How to clean a burnt Moka pot

Owners of a Moka pot are often faced with a very unpleasant aesthetic problem: the heat of the cooking fire burns or wears away the bottom of the Moka pot until it turns black. This situation happens mainly if we heat our Moka on a traditional gas cooker.

In this article, I explain how to remove the unsightly blackening from the base of your Moka pot, but from now on, be more careful and do not leave the coffee maker on the stove for too long or with too strong a flame.

To remove the black stains left by the fire and heat on the Moka pot, we must first determine whether it is made of aluminium or stainless steel, as the cleaning method varies slightly. We must also consider whether we have black stains on the inside of the boiler.

How to clean a burnt stainless steel Moka pot

If your Moka pot is made of stainless steel, the combination of baking soda and vinegar will be your best ally. As for what to use for scrubbing, you must be careful because overly abrasive products can damage stainless steel. If you want to maintain the original appearance of your coffee maker, you should opt for very soft scouring pads.

Generally speaking, a good idea is to first immerse the burnt element (in this case, the Moka pot) in a solution of hot water and our solution of baking soda and vinegar and let it rest.

Here is my step-by-step guide for you to try out:

  • To clean the inside of the Moka pot, fill the tank with water and our solution (two parts vinegar and one part baking soda). If the burn is on the outside, pour this mixture into a larger saucepan and immerse the Moka pot.
  • Place the Moka pot (or a big saucepan with the pot in it) on the stove and heat it. The aim is to bring the solution to a boil. A little foam may appear; this is normal, so don’t panic.
  • When it is hot enough and a few minutes have passed, you can try to scrape off the burns, but be careful not to scratch the surface. You can boil the water further to soften the dirt and burnt areas if they don’t come out.
  • When you have scrubbed and removed some burnt surfaces, remove the Moka pot from the heat.
  • Finally, rinse the Moka pot and dry it thoroughly. Do not take too long; the Moka pot should not remain wet.

All the above steps can be summarised as follows: first, soften the burns with a boiling solution of natural acid (water, vinegar and baking soda), then scrub with a soft scouring pad and repeat the process until the coffee maker is clean.

Other similar, or at least similar, options are as follows:

  1. Boil the coffee maker only with water and vinegar (in the proportions indicated above). When the water has boiled, turn off the heat and leave the coffee machine to soak in the water for 24 hours. Then wash or rub it to try and remove the burnt part. If we are not in too hurry, this method is more effective than the previous one (although slower, of course).
  2. If the burn marks are not too thick, we can try polishing and cleaning the stainless steel. To do this, we will make a paste or cream from three tablespoons of baking soda, adding enough water to make the mixture consistent (it should not be too liquid). Once the paste is ready, we rub it in our coffee machine with a sponge or cloth and rinse it thoroughly.
  3. Another trick for cleaning a burnt coffee machine is to rub the burnt surface with a ball of aluminium foil. It works on all surfaces, but we recommend you try it only if the coffee maker is made of steel because aluminium ones can be scratched. You will have to make less effort if you have previously immersed the burned surface in the acid or vinegar solution mentioned in the previous section.

What do I do after cleaning my Moka pot’s burned surface?

Since you are cleaning and taking care of your Moka pot, it is best to take precautions and take the opportunity to polish it and make it as right as new.

Remove any streaks and small scratches from the surface with olive oil or sparkling water. Yes, don’t look so surprised; we’ve already said that natural elements are the best way to avoid damaging the surface during cleaning.

How do you do that? Only by dampening a cloth or sponge with the oil – or sparkling water – and rubbing the surface to be polished very well.

How to clean a burnt aluminium Moka pot

Finally, let’s try to clean the aluminium Moka pot. Aluminium is not too difficult to clean, but it has one big drawback: it scratches easily.

We have to be careful, mainly because, in the case of Moka pots, the burnt and blackened marks don’t always come out at first. Never use strong chemicals or scourers (metal scouring pad, etc.) to clean your aluminium coffee maker.

  1. Immerse the coffee machine for a while in hot, soapy water so that the dirt is softened. Afterwards, you can start cleaning the burnt marks usually. If this doesn’t work, then we move on to plan B:
  2. We’ll boil water and mix it with some natural acid solution (vinegar and baking soda). You can reference the measure of two tablespoons of acid for every 250 ml of water.
  3. Immerse your Moka in this mixture and wait until the water cools down. Then try cleaning the coffee maker again, usually (with a brush and a little soap). This process is similar to the one described for stainless steel Moka pots.