How To Clean A Stainless Steel Coffee Percolator

Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Coffee is well-known for its ability to stain. Because of this, a coffee pot can get pretty dirty with repeated use. Luckily, there are several different ways you can clean your stainless steel coffee percolator.

There are several different ways to clean out and remove stains from a coffee pot. Some of these methods are:

  • Baking soda
  • Cream of tartar
  • Vinegar

For stronger stains, you can mix baking soda and vinegar. To clean out your percolator basket, you can either do a basic cleaning or a deep cleaning.

A stainless steel coffee percolator and a cup of coffee on the table, How To Clean A Stainless Steel Coffee Percolator

Now that you have a basic overview of the methods you can use to clean out your percolator pot, continue reading to discover exactly how to use these methods and remove stains.

Cleaning Your Pot

There are two main parts of a coffee percolator pot. These parts are the pot and the percolator basket. This section will go over how to clean the pot part of your percolator.

Method 1: Baking Soda

Baking soda on the wooden background

For this method, all you need is a bit of baking soda and some water. You start by adding 2-3 tablespoons of baking soda and then running your percolator through a cycle.

Once it is done, let it cool down completely and scrub the pot with something like a nonabrasive dishcloth. If you can't get the stains off, you can try using a plastic scrub brush. However, be careful using this, and only use it as a last resort because it may scratch stainless steel.

After you scrub it, rinse your pot thoroughly.

Method 2: Cream Of Tartar

Cream of tartar spilled from a teaspoon

This method follows the same pattern as above, except you will use 2-3 teaspoons of cream of tartar. Fill your pot with water and add the cream of tartar. Then follow the same steps as above.

Method 3: Vinegar

For this method, you will need vinegar and water.  In a bowl, mix vinegar and water in a 1:1 ratio. Next, fill your percolator with the mixture and allow your machine to run.

To make sure you don't burn yourself, allow the machine to cool completely, and then pour it down the drain. Next, make more of the vinegar and water mixture, and repeat the steps above two more times.

Next, fill your machine with plain water and run it to rinse out the vinegar one more time.

Method 4: Baking Soda and Vinegar

For a more powerful stain remover, add half a cup of baking soda into your pot. Next, pour white vinegar into the pot until it starts to react by bubbling up. After that, cover your pot and shake it gently for a couple of minutes.

After doing that, make sure you wash your pot thoroughly. Check and make sure your stain was removed.

Cleaning Your Basket

Once your pot is stain-free, you will want to clean your percolator basket. You can do this with either a light cleaning or a deeper cleaning.

Method 1: Light Cleaning

Before cleaning your pot, you should always make sure it is completely cooled down, unplugged, and empty of any liquids. This will ensure you get through the process without burns or unnecessary spills.

Fill a separate bowl with about one quart of hot water and add two tablespoons of liquid dish soap. Mix the soap thoroughly into the water and bring the mixture to the place you plan to clean your basket.

First, you need to remove your percolator's lid and make sure you throw out any old coffee grounds. Take out the basket and wipe it with a soapy washcloth. Wipe down the other internal parts of the machine, provided your manufacturer allows it.

After cleansing, rinse the basket under hot water and dry thoroughly. Then, you can put the machine back together.

Method 2: Deep Cleaning

If you haven't cleaned your basket in a while or are particularly filthy, you will want to do a deep cleaning. To deep clean, you will need water and white vinegar.

As always, make sure your machine is unplugged, cooled off completely, and empty. Once it is ready to be cleaned, start by filling it halfway with cold water. Use white vinegar to fill it up the rest of the way, or consult your manufacturer's deep cleaning instructions.

After filling it, put your basket back into the machine and run it like you normally would when making coffee. After the cycle is finished, you will need to give the vinegar a bit of time to do its stain-removing magic. This takes about 15 minutes once it is finished percolating.

Once the 15 minutes is up, make sure the pot is cooled down completely, dump out the liquid, and rinse your pot thoroughly. Use mild dish soap to wash the basket and other internal parts of the machine, being sure not to combine vinegar and the dish soap.

