How to Clean Coffee Pot Stains: The Complete Guide

how to clean coffee pot stains

It’s easy to recognize that I’m a coffee lover. It’s pretty obvious when I have coffee stains on almost everything from clothes to furniture to kitchen utensils! Surprisingly, out of all the smudged gizmos, I struggle with stained coffee pots the most. Talk about irony! So how do you clean coffee pot stains?

You come to the right place! In this article, we’ll go over 8 different ways you can clean coffee pot stains. Almost all these methods use common household items you probably either own or can buy at your local grocery store.

If you’re like me, the sight of these brown ring stains probably irritates your soul. Luckily, you don’t have to worry anymore. In this article, we’ll guide through some easy cleaning techniques and tips to remove coffee pot stains.

The 8 Best Ways to Clean Coffee Pot Stains

In this guide, you’ll find the best methods for cleaning coffee pots listed in ascending strengths of stain removal (the last being the strongest).

Crushed Ice and Salt Method

This method works fine for some stainless steel pots, but it’s markedly useful for glass coffee pots.

Even though this stain removal method is not as powerful as the others, it’s still efficient. It’s fast and easy since its ingredients are present in most households. You’ll need 6-8 crushed ice cubes and 2 tablespoons of salt. It’s one of the easiest ways to clean coffee pot stains.

Author Note: To start, add the crushed ice cubes to the pot. Now add the salt and shake the coffee pot around. The friction of the salt grains and crushed ice with the surface of the coffee pot will help erase the stains.

Pour out the liquid and rinse the pot with soap and water. A sponge could be handy for this final step. Then let the pot air dry or simply hand dry it with a towel or cloth.

Dish Soap

Steam Rises From Coffee Pot as water boils for Camp Coffee

Although this method could be used for stainless steel pots, it works best for glass pots. It’s another one of the easiest ways to clean coffee pot stains.

Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of dish soap to your coffee pot, then fill it with hot water. Swish the pot around to mix the ingredients. Let the soap do its work and come back in 15 minutes.

Next, pour out the soapy water and scrub the inside with a sponge. Rinse the pot multiple times with water to make sure there’s no soap or even foamy traces left in it for delicious tasting coffee. Finally, wipe it with a towel or let it air dry.

You can use any store-bought dishwashing soap or even make the dish soap at home. Regular cleaning with this method makes the stain removal process much easier.

Vinegar Cleaning Method

This method works for glass and stainless steel pots, and it requires only vinegar and water. Vinegar has a low level of acid in it that works wonders for removing coffee pot stains. It’s probably the most popular way to clean coffee pot stains. It’s also a great way to clean your coffee maker if you leave water in it for too long.

Author Note: Fill the coffee pot with equal parts of vinegar and water to the tip. Let this combination sit for at least 20 minutes before rinsing. It also helps if you swirl your pot around carefully.

An optional step is to put your stainless steel pot on the stove and bring the mix to a boil, only if it’s safe. Next, rinse the pot with soap and water. Finally, leave it to air dry on a towel or simply hand dry it.

Lemon Juice Recipe

This cleaning method works wonders for glass and stainless steel pots, and it uses ingredients already in your kitchen. You’ll need 3 tablespoons of lemon juice, 3 tablespoons of salt, and 1 cup of crushed ice.

First, sprinkle the 3 tablespoons of salt on the inside of the pot and focus on the heavily smudged parts. Next, add the lemon juice. Finally, toss in the crushed ice and swirl, swirl, swirl.

The swirling motion will let the coarse salt grains and crushed ice cubes scrub away any stains, as the acid in the lemon juice will dissolve them completely. Let the pot air dry or wipe it with a towel.


For a squeaky clean pot: if you have any hard water stains, squeeze the lemon juice directly on the stains and let it sit for a couple of minutes. This should leave your coffee pot fresh and sparkling.

Baking Soda Method

This method is suitable for stainless steel and glass coffee pots.

You’ll need one cup of baking soda, water, and a sponge or a dish brush. Start by dashing the baking soda into the coffee pot. Then pour in enough water until the mixture turns into a paste.

