Random tip: Cleaning a French Press


Cleaned French Press!
Cleaned French Press!


On a more positive note than I normally tend towards, I thought I’d post up a quick tip about cleaning stained French Press gauzes, as shown in the photo above…

I’ll admit I’m not always the quickest at getting things like washing-up done, so occasionally my coffee-making paraphenalia can start to become a micro-biosphere.  This sometimes leads to thick deposits left behind on the filter gauze that is resistant to all known forms of scrubbing or cleaning agents.

Except biology.

Sometime between walking my wife to her train this morning and returning to our flat to get ready for the rest of my day, I had a brainwave.  Coffee is a biological product, right?  And okay, whatever grew in the pot is also biological, right?  So why not use some kind of biological agent to break down the stains?

Now where would I find a (near) free source of suitable enzymes?  When I loaded the washing machine I hit upon the answer – we use biological washing tablets for laundry – perfect!

With that idea fresh in my mind, here’s what I did:

  • Put some warm (<40 degrees Centigrade) water into the press, measured by being warm to the touch.
  • Drop one biological washing tablet into the water.
  • Allow tablet to dissolve, then stir the solution.
  • Insert the plunger, so that it sits submerged halfway between the water surface and the bottom of the press.
  • Leave for 15mins.
  • Pull plunger up and down a few times.
  • Leave for 15mins.
  • Stand the French Press in the sink, then fill the sink with enough warm water (as used for the solution) to match the top level of the solution in the french press.  This sets up a warm water bath, and helps maintain the bio-active solution at a good working temperature.
  • Leave to stand for the day while we are at work.
  • On returning home, pull plunger up and down a few times, empty the solution from the French Press and rinse with clean water.

PRESTO!  One restored French Press, that uh… now smells a bit like our clean laundry.

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