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How to Clean a Coffee Maker: Keurig, French Press, and More

by TopBusinessView

Keurig Deep Clean: Descale your machine with Keurig descaling solution or white vinegar (as outlined above) once a month.

How to Clean a French Press

This hand-held gadget is not only one of the most convenient coffee makers out there—it’s also one of the easiest to clean. You just need a few pantry staples to deep clean your French press. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Fill the glass or stainless steel carafe with a 1:1 mixture of white vinegar and water. Let hang out for 10–15 minutes, then empty. Rinse and scrub with soap and warm water until no vinegar smell remains.
  2. Disassemble the plunger, taking note of how the pieces fit together so you’re able to reassemble it later. (Most French presses have a lid and a plunging rod, plus three layers of filters—a spiral plate, mesh filter, and cross plate.) Separate the various pieces and place them in the sink. 
  3. In a small bowl, combine 2 Tbsp. baking soda with 1 Tbsp. water and mix into a thick paste. Using a toothbrush or sponge, scrub the plunger and filters with the baking soda solution. Rinse thoroughly, then wash with soap and water. Reassemble the plunger.

French Press Daily Clean: Empty coffee grounds into the garbage or compost. Rinse out the carafe with warm water, add a few drops of dish soap, and plunge up and down until the soapy water froths. Rinse again, then scrub the carafe and the plunger with a non-abrasive sponge or brush.

French Press Deep Clean: Soak carafe in vinegar solution and scrub plunger with baking soda paste once a month.

How to Clean an Espresso Machine

With lots of bits and bobs, espresso machines are slightly more complicated to clean than your standard drip machine. But professionals like Adam Keita, co-owner of Daughter Cafe & Wine Bar, swear by one product to get the job done: Cafiza. Widely used by baristas, Cafiza espresso machine cleaning powder is, according to Keita, “the most reliable cleaner out there.” 

Cafiza Espresso Machine Cleaning Powder

Cafiza powder strips away oily residue from an espresso machine’s group heads, valves, and lines. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Place a blind filter in the portafilter and add ½ tsp. Cafiza powder. Insert the portafilter into the group head and run a shot. This will backflush the machine, stripping away any coffee particles or mineral buildup.
  2. Remove the portafilter and rinse, then reinsert the portafilter with the blind filter, but without the cleaning powder. Run a shot to rinse the machine.
  3. Replace the blind filter with a standard basket. Make a cup of espresso to remove any traces of cleaner. Discard the espresso (do not drink!).
  4. Soak the tip of the steam wand in a small cup of boiling water for 15–30 minutes. Unscrew the tip of the steam wand and use the tool provided with your machine to poke through the holes, ensuring no milk has crusted over to block the steam route.
  5. To clean any other removable parts of your machine, create a soaking solution by mixing 1¼ tsp. Cafiza powder with 4 cups hot water. Remove any detachable parts of your machine. (If soaking a portafilter, do not submerge the handle.) Allow the parts to soak for 30 minutes, then rinse in clean water. Dry the parts and reassemble the machine.

Keep in mind that every espresso machine is different, so always consult the manufacturer’s instructions on how to clean your machine.

You can also use Cafiza powder to clean a Moka pot—find full instructions here. And if you’re ready to invest in coffee nirvana, here’s our guide to finding the right espresso machine for you.

Espresso Machine Daily Clean: After pulling a shot, discard the spent puck of coffee grounds immediately—if it’s left to sit, the oily residue will get stuck to the portafilter basket. Rinse the portafilter and purge the steam wand. Wipe the wand with a clean, damp rag, then purge again.

Espresso Machine Deep Clean: Clean the espresso machine with Cafiza (as outlined above) and soak steam wand weekly.

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