Do you suddenly notice a change in the taste of your coffee? Does it taste off, but you can’t figure out what has happened? Are you one of those people who just rinse out their Chemex after using it?

You have not been cleaning your Chemex the right way. I will be showing you 5 ways to clean your Chemex when using any of these methods I have listed below; you will get a squeaky clean Chemex again. Guarantied.

Explaining the details of the ways to clean a Chemex

I will go over 5 ways to clean your Chemex. I have put all 5 of them among each other.
Starting with the natural way, I will continue to explain how you can also clean your Chemex using vinegar, ice, soap, and putting it in the dishwasher.

At the end of explaining how to clean your Chemex, I will also show you a good way to dry your Chemex, which you can use after using any of the 5 ways to get a nice finishing result.

The natural way of cleaning your Chemex, using water and salt

The first way of cleaning your Chemex is also the easiest. You are going to need water and salt to try this technique out yourself. I will call this the natural way of cleaning your Chemex, as it doesn’t involve any chemicals.

To successfully remove any unwanted coffee stains and oil build-ups in your Chemex, you want to make sure you use enough salt to clean your Chemex properly.

I use 20 grams of salt to 500 grams of water to clean my Chemex using the natural way.

So let’s get started. The first thing you want to do is choose between cold tap water or boiled water.

If you are going to use cold water, you can leave this mixture to dissolve overnight. Just take 5 minutes before heading off to bed to prepare this salt and water mixture and leave it in the Chemex overnight to clean itself properly.

When using the cold water method, you want to fill the Chemex until the neck of the Chemex. When the inside of your Chemex is filled with water, the salt will slowly start to eat up all the oil build-up that is on the inside of your Chemex.

Chemex filled with water

When you wake up, make sure to throw out the water that sat in your Chemex all night. Rinse your Chemex thoroughly to make sure that there is no more salt in there.

Have you made delicious pour-over coffee the day before but forgot to clean your Chemex? And now you’ve got friends or family coming over; use the boiled water and salt method.

First things first, boil the water and weigh out the salt. You want to use 500 grams of water and 20 grams of salt for this method.

Make sure not to use much more water than the 500 grams because you will swirl your Chemex around. Adding too much water to it will just leave a big mess.

Add the salt to your Chemex and add the boiled water. Swirl your water/ salt mixture for at least 5 minutes to remove all the coffee stains out of your Chemex. Throw out the salt and water mixture and rinse thoroughly with fresh water.

Clean a Chemex, swirling around

When you come across some stubborn stains or oil building up for a few weeks, you might want to try another method to remove all stains and nasty build-up fully.

Using vinegar to clean your Chemex

For this method, you can use any vinegar you want and cold tap water. You will also need a long cleaning brush.

Here are some examples of vinegar you can buy at your local store. You can use white wine vinegar or just your regular distilled white vinegar. These kinds of vinegar have a good acidic level and will clean your Chemex nice and easy.

You will be using the same swirling technique as the natural way. I found out that using 50 ml of vinegar and 500 grams of water works best for a clean looking end-result on your Chemex.

Follow the steps below to clean your Chemex using vinegar and water:

Swirl around the mixture for about 2 minutes.

After swirling the mixture around, grab a soft brush that will fit into your Chemex. You can use any brand you like. Just make sure it’s not made of any metal, as you will likely destroy your Chemex when handling the cleaning brush the incorrect way.

Chemex with brush inside for cleaning the edges

You are now ready to give your Chemex a proper rinse, to get out all the vinegar mixture. Rinse it multiple times, throwing out the “dirty” water after each rinse.

Cleaning your Chemex with ice

If you plan on using the cleaning methods using ice, make sure you use a high-quality Chemex. The Chemex will get pretty cold from the ice. If you are using a lesser quality Chemex, you might break the glass. You want to avoid this.

To start with this technique of cleaning your Chemex, you want to make sure you have enough ice in your freezer. You can either use crushed ice if you have that on hand or ice cubes. Store-bought or home-made will work great either way.

I will be using the ice cubes you make with the plastic bags at home, making round-shaped ice cubes. The shape of the ice cubes won’t matter as much, but remember, the smaller the cubes, the better they will properly touch the sides of your Chemex. Which will result in a better cleanse of your Chemex.

Ice cubes

You will need ice cubes, a little bit of salt, and a splash of water for this method. Follow the next steps described down here to clean your Chemex using ice properly!

The first thing you want to do is add about 20 ice cubes to your Chemex; you should fill it to about half the way up with ice cubes.

