A person posing for the camera

The No-Scrub Method for Sparkling Clean Coffee Carafes and More Great Reader Tips

There exist all kinds of methods for cleaning glass coffee carafes—most of them brought to us by hard working, super experienced restaurant servers. Who better to know how to get things done fast and efficiently?

A person posing for the camera, with Coffee Carafe

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I thought I’d heard every method, too—that is until I heard from Laurie. I’ll be the first to say she’s right on. I love it—and would add caution that you make sure you don’t  splash bleach on that cute apron or beautiful kitchen towels. That’s the challenge with bleach in the kitchen.

SUPER CLEAN. After years of scouring, scrubbing and scratching hundreds of coffee carafés, I have discovered an absolutely miraculous cleaning method that you will not believe. Fill coffee carafé a few inches from the top with water. Add 1/4 cup liquid chlorine bleach. Add exactly 2 drops of blue Dawn (no more, no less). Top it off with water so it’s all the way t the top. Do not scrub. Within 10 minutes your pot will be sparkling—like new. Rinse well with clear water. This would have saved me lots and lots of time, many pounds of salt, bushels of ice cubes and endless elbow grease if I had come across it sooner. Laurie

HAPPY KIDDOS. Whenever I go to friends or relatives with a gift for a new baby or birthday, I take dollar store toys for the other small children in the house. I  do the same thing with birthday parties when there are other small children around. No jealous siblings, and the cost is minimal. Mitzi

MESS FREE. I save all emptied plastic cereal bags to coat chicken and fish—then throw away the bag. Shirley

ORGANIZE YOUR STUFF. My US Marine Corps son has his several remotes attached to the wardrobe in his barracks with self-stick hook-and-loop tape. That product comes in so handy when living in tight quarter; I think a supply of it should be on your list of gift ideas for college-bound students! Kelly

DORM SECURITY. College dorms are not the most secure places to live, and it always bothered me that there was not a place to secure items such as keys, passports, etc. I gave all my kids a secure lockbox—a handy place to put their money, id cards, and charge cards. They tell me how often they used it. Susan 

[I like the kind of lockbox that comes disguised as a rather boring book! – mh]

SUB OR RAINCHECK PLEASE. Supermarket sale item out-of-stock? Ask if they have a substitute product available for the same price. This is an especially good tip to try at the deli where they have several different brands of the same type of meat or cheese. No alternative product? Get a raincheck so you can take advantage of the sale at another time. Holly


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7 replies
    • Mary Hunt says:

      It tends to clog up the filter. If you don’t clean the filter regularly it can create a problem requiring an expensive service call. When you have an option, stick with a powdered option.

  1. Dennis Ragan says:

    If it has to be “exactly” (no more, no less) new drops of Dawn, that tells me this needs to be a pretty precise process. Carafes come in different sizes. I use the Chemex coffee process, and have two different size carafes. So the1/4 cupe bleach and two drops of Dawn are for what size carafe? What about the water — Cold, hot or warm water??

  2. Karen Halstead says:

    Wanted to comment on the “recipe” for the coffee pot cleaner. I don’t know why it never occurred to me to use this for a coffee pot – great job Laurie! I used a very similar recipe for my bar bucket when I was a bartender and found that this made an awesome cleaner for eye glasses! So, I guess it would work for any glass, I’m going to try it next time I have to clean a vase after flowers have faded in it. I’m definitely going to start using on my coffee pots. Another useful item for cleaning things like coffee cups are denture tabs. I just fill my travel mug with hot water, drop a denture tablet in it and let it do it’s work….Again, Thank you Laurie & Mary!

  3. Jule barta says:

    I have an electric tea kettle that cannot be put in the dishwasher and often develops ugly stains and even burn marks. It is the kind that brews the tea for you. I fill the kettle up with water, add about a teaspoon of cheep dishwasher detergent, and turn it on. I let this sit until cooled. The kettle comes out sparkeling clean and looks like new. When I poor out the water, I will use it to help with dishes that need some soaking before being put in the dishwasher, so there is little waste. This might be a good alternative to those sensitive to bleach.


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