Find out why you shouldn't wash a Moka Pot with Soap -

You aren’t supposed to clean your Moka Pot with Soap? How does it then get clean?

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It’s a sure bet that every household in Italy has at least one Moka pot. They probably have two or three in different sizes of course, but for argument’s sake- I’ll put my euros on at least one. Hands down, the iconic 8-sided coffee maker is the best way to make espresso coffee. But it’s a well-known fact among Italians… you never wash your Moka Pot with soap.

N – E – V – E – R

History of the world famous bialetti moka coffee pot.
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So… What’s The Procedure to Clean my Moka Pot?

Step 1: After every use, take it apart and toss the grinds. If you have a compost pile- that would be awesome. Coffee is great to put in it. I’ve been known to dilute the grinds in water and add them to my outdoor plants for extra nourishment. That’s the first step. By the way, when you try and remove the grinds, don’t bang the aluminum filter against the side of the garbage can. You can easily damage and dent the filter this way.

Step 2: Thoroughly rinse all three pieces with warm to hot water. The bottom water container will be easy, then you need to rinse the inside and the bottom of the top portion with the nozzle. Grinds will adhere to the bottom of the top part and you must clean it completely. The filter needs to have water run through both the “basket” end – as well as the “tube” end. Once you have rinsed water through it, hold the filter by the tube end and shake it downwards into the sink. You will be surprised by the number of grinds that will still come out of the filter into the sink. Shake until only clear water comes through, just a few shakes should do it.

… and the last step…

Step 3: Again, don’t use soap. Soap will discolor the outside, and change the natural behavior of the inside of the pot. If any soap were to be left inside – it would change the flavor of the coffee too. Also, Moka Pots after time build up a thin layer of oil inside the chamber. Oil leftover from brewing coffee actually aids the coffee maker in consistently brewing rich, flavorful espresso. 

While on the subject, don’t even think of putting it in the dishwasher either.

If you accidentally use soap on your Moka Pot, immediately wash it with hot water. I would also put a small amount of coffee in the pot and once brewed, toss it all. It will be undrinkable from the soap.

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History of the world famous bialetti moka coffee pot.
photo credit:

Tips and Care from Bialetti

Descaling Your Moka Pot

If you feel it necessary, you can safely descale your Moka Pot.

You will need:

  • One tablespoon of white vinegar
  • One tablespoon of lemon juice

Simply follow these easy steps:

  • Add the vinegar and lemon to the water chamber
  • Add enough water to have it reach above the valve and touch the bottom of the coffee filter basket
  • Allow to sit for about three hours to remove all the calcium build-up
  • Empty some of the water, below the safety valve as you would normally do when making coffee.
  • Brew as normal
  • When the Moka Pot has cooled, rinse as usual with hot water and let completely dry.

How can you tell the difference between an aluminum and a stainless steel Moka Pot? Use a refrigerator magnet. You’ll know right away!

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Never wash a Moka Pot with soap - here's the reasons and how you should clean it -


  1. Good, solid advice for the moka. Honestly, I did not know that there were steel and aluminum pots, I will have to try and find a steel one when we are there in the fall. Thanks for the post!

  2. Reading this having just made morning espresso in my moka, how timely! Thanks for the reminder to shake out the filter after rinsing. Buona giornata a tutti

  3. Gee, we never had an issue cleaning it with a light soapy water before, we just always rinsed the h_ll out of it afterwards. I’ll let Steve know because he is the one who uses it all of the time. And…FYI…you do not have to dilute your coffee grinds. I just spoon them right into the pot around the base of the plants. As you water during the upcoming weeks, your plants will reep the benefits and you had one less step to perform.

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