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Almost everyone I know has forgotten to turn off the coffee pot from time to time. We tend to think a cleanser will get the grime out but, in reality, it scratches the carafe and it will break easier.
The best way to remove those tough baked on stains is to put some ice cubes into the carafe, and slosh them around until all the burnt coffee is gone. Simple, easy, and very clever.
By Maphisx7 from Gordonsville, VA
I just spoke with one of my sons and he gave me a great tip. He uses an auto drip coffee maker. When he empties the carafe, he rinses the filter and uses it to scrub the inside of the glass carafe. He tells me the glass shines like new money. The filter is just abrasive enough to remove the coffee stains without harming the finish. You don't have to fool with the vinegar boil every few days or weeks depending on how often you use the pot.
By MartyD from Houston, TX
If you have a stained glass coffee maker carafe with the plastic top (pour spout area), resist the urge to clean it in the dishwasher. The sealant around the plastic section will soon shrink and start to leak coffee when you pour. Instead, just put in a spoon of dry dishwasher detergent and fill the carafe with water to below the plastic section. In a matter of seconds, you will see large dark flakes of 'stain' peeling off the inside of the glass. Swish with a dish brush, or pour out the water and wipe the inside with a sponge, then rinse. The glass will quickly be clear as new!
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There is a bitter green tea taste in my coffee travel carafe. It makes my coffee taste bitter. How can I remove the taste?
By Vivian from New York City
You could try filling it with strong lemon juice solution overnight and washing it next morning.
I wouldn't recommend doing anything with lemon juice if your travel thermos is stainless steel on the inside. If stainless steel has even a tiny scratch or chip in it, lemon juice will make it pit (aka, put black, non-removable circles on it), which can make its insulation properties weaken. I used to work for a kitchen appliance and cookware manufacturer, which is how I know this.
What can happen with thermoses used for coffee is that they can get a buildup of coffee-coated calcium on the inside if you use it often. I would suggest trying out two things, first would be filling the thermos with half white vinegar, half water, and letting it soak overnight. The next day, use something similar to a baby bottle brush or one of those dishwashing sponges with a handle, rinse with water, and wipe the inside out.
If that doesn't work, you can try the same method, but instead of vinegar and water, use something a bit stronger, a couple tablespoons of liquid dishwasher detergent (not dish soap) and fill the rest up with water.
Good luck! :)
If you can get your hand inside, or a folded kitchen sponge, I would try rubbing the inner surface with baking soda. This should help get the deposits off. Then I would let it sit with baking soda and water in it for a couple of hours, then rinse well, wash, dry and try it.
Have you tried using vinegar? I use it to clean my coffee makers and carafe. I mix 1/4 vinegar with 3/4 water. Two times is usually enough to get out all the impurities. Rinse it out twice with water and it should get rid of the vinegar smell and taste.
Three tablespoons bleach and the rest hot water, let sit for 1/2 hour then wash well and rinse well in hot water. Best way to rinse is put under tap at hottest water temp and let it run.
Wash it with Dawn dishwashing liquid using a bottle brush or dish sponge and hot water to remove the oils, be sure to include the threaded top. Rinse well then fill with baking soda in water to the brim so it will cover the screw threads and let sit overnight, Next morning rinse and should be ready to go and clean smelling and tasting.
Fill it with hot tap water and add 1 or 2 (depending on capacity of thermos ( I use 2 in my quart size) denture tablets (these are the tablets used for cleaning artificial dentures). Let this set unclosed until the water has cooled (I do this overnight) then rinse well and you are set to go. If the top also needs cleaning fill a container that is large enough to hold it and follow the same procedure.
This is a completely safe way to clean as the tablets are used for dentures which will return to the mouth when the dentures are cleaned.
Please 'do not use bleach' as it can leach in to the lining of the carafe! I so wish that people understood that bleach can contaminate any food utensil that might have a porous material!
Fill half way with hot water, add a couple tablespoons of salt, put lid back on, shake like crazy, finish filling with hot water, shake again and allow to soak for a few minutes. You can also try roopasekhar's vinegar idea but make sure the water is hot.
Great advice on Thermos Cleaning. I just used the Denture tablets, my Mom lives with me and we had plenty on hand. After just a couple hours I rinsed carafe and it was sparkling clean! Saved me from buying anything special. I'll definitely use this method in the future. Thanks for the idea. :)
Take about 1 tsp of baking soda and fill with hot water. Shake to dissolve and let it set for about 1/2 hour. Then use a bottle brush, wash and rinse. It will sparkle again.
The hints I received were so good on how to remove coffee stains from the lid of my thermos carafe, I now need to know how to remove the coffee smell from the thermos carafe itself. You guys are all great.
Just put some baking soda in the thermos and then fill it with hot water. You may have to do this twice, but it will take out the smell. If you are going to store the thermos, store it with a paper towel in it to absorb the odors.
