Clever Coffee Dripper Cleaning

Cleaning your Clever Coffee Dripper is important, and easy if you follow a few suggestions…

We have been selling the Clever Coffee Dripper for about a decade now and during that time, we have gotten pretty familiar with it. It’s always a great and simple way to brew an excellent cup of coffee. It’s made of BPA-free plastic and it has a little flex to it so it can withstand some drops and rough handling.

Clever Coffee Dripper Cleaning

Give it a good rinse after you are done brewing coffee.  As long as you don’t let coffee dry and turn into residue inside the nooks and crannies, a good hot water rinse will keep your Clever clean.

  • You don’t have to wash it every time you use it. The Clever might discolor a bit. A discolored Clever is not dirty and will not impact the function, or quality of your coffee.
  • Pour over brewers like the Clever don’t need to be scrubbed down all the time since it takes a lot of brewing for coffee oils to build up. Occasionally wiping between the ridges with a soft sponge and some warm mildly soapy water should keep any coffee build-up from happening.

Don’t put it in the dishwasher. The Clever’s crystal clear appearance will turn hazy from all the heat.

Don’t use strong cleaners … ones intended for espresso machines and such! Best thing is to use no coffee cleaners at all!

  • Ideally we would recommend you do not use any coffee cleaners, only mild soap and hot water.
  • We have found some coffee cleaning powders damage the surface of the Clever, seeming to make it more porous. Something like Urnex Cafiza is the wrong cleaner: it’s for espresso machine metal parts!
  • If you feel you must, mild cleaners meant for coffee brewers with food-safe plastic components, like Urnex Cleancaf seems appropriate for the Clever. But I wouldn’t use them all the time, especially when hot water and soap with a brush work fine.
  • Natural coffee cleaners are fine: Some people use vinegar. Some people use lemon juice.
  • In the video below, Tom explains some Clever cleaning basics. FYI, the opaque, black Clever Dripper was a test model from the manufacturer.
  • (In the video I mention using Oxyclean, but I actually don’t recommend that any more. Just mild soar and hot water with a gentle dish brush works great for me.)
Quick video about how to pop the center part of the Clever out for cleaning the gaskets. This is good if you have some dripping at the wrong time, which is usually some coffee grind or residue stuck in the glasket.

Clean the gasket if your Clever is dripping when it’s not supposed to.

The upper gasket, when removed, looks like a tire for a toy car. If you look closely at the upper, inside edge, you will notice a thin, little flange. This flange is the secret to the Clever Dripper’s liquid stopping power.

If your Clever is leaking, remove the gasket and take a good look. There might be a rogue coffee ground or some piece of who-knows-what stuck in there. Rinse it out under warm water. Don’t use anything that would damage the thin silicone. If you end up with a damaged gasket (whether it’s your fault or not, email us at [email protected] and we’ll send you a new set).

You do not need to remove the flange to clean it!

The Right Side UP for Center Gasket

If you clean you Clever by popping out the bottom, you might end up separating the center piece of the gasket from the base. It looks like a little earbud headphone cover.

If you separate it, check the image below to see the correct way to put it back on. The more tapered end goes UP, not down. If you re-install it the other way, the dripper can leak.

Clever Coffee Dripper Center Gasket: This image shows the CORRECT orientation for the little center gasket in the bottom piece. The more tapered end goes UP.
Clever Coffee Dripper Center Gasket: This image shows the CORRECT orientation for the little center gasket in the bottom piece. The more tapered end goes UP.

9 Responses

  1. Hey, nice post! I ve been looking about this topic because no matter the grind size, brew ratio, contact time, etc. whenever I brew a coffee in my clever I get a particular aroma and taste(which I can smell in the brewer itself btw). It’s kind of hard to describe it since it’s an off flavor to me but if you I had to, I guess, I would say something like plastic or tire. I suspect that it could be from use and coffee residue. Any ideas?

    1. We suggest cleaning it with some soap and water or even oxyclean, that should remove any residue or off smells or tastes.

  2. mine developed an unremovable brown patina almost immediately and, now after several years, is almost opaque. scrubbing, soaking, oxy cleaners, bleach, vinegar have been ineffective even at high concentrations. it came out of the dishwasher unchanged as well. it’s not a problem and does not affect the taste. they seem to be making a black plastic version now specifically because of the cleaning issues which might be a good choice for people who might be bothered by some coffee staining

    1. Agreed – they do discolor in time and I found it hard to get an “as new” look as well. I think thats why they went away from clear(-ish) material.

  3. My formerly clear CD is discolored. I look at the change in finish as a well earned patina.

    Functionally, the coffee remains great and the gasket drip was a manageable annoyance.

    Sweet Maria’s sent me a new gasket kit. Functionality is now like new.

    CD remains a great investment and a perfect gift for folks who are heading out on their college or work adventure.

    Thank you to Erik and the Sweet Maria’s team!

    1. Hey Larry, glad Erik could help get you sorted and that the Clever is working good as new 🙂

      Happy brewing!


  4. Humbly but earnestly requesting Mr. Thompson make another video going over what you recommend to clean the glass version of the Clever that’s recently been available.
    (definitely on a Saturday)

    1. Hey Brad, thanks for your comment. If you saw my now deleted reply, I mentioned Cafiza being safe on glass, but forgot that the glass Clever has some plastic parts too, which it will etch.

      Urnex Cleancaf is a great product for cleaning glass and plastic (we’re currently out of stock, and unfortunately our shipment is on backorder…hoping soon!). Vinegar is also safe on both materials. It does a great job cleaning stains (try 50/50 hot water/vinegar), but it won’t get rid of rancid oils like Cleancaf will.

      Hope this helps! I’m passing along the video request to Tom as well 🙂


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