How to Clean Chemex and Keep Brewing Delicious Coffee

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Coffee brewing style is a very personal thing to all coffee lovers. Each has its own favorite way of making it. One method that has stood the test of time and become a classic is the Chemex. 

Chemex is one of the easiest ways to brew coffee at home even if you have zero experience with it. It provides a pleasant tasting coffee in a relatively short time. 

In this article, we will explore how to clean your Chemex and take proper care of it. We also have a small guide to make the perfect morning coffee using Chemex Coffee maker. But first, let’s find out what a Chemex really is!

What is Chemex Coffee?

Chemex Coffee
Chemex Coffee

The Chemex Coffeemaker has been around for decades. It was first invented in 1941 and it totally changed traditional coffee makers. 

The shape of the Chemex is very unique and practical. Inspired by the Erlenmeyer flask, this coffee maker is built using thick glass. This helps to retain the temperature and makes brewing faster and better. 

There are many different brewing methods but Chemex has been a favorite among coffee enthusiasts for a reason. It’s easy, quick, and makes delicious coffee

What is a Chemex Filter?

Chemex filter is not just another coffee filter. It is 30% thicker than traditional filters. This means not a single piece of coffee ground can get past it. The result is thicker and smoother coffee. 

If you like to drink a  lot of Americano, which uses finely ground coffee, you need a filter that will catch all the ground when hot water is added. Only a handful of carafe can do that. Chemex has been a great option to brew all types of coffee grounds from coarse to fine.

Not only is Chemex one of the best pour-over coffee makers in the world, but it’s also very affordable.

Chemex filters are the best match for your Chemex coffeemaker. These filters are designed to remove every element of oil, coffee grounds, sediments, and fats from your coffee thus giving you the best coffee experience ever. 

The coffee made using Chemex filters is usually heavier and thicker compared to other non-branded filters you’d find.

Chemex filters are also super sturdy so even if you pour too much water, it won’t burst open. The thick filtration allows the coffee ground to get soaked into the hot water for longer. This is why you get such richer coffee with Chemex.    

How to Clean a Chemex: Our Easy Guide with Vinegar!

how to clean chemex
cleaning chemex baking soda

Things You’ll Need:

  • Hot water
  • White vinegar
  • Long-handled brush/ toothbrush 
  • Dish soap


  1. Let your Chemex cool down completely before you plan to clean it.
  2. Remove the handle from your Chemex. The wooden handle comes off pretty easily. 
  3. Use a brush or sponge to scrub the outside of the carafe. Use dish soap to remove stains and debris. Most stains should come off with gentle scrubbing. If it does not, follow the next steps. 
  4. Pour 50:50 warm water and vinegar into the carafe and fill it totally. Then let it sit for a few hours. 
  5. It’s ideal to leave it overnight as the vinegar helps to loosen the buildups and dirt. 
  6. After it’s been sitting for a while, throw away the vinegar water into the sink and use a bottle brush to scrub inside the carafe. Use warm water if necessary. 
  7. Once the carafe is properly clean, wash with dish soap one more time to remove the smell of vinegar from it. 
  8. Let it dry properly before using it again. 

Why Use a Chemex Filter?

If you don’t have a coffee maker and want to make coffee at home, drip coffee is probably what you go for. If you are going to try making drip coffee, it’s only obvious to try the best one ever. This is not even a debate. 

The Chemex is the first of the many drip coffee makers and even after almost 70 years, it remains a best seller. You can not become a household name just by sheer luck.

Chemex uses their unique filter that doesn’t let the coffee flow through quickly. This allows the coffee ground to get merged into the hot water for longer. 

The result is a smoother, cleaner, and better-tasting coffee. As the coffee ground gets more time to shine, coffee made using Chemex is more flavorful and aromatic. It’s truly an experience. 

How to Brew Coffee with the Chemex

How to Brew Coffee with the Chemex
How to Brew Coffee with the

Brewing coffee with your Chemex is relatively simple. To use your Chemex coffee maker, you need some boiling hot water and some ground coffee. 

