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descaling question

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  • descaling question

    Hi, I have just registered, not sure if this question goes here - it looks like the closest applicable.
    When looking for instructions on descaling Rancilio Silvia I saw some sites advocating either citric acid or white vinegar, so wondering if they are both safe and as effective as purchased descaler product . I have just used used a sachet of Cafetto restore descaler, which says 1 sachet per litre water which isn't enough to do the process with. At $10 sachet a cheaper option as above would be welcome!


  • #2
    DIYscale: add 50g citric acid and 200 ml plain vinegar to 1 litre water. Scale up volume as required (yes that was intentional).


    • #3
      Welcome to CoffeeSnobs "Goresdire".

      Something like "Clean machine Triple action descaler" in 250ml size is an alternative. Search online for the best deal. Available in 1L also.

      From the supplier's website -

      "Using a blend of proprietary organic acids and surfactants, Clean machine Triple Action Descaler acts to penetrate, lift and dissolve harmful scale whilst cleaning your machine. Triple Action formula is odour free & safe to all machine surfaces and components. Clean Machine Triple Action Domestic Coffee Machine Descaler has consistently been Australia?s No.1 choice descaler for home coffee machines, commercial coffee machines and the preferred product for service and warranty agents for more than 9 years."

      Site Sponsor Crema Coffee Garage has the 1L at a decent price for 50% more than the 250ml normally sells for -
      Senior Member
      Last edited by CafeLotta; 6 July 2019, 03:55 PM. Reason: Site Sponsor link added


      • #4
        In the past there has been various discussions on machine restoration threads re: the best way to do a full immersion descale on dismantled machine parts. This included soaking tubing, bare boiler, bare E61 grouphead etc. from memory.

        Can't quickly find the thread(s) I'm thinking of so thought I'd post in case someone remembers which threads they were.

        Found a weeping terminal on the heating Element of my machine while preparing for PID install so the Boiler needs to come out to replace it. While I'm going that far on the simple E61 Vibiemme Single Boiler, I'm contemplating a full strip down and rust repair and stripping/powder-coating the frame. Didn't really want to do that but may go that way.


        • #5
          What I've done in the past for pipework descaling, is to use a Pond Pump with ceramic innards to circulate warm descaling solution at the most convenient points of access to clean the pipework you're targeting. A range of different sizes of PVC tubing, etc allows fitting across a broad range of pipework sizes an easy proposition.

          I don't submerge the pond pump though, rather it is placed at the same level as the bottom of the reservoir (a four litre bucket) with an input tube attached to the bottom edge of the reservoir and the output connected to one end of the machine pipework, with the other end of the pipework connected back to the reservoir. Everything is flushed out with warm fresh water afterwards.

          Does a good job and is easy to setup and remove when finished...



          • #6
            Always interesting to hear about the innovative ideas people come up with! I'll wait and see how things look when I remove the boiler. We've fed the machine good quality water so hopefully there's nothing too dire left over from the original owner(s). May do a descale cycle before dismantling to see if I need to go any further than that. If so, a soak in commercial descaler and a small diameter flexible bristle brush may suffice for the typically short lengths of copper tubing. May first try out Lyrebird's suggestion above re: Citric Acid/Vinegar/Water solution as an economical alternative.