Cookware Safety Filter: Aluminum plus bleach - can a coffee pot be saved?
December 16, 2011 8:57 PM   Subscribe

The Mister cleaned an aluminum Mukka Express with bleach and the inside of the bottom part turned black. Is it still safe to use?

The Mister cleaned an aluminum Bialetti Mukka Express espresso maker with bleach and the inside of the bottom section turned black. Is it still safe to use?

The aluminum appears to have oxidized. Attempts to clean it with more neutral ways haven't helped. Is there any way to rescue it? Is it safe to use as is?
posted by Calzephyr to Food & Drink (4 answers total)
Best answer: Oxidized aluminum is basically impervious. It's fine. Hit it with a little barkeepers friend to clean it up.
posted by sanka at 9:08 PM on December 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Whew! Thanks :-) It looks so nasty that it seemed beyond hope.
posted by Calzephyr at 9:10 PM on December 16, 2011

Aluminum oxide is white (transparent in large crystals), as is aluminum chloride, as is aluminum hydroxide-- which is probably what formed, because aluminum exposed to bleach (sodium hypochlorite solution) forms aluminum hypochlorite, which quickly reacts to form aluminum hydroxide.

I don't know how the black color arises, but you certainly see it everywhere on corroded aluminum.

Maybe it's an effect similar to the blackness you get from binding a whole stack of razor blades together and looking at them edge on: all the surfaces are highly reflective, but it's a very deep black because none of the incident photons get reflected toward your eyes. I suppose the corroded surface of the aluminum could be so rugged that even though its highly reflective, the photons aren't reflected toward your eyes as you look at it, making it appear black.

I have never heard that it's dangerous.
posted by jamjam at 11:01 PM on December 16, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks JamJam. I wonder if it's not a pure aluminum either - I imagine it contains other metals as well. Ah well, I'm glad hubs did not have to learn an expensive lesson :-)
posted by Calzephyr at 6:43 PM on December 17, 2011

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