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Thread: Decalcifying / Cleaning

  1. #1
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    Decalcifying / Cleaning

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi, I have a Breville low-end machine that I have had for a few months now and used happily few times a day. I have only ever used filtered water in it but in the manual it says to clean after a few months. It says to use vinegar but someone told me you shouldnt use vinegar in them, but didnt give a reason why. I saw some cleaning agent at Harvey Norman today but thought it was a bit steep at $25 a pop. Is it really essential I buy this professional cleaning agent, I think I read (here) you can buy something from the supermarket? Do people here use vinegar? I can appreciate those of you with top end machines perhaps using proper brand cleaning agents but if you had a cheapie machine how would you go about keeping the maintenance up?

    Thanks,

  2. #2
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Decalcifying / Cleaning

    Hi LMC,

    There are actually two different cleaning procedures and agents to do the job. To keep mineral scale under control, most of us use a dilute solution of Citric Acid. This can be purchased from most supermarkets and located in the Spices section somewhere, usually where Cream of Tartar, etc can be found.

    The other cleaning job that most of us do, is to clean the PF Baskets, Shower Screen and Water Dispersion device(if fitted) in Espresso Clean which can be purchased from our good friends at Coffee Parts, a site sponsor. Since your machine lacks a 3-Way Valve, it is not possible or desirable to allow Espresso Clean to find its way into your machines water circuit back through the ThermoBlock, etc. The above items just need to be removed and soaked in a weak solution of Espresso Clean as per instructions on the pack. If you do this regularly your machine should be able to provide you with good service and good coffee for the duration of its design life.

    Something you might like to consider though, is whether you can locate and use non-pressurised baskets in preference to the pressurised baskets that came with your machine. You would need to get a reasonable quality grinder though to go down this path but the end resulting improvement in the quality of your shots would be worth it, Im sure. Anyway, hope this helps you out some,

    Cheerio,
    Mal.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator scoota_gal's Avatar
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    Re: Decalcifying / Cleaning

    Theres heaps of info here on CS too, LMC about cleaning in general. Actually theres probably a bit too much info for a new Coffee Snobber but heres a link back to another topic that I thought had some good posts as well as good links to other off site articles which help to explain why some machines can be cleaned in certain ways and others cannot. Well worth the effort to have a look and read a bit.

    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1154519964

    And Mals right about the Citric Acid being used as a dilute solution to put through your machine. I would have thought that vinegar would be a bit too strong and react with any aluminium parts that may be in it. I believe that the thermoblocks are usually cast from aluminium. Just remember to flush enough water through the machine after wards and using the filtered water is a great but just be aware that there still will be some scale buildup over time, so cleaning your machine is good. But, slacker that I am, in the three years of owning my Sunbeam, I only did a flush of the machine once... :-[ The Silvia gets a bit more attention however! ;)


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    Re: Decalcifying / Cleaning

    Thanks guys, will look for the citric acid. I will read up on the other thread too.
    thank you

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    Re: Decalcifying / Cleaning

    hello all css. I have a bezzera commercial machine that is older serianl number starts with 93. It is single group plumbed water supply not sure of model but will check. Could any expreienced bezzera users confirm what commercial decalcifiers have been good to use and basic instructions on how to decalcify. I do not want to undo gasket of boiler for fear of having problems resealing leaks. Also does a solution of citric acid (I do not know ratio of dilution (hot or cold water and how long in machine?????) work as well as a commercial cleaner. I have read cinflicting articles about various cleaners eg not to usecertain commercial cleaners, not to use dliluted vinegar because of aluminium components and not to use citric acid as it can set as hard as rock in some parts of trhe water system. Is Durgol the one to use??? Many Thanks

  6. #6
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Decalcifying / Cleaning

    Hi YL,

    Welcome to CoffeeSnobs [smiley=thumbsup.gif] [smiley=laugh.gif],

    Theres a view among the pros here on CS that de-scaling a HX machine is not necessarily a good thing, because the loosened material may end up in various small orifices of the hydraulic system and cause blockages which in the end, may cause a lot more trouble than the expended effort and time is worth :-?.

    I guess if the machine has any operational problems that could be related to scale build-up, then you might have to bite the bullet and get stuck into it, but it is not a simple process. Basically, you will need to strip all hydraulic components from the machine and then de-scale each component as an individual entity..... When this has been completed on all components, re-assemble with new gaskets and seals and check for leaks.

