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Many siphons use a small piece of metal wrapped into a fine cloth. The piece of metal makes them robust, and it seems to me they can be used for a long time. The piece of cloth is usually of enough quality to remain in good condition for long. A piece of cloth can however get dirty, rough, etc.

How long do you recommend to use a siphon filter? What would be the criteria to drive for change?

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I've typically used the same cloth filter on a hario syphon for several (2 - 3 probably) months of continuous use (1 or 2 syphons daily). We clean the cloth after each use using a mild detergent, hot water and a soft scrubbing brush. Rinse very well after each wash. Typically, after a week or so we soak the cloth in oxyclean or similar for a couple of hours to get it super clean and then follow this up with a normal wash and thorough rinse. The coffee will stain the cloths after the first use, so don't expect it to return to the same colour it was originally no matter how often or well you wash it.

When we first bought a syphon about five years ago we were recommended to store the filter in a glass jar of water in the fridge to prevent it drying out between uses. If we aren't planning to use the filter for a while, we toss the cloth, clean the metal part and let it dry.

You can also clean the filter (with or without the cloth) in the dishwasher but I'd still recommend giving it a thorough rinse afterwards.

The cloths are fairly cheap and in my experience easy to find online so use your judgement - if you think it's time to switch cloths, it's probably time to use a new cloth!

  • Thanks for your answer. In short, I take your number as base: Change every 2-3 months for a filter used daily, provided I take good care of it. – Eric Platon Feb 24 '15 at 3:12
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I'll add in my cleaning routine for my Yama siphon. I use the standard Yama cloth filters, and my cleaning routine is (a) rinse thoroughly after each brew, (b) every 10 brews or so soak it in vodka or everclear to remove more of the accumulated oils and junk, and (c) do an oxyclean soak after 50 brews or so.

Typically, around 100 brews the filter will start getting threadbare and I'll replace it.

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Your first question's answer: YOU MUST USE A FILTER! How do you think you can make good, quality coffee on any coffee-maker without a filter? It lets the good stuff go through and keeps the bad stuff out (if it is high-quality or just decent enough).

Your second question. So siphons so use metal filters, but they are either rare or even not produced anymore. Your cloth description is right:

A piece of cloth can however get dirty, rough, etc.

if you don't know when or how to clean it. In good quality plus cleaning, they can be used up to 100 times or even more. In this site (which states all types of filters and how to change them), it says that:

My cleaning regimen for cloth filters has changed over the years. Cloth filter assemblies should be cleaned right after use with a soft brush and running water, and then soaked in a solution of oxyclean and boiling water. Rinse well after, and store dry. This will not harm the cloth like bleach will, and it comes out sparkling white and odor free.

Oxyclean is a product that is like washing detergent. Cleans up cloth and fabric quickly and nicely, bringing out good results. Boiling water will help out with the cleaning and disinfecting of the cloth. It will literally burn and kill any harmful bacteria on your cloth. You should clean the cloth immediately after use. This will keep the cloth in top-shape for a long time in its "life" span.

Paper filters' cleaning ways are obvious. One use and they are thrown right into the trash. You really can't clean paper filters.

Cleaning glass filters (in my opinion) should be cleaned right after used. They are pretty rare and easily broken when not receiving enough care. Just clean it like any other glass product. Put water on a paper towel and wipe it clean.

The rough (but not sharp) surface of the middle was the filter - coffee grounds would get trapped in the little channels between the bumps, but liquid would still pass through. In practice, these glass filters allow a fair amount of sediment to pass into the brewed coffee. Some find this beneficial, others do not.

The choice of using this filter is your decision depending on what you want from your filter.

Nylon mesh are easily cleaned: they're dishwasher safe. Yet, they are breakable and fragile at the same time. Be careful with these guys.

I hope this helps you and answers your questions!

  • What's wrong with this answer? – Anthony Pham Feb 21 '15 at 17:51
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    Hm... well the OP just asked how often to change the filter, not whether one was necessary. Maybe you misread "How long..." as something else? And you wrote a fair bit about how to clean the filter (and other kinds of filters that the OP didn't ask about) but didn't actually mention anything about when it's time to replace it. – Cascabel Feb 21 '15 at 18:10
  • Thanks for your answer. A lot of good pieces in it, but yes, there was only one straight question basically. Please propose edits if it was not clear. Pardon my French. – Eric Platon Feb 24 '15 at 3:13

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