How To Clean A Moka Pot? (BaristaHQ Expert Guide)

Moka coffee pots are a handy and iconic addition to any brewing enthusiast’s arsenal. Still, like any other tool, they need to be cared for correctly. Should you clean a Moka pot?

We have brewed up the perfect guide on how to clean Moka pot for pros and newbies down below. Read on to discover our tips and tricks for the perfect cup.

We filtered out the bad tips to bring you the best of the best for your daily Moka routine.

How The Moka Material Impacts Cleaning

Before diving into getting your Moka pot clean, it is vital to know what material your Moka is made of.

Moka pots are most often made of either stainless steel or aluminum, which makes them sturdy and reliable for everyday brewing.[1]

However, each material requires a slightly different approach when it comes to cleaning.

Stainless steel Moka pots can be cleaned with home products like vinegar, lemon juice, and hot water without getting damaged.

However, aluminum Moka pots are more sensitive to acidic or other elements, so they need more gentle care.

When cleaning an aluminum Moka pot, we recommend sticking to hot water, a homemade baking soda paste, or a specialized cleaner product.

Daily Refresh Instructions

Part of maintaining your beloved Moka pot is knowing the best ways to clean it. We recommend doing the following each week at a minimum or, ideally, after each use.

1. Disassemble the Pot and Empty the Grounds

The best way to clean a Moka pot at the end of the day or after each use is as simple as it is effective at minimizing buildup. Don’t leave coffee inside after your daily cup.

Once your Moka pot is cooled down, disassemble the components, including the gasket and filter.

Empty your coffee grounds into the compost or waste bin - do not put them down the sink or garbage disposal to avoid clogs.

It is important not to leave old grounds inside too long as the grounds leak coffee residue and coffee oils into your Moka, which can build up and encourage bacteria or mold growth over time.

2. Rinse Well & Dry Thoroughly

Once you have disassembled each piece and emptied the grounds, give each piece a good rinse under hot water.

Do not use dish soap, harsh chemicals, or a dishwasher at this stage, as they could damage the Moka pot's protective coating.

If you find clogs or stubborn spots as you wash a coffee pot, use a soft cloth or cleaning brush to wipe them away.

Let each piece air dry completely before reassembling to avoid rusting.

Several Moka Pots Being Dried

Deep Clean

When you first bring your Moka pot home, and at the end of each year, a deep clean is essential to ensuring it stays in top shape.

Wondering how to clean a Moka pot more thoroughly? To perform a deep clean, follow these steps:

1. Fill a container with water and cleaner

If you have a stainless steel Moka pot, fill a container with equal parts white vinegar and hot water.

If you have an aluminum one, fill a container with only water and baking soda.

2. Take your pot apart

Take your Moka apart, ensuring that you remove the upper chamber, water chamber, filter basket, and rubber gasket.

3. Leave it to soak

Put everything but the rubber seal in the acidic water and leave it to soak for at least 30 minutes. A few minutes more would be even better.

4. Sponge off any residue

Once the time is up, sponge off any residue with a clean cloth. Pay special attention to the funnel, valve, and gasket, working over the entire surface of each piece.

Warm water and a clean sponge are the best tools for cleaning the rubber gasket, specifically as citric acid or cleaners can damage the seal.

5. Rinse and dry

Rinse everything with warm soft water and leave it to dry fully. You can choose to either air dry or use a paper towel. Reassemble and store in a cool, dry place.

Descaling A Moka Pot (Keep It In Working Order)

1. Fill the bottom chamber with water

To descale Moka pot correctly, we recommend starting this cleaning process when it will not be used for a while, such as after dinner.

Fill the lower chamber with water until the safety valve is covered and the bottom of the coffee filter basket is just covered.

2. Add the vinegar and lemon juice or baking soda paste

  • The lemon juice method
    If your Moka is made of stainless steel, this is where you add either two tablespoons of vinegar or one tablespoon of vinegar and one lemon juice. White vinegar is preferable, but it is possible to use apple cider vinegar or distilled vinegar instead.
  • The baking soda method
    If your Moka coffee pot is aluminum, we recommend either creating a paste of baking soda and water and scrubbing at the limescale or using a specially designed commercial descaler such as Urnex Dezcal. Disregard the following steps and use the box instructions.

3. Let it sit for about 3 hours

Reassemble your pot and let the vinegar or lemon and vinegar solution sit for around 2-3 hours.

4. Dump some liquid out

To continue this more thorough cleaning, pour a little of the solution out, so it does not overflow in this next step.

5. Run a brew cycle

Set up your Moka as though you are brewing coffee and brew a cycle without the usual coffee grounds.

6. Rinse everything thoroughly

Pour out the mixture and let your Moka coffee maker cool down before taking it apart and rinsing everything thoroughly, as above. Reassemble the pot once completely dry.


Dangers Of A Dirty Moka Pot (Reasons For Regular Cleaning)

Why is it so important to wash a Moka pot? Besides hygiene and preventing bacteria or mold buildup, it also prevents clogging and potential explosions.

Moka pots make coffee by forcing water through the finely ground coffee beans, similar to many espresso makers.

Steam builds up in the lower chamber of the Moka as the water boils, creating the pressure needed to drag water through the beans. Any excess pressure is released through the valve at the bottom.

It is quite common for this valve to clog when not cleaned properly or regularly. Clogging is often caused by coffee residue and ground coffee, mineral deposits, or mold.

By cleaning your Moka regularly, you can prevent a potential hazard or explosion.

In other words, cleaning your Moka pot regularly ensures that you do not become ill from harmful bacteria or mold buildup.

It also removes any coffee gunk that can cause your coffee maker to become oxidized or rusty. Additionally, these elements can stain your coffee maker and affect the taste of your coffee, leaving a really unpleasant taste.

Old Moka Pots

Cleaning A Moka Pot FAQs

Can you put a Moka pot in the dishwasher?

Do not put your Moka pot in the dishwasher. This will damage the thin layer coat that prevents your coffee from having a metallic taste in the brewing process.

Do Italians wash Moka pots?

Italians do indeed wash their Moka pots regularly, ensuring that they do not use dishwashing liquid or abrasive products.

They try to avoid using hard water in cleaning and use natural products as well as a clean cloth to get the job done.

How often should you deep clean your Moka pot?

We recommend deep cleaning your coffee makers at least once a year if your use your Moka every day and every couple of years if you are only an occasional enjoyer.

Additionally, you should also deep clean your Moka when you bring it home for the first time, finishing off the ritual by brewing two or three initiatory coffee pots before giving them the light clean we describe above.

Let your pot fully dry before reassembling and storing it. Making coffee after doing this ritual should result in better-tasting coffee from the jump.


Conclusion

This Italian essential is great for creating strong stovetop coffee from the comfort of your own home.

No matter what Moka Pot size you have, this coffee pot is durable enough to serve you for years to come - provided you take care of it. Use our tips above to help your coffee maker take care of you.

References:

1. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/243492775_Experimental_analysis_of_the_Italian_coffee_pot_moka''

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