The inside of my coffee maker's insulated Carafe is stained with coffee. How can I make it look like new?

I've done some web searching and found some ideas including things that don't make sense like mixing baking soda and vinegar. I'm hoping someone in the community knows of a clever solution.

  • 1
    Baking soda and vinegar is actually quite a common home made cleaning formula.
    – Adam
    Feb 21, 2016 at 23:40
  • This doesn't qualify as a "clever life-hack" but I use this stuff and it's honestly fantastic
    – Gamora
    Oct 28, 2021 at 13:42

3 Answers 3


Ice cubes. Salt. Shake/spin. Dump. Repeat if needed. Rinse when finished.

I worked in a restaurant for the better half of my teens and twenties... We used to do a sanitizer soak on the glass coffee pots 2-3x a week, but on the other nights we would use ice cubes and 2-3 tablespoons of table salt and then vigorously "spin" or aggitate the glass cannisters to clean them. The salt would act as a mild abrasive, and also slowly melt away the ice cubes creating a slush wash to scrub/rinse the walls of the coffee pots. It worked like a charm on glass and im sure it may work wonders on the stainless as well.

  • This worked! The abrasive salt + ice cubes worked to scrub the inside of the pot. Because the pot is insulated, the opening isn't large enough to fit my hand in to scrub any other way. I had also loosened some of the stains earlier with denture cleaning tablets but this method worked way better. Thanks!
    – Jon
    Feb 22, 2016 at 14:11
  • Your welcome. Glad to help.
    – Phlume
    Feb 22, 2016 at 16:18

Commercial coffee-maker cleaners contain phosphoric acid, citric acid, hydroxyacetic acid or other mild acids that dissolve scale that holds the coffee stain to the metal, so you could also use citric acid (sold as "sour salt" for cooking) or even vinegar (though it's only 5% acetic acid, so may need heat and extra time to remove stains).

A commercial stainless-steel cleaner containing oxalic acid, such as Bar Keepers Friend, should also be effective. My personal experience is that the abrasive in this type of cleaner helps the acid to remove scale and stain. You could even make your own oxalic acid by extracting it from rhubarb leaves.

  • I second Bar Keepers Friend.
    – Joshua K
    Feb 22, 2016 at 20:07

i clean our stainless steel carafe by filling it with boiling water and then putting in a tablespoon or so of normal dishwasher powder. you can practically see the flakes and colour dissolve.

then i screw on the lid and leave it for a while (half-hour? overnight if i forget it) and rinse it out.

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