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The Single Best Way to Clean Your Coffee Carafe

At the very least, a dirty carafe can lead to muddy and bitter coffee. At worst, you could have a case of mold or bacteria growth on your hands.

The good news is that keeping your carafe clean isn’t as much of a pain as you might imagine.

In this article, I’ll show you a fast, simple steps, and effective method to keep your carafe shiny and clean so you can enjoy the best coffee flavor from every brew. 

The best way to clean your coffee carafe

Tools You Need to Clean Your Coffee Carafe

Here are the tools you’ll need to clean a glass or metal carafe. No fancy materials, just things you probably have in your pantry.

  • Dish-Washing Scrub Brush – Don’t use a bottle brush because those tend to be flimsy. Instead, use a dish-washing scrub brush with a long neck to easily reach the bottom of the carafe and give it a thorough scrub.
  • Baking Soda 
  • Distilled White Vinegar – White vinegar is the most acidic vinegar, which makes it a powerful, natural deep cleaning agent.
coffee carafe, baking soda and vinegar

Easy Instructions

1. Soak With Vinegar

Fill your carafe with a 50/50 mixture of warm water and white vinegar solution. Then, let it sit and soak for about ½ hour. 

The acidic vinegar will remove any stubborn stains or discoloring from a glass or stainless steel carafe.

pouring vinegar into a coffee carafe

2. Scrub With Baking Soda Paste

Empty the carafe and rinse it well. Then, add 1-2 tablespoons of baking soda to the bottom of the pot. It doesn’t have to be an exact measurement. 

Little by little, add some water to the baking soda until it forms a paste consistency.

Next, use a dish brush to scrub the inside of the carafe with the baking soda paste. It’ll gently remove any remaining coffee oils, coffee stains, oily residue, or mineral buildup from your stainless steel coffee pot. 

pouring baking soda into a coffee carafe

3. Rinse It

Rinse out the carafe one final time with clean water and dry it well with a paper towel to reveal your clean coffee maker. 

rinsing out coffee carafe into sink

How Often Should I Wash My Coffee Carafe?

A carafe or a coffee maker with built-up coffee oil or residue will negatively affect the flavor of your morning cup. As a result, you may end up with muddy, bitter coffee

Even worse, the warm and moist atmosphere of a dirty coffee maker or pot can become a breeding ground for bacteria, yeast, or mold.

To preserve the integrity and flavor of your coffee, you should be cleaning your carafe daily. If you don’t drink coffee daily, you should clean the carafe after any time that you use it.

OXO carafe

Once you’ve finished your pot of coffee for the day, add the 50/50 vinegar and water solution to the pot and swirl it around. Allow the mixture to sit for 5-10 minutes, then rinse it. 

Make sure to dry it well with a paper towel. Otherwise, the drying water droplets can leave hard mineral deposits on your drip coffee maker. Then, you won’t get to enjoy the sparkling clean surface you worked hard to achieve with all of that elbow grease. 

That should be an easy way to keep the carafe in tip-top shape. Then, you can do a deep clean with the baking soda paste every month or so for a more thorough cleaning. 


You should never clean a coffee maker or coffee carafe with dish soap or dishwashing detergent. Although employing some of that de-greasing power might be tempting, you must resist!

You’ll end up with a machine full of soapy water and bubbles or a leftover film on the carafe that’ll affect the taste of your coffee and brewing cycle. 

Instead, it’s always a good idea to descale and flush the lines of a coffee maker with a 50/50 white vinegar and water solution. You’ll probably need to run a cleaning cycle about 2 times afterward or until the vinegar smell dissipates before you can start to make your fresh coffee. 

Similarly, you can fill a glass or stainless steel carafe with the same 50/50 vinegar and fresh water solution and allow it to sit for 30 minutes.

Then, add some baking soda to the bottom of your carafe and mix in just enough hot water to form a paste. Then, use a dish brush to scrub the entire pot with the paste. The gentle abrasion will remove any stubborn stains, residue, or unsightly stains. 

It’s seriously that easy to keep your coffee pot and coffee machine in tip-top shape. And that means a deliciously good cup of coffee. 

So, don’t keep putting it off, coffee lover! Grab some baking soda and vinegar, and let’s get scrubbing and don’t forget to follow our top cleaning tips. 

If you’re looking for more coffee tips don’t forget to check out these top 3 hacks on the best ways to store your coffee.

Or maybe you’re tired of your loud coffee grinder and you’re looking for more a more quiet coffee grinder model, we’ve got you covered with that as well with the best quiet coffee grinders on the market.


How do you clean the inside of a metal coffee carafe?

Soak the carafe in a mixture of vinegar and hot water. Then, scrub the interior with a paste made from baking soda and hot water. Rinse away the cleaning agents, and you’re ready to brew. 

Is vinegar or baking soda better for cleaning coffee makers?

A vinegar and water mixture is a great way to clean and descale the internal lines of a coffee maker. Plus, it’ll flush away any built-up coffee oils or bean residue. 
Baking soda is better for cleaning the carafe since you can turn it into a paste and gently scrub away any stubborn stains.

How do clean a stainless steel coffee maker carafe?

If you’re cleaning a stainless steel carafe like the OXO 8 cup coffee maker, create a paste with baking soda and water. Then, use a dish brush to scrub away at the insides. Empty and rinse the pot. Add ½ cup of hydrogen peroxide and 2 tablespoons of baking soda to the carafe if any stubborn stains remain. Swirl the pot around for about a minute, then let it sit for ½ hour. Then, empty and rinse again. 

About Jasmine

Jasmine Mattey is a coffee lover, bookworm, and regular contributor at Bit of Cream. As a child she dreamed of opening a coffee shop, but today she'd prefer to sip coffee rather than sell it. Jasmine graduated top of her class at culinary school. When she isn't curled up with a cup of coffee and a good book, you'll find her cooking, baking and writing about her culinary adventures at Kitchen Ambition .

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