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Thread: Cleaning a portafilter and the rest of my classic

  1. #1
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    Cleaning a portafilter and the rest of my classic

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

    Well I picked up a used Gaggia Classic. Im slowly trying to clean it up a bit. The portafilter is looking absolutely filthy with coffee stain all throughout. I have bought some cafetto and am soaking it in there, but an hour in and its not looking terribly much better. Is overnight ok?

    The machine has recently had the seal on the group replaced, and it also came with a spare seal. I am later going to work out how to remove the mesh screen from the group and soak that too.

    Can anyone give some tips and tricks for best getting the portafilter clean

    Also, is it ok to run cafetto through the water reserve and boiler?


    (i got the cafetto barista kit as that is what is sold at the coffee shop i go to)

    thanks,

    raph

  2. #2
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    Re: Cleaning a portafilter and the rest of my clas

    Quote Originally Posted by raphec link=1208509381/0#0 date=1208509381
    Hi!

    Well I picked up a used Gaggia Classic. Im slowly trying to clean it up a bit. The portafilter is looking absolutely filthy with coffee stain all throughout. I have bought some cafetto and am soaking it in there, but an hour in and its not looking terribly much better. Is overnight ok?
    Absolutely- give it some time and it will do the job!

    The machine has recently had the seal on the group replaced, and it also came with a spare seal. I am later going to work out how to remove the mesh screen from the group and soak that too.

    Can anyone give some tips and tricks for best getting the portafilter clean
    Soak weekly in a good backflush solution such as Cafetto or Espresso clean on a weekly basis

    Also, is it ok to run cafetto through the water reserve and boiler?
    NOOOOOOOOOOOOO! NEVER use back flush detergent in the water tank. If the machine requires descaling, use Restore descaler or Bomobras triple action descaler as specified. Note that citric acid based descalers are not recommended for machines with aluminium boilers....


    (i got the cafetto barista kit as that is what is sold at the coffee shop i go to)

    thanks,

    raph
    Good stuff....Lucky you came here for some instructions!

    Enjoy....

    Chris

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    Re: Cleaning a portafilter and the rest of my clas

    ok struck a major issue

    it seems the head of the screw on the shower screen is damaged and the screw is in overly tight.

    cannot remove it and further attempts to remove it have just damaged the head even more.

    any suggestions how to get it out would be incredibly appreciated. I can order a new shower screen, screw etc, but only if i get the damned thing out to begin with.


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    Re: Cleaning a portafilter and the rest of my clas

    Quote Originally Posted by raphec link=1208509381/0#2 date=1208525136
    ....it seems the head of the screw on the shower screen is damaged and the screw is in overly tight.
    I have dealt with similar situations over and over, maunly on auto parts, but the theory is all the same-- basically, start with the most benign methods and work you way up through the violence scale.

    1- If it is at all accessible and there is some metal left try applying a screwdriver (or whatever tool was supposed to be used) in this way: Use a driver bit in a socket wrench. Turn the machine upside down on a towel. Best to use two people- one to apply torque and one to apply force downwards on the tool to keep it engaged in the screw/bolt.

    2- if the tool will not hold, the next step is to cut a clean slot through the bolt to turn it into a slotted screw. A Dremel tool (high speed rotary tool) using a cut off disk (the thin red one) works great for this. Once a slot is created, use the method in step 1 above.

    3- Depending on the design, some folks have had success in folding the shower screen in half, grabbing the screen with a pair of locking pliers, and turning it to remove the screen and bolt all at once.

    4- If that doesnt work, either fold the screen back or tear it off. If the bolt is now sufficiently exposed you may be able to grab it with a pair of locking pliers.

    5- Continue with the Dremel and remove the head of teh screw completely. Try working around its perimeter to keep as much of the metal of the shaft of the fastener as possible intact. The idea is to remove the head where the pressure is being applied by the over-tightening of the screw without cutting off the shaft. Once the shaft is exposed you can try the pliers again.

