I use an old Wear Ever heavy aluminum coffee pot for boiling water. I don't allow unused water to sit in it. It has stains inside and needs a good cleaning. It has white residue at the water line that I cannot remove. For now I have been washing it out with soapy water but not using anything abrasive. Any ideas on how to clean it? I just want to be sure it is safe to use, if the stains cannot be removed so then they are meant to be.
You can buy kitchen-safe aluminium cleaner & descaler - the white could easily be limescale.
If you look at 'home-style' cleaning guides, then everybody seems to have a different opinion - some choose baking soda, some choose vinegar.
Now, I'm no chemist, but I fail to see how both of those would work, one acid, the other alkaline. I also don't know which would clean the aluminium or which may damage it. I did once manage to completely ruin 2 stove-top espresso makers by getting this wrong.
On the other hand, you can get a litre of commercial cleaner/descaler for a couple of quid/bucks/euros, so why not let the experts take over?
They're going to have figured out what removes scale & tarnish, yet doesn't harm the aluminium. A look at a data sheet says it's Orthophosphoric acid.
I checked data sheets for 'regular' cleaner/descaler & aluminium-specific cleaner/descaler. Both contain the same acid, though other ingredients may differ.
Google found this one in the UK, but I'm sure you can find something similar close to where you live.