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How To Clean A Moka Pot Everyday In A Few Easy Steps

Learning how to clean a moka pot so you can enjoy your delicious Italian coffee every morning is easy and this is your guide for a complete daily cleaning.

How To Clean A Moka Pot - By Hand

Clean By Hand

I love Italian coffee and an economical way to replicate the delicious espresso drink you can enjoy in a bar in Italy is to use a stovetop coffee maker known as a Moka. A Moka can create a strong cup of coffee but doesn’t make “real” espresso because there isn’t the same type of steam and pressure available to a stovetop espresso maker. The crema, which is the foam made by the steam, doesn’t really exist in a Moka because the pressure isn’t even close to the same.

The Bialetti Moka Pot Is My Favorite Brand

I use a Moka at home every morning, and I have for quite a few years now. If you are not familiar with it, the Moka has become an iconic part of Italian coffee culture and I believe it is the best Italian stovetop coffee maker available. The Moka is a stovetop percolator, also known in Italy as a caffettiera, and the most popular brand was designed and patented in 1933 by Alfonso Bialetti. The Bialetti brand is synonymous with the Moka, although many other manufacturers have created their own versions. The distinctive Bialetti coffee maker (caffettiera) is recognized around the world. As an indication of the importance of the Bialetti Moka to Italian culture, the son of the inventor Renato Bialetti was buried in a Moka.

Should You Clean A Moka Pot?

Yes, you should, and do it daily. The coffee leaves a lot of residue in the funnel basket, the filter plate and in the top chamber. It is also possible, depending on how you make your coffee, that grounds can foul the relief valve in every Moka which can possibly lead to more serious problems. Under typical conditions, there shouldn’t be any coffee ground in the bottom chamber (boiler), but I have seen a video from a famous bar in Naples recommending adding some coffee to the water in the boiler, but that is pretty uncommon.

How To Clean A Moka Pot - No Soap

Don’t Use Soap

Should I Clean A Moka Pot With Soap?

As you have probably seen online, the answer to this question is an emphatic NO. You may, however, wonder why this is the consistent recommendation and that is because the residue, regardless of what soap you use, leaves a nasty taste in the coffee. This recommendation is for both hand washing in the sink, and using a dishwasher. Only use clean, hot water for cleaning your moka, unless you are doing a deep cleaning, which I will describe below.

This Is How To Clean A Moka Pot

Every video or blog you see that talks about a Moka, including this one, all say the same thing: “don’t use soap”. This is definitely true! Don’t clean a Moka with dish soap, don’t use a soapy sponge and definitely don’t put one in the dishwasher. You need to use only water to clean the grounds.

Here Are The Steps For Cleaning A Moka:

Disassembly Of Your Moka Pot

If the moka is new, remove it from the box. Now, new or old, disassemble the coffee maker in your sink. Separate the top chamber (collector) from the bottom chamber (boiler), remove the filter gasket and the gasket should fall out. This should leave you with five pieces.

Boil A New Or Scaley Moka

If this is the first time you are using the moka, or if you have been using it for a while and there has been a build-up of calcium on the pieces, you should put all the pieces into a pot of hot water, with a little bit of white vinegar added. Let this boil for about 30 minutes. Now remove it from the water and let it cool. Once everything is cool to the touch, reassemble the filter plate and the gasket, add water to the boiler and inexpensive coffee (like decaf) in the funnel basket. Boil the water like you are making a pot of coffee. Repeat this two more times. This is seasoning the moka pot.

How To Clean A Moka Pot - Disassembly

Disassemble Your Pot

Everyday Washing Of Your Moka

You don’t need to boil your moka everyday if you don’t think there is much of a calcium buildup. When I was in the US, the soft water in my town didn’t cause these types of issues, but here in Rome, the water has a higher calcium content and you need to keep an eye on the state of things. While most people demonstrate the cleaning of a Moka using only their fingers, I’ve also found using a clean bottle brush to be helpful in getting into the nooks and crannies. You’ll want to remove any grounds, especially embedded into the gasket, and any coffee residue. Use warm, running water and run your fingers or brush over every surface until it is clean.

Leave Your Moka To Dry

Once you are happy with how clean it is, leave it disassembled for overnight drying. If you need some coffee sooner than that, you can towel off the parts and re-assemble the pot. It isn’t a problem if it isn’t totally dry because you only used clean water.

How Do You Clean A Bialetti With Vinegar?

As I mentioned above, white vinegar is your friend for cleaning off calcium deposits because it is food safe, and if you rinse it well, there won’t be any tastes left over. Add a few tablespoons to a pot of boiling water and add the moka pieces. The boiler is where most of the calcium collects, so you can probably get away with only washing that piece. If you are cleaning this moka for the first time, not just to clean the calcium, include all the pieces.

Enjoying Italian Coffee At Home Shouldn’t Be Missed

The moka is very culturally important here in Italy and if you want to experience your morning cup in the most authentic way possible, you need to buy one. If you enjoyed learning how to clean a moka pot and you want to learn more about how coffee is enjoyed in Italy, these other posts might be of interest to you as well:

How To Clean A Moka Pot - Water Only

Clean Water Only

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