Thread Number: 73549  /  Tag: Small Appliances
Cleaning an electric coffee percolator
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Post# 971237   12/3/2017 at 08:24 (322 days old) by drh4683 (Chicago western suburbs)        

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I only brew coffee in my electric percolators, which I have a small collection of. I use a #4 filter which fits well in the grounds basket and makes cleaning of the grounds easy after each brew as well as providing a better cup of coffee.

I'm particularly curious as to what happened to powder form of "Dip-It" cleaner? I believe it's product number is 37100, made by Reckitt & Coleman. Its apparently been discontinued, and I'm not sure exactly when, but I can't confirm that it's truly been discontinued either. Assuming it's a discontinued product, it seems to be pretty scarce and can only be bought from ebay for around $30 if you're lucky. No longer available on Amazon either and everyone seems to have stopped writing reviews about buying it around 2015. I think that the Dip-It powder was the standard for being the cleaner of choice for percolators and tea pots as nothing else seemed to really match it's effectiveness. I know you can get the "Dip-It" in liquid form, which is still readily available at the local grocery stores in the small bottles, but it seems to be made for drip machines. I have not compared the powder to the liquid. Has anyone ever tried the liquid product in a percolator? Is it as good as the powder?

Post# 971243 , Reply# 1   12/3/2017 at 08:39 (322 days old) by johnrk (BP TX)        
What's your Percolator made of?

I'm assuming you're not using one with a glass carafe like Proctor-Silex or Corning. Is it aluminum or stainless steel?

I went to YouTube and looked under 'cleaning a percolator'. Funny thing is that apparently the procedure most people use is the same one for cleaning out a dirty bong!

I have a s.s. Farberware and I use the same combination of white vinegar and baking soda that I use weekly for my sink trap. I've never used Dip-It because I never saw any need for it.

I saw one young lady on there doing something interesting--she dropped one of those dishwasher pods in hers and boiled the pot with it. Seemed to do the job.

Like I'm sure you already have, I searched the web for powdered Dip-It and every site, including Wal-Mart, said it had been discontinued.

I usually use my glass carafe Proctor-Silex and I can just toss the carafe in the dishwasher. Another reason I love these percolators and own several of them!

Post# 971245 , Reply# 2   12/3/2017 at 08:52 (322 days old) by Maytagbear (N.E. Ohio)        
Start wuth mildest, and work your way up

Baking soda and water paste....2:1 works well.

Dawn and a soft brush and water.

Perk a full basket of baking soda for a full cycle.

Rinse very thoroughly.

Hope these help!

(I currently use an oval-ish GE stainless steel perk.)


Post# 971249 , Reply# 3   12/3/2017 at 09:19 (322 days old) by polkanut (Wausau, WI )        

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What I've done in the past with percolators that are all schmutzy with years of build up is to fil it with cold water, and then put 2-3 tsps. of dw powder in the basket and perk it like for coffee.  When done, leave it sit until the water temp is down to warm.  Take a dish cloth and clean off any residue that may still be on the inside of the pot.  Rinse thoroughly.  Use as normal.

Post# 971251 , Reply# 4   12/3/2017 at 09:48 (322 days old) by Kenmore58 (Rhode Island)        

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Tablespoon of dollar store powered dishwasher detergent. Perk on strong brew cycle. And itís as clean as new.


Post# 971252 , Reply# 5   12/3/2017 at 09:51 (322 days old) by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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I have have collected coffeepots for many years. I use either powdered dishwasher detergent like Polkanut explained above, or just drop a dishwasher detergent pak into the basket. It works just like the old powdered Dip It. Fill the pot to max level, run through a brew cycle, unplug and let the solution sit in the pot for 30 mins. Then pour it out, it will be filthy, fill again with clean water and run another brew cycle, pour out, rinse and your back in business. BUT, and this is a big BUT, if the percolator is aluminum this will turn the inside black, so use Cream of Tartar instead, about 2-3 tablespoons in the basket and follow the same steps as above. And the acid in the Cream of Tartar keeps the aluminum from blackening.

BTW, if ypuíre cleaning a stove top perc use the same method, just take it off the heat after the brew time is completed and let it sit for 30 mins. to work its magic.

Post# 971268 , Reply# 6   12/3/2017 at 11:35 (322 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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Ron beat me to it, but I have also used dollar store dishwasher successfully to clean vintage perks.  I still have some Dip-It too - I found in the 'burbs of Boston 2 years ago.

Post# 971278 , Reply# 7   12/3/2017 at 12:31 (322 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
I recognize you!!!!Love your Youtube videos

You drive a 60 Chevrolet and restore TVS!!! Wish you were closer, I have a bunch of table radios and no one to fix them!! Welcome to AW!

Post# 971296 , Reply# 8   12/3/2017 at 14:33 (322 days old) by speedqueen (Harrison Twp, Michigan)        
Ditto what Hans said.

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Dwight Moody pointed me to your convergence video when he fixed my Zenith CCII as it needed convergence done badly.

I think I watched your 1960's Christmas video a hundred times.

