Stainless steel is the king of materials for many different pieces of kitchen equipment because it’s durable, easy to clean, and doesn’t stain. Most people use their coffee pots every day and therefore need a sturdy pot that can withstand the wear and tear of heavy use.
Even though stainless steel is easy to clean in general, many people have some questions about properly cleaning and caring for their stainless steel coffee pot. Can it rust? Should I put it in the dishwasher? We’ll answer these questions and more in this guide and leave you with a few tips for making your stainless steel pot last for years.
Coffee pots present a unique cleaning challenge because they have small openings that make it hard to fit your hand in to clean it. Most people resort to splashing some soapy water inside, half-heartedly swishing it around a bit, dumping it out, and calling it a day. That’s better than nothing but won’t cut it if you use your coffee pot every day.
A better option is to use a soft brush with a handle to make it easy to scrub the inside of the coffee pot.
You could also put it in the top rack of the dishwasher, but it’s not the best choice. Stainless steel is prone to rust, and if you leave your coffee pot wet for too long, it will start to rust. If you choose to put your coffee pot in the dishwasher, remove it immediately when the cycle finishes. Most dishwashers have a dry cycle, but it doesn’t dry everything thoroughly. Even small amounts of lingering water can spell trouble for a stainless steel coffee pot.
Deep Cleaning Method
Sometimes life gets busy, and it’s easier just to give the coffee pot a quick rinse before you run out the door. We get it, but over time you’ll notice your coffee pot getting less sanitary. Eventually, you’ll have to bite the bullet and give it a deep cleaning.
This technique works for general deep cleaning and removes any burnt coffee caked inside your coffee pot. Burnt coffee can be difficult or impossible to remove with traditional methods, but this method can handle it easily.
What About Water Stains?
Some people will find white deposits in their coffee pot depending on their water’s mineral content. Hard water is water with a high concentration of calcium and other minerals in it, and these minerals get deposited in your coffee pot when water evaporates. Removing hard water stains can be a pain, and the boiling detergent method is ineffective. Luckily, there is an equally easy way to deal with them using only vinegar and crushed ice.
Hard water can be a nuisance, but, thankfully, removing mineral deposits is easy once you know the proper technique. We recommend using this method once a month in areas with moderately hard water and once a week in places with very hard water.
How to Clean a Stainless Steel Coffee Pot
- Gooseneck kettle
- Soft cloth
- Dishwashing powder
- 1/2 cup vinegar
- 1/8 cup salt
- 1/2 cup crushed ice
Deep Cleaning Method
- Boil water in a kettle or pot on the stove. Make sure to use a pot with a pouring spout if you don't have a tea kettle to make it easy to pour the boiling water into your coffee pot later.
- Put one dishwasher pod or one load's worth of dishwashing powder into your stainless steel coffee pot.
- Fill your coffee pot with boiling water.
- Let the boiling water and dishwasher detergent sit for at least 30 minutes. It takes time for the detergent to work, so be patient.
- After 30 minutes have elapsed, gently swirl the coffee pot to loosen any particularly stubborn coffee gunk determined to stay stuck to your coffee pot.
- Pour out the soapy water and be prepared for a lot of coffee and other dried nastiness to come out with it. It's perfectly normal to see a lot of residual dried coffee, especially if you haven't cleaned your coffee pot in a while.
- Rinse the coffee pot thoroughly with cold water. Dishwasher detergent is strong, and you don't want to have any in your next batch of coffee. We recommend filling your coffee pot with water several times before using it to brew coffee.
Removing Water Stains
- Add ½ cup of vinegar to your coffee pot.
- Add about ⅛ cup of salt. The exact amount is unimportant.
- Add about ½ cup of crushed ice.
- Swirl the mixture for 30 seconds. Most deposits will loosen from gently swirling, but you might have to use a soft cloth to scrub the more persistent ones.
- Dump the mixture out and rinse thoroughly to remove any lingering vinegar taste.
Stainless steel is mostly forgiving but does require some special attention to keep it in good shape. Coffee pots are high-use kitchen items for most people, and stainless steel is a great choice for a coffee pot. The best way to keep your stainless steel coffee pot like new is to wash it after every use. We realize that is unrealistic sometimes and hope that our deep cleaning guide will help you deal with even the most stubborn coffee stains.
Featured Image Credit: Andrew Safonov, Shutterstock