Using a brush, scrub the inside of the pot with the paste you made to remove any hard stains around it. Next, pour out the mixture and rinse the pot with warm water. Let the pot air dry or just wipe it with a towel.


For an extra cleanse, you can leave the warm water in the pot for 30 minutes before rinsing, or you can use vinegar instead of water.

Dish Detergent

French press coffee

This is a good stain removal option for both glass and stainless steel pots if you have time to let them soak. You’ll need 1 tablespoon of dish detergent, boiling water, and a sponge.

While dish soap is a detergent, dish detergent isn’t necessarily soap (fatty acid salt). This method employs store-bought dish detergent for stain removal.

Start by boiling some water. Put a tablespoon of a dish detergent of your choice into the pot, then fill it with boiling water. Let it sit overnight.

Then the next day, add a dab of detergent to the sponge and gently scrub any stains left. They should come off easily. Finally, don’t forget to rinse the pot after you finish.

Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda

This stain removal recipe employs two potent ingredients for the toughest coffee stains. However, hydrogen peroxide is safe to be used on stainless steel and most nonporous surfaces like glass. You’ll need 2 tablespoons of baking soda, half a cup of hydrogen peroxide, and a dish brush or a sponge.

Start by adding the hydrogen peroxide and baking soda into your coffee pot. Swirl the mixture around the container, then leave it to soak for 30 minutes.

Use your dish brush or sponge to scrub away any rigid stains with a little elbow grease. To finish up, rinse your pot with soap and water and leave it to dry or rub it with a towel or cloth.

Extra tip: don’t forget to wear gloves to protect your hands from any hydrogen peroxide spills.

Denature Tablets

This method is terrific in removing hard and persistent stains from stainless steel coffee pots. But since glass is a nonporous material, it can also be cleaned with denature tabs. It’s one of the strongest ways to clean deep coffee pot stains.

The first step of this method is the most crucial, which is choosing the denture tablets. Make sure to choose dishwasher tablets (or powder as an alternative) that are environmentally friendly and not very concentrated or scented as it could be hard to remove that soapy smell from your coffee.

Author Note: Start by boiling some water. Place the dishwasher tab or powder inside the coffee pot, then pour in the boiling water until it’s filled to the tip. Let it sit for 30 minutes to work its magic.

If you’re using denature cleaning balls instead of dishwasher tabs, you can use 1 or 2 balls depending on the size of your coffee pot. Let them sit for at least an hour before you rinse the pot, as cleaning balls need more time to do their work.

Finally, swirl the pot around a couple of times, then pour out the liquid. Fill it with clean water and give it a couple more swirls, then rinse out and let it dry.


Add half a cup of hydrogen peroxide to the pot with the denature tabs for maximum cleaning effects.

Extra Pot Cleaning Tips

Morning coffee make from Moka pot on the morning vibe
  • Avoid using rough brushes or steel wool to scrub stainless steel pots to avoid scratches. Instead, use soft sponges or towels.
  • Try to avoid abrasive cleaners to prevent scratching the surface of your coffee pot.
  • Avoid chlorine-containing cleaners as they could ruin stainless steel.
  • Choose dish soaps or detergents that don’t have strong fragrances to avoid the soapy taste.

How to Avoid Soapy Taste in Your Coffee?

After fully removing all coffee stains from your coffee pot, this could leave your pot smelling a bit soapy, especially if you’ve used a detergent with a strong concentration or fragrance, which leads to distasteful coffee. So here’s the solution.

Run a little trial brew with any coffee sitting around in your cupboard that you don’t like, or maybe buy some cheap coffee for the task. After you brew the coffee, fill the pot with it and let it sit for a while. You can drink it or toss it away after. It’s your call!


It’s unfair that our coffee pots fall victim to our constant need for coffee. They build up ugly brown stains that used to take hours of vigorous scrubbing without apparent change. Through this guide, we’ve seen different methods to solve this problem. We hope you found this article useful when learning how to clean coffee pot stains.

Remember that the strengths of the methods vary. Some people choose a more powerful commercial detergent, while others like to avoid their chemical makeup and opt for a more natural homemade remedy. Stain removal is not only important for a gleamy looking pot but also for a well-sanitized container.

Stay caffeinated friends!

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