I got careless and used a lye solution to clean an aluminum moka pot. The end result was that the whole thing was covered in sodium aluminate with some stains standing out from the rest.

Here's what the bottom looks like after a whole lot of scrubbing:

enter image description here

Can I get it any cleaner than that, or is this just the corrosion? Is there, in general, a good way to get the aluminates off with a minimum of effort?

  • Last time I did something like that to a moka pot [more heartbreaking… two at the same time] they ended up in the bin :\
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Jul 13, 2021 at 12:16
  • scrub with salt and baking soda and a bit of vinegar to erode off the corrosion and dissolve it before it re-coats.
    – dandavis
    Commented Jul 20, 2021 at 0:08

1 Answer 1


A weak acid solution should do it - you could use a dilute (white) vinegar solution for some time. How dilute, I don't know, but I would start with a 1:100 dilution, then incubate for an hour and see how it goes. If, after a few (3-4) hours there's no change, go for a more concentrated solution.

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