I've been using a metal cone filter for a couple months: Able Brewing Kone Coffee Filter

It has worked fantastically, but gradually clogged up over time. I've washed it with warm water and dish soap multiple times to no avail. Anyone have cleaning tips? Or do I just have to buy a new filter?


This problem seems quite normal. Over time, the little holes are filled up with small coffee grounds and stuck there by the help of gluing force of grease. This grease is extracted during brewing process.

So, how could we get rid of these remains?

Pretty easy. As they are organic compounds, you should dissolve them. As they include grease, dissolve the oil that includes particles.

Best options are:

  • Heat (self cleaning oven or BBQ)
  • Acetic acid, thus vinegar
  • Citric acid, thus lemon juice

Heat is the most effective option as it burns out the organic compounds without leaving any residue. Place the filter in the oven or BBQ while doing a cleaning cycle. You’d be amazed at the results.

Check the comparison: Before cleaning After cleaning

As for the to other options, These acids are food, so they are safe to use. You may leave the filter in these for a while. Apart from that, you may try alcohol, but check whether it damages the filter.

Last option may be bleach. It dissolves any organic compound quite easily as it is corrosive. However, it is not safe. You must rinse it thoroughly.

  • 1
    I've tried in vain again and again to cleane my cone using 1:1 hot water/vinegar solution. The upper two thirds cleans fine, but the apex of the cone that bears the brunt of the flow seems to be permanently clogged. Should I use pure vinegar? Maybe switch to lemon juice? Will extract work or should I use actual lemons? – oscilatingcretin Feb 2 '18 at 14:38
  • @oscilatingcretin You may try to leave your gadget overnight directly in vinegar. You may also try lemon juice or citric acid, overnight. It is possible to find citric acid or citric acid crystals easily on market. Your final chance is bleach solution. Do not use bleach as is. Always prepare a solution and dissolve it. (Everything I wrote is just my humble experience and nothing more. So, use it at your own risk.) – MTSan Feb 2 '18 at 21:52
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    I regret to say that I did try all of that and my cone would still not unclog. However, happy to report that I came across the most helpful tip online earlier today that advised to not only use dish soap, but to massage it through the mesh. Makes sense as doing will help push any loosened lodge particles free of the mesh. You can easily see where it's clogged by gauging now much of the soap suds get pushed through an area of the mess. Just keep massaging the soap through from both sides and the residue will eventually come loose – oscilatingcretin Feb 3 '18 at 0:05
  • @oscilatingcretin Happy to see you've solved it. Brilliant idea. – MTSan Feb 3 '18 at 9:04

I would advise against using soap to clean anything coffee related. As a simple measure, just use boiling water to loosen the oils. You can also use citric acid (the recommended cleaner for coffee machines), you can find it online pretty cheap. Another option would be to soak it in baking soda to dissolve the oils. Whatever you use, just make sure you rinse it thoroughly afterwards.

  • I've heard this before but I've never gotten an explanation. Why is soap bad for coffee products? Isn't dish soap designed specifically for the kind of oils that coffee produces? – xaviersjs Apr 29 '20 at 22:17

The only thing that I've found that I've found that works elegantly, quickly, and completely is ultrasonic cleaning. After boiling with vinegar water, lots of rubbing and scrubbing, high pressure steaming, and even ten minutes in a pressure cooker, it seemed to only get a bit more clogged. I set it in a small inexpensive ultrasonic cleaner I received as a gift and the stubborn oils and sediment trapped gave up the ghost immediately.

  • Welcome to Coffee SE! Don’t forget to take the tour and browse our help center to learn more about how the site and Stack Exchange in general works. – Stephie May 20 '18 at 19:17

enter image description here Use a water flosser, like waterpik to blast the coffee oils out. I tried boiling and vinegar, no use. Mini-pressure washer worked best. Water moves through the filter much faster.

  • I tried boiling w/ water vinegar and made mud water but, filter was still clogged. Water flosser worked wonders. Use a 1:1 solution of water and white vinegar in your flosser to improve the effectiveness. Make sure to run clean water through flosser when finished. – user3183018 Apr 18 at 17:39

I tried boiling in vinegar and washing in the dishwasher over my bottle jets the other day. It did improve the flow situation greatly, but the filter was still brown. So I ordered urnex coffee equipment cleaning powder off amazon and two days later my filters are like new. I just boiled my cone filters and added a teaspoon of the powder. enter image description here

enter image description here

Here’s my water after the boil with the urnex powder! My husband said, “free coffee!” Yuk.

  • Jaye, welcome! Did you know that you can edit your posts? Please don’t post two answers when you are actually just posting one. (Fixed it for you!) That said, welcome to Coffee SE! If you have a moment, I recommend the tour and some browsing through our help center to learn more about how the site works. – Stephie Dec 13 '18 at 19:01

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