most brewers, especially carafes and plunger styles with tiny filters. For coarsely ground pour over cones, stick to a medium grind size so that your filter doesn’t get clogged up—the coarseness should be similar to breadcrumbs or kosher salt.

4) Add ground coffee to the French press Put your French press on a stable surface and add the ground coffee, gently tapping down a bit just so that it’s all sitting in an even layer across the bottom of the vessel. Then, use a teaspoon to scoop out any stray pieces from around the sides. Don’t worry if you lose a few grains here or there—you can always take them out later with a small sieve after brewing is complete.

5) Gently pour cold water over top of your grounds Slowly add your chosen volume of fresh, filtered water until it reaches about halfway up along the sides of the carafe—most conical models will have measurements marked out along the inside of the glass. Be careful not to pour too quickly or you’ll stir up the ground coffee and they can become slightly “swirled” with water as it’s poured in.

6) Stir your grounds once—not twice! A French press must be tempered before plunging, so give your mixture only one gentle swirl around the bottom of the vessel (don’t press down at all). If you want to avoid getting bits of sediment in your brewed coffee, let it sit for 10-15 seconds after stirring to let any particles that have settled on the bottom rise back up again. You’ll still get most of those great oils you’re looking for without picking up any muddy flavors along with them.

7) Insert plunger to hold back grounds and let steep for 4 minutes After your mixture has sat, place the plunger on top just enough so that it sits tightly against the glass—this will keep all of those delicious aromas locked away inside. You don’t need to seal the French press completely because you’re not applying pressure during steeping. Steep your coffee for four minutes before gently pushing down evenly on the plunger (30 seconds is usually long enough if you want a lighter brew). The goal here is not to force every drop of water through the grounds at once but rather allow them to drip freely into the carafe.

8) Pour yourself a cup and enjoy! It may take some practice getting used to exactly how much ground coffee should be used for a single cup or measuring multiple cups at once, but you can always adjust your grind size if your coffee is too weak.

5. What French Press Size Should I Buy?

The best French presses are those that are tall, narrow and have a good ratio between the carafe’s exterior volume and the interior volume of its filter. This is typically about 12-ounces total for conical carafes, but since most kitchen scales don’t accurately measure in increments smaller than 500 grams (1 pound), it’d be easier to simply check how much water your French press holds—the markings should be clearly indicated on both sides.

Also look for one that has a lid that locks into place tightly because any loose pieces floating around can clog up your filter. Also take note of how well the filter fits against the edges so no grounds sneak by undetected! The plunger should move smoothly through its range of motion without much pressure.

Lastly, French presses work best when they have a narrow bottom so that water spends less time in contact with your grounds and can extract flavor more quickly. Of course, the best way to test this is to simply go into a store and physically move the presses around.

6. What Kinds Of Coffee Go In A French Press?

Generally speaking, you should use coarsely ground coffee for French presses instead of the fine grinds normally used in drip machines. Most makers give a range of acceptable particle sizes but anything between “coarse” and “fine” is acceptable.

In general, coffees from Indonesia or Latin America work well in a French press—they have low acidity, so they taste sweeter and richer than most African or Asian beans. You can also experiment with different roast profiles because you get all of the flavors without some of the less pleasant qualities that dark roasts sometimes pick up (e.g., bitterness).

If you really want to make a great cup of coffee, use freshly roasted beans right before you brew them (within the last week is ideal). Their flavors are more complex and intense than pre-roasted beans and will likely stand out even more in your French press.

Unless you like your coffee black, you’ll want to add some sort of alternative to milk or cream (sugar, honey, cinnamon powder or cocoa powder are all great options). The French press method allows for easy tastes tests since you’re in complete control of how much coffee and water go in. Plus, you can experiment with different ratios to find out what works for your tastes. French press coffee can be made with any kind of milk or creamer, hot or iced.

If you have a French press don’t feel obligated to use it all of the time. It’s great for when you’re in a hurry and need some coffee right away, but it’ll never achieve the same quality as manual drip methods. The biggest downside is that you cannot program your French press to start dripping at a specific time—if you are accustomed to waking up at 6AM every day then having your French press waiting on your bedside table isn’t going to happen!

