How to Clean a Burnt Coffee Pot: Step by Step Guide

cleaning coffee pot guide

How to Clean a Burnt Coffee Pot: Step by Step Guide

Table of Contents

The office coffee pot is the one thing no one wants to clean – but someone has to before the coffee taste becomes prehistoric with burnt rings of old coffee infusing every pot. When a coffee pot sits on the burner too long with just a little left in the bottom, it becomes something terrifying that seems nearly impossible to clean. That burnt ring will remain there in remnant, sometimes for years –  so long that you feel it’s become the team flavour.

But really, anyone can successfully clean a burnt coffee pot, and without breaking a nail on scrubbing. The trick is in the salt or borax powder. Here’ your handy step-by-step guide to removing the burnt crud from the bottom of your office coffee pot.


Cleaning Supplies

  • Table Salt or Borax Crystals
  • Crushed Ice
  • Cold Water
  • Lemon Juice
  • Dish soap, sponge, and sink


1. Let the Coffee Pot Cool

First, let your coffee pot cool. This is a cold cleaning maneuver, and you never add cold water to a hot glass coffee pot. If you are tired of your coffee pot and want to see it crack instantly, add a little ice water to an empty pot fresh off the burner. Otherwise, let it cool on a trivet or in an empty sink, first.


2. Dump and Rinse with Water

Clear out any old coffee and give it a rinse. Many people take this opportunity to let the coffee pot have a few minutes of hot soaking. A rinse removes the dried-on crud on the surface. Hot soaking softens the top layer of a burnt-on mess with each soak. So a few minutes of hot soaking can make your job easier as you prepare for the scrub.

Rinse and swirl the pot. Then fill the pot with a few inches of hot water from the tap and let it sit for 2-10 minutes. Rinse and swirl again.


3. Fill with Salt, Ice, and Lemon

With the coffee pot cool and rinsed, add half a cup of salt or borax powder. This will act as your scrubbing agent, like barkeeper’s friend on a countertop. In fact, the right scrubbing powder can save your hands and elbows from having to scrub manually.

On the salt, add enough crushed ice and cold water to cover, and a tablespoon or half-lemon squeeze of lemon juice. The lemon juice is lightly acidic and will aid in breaking down the burnt coffee.


4. Swirl and Shake Vigorously

Take hold of your coffee pot and swirl vigorously. Experiment with changing the direction and velocity. Shake, slosh, and reverse-swirl the salt inside the pot. Think of how your hand movements are moving the mass of scrubbing salt and how the water is providing the sloshing force against the burnt coffee particles. Shake to scrub the bottom of the coffee pot.

With a glass pot, you can look upward through the bottom to see where the coffee residue is thinning and focus your shaking on clearing the thins sections or thinning the still-heavy sections.


5. Rinse, Fill, Shake, Repeat

If the water becomes to opaque with removed coffee, good job! Dump the whole lot and start over with new salt, lemon, and ice water. Shake and swirl until you pick up more coffee off the bottom and the water goes cloudy. Repeat as needed until all or most of the coffee is removed from the bottom (and sides) of the pot.


6. Grit-Detail the Pot By Hand

If there’s just a bit of coffee you can’t shake away with salt, you may need to go in by hand. Lay down a quarter-inch inch of very hot water and then coat the scrub-side of your sponge or cloth with scrubbing powder – salt, borax, or baking soda paste are all good candidates. Then scrub the last of the residue directly with hot water and scrubbing paste on your sponge. The grit-detail will reduce the amount of physical effort it will take to lift the coffee from the glass or metal pot.


7. Wash the Coffee Pot Normally & Rinse Excessively

When the residue is finally gone, you can wash your coffee pot normally, then rinse excessively. Wipe down with a soapy cloth or clean sponge to hit every surface with soapy water. Then rinse very thoroughly. Most importantly, you want to remove all of the salt or scrubbing crystals you used to remove the coffee grit, and any last traces of coffee particles removed from the pot. Thorough rinsing is the key to completing this cleaning task.


8. Make a Test-Cup of Coffee

Finally, make yourself a pot of coffee and pour a test cup. Make sure it tastes right and that there is no grit left between the pot and the burner. WIth these techniques, every pot of coffee will be fresher, without that lingering burnt flavoir. Cleaning a freshly burnt ring – just one layer of burnt coffee, will be a snap, so there’s no need to ever tolerate scorched coffee taste ever again.

Contact us today for more great office cleaning hacks and step-by-step guides, or to schedule professional cleaning services for your London area business.

Regional Services

Regional Services

Regional Services are an experienced commercial and office cleaning company based in London. Regional Services are an award winning and fully accredited cleaning company who provide a full range of facility management services and expertise including cleaning, maintenance, waste removal, pest control, gardening and more.


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