How To Clean A Stainless Steel Coffee Percolator The Easy Way

How To Clean A Stainless Steel Coffee Percolator The Easy Way

Last updated on January 22nd, 2024 at 13:19

If you are looking for information about how to clean a stainless steel coffee percolator the easy way then you are on the right page.

Cleaning your coffee maker, be it a percolator, moka pot or a regular stainless steel coffee pot, cleaning it is easy and an absolute must to get the best tasting coffee.

By the time you have finished reading this article, you will know exactly what to do to keep your coffee pot clean and sparking without too much effort.

Keep reading to find out how to best clean your stainless steel percolator and how often!

How Often Should You Clean Your Coffee Percolator?

If your morning coffee has lost that spark and is not as tasty as it usually is, chances are you have a dirty coffee percolator.

How often you should be giving your beloved and trusted stainless steel coffee carafe a clean is easy.


Or after every use.

Cleaning your percolator daily with soap and warm water is something that doesn’t take too much effort. Be sure to use unscented soap as the scents can affect the taste of your future cups of coffee.

Regular daily cleaning will stop the buildup of oils from the coffee that cause foul tasting coffee that is overtly bitter.

The combination of coffee grounds, water and heat is the perfect recipe for mold to grow. Consider your regular cleaning of your coffee percolator as preventative maintenance to stop the buildup of mineral deposits and lime scale from your tap water.

So be sure to clean your equipment after every use.

How Often Should You Clean Your Coffee Percolator
You Should Clean Your Percolator Daily

Read: How many ounces in a 10 cup coffee pot? 

How To Clean Your Percolator With Soap

There is a surprising super secret weapon that you can use. Rice. I’ll explain later.

First, give your percolator an abundance of soap. A good large dose is good. Give it a good clean both on the inside and on the outside. Wiping the inside and outside with a soft sponge.

Fill with warm water and let it steep for 10 min to 15 minute. Then repeat the process for a second or third time if there are stubborn stains.

Now, time for your secret weapon. Rice.

Put some dish soap in your percolator, add in some rice and a touch of hot water. Give your percolator a real good swirl and vigorous shake for 2 min. The uncooked rice will help you to get any coffee stain that remaining off.

Rinse and repeat a second time. Finally, your last step to rinse with an abundance of water. Be completely sure to remove all traces of soapy water. Any trace of soap will affect your coffee, rinse well.

How To Clean Your Percolator With Soap
Fairy Liquid Is A Good Brand Of Soap To Use

Read: How to clean aluminum coffee percolator

How To Clean A Percolator With Vinegar

Cleaning your percolator with distilled white vinegar is the best type of vinegar that you can use for deep cleaning. This will help you remove the buildup of limescale from your water.

First, ensure your coffee maker is dry and prepare a solution of water and distilled white vinegar at a ratio of 1:1, that is 50% water and 50% white vinegar. It is best to fill your percolator with water to the half way full mark before adding the vinegar.

Then add the percolator basket and start a full brewing cycle. Let it percolate away for 20 to 30 minutes for a good descaling.

Repeat this process for a second time.

Pay attention and ensure the basket is nice and clean. When you are finished, give your coffee percolator a good clean using the soap method above and rise well. Use soap or a specialist coffee cleaner. In my opinion, a specialist coffee cleaner is not of any great advantage or will get your device any cleaner.

Rinse your machine well and run a dummy brewing cycle with fresh water a few times to ensure you have removed all traces of the white vinegar and soap. When you are finished this dummy brewing cycle rinse with clean water and let it dry in open air.

How To Clean A Percolator With Baking Soda

Cleaning your percolator coffee pot with baking soda – and/or a cup of hydrogen peroxide is how you get rid of the toughest of tough stains.

This method will also remove any tough water deposits.

First, give your percolator a good clean with soap as instructed above. Soap is great as nothing disperses oil from the coffee granules better than soap.

Rise well and add a cup of baking soda + some hot water. With the same baking soda and water solution take a soft sponge and give the inside and outside a good clean. Use some good old-fashioned elbow grease.

Switch the percolator on your electric percolator or put your stovetop one on the stove and let it percolate for 20 to 30 min with the water and baking soda solution will help remove the deep burned in stains.

If any stains exist repeat the process with an additional cup of baking soda.

When you are finished, rinse well and have a dummy run, percolating with just clean water a few times and then removing the boiling water and rinsing well with water.

You should find that any brown stains have since been removed. Any serious stains can be covered in a paste of bicarbonate of soda and a super tiny amount of water and left for a 5 to 10 minutes.