Also note that most coffee makers come with glass carafes instead of stainless steel because metal may cause flavors to leach in. The best option is a thermal carafe, but those aren’t cheap.

If you’re spending a lot of money on your machine and the coffee it makes, make sure you invest in a quality grinder as well. French presses are typically used for coarse ground coffee, so making even grinds with your blade grinder will make a huge difference in taste.

7. What Temperature Should French Press Coffee Be?

Most French press instructions recommend that you brew in boiling water, but some coffee makers say to add the grounds only after it cools a bit.

Generally speaking, a higher temperature will draw out more caffeine and volatile flavor compounds from your beans while also reducing sweetness and smoothness—think of adding hot sauce or chili powder to a dish when you want to get more of its spiciness. Therefore, using cold or just-boiled water allows for less extraction such as when you’re making iced coffee where you’re not looking for all of the flavors that come with brewing at elevated temperatures.

And while some French press people like to go for a specific temperature (e.g., 195°F) there’s actually no reliable way to measure it and most likely won’t make a huge difference in taste. Some go as far as to say you shouldn’t measure at all, but we’re going to assume that if your coffee maker has a water carafe and temperature gauge (and you actually know what those parameters mean) then it’s probably fine.

A better measurement is time: how long should French press coffee steep? For the first thirty seconds or so there are no significant changes in extraction, but after that point any more time is just over-extraction which reduces the amount of caffeine present. The best tasting coffee will come from letting things brew for about four minutes.

You can tell when steeping is complete because bubbles start coming up through the bottom of the plunger—the slurry of ground beans turns into clear coffee. This process can be sped up by gently tapping the bottom of the press or stirring with a spoon, but avoid any vigorous agitation (such as shaking) that could cause bits of coffee to escape through the mesh filter.

There is a popular myth that French press coffee has a higher amount of cafestol, a fatty acid that can raise bad cholesterol levels. However this only occurs with extremely fine grinds at the wrong temperatures where the filter cannot prevent it from seeping into your cup. In other words, if you’re using fresh coffee and not old grounds then there’s no danger to drinking French press coffee.

8. How Much Coffee Should I Put In A French Press?

The French press is a very forgiving method of making coffee. You can have scoops that are way too large or too small and still end up with a decent beverage, but you do need to keep track of the ratio between coffee grounds and water.

Typically speaking, 1-2 tablespoons per 4 oz of water will produce enough flavor for most people. Of course everyone has different tastes so it’s best to experiment until you find what works best for you—and if all else fails then use 2 tbsp in 8 oz of water! You can make more servings by multiplying the quantity of beans and water accordingly, but it’s best not to use too much ground coffee as that will reduce the amount of available flavor compounds.

9. What Is The Best Way To Make French Press Coffee?

There are many ways to make an excellent cup of coffee, but the most important things are fresh beans and good water. If you can’t afford (or don’t want) fancy equipment like a machine or grinder, then try playing around with different methods like percolation , vacuum , cold brew , or even pourover .

With French press, you should grind the beans right before they’re brewed. Doing it beforehand can cause the coffee to degrade more quickly and lose its flavor. If you must use a pre-ground product then make sure that it’s only been ground for a day or two since it will still retain a lot of flavor even when not sealed in a package.

The other ingredients in French press coffee are water and the heat source to bring it all together. If possible, use filtered or at least spring (not distilled) water since impurities can significantly reduce the amount of extraction that takes place.

Of course the main way to improve French press coffee is by making sure that it’s always fresh, unlike drip brew or espresso . The best way to do this is set up a pot in the morning and drink it throughout the day so you get at least one serving from each portion. If you can’t do that then just try to use up the coffee by the end of the day since it will quickly deteriorate in flavor.

10. What Are The Benefits Of A French Press?

French press coffee tends to have a higher concentration of flavor compounds than other methods, so it typically tastes better. The paper filters used with drip brew and espresso can absorb some of those taste compounds, so the final product will be less rich and have a lower amount of caffeine.

