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Thread: The NapiSan Challenge

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    The NapiSan Challenge

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I was cleaning my silvia this morning, and having spent yesterday homebrewing (ie cleaning), I thought Id have a look at what chemical was in the commercial espresso machine cleaner I use.

    It was no surprise to find that it was sodium percarbonate, the same thing I use to clean brewing fermenters and bottles and the like. Cleans well, but of course you need to rinse everything thoroughly after.

    Anyway, I thought people might be interested to know that sodium percarbonate is also the active ingrediant in napisan, not to mention the even chaper homebrand nappy cleaners. The brewing community has been using napisan for years as a cleaner with no ill effects, and once my tub of "espresso cleaner" runs out Ill be using it to clean my espresso machine as well.

    Just note that espresso cleaner is for back-flushing and cleaning your baskets and PFs and stuff, and should not go in to your boiler, its not a descaler. Also make sure you rinse everything thoroughly afterwards. Whether you get your sodium percarbonate from espresso cleaner or homebrand napisan knockoff, its still a moderately nasty chemical.

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    Re: The NapiSan Challenge

    Ive known for some time that coffee machine cleaner contains sodium percarbonate. What they dont list is the other ingredients, only the active one. The concentration in nappy treatment is slightly higher (25% vs. 35%), but Im unsure just what the concequences of using it on your coffee machines might pose. You dont know if the "inactive" ingredients might also damage the internals of the machine. A long-term study is in order...

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    Re: The NapiSan Challenge

    Ive been using it for over a year. I use it to backflush as well as clean the oils off parts Im reconditioning. Its relatively cheap and cuts through oil very well. As always, plenty of rinsing is in order. But Im less concerned with using an oxygen based bleach than a chlorine variant.

    Soaking crusty shower screen in nappisan works a treat.


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    Re: The NapiSan Challenge

    Good to know all that Mark and Sparky.

    I have yet to use coffee machine cleaner, and I know I should. But the shower screen, being stainless steel, is very easy to clean with the rough side of a sponge and warm water. After some 18 months it still comes out sparkling. Not so sparkalarkalarkaling is the portafilter bottom and the group bottom. But even they scrub up sorta-okt with the occasional rough sponge treatment.


    BTW, on the few times Ive tried to get cleaner from a large retail chain which sells low-end and fully auto machines, the sales person looks at me semi-blank. They think its some sort of stainless steel polish. And theyve never heard of a Rancilio Silvia, either.

    Robusto



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    Re: The NapiSan Challenge

    Quote Originally Posted by nunu link=1153531210/0#1 date=1153534805
    Ive known for some time that coffee machine cleaner contains sodium percarbonate. What they dont list is the other ingredients, only the active one. The concentration in nappy treatment is slightly higher (25% vs. 35%), but Im unsure just what the concequences of using it on your coffee machines might pose. You dont know if the "inactive" ingredients might also damage the internals of the machine. A long-term study is in order...
    On the surface, just reading this now, I would tend to agree.
    Who knows what other stuff (detergents, enzymes, perfumes, optical brightning dyes, surfactants etc..) are also in the "Napisan". well I guess the chemists at Napisan hopefully ;)
    Then again, a thorough rinsing probably washes most of it away.

    Just my $0.02

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    Re: The NapiSan Challenge

    Quote Originally Posted by lochness link=1153531210/0#4 date=1153554960
    Quote Originally Posted by nunu link=1153531210/0#1 date=1153534805
    Ive known for some time that coffee machine cleaner contains sodium percarbonate. *What they dont list is the other ingredients, only the active one. *The concentration in nappy treatment is slightly higher (25% vs. 35%), but Im unsure just what the concequences of using it on your coffee machines might pose. *You dont know if the "inactive" ingredients might also damage the internals of the machine. *A long-term study is in order...
    On the surface, just reading this now, *I would tend to agree. *
    Who knows what other stuff (detergents, enzymes, perfumes, optical brightning dyes, surfactants etc..) are also in the "Napisan". * well I guess the chemists at Napisan hopefully ;)
    Then again, a thorough rinsing probably washes most of it away.