    I went through a similar situation with my Volvo. Some idiot mechanic had either used an air wrench or 1" drive socket to tighten the fill bolt plug on my manual transmission. I ended up using the Dremel and a hacksaw to cut off the entire perimeter of the bolts head to relieve the pressure, and then had to cut the sides of the bolt parallel to get a wrench on it. Took about 30 minutes of work under the car just to get the thing out!

    There are other methods involv9ing penetrating oils as well as heat, but in that location I would try to avoid that- particularly the heat since you do not want to take a chance of warping the brewhead with a torchs flame.



  5. #5
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Cleaning a portafilter and the rest of my clas

    In addition to the above, rather than heat, freeze might be a better option. Jaycar sell a freeze aerosol and if you spray this on the screw, can shrink it sufficiently to allow you to loosen it.

    Good luck with it!

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    Senior Member Stan's Avatar
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    Re: Cleaning a portafilter and the rest of my clas

    If all else fails you could try ezyouts. You can buy them at a hardware store and you need an electric drill/screwdriver. However access will probably be a problem. :(

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    Re: Cleaning a portafilter and the rest of my clas

    ok, got the screw out, ended up scoring the screw with a dremel and using a large flatblade/ its absolutely filthy in there. I think i will take advantage of spares available from coffee parts and replace a few bits.

    At the moment, I cant seem to get the shower holding plate off, it seems stuck fast. I am scared to force it or really push, because it seems to be one of the few parts not listed at coffee parts.

    Ive unscrewed the 2 hex bolts on it, it seems to still be stuck fast. Not sure what to try next. You guys have been great help so far, so I am reaching out again.

    Thanks!

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    Re: Cleaning a portafilter and the rest of my clas

    ok managed to get the shower plate off by screwing a screw of the same thread as the shower screen screw but longer in until it prised off the shower plate. Now working on getting the gasket out.

    Starting to be hopeful on this.

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    Re: Cleaning a portafilter and the rest of my clas

    I read an article on a site a while ago that if getting the gasket out is a problem, then get a couple of screws and screw them into the gasket. You can then pull on the screws in order to get the gasket out. Mind you, this is only done if youre going to be replacing the gasket.

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    Re: Cleaning a portafilter and the rest of my clas

    Well, the machine itself is now all back together. In the end i did use some self tappers to get the old gasket out.

    Now, my final issue, is the portafilter.

    Ive gotten it fairly clean through many soaks in cafetto and vigorous scrubbing. Unfortunately, the one part of it i cant get clean is the spout. No matter how hard i try, i cant seem to unscrew it, even with a shifter i cant get enough purchase on the spout to get it off.

    Consequently, though the water coming out of the group is pristine, i am getting a metallic taste off the portafilter.

    I will probably order another one at some point and get this one turned into a bottomless one but until then, is it just stuck? am i unscrewing the wrong way (left)... is there a better solution to soak it in to cleans the metalic taste away?

    help!

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    Re: Cleaning a portafilter and the rest of my clas

    Hi raphec,

    You might find that the metallic taste is coming from the part of the portafilter where you scrubbed it. Mine always had a metallic taste for a while after scrubbing, but not after running a few shots. If you have some older coffee lying around, run a couple of shots of that through your portafilter, then try your regular coffee and see if the metallic taste is gone.

    The recommended way to get the spout off is to stick the largest metal rod (or screwdriver) you can fit sideways through the spout, then apply whatever leverage you can to that. I had a quick go at this with mine, without maximum force, and it didnt work. Not game to try any harder as I also have a bottomless anyway.

    Good luck,

    Paul

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    Re: Cleaning a portafilter and the rest of my clas

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    well, i ended up soaking the portafilter in coke for 2 days, and using a pipe cleaner to loosen some dirt off the pf spout. It came up clean as a whistle...

    So after about $30 in spares, a bit of elbow grease and some patience, the classic is now running excellently. I guess the upside is that i have become reasonably familiar with how it all hangs together.

    Now to just learn how to make the perfect latte or cappuccino.

    thank you kindly for all your help :D



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