My favorite thing about going home to visit my parents: Every morning, my dad makes lattes for everyone. This ritual started almost 20 years ago, when they were visiting friends in Switzerland who only drank espresso drinks. They fell in love with the latte, and over the years my parents have acquired five different moka pots, all different sizes, for different-sized groups. Now that they're retired, my dad makes lattes for himself and my mom to savor every morning. And he makes them for me whenever I'm home.
Out of curiosity, I reached out to the team at Bialetti, a major player in the moka pot manufacturing game, to find out the proper way to clean a moka pot. Turns out, it's both easier and harder than you'd think.
Easier, because it requires very few tools; harder, because it's all about diligently doing the maintenance. "You don't want to do anything to the moka pot that's going to interfere with the (coffee) flavor or the finish," says Daniel Knight, their product manager for coffee. That means no soap, ever, because any soapy residue can interfere with the taste of your coffee and, over time, ruin the finish of the moka pot. Definitely do not put your moka pot in the dishwasher, because that can cause oxidation and corrosion, an unattractive effect that can also impart a metallic taste in your coffee. And avoid harsh scrub brushes and sponges, as those can also scratch the surface.
"Additionally, over time the coffee's oils will season the moka pot, which makes the coffee taste better, so you don't want to scrub it so hard that you remove that thin oily layer," says Knight. So when the inside of the pot starts to look stained, resist the urge to scrub it clean and consider it your moka pot's natural state. Just plan on some light maintenance every time you use it.
How To Clean a Moka Pot
What You Need
- Moka pot
- Warm water
- Soft cloth
- Dump the grounds: Allow your moka pot to cool completely, then open it up to dump the used grounds out of the basket.
- Take the pieces apart: Take the moka part apart — be sure to remove the gasket and filter.
- Run the pieces under water: Rinse each part with warm water, using your fingers to loosen any debris.
- Dry the pieces: Use a soft cloth to dry each part completely (or air dry the pieces) before reassembling the moka pot and putting it away. Any water on the pieces can corrode the metal over time and leave mineral deposits, too.
- Reassemble and use again: Once all the pieces are dry, reassemble the moka pot and it's ready to be used again in the morning.