The Moka pot is a great choice for anyone who wants great-tasting coffee without necessarily having to invest in a costly espresso machine.
These are also the ideal piece of coffee brewing equipment for those who prefer to make their coffee beverages in more traditional, nostalgic ways.
Invented by Italian designer Alfonso Bialetti in the 1930s, Moka pots quickly became a prominent and common piece of in any coffee lover’s kitchen and remain highly popular throughout Europe and South America to this day.
Nowadays, this type of pot is available in a range of materials (mainly the original aluminum or alternative stainless steel options), as well as in sizes from pots capable of making two espresso shots to larger pots that can make up to 12 espresso shot cups.
>> Read More: Discover our top pick for best moka pot
Of course, if you have already invested in a Moka pot or are considering a purchase, you’re going to have to make sure that you maintain it correctly.
As with all brewing gear, a big part of this maintenance process is cleaning.
Here’s a thorough guide on how to correctly clean your moka pot.
Why Is It Important to Clean Your Moka Pot?
There are a number of reasons that it’s important to clean your Moka pot. Here are some to bear in mind.
First, and most importantly, it’s essential to maintain a clean Moka pot for your own safety.
While Moka pots rarely explode, you do need to make sure that it is clean to minimize chances of this occurring. Moka pots use pressure to heat your coffee and brew your grounds, but sudden changes in pressure can cause explosions.
Pressure is released through the safety valve to prevent this from happening, but if your Moka pot is dirty and the safety valve is clogged with old grounds or gunky water, you could have an explosion on your hands.
Nobody wants a drink with dirt, bacteria, old grains and other buildup floating around in it.
Cleaning your Moka pot regularly ensures that your drinks are clean and fresh, preventing potential illness.
A dirty Moka pot will result in coffee with a bad or bitter taste.
If there are old grounds still present or built up over time in the pot when you begin to brew new grounds, they will release a bitter flavor that will ruin your final beverage.
How Often Should You Clean Your Moka Pot?
It is absolutely essential that you remove the grounds from the pot after each use.
Ideally, you should make sure to lightly clean your Moka pot in general after each use too.
If you use it more than once a day, you should aim to clean it daily.
In regards to descaling, you should descale your Moka pot monthly (if you live in a region with hard water) or twice a year (if you live in a region with soft water).
How to Clean Your Moka Pot
As we mentioned above, there are two different ways that you should be cleaning your Moka pot - regular cleaning and occasional deep cleaning.
Here are the steps to take for each.
Each time you use your Moka pot, you should give it a routine clean.
How to clean your moka pot daily
1. Allow your moka pot to cool
2. Carefully disassemble it and remove the filter basket.
3. Hold the filter basket over a bin and gently tap it to release used grounds.
4. Then give it a rinse under warm water from the faucet and allow it to dry.
5. Repeat this with all of the other parts of the pot. If you find that there are any stubborn stains, you should use a damp paper towel to dislodge them.
6. Make sure that all parts are fully dry before reassembling your pot; this will prevent rust.
What NOT to do when cleaning your moka pot
There are a few do not's to bear in mind when cleaning your Moka pot. Bear these in mind at all times:
- Don’t put your Moka pot in the dishwasher
- Don’t scrub the Moka pot with any rough materials like a scouring sponge or pad
- Don’t use any harsh chemicals or cleaning products on your pot
Deep Cleaning / Descaling
Any piece of equipment that is exposed to water and heat will eventually need descaling. Moka pots are no exception.
All water contains minerals and as these build up on the inside of your pot, they will create a thick scum that will ultimately create blockages and impact the taste of the coffee you’re brewing.
Fortunately, limescale can easily be tackled with occasional cleaning.
What you'll need to descale your moka pot
To effectively deep clean and descale your Moka pot, you will need:
- one tablespoon of white vinegar
- one tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
How to descale your moka pot
- Start by taking your cooled Moka pot and fill it with water. Ideally, the lower chamber and the safety valve should be covered with water and you should continue pouring until you reach the coffee filter basket. This will ensure that all oily areas are targeted.
- Add the white vinegar and the lemon juice to the water. These acids are strong enough to break down hardened calcium deposits, but won’t damage the walls of your Moka pot either.
- Next, leave the acids some time to work their magic. You should leave your Moka pot to sit for roughly three to four hours.
- After this time, pour out some of the water, ensuring that the safety valve is no longer covered.
- Finally, you will need to run a brew cycle with the water that is remaining in the pot. This will help to lift stubborn stains, gunk and grounds.
- Once the brew is complete, you can pour out the liquid, give your Moka pot a good rinse and allow it to dry thoroughly.
Bottom Line on Cleaning Your Moka Pot
Both daily cleaning and deep cleaning play essential roles in maintaining your Moka pot, as well as ensuring your safety and creating a cup of coffee with a good taste.
Follow the steps above to tick all of these boxes and enjoy a fresh tasting espresso every time.