How to Clean a Burned Italian Coffee Machine

My coffee machine’s is burned! Horror! Is it the end of the world? Well, no, but it’s good to know how to act in these cases and take precautions, so it doesn’t happen again. Owners of an Italian coffee maker are often faced with a very unpleasant aesthetic problem: the heat from the fire burns or wears out the bottom of the Moka pot until it turns black. And of course, it’s a pity. It is a situation that occurs, especially if we heat our mocha on a traditional gas stove.

And it can also happen if we get confused and leave the coffee machine on the stove too long. We are referring, of course, to the outside of the coffee machine, although sometimes coffee can burn and damage the inside of our mocha (something that happens more often when food is burned inside pots, pans and pans).

In short: What can we do to recover the original tone and shine of our burnt Italian coffee maker? Well, the first thing we must distinguish is whether our coffee machine is made of stainless steel or aluminium, as both materials need different treatments. Let’s look at some specific recommendations for each material.

How to clean a burnt stainless steel coffee machine

If the Moka pot is made of stainless steel, bicarbonate is a good ally. You have to be careful, because products that are too abrasive can damage stainless steel, so you can’t just use anything if you want to keep the original look of your coffee machine.

Generally speaking, a good idea is to first immerse the burnt element (in this case, a coffee maker) in a solution of water and natural acid. Step by step, we advise you to try the following method:

  • Pour two equal parts of water and vinegar into your coffee machine (for example, one cup of water and one cup of vinegar). If the burn is on the outside, you should pour this mixture into a larger container, and then immerse the Moka pot in it.
  • Add a tablespoon of baking soda to the mixture.
  • Place the coffee pot (or the container holding the coffee machine) on the stove, and heat it. The aim is to bring the solution to a boil. A little foam may appear, and this is normal, so don’t panic.
  • When it’s hot enough and a few minutes have passed, you can try scraping the burns off. To do this, use a spatula or similar, but be careful not to scratch the surface. If you see that they don’t come out, you can boil it a little more, so that the dirt or burn will soften completely.
  • When you have rubbed and removed some of the burned surface, remove the brewer from the heat.
  • Now, if the burns were inside the pot, fill the inside of the pot with baking soda. You have to cover the burned spots completely.
  • Scrub, or rub, again until the entire burned surface is gone.
  • Finally, rinse the coffee maker and dry it thoroughly. Please don’t take too long; the coffee machine mustn’t stay wet for too long.

As you can see, the procedure consists of several steps. Still, they can be summarized as follows: first soften the burns with a natural acid solution (water and vinegar), to which bicarbonate is added.

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

  • 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 much of a hurry, this method is more effective than the previous one (although slower, of course).
  • 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, to which we will add enough water to make the mixture consistent (it should not be too liquid). Once we have the paste ready, we rub it in our coffee machine with a sponge or cloth and rinse it thoroughly.
  • 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.
Cleaning a burnt Italian coffee machine

What do I do after I clean the burned surface of my coffee machine?

Since you are cleaning and taking care of your coffee machine, it is best to take precautions, and take the opportunity to polish it and make it as right as new. So, after cleaning a burnt-out coffee machine, remove any streaks and small scratches from the surface with olive oil or even 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 new cloth or sponge with the oil – or sparkling water – and rubbing the surface to be polished very well. If you didn’t know this trick for polishing stainless steel, you’re already taking a while to put it into practice.

How to clean a burnt aluminium coffee machine

Finally, let’s try to clean the aluminium coffee pots. Aluminium is not too difficult to clean, but it has one big drawback: it scratches easily. So we have to be careful, mainly because in the case of coffee machines, the burn marks don’t always come out at first. Never use strong chemicals or scourers (steel wool, etc.) to clean your aluminium coffee maker.

  1. A good measure, as a first attempt, is to immerse the coffee machine for a while in hot, soapy water, so that the dirt is softened. Afterwards, you can start cleaning the burn marks usually.
  2. If this doesn’t work, then we move on to plan B: we’ll boil water and mix it with some natural acid solution (white vinegar, lemon juice, etc.) You can use as a reference the measure of two tablespoons of acid for every 250 ml of water. Immerse your coffee machine in this mixture and wait a few minutes, until the water cools down. Then try cleaning the coffee machine again usually (with a brush and a little soap). This process is similar to the one we have previously described for stainless steel coffee makers.