    Just my $0.02
    Not sure if Im missing something here, but why not just buy some proper cleaner from Coffeeparts http://coffeeparts.com/accessories/cleaner.html??? Its cheap and designed to to the job. I dont wash nappies using the steam wand of my machine, so why try to clean a machine with nappy cleaner?? ::)

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    Re: The NapiSan Challenge

    Quote Originally Posted by 2muchcoffeeman link=1153531210/0#5 date=1153555822
    I dont wash nappies using the steam wand of my machine, *::)

    No I dont either - but I make great scrambled eggs with it. ;D ;D ;D

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    Re: The NapiSan Challenge

    Would you like bacon with that?

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    Re: The NapiSan Challenge

    Homebrewers in Australia use napisan extensively for cleaning their gear. Its an excellent choice, good performance and relatively safe to use.

    I dont think it will be a problem in a coffee machine. If you buy some, get one of the unscented varieties. Some of the perfurmes in these products are quite strong and any residual will taint your coffee. Napisan babycare is one of these varieties, although its a little more expensive than some brands.

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    Re: The NapiSan Challenge

    Would Napisan kill the brass?

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    Re: The NapiSan Challenge

    Whats the price of Napisan? Is it all that much cheaper than espresso cleaner (without factoring postage costs)?

    Sodium percarbonate (sodium carbonate peroxyhydrate) breaks down when dissolved in water to release hydrogen peroxide which is the bleaching/stain removal agent and sodium carbonate which is the detergent (makes dirt more soluble/ breaks down).

    Since it was a product (napisan white) originally marketed towards the cleaning of babies diapers it would probably not contain many irritants. But Im still sticking with the product marketed towards espresso machines. What boggles me is how one could be endorsed as organic and another product not? Sodium percarbonate is environmentally friendly, so perhaps the fault lies with the other additives in the mix. The cynic in me says its just marketing - the original cleaner was NSF certified which is a stringent organisation... Bit like organic sea salt? :P

    detergents, enzymes, perfumes, optical brightning dyes, surfactants etc..
    Add caustics and abrasives to the mix too.
    As lochness and nunu pointed out, the risk would be more about what else is included in the Napisan mix, what the Sod percarb is coated with and whether they would cause any corrosion in the espresso machine internals. There is a materials safety data sheet (MSDS) on the Solvay site for sodium percarbonate. I cannot find a contact email address on the Reckitt Benckiser website.
    http://www.reckittbenckiser.com.au/

    Technical info on sodium percarbonate
    http://www.solvaychemicals.us/resource_Sodium_Percarbonate.htm

    The excerpt below is from section #6 of an FAQ by a manufacturer in China.
    http://www.chem-world.com/FAQ.htm
    6. How to make PCS based oxygen bleach system stable in powder detergent formulations?
    1, Sodium percarbonate is coated with a hydrophobic substance or the like.
    2, Magnesium silicate is incorporated in a detergent composition containing sodium percarbonate.
    3, A chelating agent which forms an easily water-soluble metal chelated compound such as nitrilotriacetate (NTA) or ethylene diamine tetraacetate (EDTA) is incorporated in a detergent composition.
    4, Zeolite A is replaced by maximum aluminium zeolite P (zeolite MAP) since zeolite MAP itself is of greater liquid carrying capacity than zeolite A.
    5,The elimination of impurities, such as heavy metals which catalyze the decomposition reaction during detergent processing, alleviates the instability of aqueous SCP solutions.
    6, Provide sufficient sodium carbonate in the composition to be able to combine with all of the available water in the composition to form sodium carbonate monohydrate. the term "available water" includes water chemically available as hydrogen peroxide, water of crystallization of sodium carbonate hydrates and free water which may temporarily exist in the composition.

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    Re: The NapiSan Challenge

    Quote Originally Posted by Metreo link=1153531210/0#6 date=1153574453
    Quote Originally Posted by 2muchcoffeeman link=1153531210/0#5 date=1153555822
    I dont wash nappies using the steam wand of my machine, **::)
    No I dont either - but I make great scrambled eggs with it. *;D ;D ;D
    I have the manual for the original Gaggia Coffee and it has instructions for doing this :-? :o

    Greg

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    Re: The NapiSan Challenge

    Quote Originally Posted by rice link=1153531210/0#10 date=1153667739
    Whats the price of Napisan? Is it all that much cheaper than espresso cleaner (without factoring postage costs)?
    Yes - coffeeparts sells espresso cleaner for $17.50 per kilo plus postage. Napisan brand is around $6-$7 per kilo, available at the supermarket.

