Cleaning Portaspresso - Brass
Just wanting to put a quick message out there to all the portaspresso owners. Have had mine since the March and it's been serving me well. Unfortunately it's starting to show some marks (tarnishing) over the brass and was wanting to find out what people out there use to clean it up. From an email conversation from Ross he mentioned he uses some scotchbrite every few months to keep it shiny but thought that would just been scratching the surface and creates a grain.
Does anyone other there have any tips for cleaning, doesn't have to be BNIB shiny but would like to make it prettied up again!
Some times I've seen are using tomato sauce, vinegar and salt combination. Would prefer something that would not be massively abrasive and wouldn't accidentally influence that taste of my coffee after being cleaned.
Not Rossa specific - but maybe you can try BarKeepers' Friend or home-DIY recipe like baking soda+lemon+flour paste mixture? Both are used sometimes in cookware so they should be fine in terms of health perspective. I would leave the internal alone though - assuming the goal is for aesthetic reasons. Also, it might be prudent to not let any water gets into the cylinder part.
Lemon juice, tomato sauce, vinegar and salt are all used to form a patina on brass. I don't think that's what you are after.
Have you tried brasso?
True that, but only if you let it soak for long enough - you shouldn't soak them anyway for polishing purpose. To polish up tarnished brass, you do need to dissolve the surface oxide layer and acids are great in that.
The Brasso seems to be hydrocarbon/petroleum based + ammonia, with oxalic acid additive in some region. I'd normally avoid any non-food safe ingredient near my coffee stuff. The Barkeepers' Friend (BKF) doesn't list exactly what the ingredients are though, but they are said to be relatively food safe. Not surprisingly, the active ingredient is oxalic acid as well (helps to remove the surface oxide faster).
Another method you could try is toothpaste. Not completely food safe (but we put those into our mouth anyway so can't be that bad) and it's probably not as effective as specialized polisher. But should be slightly abbrasive enough to clean up the brass.
If it is not clear, the procedure goes by using a microfibre cloth (or toilet paper works fine), apply a bit of paste on the area, and starts buffing(rubbing). Best to clean off the residue by rinsing afterwards (that's why the cylinder can be a bit challenging).
Brasso or Autosol would be my pick.
Thanks for all the tips guys. Also just read my original post - sorry for the bad grammar, not enough coffee when i wrote that.
I'll keep you posted with what I try and if I have any success.
I've always used a scotchbrite - used dry for the grinder, and wet for the Rossa HC. The older (used) scotchbrite scourers are not as harsh. I just try and match the way the brass has been tooled with the 'scratch marks' as you put it.
There are a few areas that don't come up as good - if you use the scotchbrite on the black plastic parts, and also the top of the HC, where it is hard to make it hidden. The good news is that there are thousands of cleans to do before you wear the brass away too much...
After reading this thread I went and cleaned the rosco mini. Put it back together and now I can't - for the life of me - get the bottom threads to come apart so I can adjust the grind size. Anyone have any tips for this?