Milk rag cleaning

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dsc106

#1: Post by dsc106 »

I use a black towel for portafilter and general, and a gray towel for steam wand milk. I'm the only coffee drinker in house and if I have more than one drink a day, it's always hours apart.

If a steam wand rag that has had milk contact has sat for more than 2 hours, do you grab a new one, or use same for whole day or multiple days? Is it a food safety issue?

As well, for cleaning the microfiber steam rags, is soap on a washing machine "cold" cycle enough, or should the hot water also be hot?

I've been always replacing my steam rag after use to be safe (not sure it's needed?), and washing on cold water setting (still alive, but was wondering if it's recommended to go hotter, or if that just damages the microfiber towels?)

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BaristaBoy E61

#2: Post by BaristaBoy E61 »

We have an assortment of coffee rags on top of the grinder hopper lid. I use the same rag for cleaning the steam wand and then it goes in the wash with our clothes. I purge quite a bit of steam from the steam spigot many times per day into the steam rag. Haven't had any problems so far.
"You didn't buy an Espresso Machine - You bought a Chemistry Set!"

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mkane
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#3: Post by mkane »

If it was a health issue, I should be dead.

Marcelnl
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#4: Post by Marcelnl »

I use a clean microfiber cloth every day, one for general kitchen duty and one for the espresso machine which is operational for about 6 hours a day. They are washed separate from all else, mainly to be able to avoid them becoming water repellent due to the softener used for clothes.

Unless used for mopping up large milk spills I do not think the rag needs to be changed sooner, but hey...
LMWDP #483

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CarefreeBuzzBuzz

#5: Post by CarefreeBuzzBuzz »

I am still here and I leave mine sit for days. I use three microfiber cloths. One for milk on the steam wand, one for the group head, and one for drying the portafilter and wiping my single dose jars. If something is trying to kill me or make me sick it has failed miserably for a few decades now.
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emradguy

#6: Post by emradguy replying to CarefreeBuzzBuzz »

Same here, though, I use one for steam wand and one for everything else. The steam wand one gets used for 3 days. I keep it folded into 4ths, and rotate each quadrant for a full day. The quadrant with the logo doesn't get used. The other one gets replaced about weekly. I wash mine in the clothes washer, once I'm about to run out (I've got a stack of about 10 of them). They get regular laundry detergent, no softener, with an extra rinse cycle added. Once in a while they get thrown in with clothes...but most washes they are done by themselves.

txxt

#7: Post by txxt »

dsc106 wrote:I use a black towel for portafilter and general, and a gray towel for steam wand milk. I'm the only coffee drinker in house and if I have more than one drink a day, it's always hours apart.

If a steam wand rag that has had milk contact has sat for more than 2 hours, do you grab a new one, or use same for whole day or multiple days? Is it a food safety issue?

As well, for cleaning the microfiber steam rags, is soap on a washing machine "cold" cycle enough, or should the hot water also be hot?

I've been always replacing my steam rag after use to be safe (not sure it's needed?), and washing on cold water setting (still alive, but was wondering if it's recommended to go hotter, or if that just damages the microfiber towels?)
I would not let a cloth sit with milk on it for multiple days and then continue to use it as good practice. I am not a phD, however my formal education is in microbiology and my last 5 years of work has been in the dairy industry. I like to play things as safe as possible when it comes to bacteria/what milk can potentiate growth of.

I use microfiber cloths to clean my LMLM steam wand and Bellman, and wash them generally after one use with regular detergent and extra hot water cycle.

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CarefreeBuzzBuzz

#8: Post by CarefreeBuzzBuzz »

emradguy wrote:Same here, though, I use one for steam wand and one for everything else. The steam wand one gets used for 3 days. I keep it folded into 4ths, and rotate each quadrant for a full day. The quadrant with the logo doesn't get used. The other one gets replaced about weekly. I wash mine in the clothes washer, once I'm about to run out (I've got a stack of about 10 of them). They get regular laundry detergent, no softener, with an extra rinse cycle added. Once in a while they get thrown in with clothes...but most washes they are done by themselves.

I like the quadrant idea. Also the humidity here is so low in AZ, I could probably rinse them each day and it would dry overnight.

I am using these microfibre ones, and they aren't super thick like my other ones which I now like. The one that I use for cleaning my dosing jars fits nicely due to the lower bulk.
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Grant

#9: Post by Grant »

I just do the standard "smell" test for towel changes. Been doing it for 15+ years and can't recall ever having a bad episode.

Obviously, a commercial setting has far different requirements.

We changed to dark brown micro-fiber towels to hide stains for the "general purpose" towel - wiping counters, grinds, and it sees the steam wand etc. too. We have a separate one for the steam wand as well...but wife just does what she wants with the closest towel anyways.
Grant

emradguy

#10: Post by emradguy »

I use these custom towels, made by "Mildred" (on the Kafatek Forums).

https://www.etsy.com/shop/MildredsBarTowels

I think she sources them from Ikea. They're black terry cloth, though one side is more like a flat woven kitchen towel. She offers many of the coffee industry logos embroidered on them and has some of her own designs too, which you can customize with your own name. Prices are good and order fulfillment is fast.