Skip to Content

How to Clean a Coffee Filter: 14 Tips for Better Coffee (All Filter Types)

Is your coffee filter gross and dirty? Does your coffee taste bad? In this post, you’ll learn how to clean your coffee filter. I include metal, reusable, gold mesh, plastic, espresso, pour-over, and coffee socks. A clean filter means better-tasting (and healthier) coffee.

how to clean coffee filters

Cleaning Reusable Coffee Filters

A reusable coffee filter needs to be cleaned regularly to avoid build-up which can affect the flavor of your coffee and the function of your machine.

Why do coffee filters need to be cleaned?

Cleaning reusable/permanent coffee filters is critical because they can trap mold and bacteria in addition to a film that alters the taste of your coffee.

Some of them are dishwasher safe, but we always recommend cleaning by hand so that you prolong the life of your coffee filter and you know for sure that every nook and cranny is clean.

How to Clean Coffee Filters

In this post, we’re talking about reusable, or permanent, coffee filters. Obviously, you don’t need to clean a disposable filter – it gets thrown away after the first use.

Reusable filters can be made from various materials which include:

  • metal
  • gold mesh
  • plastic
  • fabric

We’ll cover all of them in this post. Let’s get started by talking about how to clean a metal coffee filter.

How do you clean a metal coffee filter?

Metal coffee filters are easy to clean because you can really see where the stains are.

Before you get started make sure to take all the components apart (if there are any).

It’s best to clean your metal coffee filter by hand, without using harsh cleansers that can ruin the finish. The cleaners of choice are baking soda and vinegar.

Cleaning a metal coffee filter with baking soda:

Please keep in mind that we are talking about stainless steel when referring to “metal”. We don’t recommend using baking soda on aluminum.

Here’s what you’ll need to clean your metal coffee filter:


  • dish soap
  • water
  • washcloth, soft bristle dishwashing brush
  • baking soda

3 Steps: Cleaning a metal coffee filter

  1. Soak your metal filter for a few minutes in hot soapy water to loosen the film.
  2. Gently scrub your filter with a soft bristle dishwashing brush to remove any stains and allow it to air dry completely.
  3. If it’s been a while since you’ve cleaned your filter, use a small bit of baking soda mixed with water on a washcloth to remove any lingering stains from the filter. Scrub gently and in various directions. Make sure to rinse, and dry thoroughly with a soft cloth.

Cleaning a metal coffee filter with vinegar:

Vinegar is a great way to descale the coffee filter and make sure it’s clean. Here’s how to do it:


  • vinegar
  • water
  • washcloth, soft bristle dishwashing brush
  • baking soda

4 Steps: Clean a metal coffee filter with vinegar

  1. Mix equal parts vinegar and warm water and allow the filter to soak for a few minutes.
  2. Gently scrub the filter with your soft bristle dishwashing brush to remove stains and shine the metal.
  3. You could also mix a little baking soda into the vinegar solution for a foaming action that’s great at removing the lingering film from the filter.
  4. Make sure to rinse, and dry thoroughly with a soft cloth

The more often you clean the filter, the less you’ll have to go to extremes to remove grime.

How do you clean the basket of a coffee maker?

At least once a week, run a cycle of clear water (with no coffee grounds) through your machine. Running a clean cycle through your basket is a great way to keep scale and film at bay.

If your machine has some build-up, running a vinegar cycle (usually 1/3 white vinegar and 2/3 water) through it will help clean the basket at the same time.


  • vinegar
  • water
  • soft bristle dishwashing brush
  • dish soap

3 Steps to clean the plastic coffee basket

(If your coffee basket is not removable)

Before you get started make sure your carafe is in place to catch the liquid.

  1. Fill a spray bottle with vinegar and spray the basket. Let it soak in for 5 to 10 minutes
  2. Then dip a small soft bristle dishwashing brush or toothbrush in a mixture of warm water and dish soap. Thoroughly scrub the inside of the basket.
  3. Next, put a paper filter in the basket to catch any deposits that come up from your water reservoir. Then run a clean water cycle through your machine. This will help clean and rinse the basket.

(If your coffee basket is removable)

  1. Remove the basket from your coffee maker and run it underwater, brushing out any grounds.
  2. Gently scrub with mild dish soap and water to help get off the film and grime. Using a small nonabrasive scrub brush or toothbrush can help get in around the grooves commonly found in coffee maker baskets.
  3. Rinse the basket with clean water and dry it with a soft cloth.

How do I clean my Keurig coffee filter?

Keurig coffee filters are also a lot like any other coffee filter.


