I pulled down my bialetti Moka to make some coffee and found it like this:

Tarnished coffee maker

Is the coffee maker safe to use? Does it need cleaning? How should I clean it?

  • 6
    That looks extremely clean compared with my moka pot.
    – FuzzyChef
    Commented Nov 22, 2021 at 18:21
  • Any reason for a downvote or how to improve this question?
    – StuperUser
    Commented Nov 23, 2021 at 22:24
  • How about: "...does not show research effort; is unclear or not useful..."
    – gnicko
    Commented Nov 24, 2021 at 22:15
  • @StuperUser I'm curious why you're paying attention to downvotes, but haven't selected Chris H's answer?
    – FuzzyChef
    Commented Nov 26, 2021 at 18:13
  • @fuzzyChef, habit from other sites on the network. Keeping them open for a few days to be open for other answers. Chris H's answer is comprehensive and is now accepted.
    – StuperUser
    Commented Nov 27, 2021 at 13:48

1 Answer 1


Moka pots are traditionally rinsed (at most) but they're also traditionally used frequently. They develop a coating over time. If I'm putting mine away fro a long period I do clean it, after which it looks like yours, but mine is around 60 years old

If it was put away dry (not so much the top part as round the seals and up the pipe) and stored somewhere clean, I'd use it like that. If it might have got dusty, a rinse and wipe with a clean cloth might be in order. After prolonged storage you might even want to run it empty to rinse the pipe through and avoid stale coffee flavour. There's no need to use detergent unless you're resurrecting an old one or suspect it's been stored damp. Even then the inside of the pipe is the bit to worry about, and that's not easy to clean. A cloth wrapped round a chopstick is good for that, after removing the filter and seal (or you can buy culinary "test tube" brushes).

Just for fun, here's what mine looks like. It's normally used at least 3 times per week, and it's still wet from rinsing in the photo. I actually rinsed it a bit vigorously this time so loosened some bits of the layer of coffee that had built up

Well-seasoned Bialetti

  • You can also get test tube brushes of various sizes which do a good job of cleaning tubes. (I have a rather long one that I use for my coffee percolator)
    – Joe
    Commented Nov 22, 2021 at 15:05
  • @Joe indeed you can. I've got a couple that aren't going anywhere near food, but I think there might be one in the homebrewing kit that I'd use if I felt the need. I was aiming for something more likely to be lying around in a typical kitchen, in other words what I used when I inherited my Bialetti
    – Chris H
    Commented Nov 22, 2021 at 15:09
  • Good point. I like the brushes as they 'scrub' a little bit better than just a cloth. Also, you have to mess around with just the right amount of cloth so it's touching the sides while still fitting through.
    – Joe
    Commented Nov 22, 2021 at 19:44
  • @ChrisH I think you should clear your moka, even using only water, but clean it! I use moka every day and when it is cooled down I clean it using only water. But if you leave coffee residuals like those the next time you prepare a coffee, when the moka gets very hot the coffee residuals will burn becoming black: these will ruin the taste of the coffee and more important they are carcinogenic too!
    – Michele
    Commented Nov 23, 2021 at 11:24
  • @Michele Nothing in the top will get hotter than the next brew - that part is only heated by hot coffee and a little bit by steam from the grounds below
    – Chris H
    Commented Nov 23, 2021 at 11:28

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