My husband uses a stainless steel lined thermos for coffee every day. When he comes home I rinse it well with hot water, adding a drip of dish detergent, shake it then rinse well. Once a week, to the empty thermos, I add about 1/4 cup of baking soda, to this add boiling water to the top. I set the lid on top. Do this in the sink because it will foam up. I let it soak for about 30 minutes and then rinse well. I sometimes add about 1/2 cup of white vinegar before filling with boiling water. I do not know how this would work for a glass lined thermos carafe using the boiling water, I would try hot water instead. I read but never tried is to soak a thermos or carafe using hot vinegar.
What works for me is to put about a tablespoon of automatic dishwasher powder in the thermos, fill it with hot water, put on the cap and let it soak overnight. It will take any stains out of the stainless steel and really cleans them out. Rinse it well afterwards.
Susan from ThriftyFun
My husband takes a thermos of coffee everyday to work. The way I remove the build up of coffee oder is to fill the thermos with hot water , and then drop in a couple of denture cleaning tablets. I let this soak over night . In the morning I pour out the fluid in the thermos and rise well a couple of times. Removes odor and leaves the thermos sparkling clean.
Try ice, preferably crushed, and comet. Swish it around for a minute or two, dump and rinse. This also works for your coffee pot. If comet scares you, although it hasn't killed me yet, try salt.
This should help with the bad taste and smell from coffee in your thermos carafe, Just fill the bottle with water, pop in four antacid tablets, and let the mix soak for an hour or so. Rinse well. Then wake up and taste the coffee. Give this a try.
if you stick to a thermos or cup with a stainless steel liner, it should be much easier to clean. i would recommend making the investment for a few bucks more as your stuff begins to wear out. until then... plastic absorbs smells so easily that, unless you're rinsing it out religiously, you're always going to get a stank on them. baking soda is my go-to for just about any smelly thing i have. super cheap it very effective!
i haven't tried the denture tablet thing on a travel mug yet, but it does really well on toilets and such for maintenance. will keep it in mind.
I had that problem as well, and now I wash it out at the end of the day, fill it with hot water and let it set over night, in the AM it is good to go. It seems when it sits closed up is when that smell comes. Also, every once in awhile, just because I have a sensitive sniffer. I put some vanilla ice cream inside and let it set for a bit. When I rinse it out the smell is much better!
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How do you clean the inside of a thermos carafe? It is stained with coffee.
Sheila from Boynton Beach, FL
I would think a little baking soda and water would do the trick. I would put a bit in the container, place the lid back on and shake, shake, shake. Afterwards, I would empty and rinse well with hot water. A vinegar and water combo would more than likely do the trick as well.
I hope this works.
You could try using hot water and 1-2 denture cleaning tablets. Dissolve the tablets in the carafe, let sit overnight, then wash and rinse as usual. This works well on my thermos. (12/30/2007)
When I worked at a restaurant and the coffee carafe got dirty, we filled it with Coke and let it sit for about 30mins. No scrubbing necessary! (12/30/2007)
I use a Mr. Clean magic Eraser! (12/30/2007)
I use automatic dishwasher detergent. Before I read about this tip, I had a difficult time keeping the thermos clean. The first time I used this method, I had to soak the thermos several times to clean it. It was pretty disgusting to see how dirty it was all that time. Once a week, I sprinkle about one tablespoon of DW detergent in a stainless steel one quart thermos and add enough hot water to fill.
After putting the lid on tightly, I shake it gently and let it soak for about an hour or more. I turn it upside down for half the time to make sure both top and bottom get cleaned. Rinse thoroughly with water and let air dry upside down.
The thermos is used weekly for coffee, so during the week, I rinse it thoroughly and drain overnight.
If the baking soda and water trick doesn't work, try using slightly moistened baking soda as an abrasive and scrub using nylon net. Works for my coffee/tea cups. (01/03/2008)
1/8 cup of bleach works great on thermos or glass carafe. As you swish it around, you can see the coffee coming off in layers until it is sparkling clean. You only need to do once a month or when it begins to stain. Rinse thoroughly with hot water. (08/08/2008)
When cleaning Thermos products, never use bleach or harsh detergent; a mild dishwashing liquid is sufficient. Use a damp washcloth or sponge to clean the exterior of lunchboxes or Thermos mugs, and rinse mugs after each use with warm water. If beverages have been in the mug for hours, soaking the mug for a few minutes is best to keep the mug fresh for further use.
I found this here:
I am here to tell you that my thermos was black with coffee stain. I tried baking soda, vinegar, Coca-cola, and pennies, nothing worked. Then I tried dishwasher detergent, my thermos is spotless. (12/15/2008)
As most of the great scientific discoveries are accidents, this is what I found. As I usually drink white tea (which in the end leaves my thermos as dirty as it can be), once I tried Coldrex and hot water. I filled the thermos and an hour later it was perfectly shiny.
NB: messes up a tea though, so if it's your last pack and you have a nasty cold... (02/26/2009)