How to Clean Your Coffee Percolator

Everybody knows about the pain of cleaning a coffee percolator. Certainly, anyone who owns one can talk to you about it. Those coffee stains? There are few people more stubborn than them.

What ways can you use to clean a percolator for coffee

Hey, you probably know about the struggle more than anyone.

It’s simply one of those things you need to know how to do. But luckily for you, we know one or two things about it. Read on to find out more about how to clean your coffee percolator!

How Do You Clean the Inside of Your Coffee Percolator?

There are two main ways you can use to clean your percolator (Learn more about the differences between a percolating coffee maker and a drip coffee maker!).

But first things first, do you have any vinegar lying around? Because you’ll need it.

Method One: Using Vinegar

White vinegar is a widely-known effective disinfectant. It gets rid of calcium buildup and grease. This is why it works so well when it comes to removing any bacteria hidden in the percolator.

Step One: Remove All the Coffee Grounds

The first thing you should do is remove any coffee grounds present in the percolator. If there are grounds stuck inside, remove them with a soft sponge and some dish detergent.

Here’s a tip for the future: Don’t let the coffee grounds stay inside the percolator overnight. This can encourage stubborn residue and heavier staining – What can you use coffee grounds for?

Step Two: Take Apart All the Pieces and Rinse

Carefully, take the pieces apart. Wash them with water. After you’re done with rinsing, shake the pieces a bit just to get any excess water off.

The next thing you should do is to get a wet washcloth. Wipe it across all the pieces, especially focusing on the coffee pot.

Step Three: Brush With Vinegar

Look for a narrow and smooth brush. Use it to delicately scrub the inside of the tub. For better results, let the pieces soak in vinegar for at least five minutes before scrubbing them.

Once you scrub everything down, rinse your pieces with water. Then, you can let them air-dry on your rack.

Method Two: Using Baking Soda

It’s no secret that baking soda is a productive cleaning agent. It works as a scouring powder that excels at removing grease and dirt. It’s not harsh as well, so you don’t have to worry about any scratching.

Step One: Wipe Your Percolator Down

Before doing anything, you need to wipe your percolator down. Get a washcloth and soak it in soapy water. Next, thoroughly wipe the percolator.

After giving it a good wipe, rinse the percolator with warm water.

Step Two: Get Your Baking Soda

For this step, you want to get your measuring cups. Take one ¼ cup of baking soda and load it with water. Pour it into the percolator.

If it’s an electric percolator, plug in the cord. If it’s not, then turn on the stove. Whichever way you use, make sure you heat it up until it brews.

Step Three: Rinse It Out

Finally, pour out the mixture into your sink. Then, rinse it with warm water. You can use a soft sponge to scrub away any extra residue.

Then, leave your percolator to air-dry.

Parts of a coffee percolator that need cleaning

How Do You Clean the Basket?

There’s no need to be intimidated. Cleaning the basket is no hard task. All you need is a washcloth, some water, and a little dish soap.

The Quick Way

Begin by unplugging your percolator. If it’s not electric, then skip this step.

Once you unplug your percolator, take the basket out of it. Pull it out along with the spreader and stem.

Then, get your washcloth. Make sure it’s soapy. Wipe the basket thoroughly with it. Afterward, rinse your basket with hot water.

Finally, you can let the basket air-dry. You can also dry it with another clean washcloth.

The Slow Way

This time, you won’t begin by taking out the basket. Instead, you’ll fill the percolator with water. Make sure you fill it up to its half.

Now, fill the other half with white vinegar. When you hit the maximum limit, you can finally close the lid. Then, plug the percolator in. If it’s not electric, put it on a lit stove.

Leave the percolator for a bit after it’s done. Make sure you wait for at least 15 minutes. This will help the vinegar in lifting any extra stains from the basket.

Unplug the percolator. Pour out your water and vinegar mix. Then, leave the coffee percolator to chill for another 15 minutes.

