How to Clean A Burned Coffee Pot

You’re on your way to work, and you ask yourself, “Did I turn off the coffee maker?” Coming home to a scorched coffee pot can quickly sour anyone’s day. Fortunately, with a few simple steps, you can remove the burnt-on crust and have your coffee pot ready for your next wake up call.

You Will Need:

  • Table salt
  • Ice
  • Water

Steps to Remove the Burned Stains:

  1. If the pot is hot, remove it from the heat and allow it to cool. Never place cold items in a hot pot as it can cause it to crack.
  2. Rinse the coffee pot out with water to remove any loose debris.
  3. Pour ½ cup of salt into the pot. This will serve as the scrubbing agent.
  4. Next add enough crushed ice to fill the pot half full.
  5. Add 1 cup of water.
  6. Swish and swirl the mixture in the pot. As you are swirling, you will see the brown layer come loose from the surface. When the water gets too dark to see if there is improvement being made, empty the pot and start with a fresh batch of salt, ice and water.
  7. Continue cleaning until the pot is clean to your satisfaction. Severe burns will take more time than light build-up.
  8. After the brown layer is removed, wash the pot as normal.
  9. Dry with a soft cloth, and your coffee pot is ready to use.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • When swishing and swirling, be careful not to splash the contents out of the pot.
  • If the mouth of the coffee pot is large enough to get inside and scrub, try making a paste out of baking soda and water. Scrub the burnt areas away with the paste. For extra cleaning power, add white vinegar.
  • Always use soft cloths or non-abrasive scrubbers when cleaning to avoid scratching the glass.
  • Never try to clean a hot pot. Allow it to cool to avoid burns and risk breaking the glass pot.


  1. Add a generous amount of salt (maybe 2 or 3 tablespoons) and enough water to cover the burned area. Heat the pot to boiling or thereabouts and watch the burned coffee release from the glass. Someone told me about this and I didn’t believe them until I tried it! It works great.

  2. Just put a little salt and a few cubes of ice in the pot and swish it around a bit and the pot is clean. This method works great.

  3. Fill the coffee pot all the way with white vinegar. Run it through the brew cycle a few times. You can replace the vinegar each time, or reuse the same solution. This will clean the whole system, including the pot.

    Make sure you brew clean water several times after you finish running all the vinegar cycles. Replace the water after each cycle to prevent your coffee from tasting like vinegar.

    This might smell up your house. I recommend doing this in the garage, or on your apartment balcony.

  4. After the pot has cooled from being burned (do not add water until it has), fill the pot with water, add about 4 ounces of Clorox, and let it sit for about an hour. The pot will be cleaned, then pour the Clorox down the drain to clean the drains as well.

  5. Let the pot cool. Then shake some DISHWASHER soap into the bottom of the pot and fill it with hot water. Let sit for about an hour and the pot looks brand new. You don’t need to scrub, wash, boil, or anything.

  6. John is right. Salt and hot water just ate the burned coffee off and it was clean as usual.

  7. For my office coffee pot, I just use crushed ice. No salt, no water. I don’t have access to enough salt (just tiny packets), but I have (virtually) unlimited crushed ice. If it starts losing effectiveness, just pour out some of the water and keep going. Rinse.

  8. I left my coffee pot on last night and it looked like I should throw it away! I tried this method and in no time, my pot looked great. Thank you for the tip!

  9. My daughter thinks you should not wash a coffee pot (glass) in a regular dish water after each use. She believes the only washing should be the vinegar rinse once a month. I am thinking if you never just wash the coffee pot until the vinegar cycle, there will be a build up of coffee oils in the pot. I wash mine daily and use vinegar once a month. Would you please let me know the latest feelings on this? Thank you, Jerri

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