How do I clean the aluminum rack for my pressure canner?

by Dianacirce70

I have a Presto pressure canner and the aluminum rack that the jars sit on is horribly discolored. Its basically black, except where the jars sit. I have tried scrubbing it, but the discoloration does not go away. I don't believe it affects the canning process any, and if caused by it, but it looks terrible and I'd like to have it silver again.

  3 answers
  • Lillian Mincey Lillian Mincey on Aug 03, 2018

    I add three tablespoons of white vinegar to the water in my Presto caner each time I use it. It may take several times to remove what has built up. Continue to use the vinegar each time as it will keep it from building up again.

  • Judy Judy on Aug 03, 2018


    Try bar keepers friend.

    Otherwise, it’s harmless.

  • Laurie Laurie on Aug 03, 2018

    That happens when the aluminum reacts with minerals and chemicals in the water. It really does no harm, since your canned goods are sealed. Just looks a little bad, and only you see it, and only when you get it out to use. I wouldn't worry over it. If you cleaned it off, it would just come back, and since sanding/scouring might be the best option, and that's tedious on all those wiry parts, I don't think it's worth it. I think any product that would remove the tarnish chemically is not something you want to use on a food-prep item, as well. My rack is steel, so it doesn't turn black, but my aluminum pot does darken. I just ignore it, since it doesn't hurt anything. Maybe try a bit of baking soda in the water to alkalize it and minimize this reaction. If that makes it worse, switch to a little vinegar, very little, since the acid will surely react with aluminum. Google "clean aluminum." Are you sure it is really aluminum?

    • Dianacirce70 Dianacirce70 on Aug 03, 2018

      I am 100% certain it is aluminum, it is definitely not a higher grade of steel. The rack I had previously was steel and did not darken, and this kind of threw me since I have never has an aluminum rack before. I definitely would not use anything harsh on it, for the reason you mentioned. I use my canner A LOT and I'm not thrilled that for the cost I got an aluminum rack. I did google it, and imagines look pretty much exactly like what I have had happen. It looks terrible. I never thought about minerals reacting to the pressure, etc. but that makes sense, we have well water. Thanks for the input!