Coffee Facts

How To Clean Cloth Siphon Coffee Filter: Keeping Your Coffee Tasting Fresh

Keeping your cloth filter clean can be tough, but don’t worry we are here to make things a little easier. Just follow this guide and you’ll be brewing fresh and tasty coffee for days to come.


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You got yourself a siphon coffee maker but now you’re asking yourself how you keep this thing clean. Well, don’t worry Roasty Coffee is here to help. Not only is the siphon coffee maker one of the oldest ways to brew coffee but even the filter is old. There are accounts that the first cloth filters that were used were socks. I’m sure they washed them first – I hope.

All joking aside, cloth coffee filters are part of what makes siphon coffee so unique and like the brewer itself, they take a bit more effort to take care of.

Let’s get into keeping these little pieces of history clean and ensure you’re getting the best coffee possible.

How To Clean Cloth Siphon Coffee Filter

How to Clean Cloth Siphon Coffee Filter

Now that you’re done enjoying your cup of coffee it’s time to clean up, so let’s make sure that your filter is clean and ready for your next brew.

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Things You’ll Need

  • Siphon Cloth Coffee Filter Assembly
  • Small Pot to Boil Water
  • Cafiza or White Vinegar
  • Air-tight container (LocknLock containers work great for this)
  • Freezer Bag (If you’re going to store the filter for longer than a week)

Step 1: Clean the Grounds

Once your brewer has had a chance to cool down you want to clear the leftover coffee grounds and remove the filter. Make sure you’ve removed as much leftover coffee grounds as possible.

You want to start your cleaning process within half an hour, if not the coffee will have a chance to set in, making it much harder to clean.

Step 2: Give it a Wash

Now it’s time to wash the filter. Your instincts might tell you to scrub it with some dish soap but you’ll want to avoid that. Dish soaps tend to have strong fragrances that can affect the taste of your coffee.

So just give it a good wash under warm water making sure to ring it out now and again.

Step 3: Super Soak It

There are a few ways to do this, you can either allow the filter to soak in boiling water and coffee detergent, like Cafiza, or in a white vinegar water solution for about 5 mins. If your filter is still dirty you may want to soak it for longer.

This further breaks down any leftover residue from the coffee.

Step 4: Rinse!

Regardless of how you soaked the filter, you want to ensure that the filter has been completely rinsed out of any cleaning solution. So give it another go under some warm water.

Step 5: Store That Sucker

Now that you’ve got the filter cleaned, place it in an air-tight container submerged in water. This is going to keep the coffee that was absorbed through brewing from having a chance to set in and help keep your filter mold-free.

Place the container in the refrigerator to await your next brew. If you need to store the filter for longer than a week you can also place it in a freezer-safe bag while it’s still wet and store it in the freezer.

How Do You Replace a Cloth Filter?

Even with the extra care and maintenance of cloth filters, you will at some point need to replace them. So how do you go about doing that? Let’s see if we can’t help you out here too.

Things You’ll Need

  • Small Pot to Boil water
  • Siphon Filter Assembly
  • Scissors
  • New Cloth Filter

Step 1: Boil Your New Filter

You don’t have to do this, but I like to just in case there is any unwanted residue left over from the factory.

So let’s get some water boiling in a small pot and throw your new cloth filter in and let it soak for a few minutes.

Step 2: Cut Off the old filter

Since we aren’t going to be using the old filter again feel free to just cut it off the filter assembly. Turn the upside down and find the knot holding it on then with a pair of scissors cut it free.

Step 3: Wipe Off the Filter Assembly

Now that the old filter has been removed, give the filter assembly a quick wipe with a clean towel. You want to make sure that there isn’t any leftover water or coffee debris.

Step 4: Grab Your New Filter

Grab your new cloth filter and place it on a flat surface. You’ll find that there are two sides, one will have stitches holding the main string in place and the other will be flat.

We want the side with stitches facing up at us. This will ensure that there aren’t any folds in the filter making it harder to keep our coffee sediment free.

Step 5: It’s Time to Tie the Knot

Place the filter assembly in the middle of the cloth. Grabbing both strings, pull and watch the filter close around the filter assembly. Tie a tight knot as close to the filter as you can. Doing so will make sure that the filter doesn’t move around once we start brewing.

Step 6: Store It

If you boiled your filter in the first step, store it as described above. If not you can keep it stored in the brewer itself, just don’t use the spring to keep it attached to the bottom of the top chamber’s tube.

This can stretch out the spring making it harder for the filter to sit tightly against the glass.

Siphon Coffee Cloth Filters vs Metal Filters

I know what you’re saying to yourself, “this sounds like a lot of work, can’t I just get another type of filter?”

Absolutely! Like most other brewers you can find also find metal and paper filters for siphon coffee makers. But if you’re looking for a reusable filter, then it comes down to cloth or metal coffee filters.

The decision between the two coffee filter types comes down to how you like your cup of joe. Metal filters are prized for the sheer amount of body that you get from brewing with them, giving you a robust and flavorful punch to the face.

With the mesh on metal coffee filters being much wider you end up getting more of the natural oils of the coffee and sediment in your final cup giving you that signature mouth feel.

When I’m brewing up a cup of siphon coffee I want something that is going to be light and crisp with strong, defined tasting notes. That’s just not something that you can get with a metal coffee filter.

While I love metal filters in something like a French press, it feels weird to use them on a siphon coffee maker. If you’re going to get a cup of coffee that is closer to a French press, why not just use a French press and save yourself the extra time and effort? “But that’s just like my opinion man.”

Happy Caffeinating!

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