How to Clean a Stainless Steel Coffee Pot

How to clean a stainless steel coffee pot

My husband makes the coffee in our house (and cooks our meals – he’s a winner, I tell ya!). The thing is, my husband also thinks that “rinsed” is the same as “clean” when it comes to the coffee pot. The severe coffee stains that build up on the bottom of our stainless steel coffee pot say otherwise!

Because I’m not always the one washing our coffee pot before my husband preps the next morning’s brew, I discovered a scrub-free, passive and easy way to completely remove those pesky coffee stains that inevitably build up on the bottom of the pot! 

How to Clean a Stainless Steel Coffee Pot with Dishwasher Detergent

I love a natural, DIY cleaning recipe as much as the next person – so much so, that I have written hundreds of posts and articles proselytizing low waste, natural cleaning techniques! The thing is, you can remove stains from your stainless steel coffee pot without ANY elbow grease using a non-toxic version of a commercial cleaning product you likely already own in your house: dishwasher detergent.

How to clean stainless steel coffee pot stains with a dishwasher pod


  • Dishwasher tablet or ¼ c dishwashing powder detergent
  • Boiling hot water


  1. Boil water on your stovetop in a kettle
  2. Add the dishwasher tablet or dishwashing powder to your stainless steel coffee pot
  3. Pour boiling water until the coffee pot is full to the brim
  4. Wait 30 minutes or so, then pour out the warm liquid
  5. Be amazed by the results

ZERO scrubbing required! 

How to Clean a Stainless Steel Coffee Pot with Natural Ingredients

Before you grab the dishwashing detergent, you may want to first try a few gentler solutions using more natural ingredients. Below are a few techniques worth trying depending on the severity of your coffee pot stains. One thing to note is that all will require a bit more elbow grease than the dishwashing detergent method!

Baking Soda

Sometimes when the stains aren’t too dramatic, all you need is a little extra abrasive scrubbing power from baking soda.

How to clean a stainless steel coffee with baking soda


  • Baking Soda
  • Hydrogen Peroxide (optional)


  1. Coat the interior of your stainless steel coffee pot with a layer of baking soda
  2. Use a stiff bristled bottle brush or similar scrub brush to scrub away coffee stains
  3. Rinse clean with warm water
  4. If stains persist, you can repeat but add a small amount (¼ cup) of hydrogen peroxide to the coffee pot before scrubbing
  5. Let it sit for a few minutes (up to 30 minutes) before rinsing clean again with warm water

Ice Cubes, Salt, and Vinegar

This is a trick that works especially well for removing stains from glass coffee pots, but also can work well in stainless steel.

How to clean a stainless steel coffee pot with ice cubes, salt, and vinegar


  • 5-6 ice cubes
  • ½ c white vinegar
  • ⅛ c salt


  1. Combine all ingredients inside of your coffee pot and swirl
  2. Repeat the swirling motion for several minutes or until you see stains start to lift
  3. Rinse and repeat as necessary

Boiling Vinegar

I have also used this solution with success when cleaning burnt stainless steel pots and pans. The process is fairly simple and all you need is white vinegar to attempt it!

How to clean a stainless steel coffee pot with vinegar


  • 4 oz white vinegar
  • Boiling water


  1. Fill pot halfway with boiling water then add the vinegar
  2. Allow to sit until cool
  3. Scrub your coffee pot with a dish brush then pour out the liquid
  4. Repeat as necessary

The Best Everyday Coffee Pot Cleaning Tool

Now that the toughest stains are gone, you’re going to want to keep your coffee pot looking clean and as good as new. It’s a good idea to arm yourself with the best tools for the job!

The design of most coffee pots and carafes involves a wide base that narrows upward toward a small opening at the top. This design is intended to keep liquid warmer for longer, but it certainly doesn’t make for an easy cleaning job.

Bottle Brush

A stiff-bristled bottle brush is my favorite option for a coffee pot cleaning tool. What’s great is you can easily find options made with eco-friendly, compostable materials like wood and tampico fiber or natural horsehair bristles. 

Tongs and a Scrubbing Sponge

Don’t own a bottle brush and aren’t ready to invest? Alternatively, you can make due with your regular kitchen sponge (although, I recommend considering a cleaner, more sustainable sponge alternative) and a pair of tongs. 

Squish the sponge into your coffee pot and use the tongs to direct the scrubbing. Once you’re finished cleaning, use the tongs once again to pull the sponge out from the pot!

Learn how to clean a stainless steel coffee pot without any scrubbing or elbow grease using a  product you already have in your kitchen.

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