Next up is adding a little salt (about 5 grams). This will keep the ice frozen longer because the salt will let the ice cubes stick together; the more ice cubes are stuck to each other, the colder the temperature will be.

Add just a little bit of water to properly let the ice cubes swirl through your Chemex.

Continue swirling your Chemex for 2 minutes. If your Chemex has a lot of stains, you might want to add 2 minutes to this. You will see immediate results, so you will know when you need to swirl on for a bit longer.

Chemex with ice cubes in it

Throw out the ice cubes and rinse with fresh water. You are now left with clean Chemex. If your Chemex has not cleaned itself up nicely, you might want to consider cleaning it once again, using the same technique.

Using soap and water to thoroughly clean your Chemex

While this is probably the most commonly used way of cleaning the Chemex, I will still cover it here. You will need mild dish soap, a long brush made of wood or plastic, and warm tap water.

I try cleaning my Chemex every week because it’s a fast way of cleaning my Chemex, making it ready for my next use. If you use your Chemex more often than I do (which is around three times a week), you might want to clean it a bit more often.

This is how the method works best:

Remove the Chemex’s wood collar; removing the collar will make sure it doesn’t get wet and will keep its color and shape for a long period to come.

Add a little dish soap to the inside of your Chemex.

Tap some warm water, as hot as possible. You don’t need this water to be boiling, no need to start boiling water for this technique.

Really get in the edges and all the corners of the Chemex. Also, make sure to include the top part of your Chemex and the pouring spout as well. As you use it, this part tends to get a bit messier than the Chemex inside, where the clean coffee is stored.

Chemex with water and soap inside

You can now rinse off your Chemex with lukewarm water and let it dry. Do you want to know how to dry your Chemex the right way? Read along.

Putting your Chemex in the dishwasher

You can also use your dishwasher if you want the easiest way of cleaning your Chemex. The Chemex is dishwasher safe, so you won’t have to worry about anything happening to your Chemex.

Follow the next steps to prepare your Chemex for its dishwasher journey:

If you’ve got a Chemex like me, with a wooden collar on it, then make sure to remove it before putting it in the dishwasher. Simple untie the little tie in the collar and remove it entirely. This way, you can enjoy your Chemex longer, as this will expand its lifetime significantly.

When you own any other Chemex, like full glass Chemex, you can safely put them in the dishwasher as well. You don’t have to remove anything from the Chemex, as there is nothing there to remove.

Now simply let the dishwasher do its work. Once the dishwasher has done its thing, you can put your Chemex together like this:

Add the wooden side panels back on each side of your Chemex.

Next up is putting the leather string back on the Chemex; you want to secure the knot tightly around the Chemex, as this will help with the grip when pouring out your coffee.

You now have a very clean Chemex, letting the dishwasher do your cleaning work, which can come in handy sometimes.

How to dry your Chemex the right way, so it appears even cleaner

When you’ve cleaned your Chemex, you want to make sure it dries up very well before using it for making your next cup of joe.

While the Chemex is still hot and steamy, from the dishwasher or using the soapy way of cleaning the Chemex, you want to make sure it dries properly. Here’s how.

I will be using paper towels to dry my Chemex with. This is the easiest way because you can throw the paper towel out when the Chemex has fully dried.

You can also use a kitchen towel if this works better for you. Just make sure it’s not too wet from drying off your other kitchen utensils.

Lay down a piece of paper towel and fold the edge up, creating a little height difference on one side of the towel. While doing so, you are creating a better airflow for your Chemex. This way, fresh air can get in more easily and it will dry up faster and cleaner.

Chemex on the edge of a folded up paper towel

Let the Chemex dry for the next few hours. Alternatively, you can polish the outside and inside of your Chemex with a dishcloth.

This way, you can show off your Chemex to your friends and family. It will look extra good when you have it hanging around in your kitchen, waiting to prepare some more coffee for you.


So, there you have it. You now have all the information you need to get a fresh and brand new-looking Chemex at home.

I have covered multiple ways to clean your Chemex at home. You can now clean your Chemex using various techniques. You can try using any one of the techniques I have described. You will enjoy your coffee even more while brewing with a clean Chemex.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Chemex, you can check out the articles listed below. I’ve listed a mix of articles that may be of interest to you.

Will you try one of these cleaning techniques? Let me know by leaving a comment down below. If you have any other questions regarding coffee, you can also contact me directly by pressing the “Contact Me” button at the top!

More Chemex articles

Write A Comment

Pin It