Making stove top coffee with old percolator.

by Tom
(Pittsburgh, PA )

A modern electric coffee percolator.

A modern electric coffee percolator.


Just read your very informative article on how to make coffee in an old stove top percolator...............

You answered some basic questions, especially how long u let it perk, and, when to turn it down?? (I had no idea).....

I remember this was how coffee was made when I was growing up, and, look forward to making it this way.... In the process of purchasing a used pot on Etsy, it looks fine, would that be ok?? Do you use distilled white vinegar to clean the pot and its parts????

Also in the process of buying an old electric percolator, not the standard metal one with metal basket, etc....

The one that really is holding my attention is an old Procter Silex electric, the pot is glass as opposed to metal. The filter is plastic instead of metal, do u think an older plastic filter would be a problem?? That seems to be the only drawback for me..........

Again, would you use the white distilled vinegar to clean this kind of pot, and, parts??

I was just wondering how the white vinegar would react on the metal stove top percolator??

Maybe back then they just gave it a good soap/water wash???

Hope u can answer my questions especially on how to clean the metal pot, and, if u think the plastic filter is ok in the electric pot??

Thx for any help/info.


Tom King


Tom, hi

As for cleaning, I think you can do fine just with some soap and hot water. The vinegar approach is really useful for drip brewers and single serve brewers because it gets to parts you can’t reach, or even see.

Regarding the plastic filter basket, I’m not sure what the answer is. Plastics today are very different from how they made them a decade or two back.

That said, if chemicals were going to leach out of the plastic, that probably already happened a long time ago.

For complete peace of mind you might want to do a search on eBay etc and see if you can find a metal replacement part.

Thanks for the question!

Best wishes.


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