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Cleaning Coffee Airpots?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
We have a bunch of Bunn 3 liter airpots for hot bev service at our markets.
Does anyone know how we can clean the inside of the vacuum tube?
We need something like a really, really long pipe cleaner but can't find them anywhere.
Meanwhile, coffee residue builds up inside these little tubes and rinsing just won't get it out!

Any suggestions?
post #2 of 5
E-mail -- or better, call -- Bunn Customer Service. IIRC, they want you to use a special tool, or a replacement tube; but I can't remember which and may be totally off. Heck, just call them.

The general fix for all these things is to use a specific coffee solvent. Most coffee supply places sell powders, Urnex by way of one example, which can be mixed into a cleaning solution.

Finally, the cheap way: Mix a solution of citric acid (about 5%) or a strong vinegar solution (about 3 vinegar to 1 water), and pump that through. Rinse with clean water. Repeat. Rinse again. Mix a baking soda solution, pump that through. Rinse yet again.

Good luck,
post #3 of 5
They sell it here. That's the stuff recommended in the repair manual.

Use the scale remover first, then the sanitizer, then rinse like mad.

Edit to add: A baby bottle brush helps also.
Dammi un coltello affilato e vi mostrerò l'arte più belle del mondo.
Dammi un coltello affilato e vi mostrerò l'arte più belle del mondo.
post #4 of 5
Get some small ball bearings, around 1/8" size, fill the tubes with baking soda water, or vinegar, or what have you, and the bb's. Stick your finger on the open end and shake about. Works well with the pots, flower vases, or anything else awkward.

Have a sieve over a bowl when you dump the bb's out.
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
post #5 of 5

I know this is an old post but just in case someone comes to this site to look up the same information, I would like to share my knowledge with you.


1. Buy a few products specifically for airpots or espresso machines (espresso machines also have hard to reach tubes/areas).

Here's a helpful site but you will have to call the manufacturer directly since as of now they do not sell the brush set online:    


   I buy the ones in need from these sites: or   (for the inside of the pot) and   (to insert in the long, narrow air pipe that pumps up the liquid. Calcium and/or mold tend to accumulate in there.)


2. Soak the metal tube in a cleaner/decalcifier of your choice. I prefer bleach for a once a month cleaning (for mold), and vinegar, lemon and baking soda (for calcium deposits) for weekly cleanings due to price.


3. For a thorough cleaning, you must remove the covering on the inside of the hinged lid. In my line of work, I have noticed frequent use of these airpots to accumulate mold in this area if you use them for anything other than coffee such as milk or juice. I'm sure it depends on how your airpot is made but mine is the kind with the silver handle you push down and the two little buttons on each side near the spigot that you can squeeze to lock in in place. Stick a slim object (I use a plastic knife) between the plastic seam to pop it off. Depending on what type you have, you might have to squeeze the lock button(s) at the same time. You will now see the airpots plastic accordion pump. Remove that and soak in the same cleaner as the pipe making sure that you squeeze the plastic accordion under the water to fill it up. I like to soak all the parts for at least 3 hours. Then, scrub the rest of the inside of the lid, fill another container with water/cleaner and turn the whole airpot upside down and soak for the same amount of time.


4. After soaking, use the brushes to remove any calcium, mold or residue from the pipe and the inside of your airpot.


5. Reassemble your airpot and voila, almost like new again.


Experience: Restaurant and hotel business for 20 years.

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