    Quote Originally Posted by rice link=1153531210/0#10 date=1153667739

    Technical info on sodium percarbonate
    http://www.solvaychemicals.us/resource_Sodium_Percarbonate.htm

    The excerpt below is from section #6 of an FAQ by a manufacturer in China.
    http://www.chem-world.com/FAQ.htm
    6. How to make PCS based oxygen bleach system stable in powder detergent formulations?
    1, Sodium percarbonate is coated with a hydrophobic substance or the like.
    2, Magnesium silicate is incorporated in a detergent composition containing sodium percarbonate.
    3, A chelating agent which forms an easily water-soluble metal chelated compound such as nitrilotriacetate (NTA) or ethylene diamine tetraacetate (EDTA) is incorporated in a detergent composition.
    4, Zeolite A is replaced by maximum aluminium zeolite P (zeolite MAP) since zeolite MAP itself is of greater liquid carrying capacity than zeolite A.
    5,The elimination of impurities, such as heavy metals which catalyze the decomposition reaction during detergent processing, alleviates the instability of aqueous SCP solutions.
    6, Provide sufficient sodium carbonate in the composition to be able to combine with all of the available water in the composition to form sodium carbonate monohydrate. the term "available water" includes water chemically available as hydrogen peroxide, water of crystallization of sodium carbonate hydrates and free water which may temporarily exist in the composition.
    I think this is a good indication of the chemical complexity of the percarbonate cleaning products, whether they be espresso or nappy focused.

    I suspect that espresso cleaner is simply just the same granulated sodium percarbonate as available in bulk from any chemical suppliers.

    Like I said, homebrewers use this stuff on stainless steel, brass and plastic without any problems whatsoever. A no-scent, no-enzyme napisan type product is perfect for backflushing and cleaning PFs and baskets, provided you rinse well afterwards.


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    Re: The NapiSan Challenge

    Hmmm,

    I dont think that price is all that much of an issue really. My regime for cleaning the Mokita, which would be suitable for any 3-Way Valve machine in a domestic situation I would imagine, is to:-

    1. Flush the Group and PF after every shot is pulled
    2. At the completion of a brew session, stick the Blind Filter in the PF, and
    3. Do the PF Wiggle with the Brew Switch on, then
    4. Lock the PF home and Back-flush with water only.
    5. Every month or so, Back-flush with Espresso Clean, then
    6. Thoroughly rinse out with clean, filtered water.... I use at least one reservoir of water to do this.

    And thats it! Have been following this routine for nearly two years now and the little Mokita has remained as clean as the proverbial whistle, with no build-up of any kind. I started off with a half kilo of Espresso Clean two years ago and Im down to about 400 grams now so thats cost me about (500 grams cost me $10.50 2 Yrs ago) $1.05 per year. Hardly bank account busting expense and its for the product that is genuinely designed for the job. No case to answer in my opinion :P,

    Mal.

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    Re: The NapiSan Challenge

    So is it safe to use napisan?

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    Re: The NapiSan Challenge

    Is it safe? I guess it possibly may be.....however, I reckon if any site sponsor was to hear of a machine which was backflushed with anything other than a product specifically formulated and at the correct concentration for that process, it would be hasta la vista for your hopes of a warranty claim if anything was to go wrong. In addition, you need only use a few different products to see that theyre not all created equal. Some are hyper-aggressive and some are really gentle.

    Why is it that when we are prepared to part with hordes of $$$ to get a setup, we would want to save a a few cents per use by susbstituting an unknown product for an approved cleaner?? ::).

    500g of a good gentle product like EVO will last for at least a year, probably two years. I say do it right....

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    Re: The NapiSan Challenge

    hmm. I always get a little skeptical when I hear FUD in place of a reasonable argument.

    Id prefer to understand two things:

    Is espresso cleaner the same as some supermarket sodium percarbonate cleaners?
    and
    If so, why is it triple the price?

    I think the answer to the first question is probably yes, and the second one, well, I think the previous poster has given us a clue.

    I use it on my machine, no problems. PFs and baskets come up super shiny.

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    Re: The NapiSan Challenge

    Quote Originally Posted by goatherder link=1153531210/15#16 date=1153911766
    hmm. I always get a little skeptical when I hear FUD in place of a reasonable argument.
    Pardon my ignorance, but what is FUD?

