The French press is a simple way to brew specialty coffee and an easy coffee brewing equipment to clean and maintain. All you really need to do is to thoroughly rinse it with soap and water after each use and you’ll have a fresh and clean French Press ready for your next brew.
That said, if you cut corners while cleaning your French Press, you may start noticing that your cup of joe tasting a little ‘off’. This could be due to the fine coffee grounds trapped in the mesh filter or the build-up of rancid coffee oils from previous brews.
Here’s a quick guide:
How to clean your French Press, the proper way
- Let the french press cool while you enjoy your coffee. It should ideally be at room temperature, this is especially important if you’re using a glass or ceramic French Press as you don’t want to stress french press by exposing it to drastic changes in temperature which could cause it to crack.
- Remove the coffee grounds. You can use a spoon or a spatula to do this. Or, simply add water into the French Press and pour the slurry though a fine mesh strainer.
- Rinse any residual coffee grounds off the French Press mesh filter.
- Add soap and water into the French Press.
- Insert the mesh filter, press and pull a couple of times. This ensures that all coffee oils are removed and any trapped coffee grounds are removed by agitation.
- Wash off the soap.
- Dry your French Press.
This should be done after every brew for the best coffee brewing experience and outcome.
[Warning: Do not dispose your coffee grounds into the sink as this could cause your sink to clog, resulting in very angry parents/spouse/landlord.]
What should you look out for when cleaning your french press?
When cleaning your French Press, you should check for:
- residual coffee grounds on the mesh filter
- no soap residue left in the French Press
- give it a quick sniff to ensure that there is no coffee oils trapped in the French Press (if it smells of coffee, rinse it with soap again)
Deep Cleaning: How to clean your French Press mesh filter
The mesh filter of the French Press is where some of the fine coffee grounds tend to get trapped.
The best way to clean it is to dismantle it (if possible) and wash it with soap water before reassembling it for your next brew. Do note that your French Press mesh filter may be assembled differently, refer to the official user manual for more information.
Here’s the step-by-step guide:
- Dismantle and remove the mesh filter from the French Press plunger.
- Prepare a bowl of soap water and soak each component of the mesh filter while you dismantle it.
- Rinse off all the soap.
- Check each part of the mesh filter. Make sure you have removed any coffee stains, buildups and coffee grounds.
- Dry the parts.
- Reassemble the mesh filter and plunger.
Frequently Asked Questions
How often should a French press be cleaned?
You should be washing and cleaning your French Press with soap after each brew. Do not leave the used coffee grounds in the French Press for more than a day as the wet coffee grounds could encourage mold to grow.
Ideally, you should also be deep cleaning your French Press once every two weeks.
What are some tools that can be used to clean a French press?
- Soft, smooth sponge to avoid scratching your French Press
- Smooth, clean cloth
- Cleaning brushes
Which tools are not recommended for cleaning a French press?
The following could scratch or damage your French press. Avoid using:
- rough sponges
- steel wool
- scouring pads
- metal spoons or fork
That’s all I have for you on how to clean your French Press, I hope this helps!
P.S. if you’re looking for French Press Brewing recipes, refer to our French Press Brew Guide here, and if you’re looking to support local Specialty Coffee roasters, see this list.