The great debate about whether or not to rinse paper coffee filters before use seems to have no end in sight. Some people believe that rinsing a coffee filter removes some of the paper flavors or eliminates paper taste.

Yet others say this is ridiculous and that it doesn’t make a difference either way.

Quick Answer: Should you rinse coffee filters?

You should rinse coffee filters before use to remove odors and unwanted oils. You’ll simultaneously preheat the coffee brewer, and it’ll yield a better extraction.

Should You Rinse Paper Coffee Filters Before Use? (Important)

This article will discuss the issue of whether or not it is a good idea to rinse a coffee filter before you use it in your coffee machine.

Should you rinse paper coffee filters?

Most people ask, when starting to home-brew coffee if they should rinse their paper coffee filter before brewing.

I recommend always rinsing the coffee filter with off-the-boil water before adding ground coffee to it and starting the brewing process.

If you don’t rinse your filter, you may be adding unwanted residue and flavor to your final cup of coffee.

Below, I’ve listed three reasons why it’s best to rinse your paper coffee filter before use.

Three reasons why you should rinse your paper coffee filters

Paper coffee filters are made from absorbent paper. This material is designed to soak up liquids such as water and oils.

Below, I’ve listed three reasons why I recommend rinsing your paper coffee filters. Let’s get into it:

1. Removing odors and unwanted oils

Coffee filters are designed to filter out any unwanted oils and odors from the coffee beans.

The coffee filters make for a cleaner-tasting cup of coffee compared to a cup of coffee made with a French press, for example.

However, the coffee filter you’re using also has a slight smell to it, which will transfer into your coffee if you’re not rinsing it.

I’ve tested many coffee filters over the years, and all of them have a bit of a papery or even carton smell to them.

Hario V60 rinsed coffee filter.

This is especially noticeable when rinsing it. You can also try this at home. While rinsing the coffee filter, hang it above the filter, and you’ll get that papery smell, which isn’t enjoyable.

But when rinsing the coffee filter before use, you’ll remove it with the hot water that’s running through.

After you’ve rinsed it, you can throw the water away, and you can begin brewing a delicious cup of coffee without the addition of unwanted flavors.

2. Preheating the coffee brewer

Another great reason to rinse your coffee filter is that you’ll preheat the coffee brewer.

This is especially true for the Chemex and a Hario V60 with the server attached.

The hot water that you run through the coffee filter will heat up your cold brewer.

I always swirl the water before throwing it out, so I know that the glass has been heated slightly all around.

"Wetted Chemex filter."

Hot coffee should always be served hot, and this slight preheating of the coffee brewer ensures that you’ll always serve hot coffee, even after you’ve brewed the coffee.

The best part about this technique is that you can keep your coffee warm until you’re ready for a refill.

You won’t have to make another batch, as the preheated brewer will have kept your coffee warm enough.

3. Better extraction

The third and final reason for rinsing your coffee filter is because it will make for a better extraction.

Coffee filters, when wetted, will stick to the sides of the coffee brewer better, creating a seal around the edges of the coffee brewer.

Take the Hario V60, for example; it has these ridges that run through the coffee brewer:

Hario V60 coffee brewer.

If the coffee filter is rinsed, it’ll stick to the edges better, creating a better flow for the water to run through, ultimately making a better and faster brew.

This is also true for the Chemex. When I started brewing coffee, I found myself struggling with the thick filter that the Chemex uses.

The filter always had a few folds, which obstructed the water from flowing through naturally, increasing the brewing time.

And because the brewing time was longer than I wanted, the coffee was over-extracted.

This is why the filters sticking to the sides are the best way to go and will make for better-tasting coffee!

Which coffee filters should you rinse?

I suggest rinsing all the coffee filters you use at home; this includes the filters of the Chemex, Hario V60, and AeroPress.

Only the paper coffee filters have to be rinsed because these can leave that papery taste in your coffee.

If you’re using metal coffee filters for any coffee brewer I’ve mentioned, you can still rinse it, but this is more to preheat the coffee brewer.

I always rinse the Hario V60 and Chemex filters before brewing coffee with them, but sometimes, I forget to rinse the AeroPress filter.

The small filter of the AeroPress is less papery than the Chemex filters, and because the coffee has less time in contact with the filter, you can get away without rinsing the coffee filters beforehand.

AeroPress coffee filter.

Now, I still recommend rinsing all of your paper coffee filters because it’ll leave you with a better-tasting cup of coffee, but the AeroPress is a bit more forgiving because you’ll most likely make more robust coffee with it.

So, the papery taste of the filter will be less present in your cup of coffee. I suggest trying it at home so you can taste it and see if there’s a difference. It’s a really fun experiment to do.


Paper coffee filters are a great invention. The coffee can taste so different when using a coffee filter compared to not using one.

Today, I’ve discussed why it’s important to rinse your paper coffee filters before brewing coffee with them.

You’re now one step closer to making that perfect cup of coffee at home time and again!

I’ve listed a few coffee recipes below that are great to try out if you’re interested in brewing a nice cup of coffee.

Do you rinse your coffee filters? 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!

Coffee recipes to try


  1. Deidre Hemmingway Reply

    Rinsing your paper filter makes so much difference in the taste of your coffee. Thank you for sharing that with others!

    • Picture of Jeffrey, Author at Your Dream Coffee

      Hey Deidre,

      Rinsing your paper coffee filters indeed makes a big difference in taste; I’m glad you liked the article!


  2. Ron Degler Reply

    Many people will not get, or take the time to experience, the difference of rinsing their coffee filter. That’s ok, their just drinking coffee to wake up, not really for the enjoyment of the best flavors possible of a finer cup of coffee. The same people will not weigh their coffee, or the water, for the best recipe possible in their cup.
    Just my humble opinion. Thank you Jeffrey, for the article to remind us, how to make better tasting and more flavorful coffee. Cheers ☕️

      • Rebecca Sherk Reply

        I wouldn’t waste the water. I tried both, it’ made no difference. After it rains I use bottled water to avoid the chemicals they use to treat the runoff entering the water system. It smells like a swimming pool coming out of the tap.

        • Picture of Jeffrey, Author at Your Dream Coffee

          Hey Rebecca,

          It’s up to you if you prefer rinsing the paper coffee filters. If I were in your position, I’d also use bottled water wherever possible.


  3. It’s really easy to tell how an unrinsed filter will affect coffee taste. Just pour several ounces of hot water through a paper filter alone, into a cup, aand taste the water in the cup! That’s the paper flavor that is being added to your coffee without rinsing first.

    • Picture of Jeffrey, Author at Your Dream Coffee

      Hey UbdU,

      That’s a great way to taste the difference in rinsing your coffee beforehand. Thanks for sharing!


  4. Heather Vandegrift Reply

    Does this apply to pour over coffee only? Or regular 12 cup coffee makers as well?

    • Picture of Jeffrey, Author at Your Dream Coffee

      Hey Heather,

      You can rinse all paper filters before use; however, I don’t rinse all of them, just like the AeroPress filters I’ve mentioned in the article.

      It’s possible to rinse the coffee filter of a 12 cup coffee maker. You can rinse it before adding it to the machine or pour off-the-boil water onto the filter once it’s fitted in the coffee maker.

      I hope this helps you!


  5. Dana Del Bonis Reply

    Hi Jeffrey,
    Since I have been rinsing the paper filters when I brew my coffee in a four cup coffee drip coffee pot, I have noticed a big difference in the taste.
    Thanks so much for the info

    • Picture of Jeffrey, Author at Your Dream Coffee

      Hey Dana,

      That’s so great to hear! I hope you keep enjoying your coffee 😊
      – Jeffrey

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