Here’s our step-by-step guide to brewing coffee with the Chemex:

  1. Use a burr grinder to grind your coffee beans into your desired size. The grind size should be finer than a french press but not like powder or sand. 
  2. As Chemex creates a light brew, you don’t need as much water as you may otherwise use. The ratio should be 1 gram of coffee per 10 ml of water. Try first with this and then increase or decrease according to taste. 
  3. The water should not be above 96 degrees celsius. Some people prefer it super hot while some others prefer it moderately warm. The temperature can dramatically affect the coffee taste. So experiment as you go. 
  4. Pour the water in a circular motion and cover all the coffee grounds properly. The water should be an inch above the coffee grounds. 

Pour very slowly and take your time with it. Enjoy the process. This should take around three to five minutes depending on the grind size. 

  1. Once the water flow has stopped, remove the filter and coffee grounds and pour the coffee into a mug. Add cream and sugar if you like and enjoy!

Frequently Asked Questions

01. Can You Dishwash a Chemex?

The Chemex is dishwasher safe but you need to be careful with it. For starters, never put the wooden part of the Chemex in the dishwasher. Wood gets damaged and ruined so it’s ideal to hand wash that part. 

Remove the wooden part and put the glass in the dishwasher. It is ideal to handwash the Chemex to keep it in the best condition. 

02. How Do You Clean the Inside of a Glass Coffee Carafe?

Oftentimes, glass carafe gets stained that are tough to remove. If it’s the inside of the carafe, the job gets harder, doesn’t it? 

If you have the right ingredients, cleaning a glass carafe becomes an easy task. All you need is baking soda or vinegar. And sometimes, both!

Sprinkle a tablespoon of baking soda at the bottom and inside of your carafe. Add a few drops of water to form it into a paste. Then grab your glass cleaning brush and start scrubbing. 

If you don’t have a cleaning brush, use a toothbrush to scrub the carafe. Baking soda helps to remove even the toughest stains within minutes. Rinse the carafe afterward using dishwashing liquid. 

03. What Can I Use Instead of a Chemex Filter?

Needless to say, there are no better alternatives to Chemex filters than Chemex filters! But if you are looking for an alternative, we really like the Melitta Natural Brown #2 Cone Filters. They add a shine and flavor to your everyday brew. 

If you don’t like the idea of throwing away filters every day, go for an environmentally friendly option. There are many good metal filters available that you can rinse and reuse. The Able Cone is what comes to mind for its incredible compatibility with the Chemex Coffeemaker.  

04. Why is Chemex So Good?

The Chemex is a classic coffee maker that has been around since the 1940s. The reason why it stuck for so long is due to the quality. New inventions come and go but the Chemex stays the same. 

If you have ever tried a Chemex coffee and normal coffee side by side, you would notice how the Chemex one is thicker and more flavorful. The heavy filtration removes even the smallest coffee grounds. 

The result is a clean, smooth, and delicious cup of coffee. It also eliminates bitterness which is an additional bonus!

05. Can You Drink Ground Coffee Without Filtering?

You can definitely drink ground coffee without filtering but it might not have that smooth, flavorful kick we all love. To make ground coffee without a filter, all you have to do is put a few tablespoons of ground coffee into a pot. 

Pour hot water and let it sit like that for about five minutes. Keep the lid closed. Then slowly pour the coffee into a cup. Be careful to not let any coffee grounds transfer. And that’s it! Your unfiltered coffee is ready to enjoy!

06. Can You Use Any Coffee Filter With Chemex?

You can but it’s not the best thing to do. A Chemex is designed to be compatible with only Chemex filters. You can use normal filters with a Chemex but it might not catch all the coffee grounds. 

The classic Chemex coffee flavor comes solely due to its unique filtration system. So if you use a normal filter, it might not taste as clean or smooth as it’s known for. 

The filter basically determines how your coffee is going to taste. So it’s good to be picky with it.


Coffee addicts are obsessed with the Chemex coffee maker. Even those who have their own Breville Espresso Maker, still use Chemex for its convenience and clean tasting coffee. The only downside of a Chemex is how tricky it is to clean. 

But hopefully our easy guide, now you can clean your Chemex coffeemaker without too much worry! 

So, Did we solve a problem for you? Do you have better tips to share?

Comment down below! 

Till then, ciao!

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