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    Re: The NapiSan Challenge

    Quote Originally Posted by goatherder link=1153531210/15#16 date=1153911766
    hmm. I always get a little skeptical when I hear FUD in place of a reasonable argument.

    Id prefer to understand two things:

    Is espresso cleaner the same as some supermarket sodium percarbonate cleaners?
    and
    If so, why is it triple the price?

    I think the answer to the first question is probably yes, and the second one, well, I think the previous poster has given us a clue.

    I use it on my machine, no problems. *PFs and baskets come up super shiny.
    Goat, your points may be valid....but as I previously suggested they are not all the same and they dont react in the same way. This is as clear as daylight when you watch the way that different brands react with water- and this is why even in commercial applications like mine that the suppliers may only recommend once a week chemical backflushing with the nasty ones.

    I choose to use EVO- which I purchase from Coffeeparts- because its clearly gentle and its certified for use in organic systems and more importantly certified to have no adverse health effects and also to be non-corrosive on my machine.....and I reckon thats more than enough to justify parting with a few measly dollars....

    Perhaps you might enquire of the napisan people as to what theyve done to test their product in espresso machines??? *:-?



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    Re: The NapiSan Challenge

    Whilst its Great to support the site sponsors, (And we Should)!

    Realistically both products Napisan and EVo cost cents per Kilo to make, Both are probably sourced from the PRC and re-packaged..
    Due to Gross Volume sales Napisan is probably cheaper to package and market..

    I have several Mates who have worked in the Chemical Industries, Chemists and manufacturing Floor staff..
    It aint rocket Science , its simple Science , although they do try to restrict the knowledge..
    I have some Formulae for a few things I use and have made them at my mates for 30% of the Wholesale price and thats buying small amounts of ingredients at inflated prices..
    Tepin

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    Re: The NapiSan Challenge

    Please forgive me if I appear to be a bit dense :-?,

    Product A is manufactured for use specifically with espresso machines and is advertised as such and will cost about $0.02 per use, product B is manufactured and marketed as a general purpose Oxy cleaner with unknown specificity for use in espresso machines. Unless a qualified chemist or other suitably qualified person can demonstrate that both products are identical and can be used in an identical manner, why bother? Youve just spent untold hundreds of dollars on a superbly crafted piece of hardware, and starting to quibble about the costs of keeping the hardware clean and hygienic to the tune of some $0.02 or fraction there-of?

    Im not knocking the beer brewers out there amongst us, more power to you all but the hardware Ive seen being used by hobbyist brewers, in the main, is not a patch on the complexity or fine tolerances that will be found in the average 3-Way Valve espresso machine.

    I think this thread is becoming ever more ridiculous each time I read through it [smiley=thumbdown.gif],

    Mal.

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    Re: The NapiSan Challenge

    I think both cases have been argued admirably. Now its up to the individual to make their choice.

    FWIW: I have soaked brass and copper in Nappisan overnight and seen evidence of corrosion the next day. Its only minor surface corrosion and can be removed with citric acid/metal polish or whatever. Maybe a certified coffee machine cleaner would be more gentle on the parts?

    Why were at this chemical affecting the machine discussion, bare in mind that plain old citric acid also affects the metal. Apart from removing the scale it also reacts with the zinc in brass, causing the brass parts to look pink afterwards. Its only a surface effect and can be polished away. Maybe a certified coffee machine descaler wont do this? I also suspect citric acid reacts with copper, causing the solution to take on a green tinge. Food (acid) for thought.

    Cheers,

    Mark.

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    Re: The NapiSan Challenge

    Good one Mark [smiley=thumbsup.gif],

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    Re: The NapiSan Challenge

    Quote Originally Posted by Mal link=1153531210/15#22 date=1153985553
    Good one Mark [smiley=thumbsup.gif],
    giggled like a schoolgirl..
    Soak anything overnight in a Alkaline or Acid solution and you are going to get corrosion, I Shoot Black Powder which is extremely Corrosive and have a 4-6 hour window to clean my Pistol..
    The Cleaning time for Coffee Machines is ? (how many minutes), If truth be told one could probably occasionally run a mild Nitric Acid through the things with little to no Harm..

