How to clean an aluminum camping coffee pot that is black from the fire

Originally posted last summer after I returned from a solo camping trip with my dogs - it's that time of year so it's a great time to repost! 

I have had this 9 cup Coleman coffee pot for quite some time.  Although I don't particularly care how sparkling and clean it is, I do try to keep it somewhat clean as I don't want the blackened soot from campfires and coals to get on the other things it is packed with.  People with sparkling, shiny camping equipment are much like people with sparkling, shiny baking pans and cookware;  they don't actually use them much! 

In the past I've done what most campers tell each other to do.  Rub the bottom and sides with soap to keep it from getting especially bad, and then scrub it off with hot soapy water later.  Except, it really doesn't work all that great and I really hate to scrub pots and pans of any sort.  Still, that's what I've done for years.

After I returned home, I kept eying the coffee pot sitting on my counter waiting for me to scrub it... but I was loathe to do so, so I kept ignoring it.  Finally, I don't know what made me think to do it, but I grabbed a large plastic bowl, filled it with some water, added about 1/2 cup ammonia (cheap, regular bottled ammonia I had bought at Walmart for less than a dollar), immersed the pot, filled it with water to keep it in place vertically, and went about the house doing other things while I forgot about it.

When I cam back about 1 1/2 hours later I used my fingernail to test if it was helping at all.  A perfectly clean path appeared.  From there, I grabbed a simple scrub brush with stiff bristles, gave it a couple swipes and it was coming right off.  Right off without any real work or scrubbing at all. 

Here is a photo I snapped on my phone immediately after running the scrub brush over it.  You can see exactly where the pot was immersed in the water/ammonia mixture and where it wasn't.

I then laid it down as you see in the photo below, left it for another hour or so, rolled it over to the other side and did the same.  Then I used the scrub brush, washed and rinsed it in hot, soapy water and packed it away for my next trip. 

You might also be interested in;

Coleman 9-Cup Aluminum Coffee Pot

  • Lightweight and durable
  • Rust-resistant
  • Bail handle for easy pouring
  • Replaceable clear glass knob lets you see the strength of your coffee as it percolates
  • Easy to clean

Stansport Outdoor 277 9 Cup Aluminum Camper-Feets Percolator Coffee Pot
  • Made of durable, rustproof, high gloss Polished Aluminum
  • Percolator stem and basket included
  • Comes with top and side handles
  • Easy pour spout
  • Heats quickly

Wenzel Alpine 3 Person Tent
Teton Sports Scout 3400 Internal Frame Backpack (Hunter Green)
Mountain House Scrambled Eggs with Bacon (1 Pouch)