How To Clean A Chemex
Chemex is a beautiful brew method, but its unique shape can make it tricky to clean. Making sure all the previous batch’s grounds are removed is just the first step in complete sanitation. We’re here today to let you in on a few tips and tricks for how to clean a Chemex.
Soap + Water
If you want to avoid bacteria build-up (which you probably should), clean your Chemex after every use with soap and water. We recommend using a soft-bristled brush with a lengthy arm to scrub all the internal walls and corners. After scrubbing, be sure to rinse completely, for to avoid any soapy flavor notes in your next batch.
Looking for a less scrupulous method than that above? Merely boil some water, pour it into the Chemex, swirl it around, then dispose of it. The hot rinse won’t sanitize your Chemex, but it will flush out all the old coffee. At the end of the day, the goal is to avoid your next batch from being altered or tainted from the last; for that purpose, the hot rinse is perfectly adequate.
White Vinegar Flush
White vinegar is excellent for a plethora of cleaning ventures; its ability to dissolve minerals and oil build-up makes it particularly apt for cleaning after coffee. Pour about 2 ounces more than your average batch of coffee of white vinegar into your Chemex, let soak for 30 minutes to an hour, rinse thoroughly with water or soap + water, and leave to dry. We recommend air drying up-side-down overnight to allow the vinegar smell + taste to air out. (A tip for this and every other item you air dry: rest part of the lip on an object. If the lip is lying completely flat on your counter, there will be no air flow and this will cause condensation and possible molding. So be sure to prop up one edge to avoid such an issue!)
Most Chemex are dishwasher safe; if that includes yours, give it a try at your own risk! A dishwash can leave your Chemex squeaky clean, but it’s important to be mindful of the delicate body of the Chemex. If you do choose to wash your Chemex in the dishwasher, we recommend removing the collar and tie before loading it.
Life Is Better With A Clean Chemex
Using a clean Chemex is a sure-fire way to improve the quality and taste of your coffee. Next time you’ve brewed a batch, be sure to clean out the grounds with a hot rinse. Have 5-10 minutes free this weekend? Treat your Chemex to a nice vinegar bath. Trust us, your Chemex and your taste buds will thank you.
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