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    Re: The NapiSan Challenge

    Quote Originally Posted by Mal link=1153531210/15#20 date=1153924741
    Please forgive me if I appear to be a bit dense :-?,

    Product A is manufactured for use specifically with espresso machines and is advertised as such and will cost about $0.02 per use, product B is manufactured and marketed as a general purpose Oxy cleaner with unknown specificity for use in espresso machines. Unless a qualified chemist or other suitably qualified person can demonstrate that both products are identical and can be used in an identical manner, why bother? Youve just spent untold hundreds of dollars on a superbly crafted piece of hardware, and starting to quibble about the costs of keeping the hardware clean and hygienic to the tune of some $0.02 or fraction there-of?

    Im not knocking the beer brewers out there amongst us, more power to you all but the hardware Ive seen being used by hobbyist brewers, in the main, is not a patch on the complexity or fine tolerances that will be found in the average 3-Way Valve espresso machine.

    I think this thread is becoming ever more ridiculous each time I read through it [smiley=thumbdown.gif],

    Mal.
    Cant agree more Mal....so Im gonna declare a squeaking sphincter alert ;) ;D

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    Re: The NapiSan Challenge

    Quote Originally Posted by TEPIN link=1153531210/15#23 date=1154002609
    Quote Originally Posted by Mal link=1153531210/15#22 date=1153985553
    Good one Mark [smiley=thumbsup.gif],
    giggled like a schoolgirl..
    Soak anything overnight in a Alkaline or Acid solution and you are going to get corrosion, I Shoot Black Powder which is extremely Corrosive and have a 4-6 hour window to clean my Pistol..
    The Cleaning time for Coffee Machines is ? (how many minutes), If truth be told one could probably occasionally run a mild Nitric Acid through the things with little to no Harm..
    That doesnt quite stand up. Alkaline and acid solutions act in the opposite way, so both shouldnt oxidise a metal. It all depends on the chemistry. For example, stainless steel will resist oxidation very well. Some metals are susceptible to oxidation by acid solutions by reducing hydrogen ions to hydrogen gas. Copper is one of those, so its best to use a weak acid, like most organic acids. Alkaline solutions are usually pretty safe to use with metals (aluminium aside) as it doesnt cause oxidation, but is good for removing organic material. Oxidation by black powder is due to the nitrate, which is a powerful oxidising agent.

    Soaking in citric acid is used to remove scale deposits, so soaking usually lasts for more than a few minutes. Still its only a surface reaction and will cause little harm to the components, other than make them look shiny and clean. Weak nitric and even hydrofluoric acid is used in a lot of cleaning applications. Id personally run a mile before using hydrofluoric acid though.

  27. #27
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    Re: The NapiSan Challenge

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky link=1153531210/15#25 date=1154061247
    Id personally run a mile before using hydrofluoric acid though.
    Whoa,

    Very, very nasty stuff. I remember years ago, that many aluminium cleaners and polishes used to have significant proportions of HF in their makeup and that the refrigeration trade in particular had reported a significant number of their population displaying some of the very serious side effects of repeated exposure :o. Thank goodness it is not so readily or as easily available is it once was,

    Mal.
    P.S.:- Link to HF MSDS.... http://msds.dupont.com/msds/pdfs/EN/...2f801b4efc.pdf

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    Re: The NapiSan Challenge

    Note I did say mild Nitric, Not the Tech grade I have at home..
    Note to self,, Old Atomic needs cleaning swing around to Aly welder and pick up some hydrofluoric acid.. Just rememberd probably have some in Garage.. As well as Tech Grade Nitric, Pure Caustic etc.. All in Seperate Areas and individually bunded..
    Citric Acid eats copper albeight slowly, Caustic Eats Zinc- (Brass) Sodium Percarborate is basically Hydrogen Peroxide in a Granular form- Peroxide with Soda Ash and a Stable coating? - which gives it shelf life..


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    Re: The NapiSan Challenge

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    While i do find it interesting to note that the same active ingredient is in both Napisan and Espresso Machine Cleaning products, Im going to stick with the fit-for-purpose ones.

    Ill take the fact on board as an interesting bit of trivia and while there is probably arguement for and against whether or not both will do the same job, Ill play it safe even if it costs me a few extra bucks :)

    After all.. Ethanol/Alcohol is the active ingredient in vodka, but I dont buy that in bulk and add it to my soft drink of choice ;-)

    Lachlan




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