How to Clean A Coffee Pot

Cleaning a coffee pot does not need to be a chore. With these simple steps, your brown, grungy pot will be sparkling in minutes. 

Salt and Ice Method 

You Will Need: 

  • Ice
  • Salt

 Steps to Clean the Coffee Pot: 

  1. Make sure the pot is cool before cleaning.
  2. Fill the pot with enough salt to cover the bottom.
  3. Add a small handful of ice cubes. Depending on the size of the pot, usually 3-4 are enough.
  4. Swirl the ice with the salt until they start to move smoothly around the pot.
  5. Swirl the ice and salt, with increasing speed, for a few minutes.
  6. Continue until the ice melts.
  7. Pour out the liquid.
  8. If any stains remain, add more salt and ice and repeat.
  9. Once all the stains are gone, rinse the pot completely. 

Vinegar Method 

You Will Need: 

  • Vinegar
  • Dish soap
  • Soft cloths
  • Water  

Steps to Clean the Coffee Pot: 

  1. This cleaning method is designed to clean your coffee pot and coffee maker together.
  2. Start by filling the coffee pot with vinegar.
  3. Pour it into the machine and turn it on.
  4. Allow the coffee maker to heat the vinegar and process it through the maker. This will clean the interior of both the coffee pot and coffee maker.
  5. Once the cycle is complete, pour the hot vinegar back into the tank and run it through a second time.
  6. Once the second cycle is complete, pour out the vinegar and wash the pot with soap and water.
  7. Rinse the pot and fill the tank with clean water.
  8. Run the water through to rinse the interior of the coffee maker.
  9. Once complete, empty the water out and run a second rinse cycle with clean water.
  10. Your pot and coffee maker should both be clean and free of stains. If any remain, repeat the process.

 Additional Tips and Advice

  • Vinegar is a safe and effective way to remove build up and stains.
  • If the stains are light, a mixture of one part vinegar and one part water will be sufficient. If the stains are worse, allow the vinegar to soak in the pot overnight to remove them.


  1. Got a grungy coffee pot? Fill it 1/4 way with crushed ice and swirl it around against the glass. It will scrape off all of the cooked-on coffee stains!

  2. Putting ice in a carafe will help, but the best way to quickly “scrub” the carafe or pot stained with coffee is to place salt in with the ice. Place several pieces of ice and lots of salt in the pot or carafe and swish it around, the abrasiveness of the salt quickens the cleaning and helps remove the odor as well.

  3. Fill the coffee pot with water and about 1/2 cup of plain vinegar. Start the brewing process with the water and vinegar mixture. Your coffee pot will be fresh and clean for your next cup of coffee.

  4. Use vinegar and a little water, run it through the pot to clean the inside, then put it in the dishwasher or use S.O.S. pads to clean tough stains before washing. Be sure to run coffee through and dump it out before drinking the next pot.

  5. I use a denture cleaner; the number of tablets depend on how long since the last cleaning. I usually allow it to sit overnight with the solution in the pot.

  6. Fill it with full strength vinegar and let it sit overnight. Start the coffee machine. Run it twice with fresh water to get the taste out before brewing coffee. Works really well.

  7. To clean the machine, I run vinegar through once, then a pot of clean water. When that is done I wipe off the residue under the top and clean the machine on the outside. For the carafe, I use bleach and dish washing liquid, fill the pot with water, some bleach and let the pot and the basket soak like this for say, an hour, rinse really well and clean as new. That old swirling the ice and salt thing doesn’t work all that great. Used this trick when working at a gas station and no one knew I used bleach because you rinse so well there is no taste or smell left behind.

  8. I scrub glassware, such as coffeepots, with baking soda. Just dump a little in, add a bit of water, and scrub with a soft cloth or Teflon-safe scrubby pad. It takes stains off any kind of glassware or china.

  9. The best way to clean a coffee pot is to fill it up with hot water and add a half cup of bleach, let it sit for just a minute and rinse well. Now it’s cleaned and sanitized.

  10. My 88-year-old mother-in-law knows all the old tricks, so I was surprised when she told me to clean my stainless steel percolator by spraying the entire interior, basket with lid & stem and lid with Clorox Clean-up (or similar bleach spray), and go do something else for a while. When you return, take an old toothbrush to it, and all that brown yuck will come right off. Rinse well and it will shine like new! No elbow grease needed!

  11. I ran a pot of soapy (Dawn) water through my Cuisinart coffee maker, and now I can’t get the soap taste out of my coffee. Any suggestions to remove the soap taste? I ran vinegar water through it twice, and it still taste soapy.

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