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How to Clean a Coffee Maker Filter Basket

Beth Huston Profile image

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Updated February 12, 2023

Learning how to clean a coffee maker filter basket is an essential life skill for any coffee lover. If you use your coffee machine daily, then the build-up of coffee oils will call for proper cleaning at least weekly.


  • You’ll be using a tap water and vinegar solution for this task, with a dish sponge to scrub off the buildup of coffee residue gently.
  • After you finish cleaning off the coffee residue, you’ll simply clean it off with water and dry it using paper towels or a dry dish towel.
  • Cleaning a coffee maker with vinegar, sudsy water, and a dish sponge is an easy process that only takes a few minutes. It’ll keep your brewing cycle going strong for years to come.

Some models come with an automatic cleaning cycle. Even the best coffee maker with a pre-programmed cleaning cycle will need deep cleaning eventually, however. Nothing beats a thorough hand-cleaning. And with your now clean machine, don’t forget that coffee isn’t the only thing you can make with it. You can learn how to brew Crio Bru in a coffee maker for a delicious coffee alternative drink. Alternatively, you can read our article on how to cook rice in a coffee maker.

Insider Tip

Cleaning mineral deposits in your water reservoir is easy and improves the quality of every cup of coffee you brew.

Guide to Cleaning Your Brew Basket

The first step in the cleaning process is mixing up your cleaning solution. You can use several household ingredients for this purpose, most of them readily available in your kitchen.

While the cleaning process can seem daunting, this quick guide will help you clean more efficiently. This process helps clean coffee oils and keeps your coffee basket clear of unwanted growth. Mold in coffee brewers is a real problem, so don’t skip your daily cleaning.

For an even deeper cleaning method, learn how to clean a coffee maker burner. You should use a damp microfiber cloth to wipe up the warming plate daily, as well.


First, create a mixture of white vinegar and warm water. Use a plastic container rather than your sink since this can cause clogs in your pipes. The occasional stray ground is fine, but any more than that will spell trouble.


Put a few drops of mild dish soap in hot water and vinegar mixture. Don’t use too much, or you’ll coat the components with dish soap, which makes it difficult to clean.


Remove the paper filter from your coffee filter basket. Throw this away in the garbage. If you use permanent filters, you can clean them using this method, as well. Then, remove the basket itself.


Submerge the coffee filter basket in your soapy water solution. If the coffee grit is stuck on, allow it to soak. Use your kitchen sponge to gently scrub the filter, taking care to work into the crevices.


Once you remove all leftover coffee grounds and are satisfied with the results, dump your solution outside or pour the solution into a waterproof bag to throw in the garbage.


Use clean water to get rid of soap residue and finish the cleaning process. If you spot anything left behind, use a clean sponge to scrub tough residue while running it under plain water gently.


Finally, dry off your basket thoroughly using paper towels or a clean cloth. Leave it to air dry for a little while, and pop it back into the appliance. Now that your basket is clean you can read about what to do when you have no filters for the coffee maker. If you want to get your coffee maker clean, try learning how to clean a coffee maker with denture tablets.


If your coffee maker is full of mold, it’s better to throw it out and purchase a new one. Exposure to mold causes serious coffee filters.


How do I clean metal coffee filter baskets?

A metal filter is fantastic for keeping pour-over coffee brews tasting fresh. They’re also incredibly hygienic. Use a half-and-half vinegar to water ratio just like you would for cleaning a drip coffee maker.

How should I go about cleaning a stainless steel coffee pot?

Stainless steel is resistant to coffee stains, but it can still form if you don’t maintain it. Only use a soft cloth, or you’ll end up watching the cloth’s abrasiveness scrub scratches into the pot.

Can I clean a disposable coffee filter?

You shouldn’t clean and reuse anything other than a reusable filter. Disposable coffee filter options are meant to be used once and tossed immediately. Otherwise, it won’t work correctly.

Why do coffee filters need to be cleaned?

There are quite a few reasons to keep up with cleaning a reusable coffee filter:

  • Not doing so will make your coffee taste bitter
  • Coffee grounds will end up leaking into your morning brew
  • You can cause the growth of mold in coffee brewers

STAT: Global coffee consumption has risen at an average annual rate of 1.9% over the past 50 years. (source)

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