Throwback Month

This Cleaning Trick I Learned From My Grandmother Has Kept Her Glass Coffee Pot Spotless for Decades

published Apr 5, 2022
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Young woman measuring and pouring roasted coffee beans into coffee machine and preparing coffee at home in the early morning.
Credit: d3sign | Getty Images

Growing up, after every family dinner, I’d hear the familiar sound of ice rattling around inside a coffee pot coming from the kitchen. Shortly after everyone had finished their coffee, and it was time to clear the Sunday dinner table, my grandma would get up to go and clean the coffee pot using this trick. She would pour a handful of ice into the carafe, briskly swirling it as she kept up the conversation. I didn’t know it then, but her technique kept her glass carafe sparkling much more effectively than if she just washed it with soap and water. To this day, hearing the sound of ice rattling always makes me think back to those loud, weekly dinner shindigs we shared, but it’s also a super-effective way to get rid of the coffee stains in your pot.

Here is what my grandma specifically did: Once the coffee pot had cooled to room temperature, she would give it a quick rinse to remove the residue. She then poured about four tablespoons of iodized salt into the carafe and filled it with one scoop of ice. She added a dash of water into the mix to help the ice swirl, and then would stir the contents in the pot by moving the carafe in circular motions while holding it in her hand. The salt would act as an abrasive, scrubbing the stains from the glass, and the ice acted as a sponge, pushing the salt against the sides of the pot. For more stubborn stains, she would skip the water and add a splash of white vinegar to help lift the splotches.

After a minute or so of swirling the salt and ice inside the pot, my grandmother would dump the contents into the sink, and rinse it with warm water to clear any leftover salt or vinegar. Both my grandma and I have been using this cleaning method for years, and our pots and French presses still look nearly brand new (and that’s saying something since hers is from the ‘90s!)

Not only will this method help you lift stubborn stains from your glass coffee pot, but it’s also a nice eco-friendly solution that only requires ingredients you already have handy in your kitchen. If you do this each time you brew coffee, you’ll never have any issues with murky stains or buildup.

This piece is part of Throwback Month, where we’re revisiting vintage styles, homes, and all kinds of groovy, retro home ideas. Boogie on over here to read more!