How Do You Get Coffee Stains Out Of A Stainless Steel Coffee Percolator?

In addition to the methods described above, there are quite a few ways to remove stains from a stainless steel coffee percolator effectively. You can use a dishwasher pod, baking soda and hydrogen peroxide, vinegar and salt, and cookware cleaning pods.

Dishwasher Pod

Use a tea kettle to boil water and add the dishwasher pod to the boiling water. Put your coffee pot in the sink and use the water in the kettle to fill your coffee pot.

Let this sit in your pot for half an hour, and then wash the pot, being careful not to burn yourself.

Baking Soda And Hydrogen Peroxide

First, put 1 cup of baking soda in your pot and fill the pot with hot water. Scrub the pot. If the stain is still there after doing that, you can put a half cup of hydrogen peroxide and two tablespoons of baking soda in your pot.

Mix the mixture and let it sit for half an hour. After the half-hour, empty your pot and fill it with hot water before rinsing it.

Vinegar And Salt

Another easy method for stain removal is to put six ice cubes into your coffee pot, along with half a cup of white vinegar and 1/8 of a cup of table salt. Mix it in your pot until either the ice is melted or the stain is gone.

As with any method, be sure to wash the pot afterward.

Cookware Pods

All you need for this method is a cookware or bakeware cleaning pod and hot water, plus something to scrub the pot. Put the pod into your pot and fill it with hot water, then use some kind of kitchen utensil to swirl the pod in the water until it dissolves.

Once it is completely dissolved, let it sit for at least 5 minutes, all the way up to 10 minutes. Then wash your pot, and the stain should be gone.

Does Vinegar Remove Coffee Stains?

White vinegar in a glass bottle

As you can see from the methods above, white distilled vinegar is excellent for removing stains. It isn't just for use in your coffee pot either! You can use a mixture of vinegar and water, vinegar and baking soda, and a mixture of vinegar and salt to remove coffee stains from other items too.

These items include, but are not limited to, carpet, clothing, upholstery, and wooden furniture. LittleCoffeePlace has a great article that explains how you can use vinegar for coffee stain removal in these situations.

How Do You Clean A Burnt Coffee Percolator?

To clean out a burn coffee percolator, you will need salt, ice, and water. First, make sure your pot is completely cooled down to avoid burns.

Once it is cooled down, clean the pot to remove any debris that may interfere with removing the burns. Then, add 1/2 a cup of table salt to your pot and fill it half full with crushed ice. Add 1 cup of water to this mixture.

Once you have added your cleaning agents into the pot, you are going to mix the pot. While you do this, the water will get browner and darker. When it gets dark, dump the pot out and repeat the steps above.

Do this until you have removed the stain enough for your satisfaction. Then wash your pot like normal.

You can also make a paste with baking soda and water or vinegar and scrub the inside of your pot.

Outside Of The Percolator

To clean scorch marks off the outside of your machine, you can scrub the surface with a nylon scrub brush and dish soap. You can also use Bar Keeper's Friend or baking soda to add to your scrub brush.

For more severe scorch marks, add some distilled vinegar to your scrubbing tool. Keep in mind it may take time and a lot of effort to remove stains.

Do You Use A Filter In A Percolator?

Percolators typically have a built-in filter basket that doesn't require a paper filter. However, sometimes the grounds can make it through this filter and find their way into your brew.

Some people prefer to have their coffee unfiltered, which is one of the benefits of having a percolator. However, if you want to use a filter with your percolator, you can. Filters filter out heavy coffee oils and other less desirable components in coffee. As a result, using a paper filter will make your coffee smoother, brighter, and sweeter.

If you would like to try your coffee filtered, these Melitta disc filters are highly recommended. Click here to see them on Amazon.

Closing Thoughts

There are a lot of ways to clean and remove stains from stainless steel percolators. Many of these methods include vinegar, baking soda, salt, and dish soap.

If you liked this article, click the links below to check out other excellent posts on this blog.

How To Use A Campfire Coffee Percolator

How Do You Clean the Inside Of A Percolator?

Leave a Reply