How to clean (or better yet prevent) nasty buildup inside canner?

John__ShowMe__USA(5/6)December 7, 2011

Almost new aluminum 23 qt Presto pressure canner. Used maybe 5 or 6 times.

I usually add vinegar to the tap water & although I think helps keep the jars cleaner it might be reacting with the aluminum?

Next time I can something will use distilled water instead of tap water to see if that helps.

Suggestions? I know can't use CLR to clean it. Baking soda?

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readinglady(z8 OR)

You might try cream of tartar, 2T/quart of water. Pour in, bring to a boil, boil up to 10 minutes and see if that helps.


    Bookmark   December 7, 2011 at 3:36PM
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mellyofthesouth(9a FL)

What about using my favorite - Bar Keeper's Friend?

    Bookmark   December 7, 2011 at 3:38PM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

Presto: - To prevent discoloration of aluminum canner interiors and canning racks, add 2 tablespoons of white vinegar to the water used for processing jars of food. This solution also prevents hard water stains on the canning jars. If discoloration of the canner has already occurred, use an aluminum cleaner to remove the stain.

So it shouldn't be the vinegar. Cream of tartar and water paste might help, and several of the cookware companies make aluminum cleaners - Calphalon, Sokoff etc, little bit on the spendy side.

Does the color especially bother you? My own, one of them 40 yrs old, may be close to that dark (has been used with both well and municipal water over the years) - I know its clean and ignore the stain. It doesn't seem to come off on anything, discolor either jars or food.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2011 at 3:46PM
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My PC racks that I use in the BWB look like that too. Good to know that it's not harmful, b/c I just can't seem to find a SS flat rack to fit my stockpot!

    Bookmark   December 7, 2011 at 5:13PM
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Thanks for all the replies! Wish I had checked this thread before I went to town this morning and I would have bought some Bar Keeper's Friend to try if the cream of tartar doesn't work.

I must have the hardest water in the world and am constantly having to repair dripping faucets etc because of calcium deposits. And no way would I drink or cook with it.

Will try the cream of tartar first. Later today or for sure tomorrow.

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   December 8, 2011 at 1:06PM
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John, do you have a water softener? Maybe you should get one. Supposedly it does not put salt in the drinking water, so much as convert it to baking soda, which helps digestion.

I've been drinking the water from the softener for some time and have less indigestion and no more buildup of calcium plaque on my hot water pan.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2011 at 2:31PM
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There is nothing about the discoloration that will hurt anything. All you are doing in it is boiling water, not having food in contact with it. And from a more technical basis, aluminum develops oxides on the surface that are far harder than the aluminum itself. If you actually take action to remove this protective coating because it is "ugly" you will actually be taking the surface back down to the aluminum, in the process removing a layer. You have to figure that little by little you are losing your pot. Leave it alone, and it is likely to last forever!!

    Bookmark   December 8, 2011 at 3:10PM
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Cream of tartar... unbelievable! It for sure works.

And no, I don't have a water softener. Talk about coincidence... I got an offer in the mail today from ScaleRid & it might do the job? Still wouldn't drink or cook with the water though. The municipal water supply in my area is just too nasty. Multiple boil orders every year.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2011 at 4:11PM
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