Grinder burrs should be as fresh as possible since they can impart a burnt or “off” flavor that will transfer into your coffee. With the French press it’s especially important to have ground beans that are very fresh since grounds sit in the hot water for at least 4 minutes which is plenty of time to degrade the compounds if they were exposed to oxygen too long.

Another advantage is being able to experiment with the flavor of the brew since you can change a variety of variables like temperature, grind size, and time. This is why so many people have their own preferred method for making coffee—they’ve figured out what works best for them with their tastes and preferences.

The French press is also more versatile than other methods. You can use it to make tea or infusions, while drip brew often requires a quite different kettle and type of paper filter.

The French press has no electric components that could fail over time (except for grinders), so it will last longer unless you drop it.

It is easier to use a French press than a drip machine, since you can leave it for a few minutes without worrying that the coffee will be over-extracted. And of course there’s the visual appeal of seeing all that coffee bloom while waiting for it to brew!

With the drip machine, you just pour in some water and coffee grounds and press a button. With a French press you have to manually grind the beans and monitor the entire process so-as not to over-extract it. Of course this means that you can also play around with the various variables to find out how they change the flavor, but it does require more of an effort.

That said, it’s actually not very difficult at all if you know what settings work best with your taste. And of course you can use pre-ground coffee instead of grinding your own beans if that’s easier or you just don’t want to deal with the mess.

As with everything, there are some drawbacks too. Many people complain about having to clean the pot afterward since it’s very difficult to get all the grounds out. This can be minimized by rinsing right away after use and then soaking in soapy water for at least half an hour before scrubbing.

You can of course get around this problem by using pre-ground coffee instead. Some people also say that the plunger is difficult to push down, but it’s really not that bad if you press down slowly and evenly instead of trying to force it quickly with your entire bodyweight.

Some people are concerned about safety since the French press is made up of two parts that sit on top of each other, plus the lid. The truth is, they are very sturdy and it’s not easy to accidentally break them.

If you want to minimize the risk even further you can soak both pieces in soapy water before assembling or regularly clean with a natural liquid soap instead of commercial products with unknown chemical ingredients.

Some people also worry about lead leaching into the coffee since the French press is made of metal, but this is based on outdated research that has been debunked by modern studies. Besides which, you will have some lead in your water even if you only drink bottled water so it’s not something to worry about unduly.

All in all, if you’re looking for a simple way of brewing coffee that is as fresh as possible and gives you more control over the process, a French press is definitely worth considering.

11. Does French Press Coffee Have More Caffein?

A French press is the best type of coffee maker because it does not have a paper filter to remove all the oils and natural fats from the coffee. With a normal drip machine, about 95% percent of these all-important nutrients are removed from your cup.

In fact, that’s one reason why French press coffee has been linked to health benefits while drip coffee has not—it is true that these nutrients are removed in the filtration process, but French press beans retain all of them. This is one of the reasons why French press coffee has been linked to improved brain function and even a lower risk for heart disease.

So, does French press coffee have more caffeine? Yes, a French press gives you better results because it does not filter out all the essential oils and nutrients from your beans. This leaves more caffeine in your cup – up to 70% more, according to experts.

A French press also gives you the ability to control various variables in the process, such as water temperature and how long you allow the grounds to soak before pressing down the plunger. For example, many people who drink drip coffee know that it’s important to use cold filtered water because drinking hot water will burn the beans.

With a French press, though, you are in charge of this variable because you will be waiting until the water has cooled down to room temperature before making your coffee. This makes it possible to enjoy better tasting drip coffee that is also nutritionally superior with up to 70% more caffeine in your cup.


A French press is a great coffee brewing device because it can yield stronger flavor and more caffeine in your cup. However, this increased potency also makes the cleaning process that much harder. If you have ever tried to clean out a French press after using it for an extended period of time, then you know how difficult the job can be. Luckily for us all, there are many different ways to make sure your French press stays looking like new no matter how often or infrequently you use it! Below are six tips on getting rid of stains from french presses so they don’t show up again later–good luck with keeping them at bay!

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