You, Shango066 and RadioTVPhonoNut are my favorite people to watch on YouTube.

Post# 974535 , Reply# 9   12/18/2017 at 22:25 (306 days old) by drh4683 (Chicago western suburbs)        

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Thanks for the helpful comments, guys! My daily driver coffee pot is a stainless 4-cup Farberware unit from the early 60's. I also have a couple glass Proctor-Silex units which are also favorites. I also have numerous West Bend, Cory and Sunbeams in different colors as well. I especially like the Proctor Silex models with the lights in the base that light up the pot of coffee. I never use a drip machine. I always cleaned my pots with the baking soda "paste" method which ultimately works well for me although it takes some time but thats part of the joy of using a percolator everyday.
Yes- I'm also DRH4683 on youtube too. Thanks for the kind words. One of these days I'll post some new videos!

Post# 976087 , Reply# 10   12/30/2017 at 06:18 (295 days old) by 2011hoovermatic (owosso michigan)        

I owe all of you big time I tried dishwasher detergent in my percolators and I will never go back to anything else for them.
Thank you very much for all you do everyone.

Post# 976089 , Reply# 11   12/30/2017 at 07:03 (295 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

"Funny thing is that apparently the procedure most people use is the same one for cleaning out a dirty bong!" 


Thanks a million, John; now what's the best way to clean coffee and spittle out of a keyboard?😂

Post# 992793 , Reply# 12   5/1/2018 at 23:24 by ovrphil (N.Atlanta / Georgia )        
What a HUGE difference!

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After reading this thread later, I gave the DW pod a try. It's better than I expected. Thanks to all who mentioned some method, here. I think it's a good idea to perk again with clear water, after using the DW soap, thanks Eddie.

Below is what came out of the coffee pot after 1 DW pod, and to me, it didn't look that dirty.

Doug - your videos on YouTube have been some of my favorites, thank you! I see many more I will be checking out.

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 2         View Full Size
Post# 992795 , Reply# 13   5/1/2018 at 23:36 by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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Iím so glad you gave this a try Phil, its like a miracle isnít it? And so easy amd inexpensive too. Your oval GE perk is a beauty too. Iíll bet it makes great coffee too.

Post# 992816 , Reply# 14   5/2/2018 at 03:43 by chachp (Conway, AR)        

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I pour a little OxiClean in the bottom of the pot and pour a little boiling water in. The water has to be really hot.  It will foam up and when it's done the pot will be spotless. I use this method on my thermos carafe as well. Be careful not to put too much as it could foam over the top but you will be amazed at how well this works.


I wash it with a little dish soap and water afterwards and it will sparkle.

Post# 992862 , Reply# 15   5/2/2018 at 10:41 by ovrphil (N.Atlanta / Georgia )        
Coffee Cleaning Talk - talk amongst ourselves

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Maytagbear - Lawrence, that's how my mother-in-law kept her pots clean...but forgot about her method til you mentioned and it works well for in-between cleaning as it's cheaper than dropping DW'ing pods into the pot. But I like those pods as silly as it sounds, they're just convenient. Thanks.

Eddie - the DW pod reminds of some 1960's ad that would tout, "it's so easy, just..drop a pod, perk and poof! You're done". :-) And....I love the G.E. 71P33 percolator for design and I think it's nicer than the Farberware that we were using. Thank you.

So 1) Baking soda and water paste , 2)DW soap in pods or powder, or 3) Oxyclean (powder or liquid or does it matter?).

...there are probably other methods, but don't tell me. I will have to go to the thrifts, find dirty coffee pot to buy and try it.

Post# 993059 , Reply# 16   5/4/2018 at 09:52 by chachp (Conway, AR)        
Oxiclean Powder or Liquid?

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I have never used the liquid so I don' know.  I use the powder in my wash so that's what I have around.  Maybe someone else has tried the liquid and could answer but I'm telling you the Oxiclean is amazing for some many things not just the coffee stains. 


You will be amazed what it would do to an old coffee pot that's terribly stained.  You'll see the foam turn brown almost instantly and when it's done the pot will sparkle.  Can you tell I get a little excited about Oxiclean?  LOL!  I'm so stressed out over this move I'm in the thick of that I need a little diversion.

Post# 993235 , Reply# 17   5/5/2018 at 22:10 by ovrphil (N.Atlanta / Georgia )        

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Thanks Chach. I will definitely try the powder, too! Hope you are relaxed more by tomorrow.

Post# 993440 , Reply# 18   5/7/2018 at 17:47 by beekeyknee (Columbia, MO)        

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If all this other stuff is working so well you might not want to spend the money, but Urnex makes this stuff called ďClearly CoffeeĒ. Itís a blue liquid. I havenít tried it yet. Itís ingredient is disodium metasilicate an itís made in USA.

Post# 993768 , Reply# 19   5/10/2018 at 13:04 by Charles (Charlotte N.C. )        
According to...

According to my 1974 Vinegar almanac it says that you should run 1 cup of distilled white vinegar through it and then 2 cups of water. I hope this helps

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