    Apparently, it is quite common to experience leaking around various seals and gaskets on the Boiler and Heat eXchanger, and these can be very difficult to overcome. As the boilers are usually made from copper, it is quite easy to distort the various mating surfaces when removing the heating element, etc so extreme care needs to be exercised when doing this. In the end, it might be better to have a professional, like any of our sponsors, to thoroughly inspect and test the machine to see what, if anything, really needs to be done before letting a spanner get anywhere near the machine. Might be cheaper in the end ;).

    I have recently purchased an older Bezzera MiniBar single group that was in extremely good condition, with very little evidence of scale build-up even though the machine could be 10-20 years old... So age of the machine has very little to do with the potential condition of the machines innards, more to do with usage and maintenance regimes. Someone who should be able to help you get started and make some informed decisions is Chris Newsome of Barazi, a site sponsor who is the Australian Importer of Bezerra machines.... Barazis website can be reached by clicking on their link in the upper L/H corner of the page. All the best, and let us know how you get on,

    Cheerio,
    Mal.

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    Re: Decalcifying / Cleaning

    Thank you you have been more than helpful, very much appreciated. :)

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    Re: Decalcifying / Cleaning

    Quote Originally Posted by Mal link=1155103051/0#1 date=1155137999

    Something you might like to consider though, is whether you can locate and use non-pressurised baskets in preference to the pressurised baskets that came with your machine. You would need to get a reasonable quality grinder though to go down this path but the end resulting improvement in the quality of your shots would be worth it, Im sure. Anyway, hope this helps you out some,

    Cheerio,
    Mal.
    Ive heard a little of these and was wondering if there are any good threads you could recomend to explain the pros of non-pressurised baskets? *Thanks,
    Rob

  9. #9
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Decalcifying / Cleaning

    Quote Originally Posted by frad link=1155103051/0#7 date=1155729747
    Ive heard a little of these and was wondering if there are any good threads you could recomend to explain the pros of non-pressurised baskets? Thanks,
    Rob
    Heres a link to CoffeeGeek with posts from our very own mattyj on some of the how, why and where-fores.....http://www.coffeegeek.com/forums/wor...tralasia/59106. Hope it helps :),

    Mal.

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    Re: Decalcifying / Cleaning

    Hello again, I could not find the citric acid anywhere in the supermarket. I must of been looking in the wrong place and it doesnt help not knowing what Im looking for (box/bottle?). Could someone tell me what products Im likely to find it near. And also once I do find it what sort of dilution should I make up and how much of it I should run through the machine.

  11. #11
    Senior Member fatboy_1999's Avatar
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    Re: Decalcifying / Cleaning

    It will probably be in the spices section.

    The small container I have is made by Ward McKenzie (Altona - Vic). It is a small cylinder (like nutmeg, pepper and cinnamon etc. come in) and the package is light green with a white band.

    As for dilution, Im not sure myself so I would suggest some searches here and on coffee geek and Im sure youll find many articles.

    Brett.

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    Re: Decalcifying / Cleaning

    Oh okay, I see what Im looking for now and I obviously didnt read one of the earlier responses thoroughly where they mention the spices too. Thanks, Ill pick some up and have a hunt around for dilution.

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    Re: Decalcifying / Cleaning

    Quote Originally Posted by LikeMyCoffee link=1155103051/0#11 date=1155978814
    Ill pick some up and have a hunt around for dilution.
    Check out this page:

    http://www.coffeeco.com.au/articles/august2002.html

    (even has a picture of the citric acid) :)

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    Re: Decalcifying / Cleaning

    Quote Originally Posted by LikeMyCoffee link=1155103051/0#9 date=1155972721
    what sort of dilution should I make up and how much of it I should run through the machine.
    Regarding dilution, Sunbeam EM5800 manual says 2 dessertspoons tartaric acid or citric acid in half a litre of luke warm water.

    Best wishes, Russell

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    Re: Decalcifying / Cleaning

    Thank you thank you !!! I forgot about that link too, thats a great site coffeeco, I found that really useful when I was just starting , loads of great info.
    I found the spot where the citric acid is in the shops, only they were out of stock so will check when Im doing the shopping again next. Seems easy once you know what to use, where to find it etc.

  16. #16
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Decalcifying / Cleaning

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Hi,

    You can also get Citric Acid very cheaply from a Home Brew shop, if theres one near you anywhere.... You can get about 500 grams for $5-6.00. Might be worth a try :),

    Mal.



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