Is dishsoap residue harmful to all forms of coffee preparation?

Want to talk espresso but not sure which forum? If so, this is the right one.
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#1: Post by gegtik »

Hi everyone,

So I've read several times that, when cleaning an espresso machine, no dishsoap should be used, as it will leave a residue that ruins your espresso.

Now, I've been washing my Moka pot, my presspot + filter, and my vacpot (and cloth filter) with dishsoap (and rinsing fairy thoroughly). Is this a big enough deal to have been affecting the taste of my coffee? If so, what's my alternative?

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#2: Post by another_jim »

Commercial coffee cleaners are formulated from TSP and Borax. These are odorless, highly soluble, and dissolve coffee oils. Other kitchen cleaning products have perfumes, some even have lanolin or oils, and they may use cleansers that are less soluble and less effective on coffee residues.

So either straight TSP or purposes designed coffee cleaners are better. However, a thorough rinse will take care of residues from most cleansers.

The really important thing is to avoid foamy cleansers when back flushing. Ever mistakenly put dish detergent meant for the sink into a dishwasher? It's like that, except that the foam all over the place will be brown with coffee stains.
Jim Schulman

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#3: Post by EspressoAmore »

Within the espresso machine it is imperative to use a detergent that is odorless and highly soluble. Considering how inexpensive these cleaning agents are I choose to use products designed specifically for espresso equipment (PulyCaffe, PuroCaffe, Urinex, Cafetto, etc). These same detergents work great for removing coffee residue from any external materials as well (portafilters, press pots, carafes, etc).

When it comes to non-porous materials in external applications, such as a glass beaker from a French Press, a pure unscented soap should work fine so long as it is rinsed thoroughly with extremely hot water.
Robert Rueter

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#4: Post by slowhand »


Is the TSP you use the same stuff sold in the paint section used to clean walls prior to painting? And how in particular do you use it? How often, what strength, on what?
I'm presently using Urnex Tabz on my technivorm and nissan mug; sounds like this would be cheaper.

Glenn K.

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#5: Post by Ben Z. »

It's kind of strange, there is TSP = tri sodium phosphate, and TSP = heavy duty cleaner (not tri sodium phosphate). You want the real stuff.

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#6: Post by JmanEspresso »

I keep it simple, and clean ALL my coffee gear with Cafiza or JoeGlo, whichever jar I happen to grab.

There is a product called Clearly Coffee(I think its Urnex as well), that is designed for your brewers.. Its cheap, and Ive always said Ill pick it up from epnw on an order, but I haven't done so yet.

I bought a spray bottle, and mix up some detergent in there... weaker then you would use to soak baskets..about half of that.. and I use that to clean:milk pitchers, cups, daily brewer cleaning, and the cloth filter for the vacpot. Works nicely. Couple sprays, fill the pitcher/cup/brewer with water and let it sit for a short while, rinse, done.. nice and sparkly.

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#7: Post by dialydose »

jman - I hadn't thought of using the detergent that way (spray bottle) but that really makes sense now that I think about it. Thanks for the heads up!

Also, I recall reading somewhere before, but I just can't remember the name of the product or thread, about a descaling product that a few people really swear by...they say it removes like 10x the scale that citric acid will. Does anyone recall that product? My searches have been fruitless (too many "descale" posts I guess). Sorry for the slight detour here.