The Perfect Espresso Towel! - Page 4

Want to talk espresso but not sure which forum? If so, this is the right one.
User avatar
Stuggi (original poster)

#31: Post by Stuggi (original poster) »

JohnB. wrote:Why not just buy & use black face cloths so you never have to worry about the coffee stains?
As soon as I find them I'll get those, one can use one's nose for the "freshness check"... ^^
Sebastian "Stuggi" Storholm
LMWDP #136

User avatar
shadowfax

#32: Post by shadowfax »

JohnB. wrote:Ok so buy tan ones or tan hand towels. It beats boiling white ones in old coffee grounds.
Certainly, I have some large towels (for drying) that are tan. I prefer to buy that color when I can find it as well. Dyeing the rags is just something fun to do. It's perhaps a bit more meaningful than just buying brown rags. I don't think there's anything beyond sentiment and amusement to dyeing coffee rags. I for one was impressed with how well it worked. It'd be super-easy, too, with a big 5 gallon pot (I have one for beer brewing) and an outdoor rinse.
Nicholas Lundgaard

Flair Espresso: handcrafted espresso. cafe-quality shots, anytime, anywhere
Sponsored by Flair Espresso
User avatar
Stuggi (original poster)

#33: Post by Stuggi (original poster) »

I wonder if the stain would keep better if you added alum... I really need to try this out...
Sebastian "Stuggi" Storholm
LMWDP #136

User avatar
sweaner
Supporter ♡

#34: Post by sweaner »

JohnB. wrote:Why not just buy & use black face cloths so you never have to worry about the coffee stains?
John, that would be just too easy. Remember who you are talking to here!
Scott
LMWDP #248

User avatar
shadowfax

#35: Post by shadowfax » replying to sweaner »

Speaking of...

In the past couple of weeks, I have 'upgraded' to the larger 5 gallon pot that I mentioned (used to be for beer brewing):



I've dyed the rags 2 more times to try and get them a bit darker. The last time, on my wife's recommendation, I used a good bit of rock salt and pre-boiled the rags before adding the coffee, again a mixture of spent and stale, unused coffee grinds.



Using the larger pot made the process much more convenient--almost no mess at all, and dumping the water outside in a garden (after cooling) made cleanup a real snap.

The results--the rags are a little darker and set in, but still pretty light:


improved contrast. Again, note that the difference is more noticeable in person...

Finally, here's a quick image comparing the dry and wet colors of each rag:



I'm pretty happy with the rags. It's certainly easier and probably just as useable to just get brown rags, but this was fun, and indeed, these rags rinse quickly free of any coffee spotting from wiping off a dirty grouphead or filter basket, which took a lot more work with the white rags. Maybe in the future I will try dyeing with alum...
Nicholas Lundgaard

User avatar
Psyd

#36: Post by Psyd »

JohnB. wrote:Ok so buy tan ones or tan hand towels. It beats boiling white ones in old coffee grounds.
Yer totally missing the point. Maybe it's the CT thing, but we were discussing what to do with towels that you already have that are showing stains.
Pitch them and go out and buy new towels that won't show the stains is an option, sure, but now quite as environmentally friendly, or as economical.

The dye thing is a solution to coffee-stained towels. I prefer to think of these as 'partially dyed' ; >
Espresso Sniper
One Shot, One Kill

LMWDP #175

User avatar
JohnB.
Supporter ♡

#37: Post by JohnB. » replying to Psyd »

I'm not sure what the "CT thing" is but I wouldn't consider boiling old rags for one or two hours on a gas or electric stove "economical or environmentally friendly". Moving the stained towels to the garage to wipe up oil/grease & buying new dark towels would strike me as being the environmentally friendly thing to do but of course it wouldn't be as much "fun".

I just use my wife's cast off kitchen towels that no longer look good enough to hang on the oven door handle. When I can't stand to look at them anymore they move to my shop for grease duty & then into the woodstove..
LMWDP 267

La Marzocco · Home: customized for espresso aficionados
Sponsored by La Marzocco · Home
User avatar
bdbayer

#38: Post by bdbayer »

JohnB. wrote:Why not just buy & use black face cloths so you never have to worry about the coffee stains?

I use the black ones, you can tell when they get dirty because they get white junk in the grooves from the steam wand.

barry b

User avatar
shadowfax

#39: Post by shadowfax »

JohnB. wrote:I'm not sure what the "CT thing" is but I wouldn't consider boiling old rags for one or two hours on a gas or electric stove "economical or environmentally friendly". Moving the stained towels to the garage to wipe up oil/grease & buying new dark towels would strike me as being the environmentally friendly thing to do but of course it wouldn't be as much "fun".
Why is boiling rags on a stove for a couple of hours not environmentally friendly? The cost is roughly $0.25-0.40 where I live, and my own electricity source is 100% renewable--wind and hydroelectric power. Water wastage is minimal, since a huge portion of that water is used to water plants outside, and moreover--Houston is not exactly in the desert. In any case, the cost of the water is also not more than a few cents, less than the waste involved in taking a 5 minute shower.

This seems quite economical and environmentally friendly indeed compared to getting in a car and expending gas to move a 2,000+ lb. vehicle however many miles it is to Bed, Bath & Beyond (or whatever you like) and back home, in addition to spending $3+ on... more towels that I don't need. I'm not trying to knock you at all, John. The only stupid thing to do in this context is wasting perfectly good rags (which you clearly aren't doing). I'm just trying to point out that, free time "waste" notwithstanding, I think that rag-dyeing is a pretty efficient way to get what you want from common household items with minimal waste.
Nicholas Lundgaard

User avatar
JohnB.
Supporter ♡

#40: Post by JohnB. »

shadowfax wrote:
This seems quite economical and environmentally friendly indeed compared to getting in a car and expending gas to move a 2,000+ lb. vehicle however many miles it is to Bed, Bath & Beyond (or whatever you like) and back home, in addition to spending $3+ on... more towels that I don't need. I'm not trying to knock you at all, John. The only stupid thing to do in this context is wasting perfectly good rags (which you clearly aren't doing). I'm just trying to point out that, free time "waste" notwithstanding, I think that rag-dyeing is a pretty efficient way to get what you want from common household items with minimal waste.
I was thinking more along the lines of the $1 towels at the local Job Lot store & I suppose I could pick them up on my bicycle or my 60mpg Moto Morini. :lol: The dyeing rags idea is fine but I think you've proved that coffee grinds don't really cut it if you want to hide the stains. The next time you've got the 5 gallon pail boiling drop in a packet of Rit brown dye with the towels & I think you'll have something. :)
LMWDP 267