Many coffee enthusiasts agree that a Chemex coffee maker brews the best coffee. It produces coffee that is strong and bold in flavor. As a plus, the Chemex has a stylish glass design that is brilliant for display on your kitchen counter.
The chief concern that many people have with Chemex is that it can be pretty hard to clean. It is shaped like an hourglass, and the cinching in the middle makes it difficult to reach some of the inner parts of the carafe.
You can clean the Chemex with warm water after every brew; however, some buildup can occur over time. The coffee might leave an oily residue, and water spots may start to build up in the carafe. These factors may seem moot; however, they can greatly impact the flavor of your coffee.
I recommend deep cleaning your Chemex to prevent the buildup. If you are wondering how to do it efficiently, don’t fret. In this article, I’ll give you the ultimate guide to cleaning your Chemex so that you may keep brewing delicious coffee every day.
How Often Should You Wash Your Chemex?
I recommend washing your Chemex with soap and hot water after every use to prevent the buildup of unhealthy bacteria. On the downside, washing with soap all the time may leave your carafe with a soapy smell. Hence, you have to rinse it thoroughly many times to remove the smell completely.
If you want to save some time and energy, quickly rinse the carafe with hot water after every batch of coffee you brew. Remove the filter and handle, then run the Chemex under warm water. Swirling warm water in your carafe will keep a film of coffee from building up, keeping your coffee maker looking clean.
Even though the swirling is effective, you should still wash your Chemex with soap and water at least once a week.
Do I Need To Use Soap To Wash A Chemex?
While it isn’t required, dish soap is an easy and effective product for cleaning a Chemex. When combined with a good brush and some water, soap can easily get rid of all residual oils and minerals in the carafe without the risk of leaving an aftertaste in your coffee. Just remember to rinse the carafe thoroughly after washing with dish soap.
If you are still indifferent to soap, you can use distilled white vinegar as an alternative. Distilled white vinegar provides you with a cheap, easy, and effective way to clean your coffee maker.
To use this method, pour equal amounts of water and vinegar into the carafe, then let the solution sit. Leaving it for a while will give the solution enough time to break down the residues.
Using vinegar to clean your Chemex works efficiently. Unfortunately, vinegar has a strong smell and taste that might alter the taste of your coffee. Because of this, I recommend rinsing the carafe again with soap and water after cleaning with vinegar.
Is It Safe to Machine Wash A Chemex?
Yes, it is safe to wash your Chemex coffee maker in a machine. However, you should be careful when loading your Chemex into the dishwasher because the Chemex carafe is made of fragile glass that could easily break if handled incorrectly.
Before loading your Chemex into the dishwasher, remove the wooden collar and leather tie. Next, place the carafe upside down in the machine. Ensure to keep an adequate distance between your Chemex and other items to prevent them from knocking against each other.
How to Clean a Chemex.
Follow the steps below to ensure that you clean your Chemex properly.
Step 1: Let the Chemex cool.
After finishing the coffee, dump the filter together with the grounds, then leave the carafe to cool. The Chemex carafe is made of fragile glass; hence, running it under cold water immediately after brewing will cause a sudden temperature change that may cause the carafe to crack.
Step 2: Disassemble the Chemex
Once your carafe cools down, remove the wooden collar and leather tie before wetting the outside of the carafe. Removing the two components will protect them against water damage.
Step 3: Scrub with soap and water.
Scrub the exterior of the carafe with dish soap and water. Be extra careful not to miss spots on the aperture that holds the handle because some stains and deposits start building up from there.
Step 4: Soak with vinegar solution.
To clean the inside of your Chemex, use a water-vinegar solution. Fill up the carafe with the solution, then let it sit for a few hours for a deep clean.
Step 5: Scrub the inside
After soaking, pour out the water-vinegar solution. Next, scrub the carafe with a bottle brush that can reach all the parts inside.
Step 6: Rinse, then dry
Rinse your Chemex with soap and water to remove the strong smell and taste of vinegar. Finally, you should dry the carafe upside down with one side propped up for sufficient airflow.
Cleaning Your Chemex without Vinegar.
Vinegar is considered to be the golden product when it comes to cleaning Chemex. However, sometimes the smell of vinegar can be too much to stand. If you’re concerned about vinegar altering the taste of your coffee, don’t worry, we got you!
Below are other household items that you can use to clean your Chemex. They are the perfect alternatives for vinegar.
Using baking soda
Baking soda is an affordable kitchen staple. It is non-toxic, and its alkaline properties make it a good cleaner for your Chemex.
First, add three tablespoons of baking soda into the carafe, then add some water. Stop halfway to give your Chemex a swirl to ensure all the baking soda dissolves, then fill the carafe to the brim. Let the solution sit for 1-2 hours or as long as you can to give it time to remove the buildup. Finally, give your Chemex a rinse, then prop it up to dry.
Using lemon juice
Lemon juice is acidic and has similar cleaning properties to vinegar. On top of that, they smell better than vinegar, and they won’t alter the taste of your coffee.
To use this method, first, squeeze some lemon juice into the carafe, then dilute it with some water. Swirl the mixture around, let it sit for a few hours to remove build-up, then rinse the carafe with a lot of water.
Even though lemon juice works well, there is a disadvantage. You will have to use many lemons to get enough juice to clean your Chemex.
Using denture tablets.
You can also utilize denture tablets to clean the inside of your Chemex carafe. You simply fill the carafe with warm water, then drop in a denture tablet. Let it sit for 20-30 minutes, pour the water out before rinsing the carafe thoroughly with tap water.
It might seem odd, but denture tablets work miracles when it comes to cleaning Chemex. They contain Sodium bicarbonate which has antibacterial and alkaline properties that remove coffee buildup and kill germs. Along with its fizzing properties, using denture tablets to clean your Chemex is like scrubbing the carafe on a micro-level.
Washing your Chemex properly and regularly will ensure that you brew delicious coffee every day. While the coffee maker won’t need a deep clean daily, coffee residues will build up after some time.
I advise you to do a deep cleaning at least once a week to keep your morning brew tasting its best.