The hydrogen peroxide method simply replaces baking soda with hydrogen peroxide. I am not a fan at all of this technique as it does not get your stainless steel pot any cleaner.

How To Clean Percolator Basket

Cleaning your percolator basket is easy and effortless. Make a mixture of an equal parts of vinegar and hot water. Simply soak the basket in it for a few hours. If it is still dirty, leave it overnight. Rinse it very well when it is clean and run a percolating cycle or two with plain water to remove any vinegar smell. Air well if you need to.

How To Clean A Burnt Coffee Percolator

The above techniques or a combination of them together should remove the burnt stains from your percolator. If you need an extra technique to get the job done, you will need salt and some crushed ice cubes.

Any coffee stains remaining will be removed from your percolator coffee pot with this technique.

Fill your percolator with a cup of salt. Fill it halfway with crushed ice and a cup of cold water.

The ice and salt mixture acts as a scrubbing agent. Now simply swirl and swish it around, shake it as vigorously as you can. The brown and burnt areas will come lose and fall into the water and ice mix

When the mix gets dirty, replace it with fresh water, ice and salt mixture and repeat until it is completely clean.

When your percolator coffee pot is clean, rinse it out well and then run a percolator cycle with fresh water.

Frequently Asked Questions About How To Clean A Stainless Steel Coffee Percolator

How Do You Clean A Stainless Steel Percolator?

Start by washing the exterior and interior body with hot water and soap. Fill your basin with some drops of dish soap and hot water and use a clean soft sponge to wipe all surfaces clean. Then rise out with an abundance of clean, fresh water.

This is good for daily cleaning and keeping your percolator well maintained.

How Do You Deep Clean A Coffee Percolator?

Once you have done a good basic clean with soap and water, fill your percolator with clean fresh water to the halfway mark and then fill the second half, to the max fill line with distilled white vinegar to ensure that you have a 50% water and 50% distilled white vinegar solution.

Then run a full percolation cycle. This will give you a good deep clean and will descale your percolator and remove all mineral deposits.

Rinse with an abundance of water and let your percolator air dry.

How Much Vinegar Do You Use To Clean A Percolator?

To give your percolator a good quality deep clean, use 1:1 ratio of distilled white vinegar and water, a 50% water and 50% vinegar solution. 

If your percolator is a 10 cup percolator, use 5 cups of water and 5 cups of white vinegar

If you need to conduct a deep clean and don’t want to use vinegar, use baking soda. Baking soda is cheap, affordable and non-toxic.

Simply add a cup of baking soda to warm water using a 1:4 ratio of baking soda to warm water, 1 part baking soda and 4 parts warm water. Run a cleaning cycle. If you need a second clean or a stronger solution due to your percolator being particularly dirty, use a 50% baking soda and 50 warm water solution and repeat.

Rinse your percolator when you are finished with an abundance of fresh, clean water.

Don’t clean your percolator with anything harsh: steel wool, bleach, ammonia etc. These can damage your percolator and tarnish its surfaces and appearance.

A good cleaning schedule for cleaning your coffee percolator is every other week. Cleaning your coffee maker regularly will ensure that your coffee is clean, perfect and will help to prolong the life of your coffee maker.

Frappé-Ing It All Up – How To Clean A Stainless Steel Coffee Percolator

Cleaning a stainless steel coffee percolator or moka pot and getting rid of burnt stains need not be a task that has you sweating buckets or using too much elbow grease scrubbing away when you use the methods described above.

One thing for sure is prevention is better than the cure. Keep your coffee gear clean with regular cleaning, and they will last longer and continue to make you great coffee.

If any of you think that any of your friends could benefit from a tutorial about how to clean a stainless steel coffee percolator, send them a link to this article.

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Derek Marshall, a certified barista by the Specialty Coffee Association possesses over two decades of experience in specialty coffee shops. He holds professional certifications for coffee brewing and barista skills. Derek is also an author with authoritative books covering various coffee topics including specialty coffee, sustainability and coffee, coffee brewing, coffee recipes, coffee cocktails and books focusing on Brazilian coffee, Vietnamese coffee, Indonesian coffee and Malaysian coffee. As a barista for over two decades, Derek Marshall has worked in specialty coffee shops across the United Kingdom, Spain, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. His expertise extends to the distinct coffee cultures, specialty beverages, and brewing techniques of each nation. Functioning as a coffee consultant, Derek charges US$50 per hour. To learn more about Derek Marshall and Latte Love Brew, visit his About Me Page. For coffee inquiries, contact him at +34-639-410-375 or, mentioning your name and location

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