Results 1 to 18 of 18
Like Tree2Likes
  • 1 Post By kaanage
  • 1 Post By kaanage

Thread: Cleaning and descaling a Gaggia Classic

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    12

    Cleaning and descaling a Gaggia Classic

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi all

    It's been a while since I cleaned and descaled my Gaggia Classic. What products should I use?

    Josh

  2. #2
    Site Sponsor
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Frenchs Forest NSW
    Posts
    760
    Hi Josh,

    this is what we use in our service dept.:
    * for backflushing: Clean Machine Powder
    * for descaling: Triple Action Coffee Machine Descaler 250ml

    charlie

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    12
    Thanks Charlie. Will get those things soon.

    Josh

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    12
    Hi again Charlie. I've finally purchased the items. Just a quick question. The clean machine powder doesn't have instructions for use. I'm guessing I just put some in my blind and back flush. How much cleaner should I put in the blind, and for how long / how often should I back flush with it? Cheers, Josh

  5. #5
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Warwick, QLD
    Posts
    17,114
    G'day Straws82...

    There're some great how-to videos on the ECA website by Scottie Callaghan and one specifically dealing with cleaning and maintenance. Although these are aimed at different machines to yours, a lot of the basics are still the same.

    All the best,
    Mal.

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    12
    Thanks Mal and Charlie. I cleaned and descaled the machine this morning and it's working great! Appreciate the help!

    Josh

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Discovery Bay, HK
    Posts
    268
    Best to mark your calendar Josh and do your maintenance on a regular basis. You will not regret it. Check out the Gaggia Users Forum for more Gaggia specific tips and tricks.

  8. #8
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Woodend, New Zealand
    Posts
    2,297

    Cleaning and descaling a Gaggia Classic

    Quote Originally Posted by Straws82 View Post
    Thanks Mal and Charlie. I cleaned and descaled the machine this morning and it's working great! Appreciate the help!

    Josh
    Hope your Classic is still going well. Due to the small aluminium boiler the Classic can experience greater issues with scale. It's highly recommended to use only filtered water (just from a Brita jug is fine), back flush regularly (at least once a month if used for an average of 1 cup a day), and continue to descale even if using filtered water. Regularity of the descale really depends on the quality of your water, how much use the machine gets and the descale product you use. You can use a weak detergent/descale like Cleancaf say every 2-3 months and then a strong descaler like Durgol once a year for example, but it all depends on those variables.
    Last edited by LeroyC; 15th March 2015 at 07:25 PM. Reason: Update

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    439
    I hope you realise Gaggia used aluminium dispersion discs in the Classic and other machines of that era. Backwashing with a caustic cleaning powder will corrode those in short order.
    burr likes this.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Discovery Bay, HK
    Posts
    268
    Quote Originally Posted by kaanage View Post
    I hope you realise Gaggia used aluminium dispersion discs in the Classic and other machines of that era. Backwashing with a caustic cleaning powder will corrode those in short order.
    It is always a good idea to remove shower screen and dispersion disc aka plate holder when back flushing with detergent. That is what I do.

  11. #11
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Warwick, QLD
    Posts
    17,114
    Quote Originally Posted by kaanage View Post
    I hope you realise Gaggia used aluminium dispersion discs in the Classic and other machines of that era. Backwashing with a caustic cleaning powder will corrode those in short order.
    The couple of Classics that I have pulled apart, only the Boiler was Aluminium and everything below the Boiler (the Group Head) was made of brass, including what you refer to as the Dispersion Disc. Backflushing with a reputable product such a Cafetto Clean Machine won't do any harm as that part of the hydraulic circuit exposed to the backflushing routine is entirely made of brass, including the 3-Way Valve.

    Gaggia Classic machines and their siblings do suffer from electrolytic corrosion of the inside of the Aluminium Boiler though, since in a dissimilar metal hydraulic environment such as this design, the Boiler ends up being a sacrificial anode of sorts, given that that Al is a more reactive metal than the copper tubing and brass Group Block. The good thing though, is that the Boiler is a relatively inexpensive replacement option for when things become truly sad and pitted...

    Mal.

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    184
    I was under the impression that the gaggia's dispersion disk/shower screen holder was aluminium, while brass replacements are available. The problem of backflushing detergent (sodium [per]carbonate) damaging this part is pretty well documented - I don't know how it reacts but a dark grey residue forms which is easily wiped away. Its also recomended not to clean aluminium cookware in automatic dishwashers due to the high pH of the detergents.

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Central Coast NSW
    Posts
    685
    Quote Originally Posted by burr View Post
    I was under the impression that the gaggia's dispersion disk/shower screen holder was aluminium, while brass replacements are available. The problem of backflushing detergent (sodium [per]carbonate) damaging this part is pretty well documented - I don't know how it reacts but a dark grey residue forms which is easily wiped away. Its also recomended not to clean aluminium cookware in automatic dishwashers due to the high pH of the detergents.
    Are the newer machines using brass as stock?

    I had 3 Classics and a Coffee go through my hands and they all had aluminium dispersion disks that were very reactive to sodium percarbonate based cleaners.

    I remember looking at the brass replacements but decided it was not worth the cost.

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    439
    If they have the commercial brass dispersion disc (Coffee Parts | GAGGIA coffee machine | Shower Screen Holder), then backflush away with Cafetto, et al. But I've never seen this on the stock Classic so any Classic owner should check first.

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Discovery Bay, HK
    Posts
    268
    If I have a replacement dispersion disc made of brass, I will still remove them and soak it separately in a detergent solution and do my back flush without it. The main target of the cleaning routine is the 3 way solenoid valve and the passage way where coffee oils tend to accumulate when pressure is released after a shot.

  16. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    439
    Cafes backflush to clean both the showerscreen/dispersion disc area and and the solenoid and passages. If you have a brass dispersion disc on your Gaggia, you may as well take full advantage of the cleaning action when doing a chemical backwash
    Dimal likes this.

  17. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Discovery Bay, HK
    Posts
    268
    Give it a test sometime if you have a Gaggia Classic. Do the chemical backwash then take off the shower screen and dispersion disc and have a close look if it is clean enough for you. It never was for me but different people have different standards of how clean they want their Gaggia Classic.

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    439
    My Classics both had aluminium dispersion discs so there's no way I ever would have done a chemical backwash on it with the showerscreen and dispersion disc attached.

    I do maintain my HX machine this way and can get the showerscreen and dispersion disc satisfactorily clean with a thorough chemical backwash every couple of weeks. I do pull off the showerscreen and dispersion disc a couple of times a year to check the group seal and give them an extra clean while they're off but they're not at all bad.



Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •