How to Clean Reusable Coffee Filter — 2 Different Methods

Reusable coffee filters are far better than the paper ones that you can throw away after a single use. They’re not only good for the environment but provide a richer flavor in your coffee with all the essential oils. But over time, coffee oils and fine grounds can get clogged up in the filter’s fine mesh. It results in a bitter and funky taste that no one prefers in their favorite drink.

Having reusable coffee filters requires regular cleaning. However, it appears like a lot of work for certain people who avoid this prime step and often cause bacteria to grow. Therefore, this article will talk about three effective solutions. One for daily use, and two for a more thorough and deep cleaning.

It doesn’t matter what kind of a filter you use regularly. These verified methods will surely get rid of the dirt and bacteria and clean them. In no time, you’ll be able to enjoy the same old flavorful coffee again.

For Everyday Cleaning

Step # 1: Throw Out the Coffee Grounds

Your goal should be to dump out as many coffee grounds as possible. The easiest way would be to throw it in your usual garbage, make sure to avoid discarding coffee grounds in a sink or it might clog your pipes. Alternatively, you can use them as a fertilizer or add them to your compost. This is because coffee grounds have a high content of nitrogen, therefore, enhances plant growth.

Step # 2: Drop a Little Dish Soap Onto the Filter

Coffee filters, whether they are reusable or made of paper, are not typically big. So you only need to add a maximum of 1-2 drops of dish soap on it. It is advisable to use a mild one. Along with a medium cleaning action, these dish soaps either have a mild odor or are completely odorless. 

Step # 3: Scrub With Lukewarm Water

You must be gentle while scrubbing the filter. Using lukewarm water helps in enhancing the action of soap. Make sure to use a soft sponge rather than a metal scrubber. The coffee filter is a delicate utensil, whereas a metal scrubber has a pretty harsh scrubbing effect. If you use it, you may end up with a filter that has damaged holes.

Step # 4: Rinse off the Soap

You can perform the rinsing process using warm water. This helps in cleaning off any froth formed. The hot water is also effective in getting rid of any stuck components in the filter’s holes. The coffee oils can also be washed away quickly, leaving you with a clean filter, ready to be used again.

Step # 5:  Dry the Filter

You have the option to either lay out a towel, place the coffee filter on top, and let it air dry. The other method is less time-consuming. Pick your filter, and with gentle hands, wipe it off with the towel. Make sure there are no water drops left to dry before making coffee again. Otherwise, your filtered coffee would get more diluted and taste a bit off. 

Deep-Cleaning Using Vinegar

Step # 1: Take Out the Removable Components

For people who spend days without washing their coffee filters, the buildups become harder to clean off. The first step is to eliminate any coffee grounds or other removable components from the filter for a more thorough cleaning. Due to the rich nitrogen levels in the coffee grounds, adding them to your garden’s soil is suggested. 

Step # 2: Rinse With Water

There’s no need for you to get rid of all the grounds completely. The coffee grounds, with the pressure of water, break into smaller pieces and easily wash away. You should not try to rinse them out forcefully as they might end up getting clogged in the tiny holes. This is an additional step that will help you clean more effectively later on.

Step # 3: Create the Vinegar-Water Mixture

Remember the ‘like dissolve like’ theory you learned in your chemistry class? It’s time you make use of it. The white vinegar and water have similar properties that allow them to dissolve into each other completely. Add white vinegar and water in a 1:2 ratio in a large bowl. 

Step # 4: Place the Filter in Mixture

Put the coffee filter in the bowl containing the Vinegar-White mixture. The bowl should be big enough to let the whole filter sink in without any of its parts sticking out. You can even fill up your sink in case you don’t own such a bowl size.

Let the filter soak in for about 30-45 minutes. Through this method, the coffee grounds dissolve in the solution, leaving you with a particle-free filter.

Step # 5: Wash Away the Vinegar

After soaking the filter in the solution for the required time, take it out and run it under warm water. This will clean away all the vinegar from the filter. So the vinegar doesn’t ruin the taste the next time you make a cup of coffee.

Step # 6: Dry Using a Towel

The final step is to let the coffee filter dry. For this purpose, place a dry towel on a counter or a table. Put the washed filter on top and let the air do the magic. You should dry it entirely after about an hour. To accelerate the drying process, you can also wipe the filter gently using a towel.


Buying a reusable coffee filter makes it easy on your pockets. However, you will have to clean them after every use. The regular wash requires only a bit of soap and water. But if you fail to put in the daily effort, use any other acidic substance with water for a thorough cleaning.