  • vinegar
  • water
  • soft bristle dishwashing brush

4 Steps to clean a Keurig coffee filter

  1. Run the filter under water to remove any leftover coffee grounds.
  2. Then allow the filter to soak in a mixture of hot water and vinegar (equal parts should be fine) for around five minutes to loosen the grime.
  3. Next, gently scrub it with a soft bristle dishwashing brush to make sure you’ve gotten everything off.
  4. Thoroughly rinse and dry your filter after cleaning it.

You could also run a clean cycle with no coffee grounds through your machine to help remove the film. Clean your filter regularly to prolong its life and prevent poor-tasting coffee.

how do you clean a coffee maker

How do you clean a coffee screen?

Coffee screens can also be cleaned with a mixture of vinegar and hot water.

Gently scrub the screen after soaking it in equal parts vinegar and water to loosen any oils and clear it out for your next use.

If you don’t clean coffee screens regularly, you may find yourself having to replace them a lot sooner than you’d like.

How do you clean coffee oils?

Oils can be tricky because they stick to the surface and slowly bake on creating stains.

Vinegar and basic blue dawn dish detergent are great for removing trapped oils because the mixture breaks up the oil’s consistency, allowing you to scrub it clean and remove any stains.

Blend the vinegar and soap in a container and allow the components to soak for a few minutes. Begin to brush the oil stains gently until they remove completely.

How do you get mold out of coffee filters?

Molded coffee filters may have to be discarded, but before you do that, try to remove the mold.

Allow the filter to soak overnight in a mixture of equal parts of water and vinegar to kill the mold spores. Then gently cleanse the filter with a brush and mild soap.

Allow the filter to dry completely before you make your next cup of coffee.

How do you clean a gold coffee filter?

Cleaning a gold coffee filter is essential to preserving the flavor of the coffee.

Gently cleanse the filter using warm water and mild soap such as classic blue Dawn and a small brush. If you don’t have a small brush, a toothbrush is a great tool for getting into the hard-to-reach places.

Gently remove any stains and film, rinse thoroughly, and allow the filter to air dry completely before you use it again.

How do you clean an espresso filter?

Espresso filters get really grimy, so clean it out each time you use your espresso machine.

Take the portafilter and basket apart and wash each individually. Use mild soap and a small cleaning brush (or nonabrasive scrubby pad) to gently rub the filter in a circular direction to remove the film and stains.

If you have trouble, a small amount of baking soda can help remove stubborn stains. Add a little water to the baking soda to make a paste and then gently scrub your filter with a soft cloth. Make sure to thoroughly rinse your filter before your next cup of espresso.

how to clean an espresso filter

How do you clean stainless steel coffee filters?

Stainless is easy to clean with mild soap and a brush (or nonabrasive scrubby pad).

Use hot water and gently scrub the steel filter in a circular motion to lift the grime.

If you have trouble, soaking the filter for a few minutes could help. You could also try vinegar to help remove hard water stains and calcium deposits if it’s been a long time since you’ve cleaned the filter.

For extra help make a paste with a little baking soda and water, then scrub gently with a soft cloth. Thoroughly rinse and dry your filter once it’s clean.

How do you clean a metal pour-over filter?

The metal pour-over filters can be gently scrubbed with mild soap, warm water, and a bit of white vinegar.

Use a toothbrush or other small brush with plastic bristles to help lift stains and sanitize the filter. You could also use a nonabrasive scrubby pad.

Make sure you clean both sides of the filter until you don’t see any more grime or debris in your filter. Clean the filter after each use for best results and to prolong its life.

How do you clean coffee socks?

Thoroughly rinse out your coffee sock after each use.

Discard the grounds and rinse the sock until the water runs clear. Squeeze out excess water and lay flat to dry.

Once a week (or more often if you like) boil water and allow the socks to soak for five to ten minutes to remove oils and sanitize.

The key with socks is being diligent to rinse them out after each use so that you don’t have to replace the sock sooner than you’d like.

how to clean permanent coffee filters

Want to clean your full coffee maker? Check out our complete guide: How to Clean a Coffee Maker

Plus, here’s how to clean your coffee maker – by brand (including Ninja, Bunn, Bella, Keurig, Cuisinart, Mr. Coffee, and Black & Decker) for better-tasting coffee.

Your Turn

How did it go for you? Did you notice a flavor improvement after cleaning your coffee filter? Let me know any tips below!


Saturday 6th of August 2022

learnt a new way of cleaning my coffee filter and also coffee oil and socks.