After the 15 minutes are done, rinse the basket with warm water. Once the vinegar is rinsed away, you can clean the basket with dish soap.

How Do You Get Coffee Stains out of a Percolator?

Fill your percolator with water. Then, add 2 to 3 spoons of cream of tartar. The next thing you should do is heat up your percolator and sit back.

Once it’s done with its normal cycle, use a washcloth, a sponge, or any other non-abrasive tool to scrub your percolator. Finally, make sure you rinse it thoroughly with warm water.

How Do You Clean a Stainless Steel Coffee Percolator?

Luckily, there are several ways you clean a stainless steel coffee percolator. You can either choose between using vinegar, denture cleaners, and a mix of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. Choose as the contents in your pantry tell you to.


Start the cleaning process by removing any coffee grounds. If they’re stuck inside, you can use mild dish soap and any non-abrasive cleaning tool to get them out.

Fill one half of the percolator with water, and one half with white vinegar. Then, heat the percolator up.

It’s time to relax. Let the percolator cool down overnight. Then, in the morning, pour the vinegar and water mixture out.

Get a wet washcloth. Wipe the inside of the percolator thoroughly.

Then, take it apart. Rinse each piece in water. Make sure you get any extra residue off. Finally, put it back together.

Cleaning your coffee percolator

Denture Cleaners

Do you have any denture cleaning tablets lying around? They’re going to save you a ton of effort. They may be small, but they’ll get the job done without much hassle.

Begin by removing the coffee grounds from the percolator. Then, rinse it.

Next, you should fill your percolator with clean water. Then add two denture cleaning tablets. Put the lid back on and let your mixture sit for one hour.

Once the hour is over, empty your percolator. Then, rinse with clean warm water.

Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide

This one is pretty easy. First off, we have to prepare our mixture.

In your percolator, add three tablespoons of baking soda.

Then, you can use a kettle to boil some water. Once the water is boiled, add it to the percolator.

Here comes the magic ingredient. Inside the percolator, add half a cup of peroxide. Then, as we did in the previous step, let your mixture sit for an hour.

Finally, rinse your percolator with warm clean water.

How Do I Clean a Large Percolator?

Get your vinegar and water. Then, fill the first half of the percolator with water. Fill the other half with vinegar. Leave the pump-tube and the basket intact.

Let the mixture sit inside the percolator for at least 30 minutes. Then, pour it into your kitchen sink. Afterward, wash it thoroughly with cool water.

Now is the time for your next concoction. But before you do anything, take your pump-tube and basket and set them aside.

After you’ve finished your vinegar-water cleanse, add two teaspoons of baking soda inside your percolator. Follow them up by 8 cups of water. Next, heat your percolator up.

Let your percolator cool down, get a toothbrush. Sprinkle a little bit of baking soda on it. Then, gently scrub the pump-tube and the basket.

When cleaning the basket with your toothbrush, make sure you clean the stand, inside, and outside.

Once you’re done, you should get a toothpick. Use it to clean the holes in the basket. This way you’ll loosen any stuck coffee grounds.

Then, rinse the basket and pump-tube. Finish off by letting them air-dry on a towel or a rack.

How Do You Clean an Aluminum Coffee Percolator?

You need to be careful with an aluminum coffee percolator. Using baking soda can actually stain it, instead of cleaning it. To make your percolator shiny and squeaky-clean once again, abandon baking soda and follow these steps instead.

Begin by filling the percolator with water. Then, add two tablespoons of cream of tartar. Make sure it’s per quart of water.

For the next ten minutes, let your percolator go through its ordinary heating cycle. Then give it a quick check. Have the stains lifted yet? If not, let it continue.

Finally, pour out the mixture. Finish off by a thorough rinse with water.

Final Thoughts

Don’t let a few stains intimidate you. Using different supplies from around your kitchen pantry, you’ll be saying goodbye to these stubborn stains in no time.

Make sure you’re well-stocked on baking soda and vinegar.

What ways can you use to clean a percolator for coffee
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