Really cleaning an old grinder

Grinders are one of the keys to exceptional espresso. Discuss them here.
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#1: Post by Alan »

A friend and I just bought a Rancilio Classe 10 SDE2 and two grinders from a local Borders that closed. The machine is from 2003, so the grinders probably are too, and they've obviously never ever been cleaned. The doser isn't too bad, but the burr chamber is horrible and smells like that terrible 5 year old coffee that anyone who's bought an old grinder is probably familiar with.

What's a good way to get rid of the horribleness? I've got some Joe Glo that I use on my home Astra, but I've never used it on grinder parts. Would that cut through the brown scum on the removable parts at least after some scrubbing with soap? What about the less removable parts? Should I remove it all and dunk it in something to soak if it's not electrical?

Thanks in advance.

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#2: Post by JohnB. »

I recently cleaned an 01 SJ that came out of a Starbucks & had sat for years packed with old coffee. I soaked every part that could be removed in a warm Cafiza solution & they cleaned up beautifully so your Joe Glo should do the job. The coffee oil stained areas of the grinder body will clean up nicely with rubbing alcohol.

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#3: Post by aindfan »

After two minutes in VERY hot JoeGlo solution (regular ratios, not even super goop*), my VERY used grinder parts came out VERY shiny. Quite amazing. I put the entire doser through the dishwasher (removed the top vanes to soak separately but sent the rest through). I didn't have to do any scrubbing on the removable parts - just soak and dry. Any screws I could find went into the solution as well and had the same results: shiny as new.

Dan Fainstein
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#4: Post by sweaner »

I have used a toothbrush to get off the dry stuff, them vacuum. Damp rags also work well. Dosers seem to clean up "real good" in the dishwasher.
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Alan (original poster)
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#5: Post by Alan (original poster) »

Thanks for the responses. I'll run the plastic bits through the dishwasher, use alcohol to clean up the case and stuff and use some hot Joe Glo after some scrubbing to clean off the burr holders and grinds paths.

Along with the grinders and brewer we also got the cafe "communication log" which had helpful information like how the decaf grinder was broken (which explains why it sounded terrible when we started it up) so the manager had been grinding decaf in the regular "grinderbox" and putting it in the "lower part" of the decaf grinder to be dispensed and asking his employees to only brew decaf when it was asked for (why would you brew it in any other circumstances?).

Also we discovered that they frequently didn't get their espresso bean shipments so he'd just grind up a bunch of french roast at the beginning of the day, drop it into the "lower part" of the regular grinder and call it a morning.