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  • The NapiSan Challenge

    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.

  • #2
    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...

    Comment


    • #3
      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.

      Comment


      • #4
        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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        • #5
          Re: The NapiSan Challenge

          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

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: The NapiSan Challenge

            Originally posted by lochness link=1153531210/0#4 date=1153554960
            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?? :

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: The NapiSan Challenge

              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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              • #8
                Re: The NapiSan Challenge

                Would you like bacon with that?

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                • #9
                  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.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: The NapiSan Challenge

                    Would Napisan kill the brass?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      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.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: The NapiSan Challenge

                        Originally posted by Metreo link=1153531210/0#6 date=1153574453
                        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 :-?

                        Greg

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: The NapiSan Challenge

                          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.

                          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.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            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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                            • #15
                              Re: The NapiSan Challenge

                              So is it safe to use napisan?

                              Comment

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