Deep cleaning an Elektra Microcasa

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#1: Post by Madroaster »

Hi All,

I've just unboxed my MCAL and I don't like the inside of my sight glass--it needs a good cleaning. Does anyone know the best way to do this? Alternatively, can I just fill the machine with a citric acid solution and let it sit, followed by some good flushing?

There's nothing wrong with the machine; it's just been boxed up for 2 years and deserves a good cleaning.


Edit: Changed title to better reflect question.

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#2: Post by mhoy »

That's what I did with my 2nd hand one. I also turn the heat on for a bit (but just to warm things up) as the citric acid solution works faster when warm. Let it sit for a while. I then flushed some through the group. Fresh water was used to flush things and before you know it, voila done.


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#3: Post by orphanespresso »

If the sight glass is still cloudy after the citric you can take off the pressure gauge and use a bottle brush or fat pipe cleaner and touch it up from the top through the gauge fitting. No new seal required, maybe some teflon tape on the thread when you reinstall the gauge.

Madroaster (original poster)

#4: Post by Madroaster (original poster) »

Thanks guys.

I'll try the citric acid and see how that works first. What solution do you suggest? I have some, but I only have 4oz left.


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#5: Post by mhoy »

You could try a table spoon in a boiler full of water. The acid is relatively weak and you can't really mess it up. That's why we like it so much. :D It also tastes much nicer than say vinegar should you not rinse as thoroughly as you should.


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#6: Post by orphanespresso »

I have had some experiences with citric lately and would generally recommend fairly short exposures if you are at all concentrated. Mhoy's tablespoon per boiler is about right if you are going to heat cycle with citric. I wouldn't leave it in the machine for no more than 2 or 3 hours as it really does attack brass and at 2 hours you can empty and flush, see how the sight glass looks and decide if you want a repeat. If you soak the external parts in citric too long you can lose some chrome, particularly if the chrome is thin from some previous owner scrubbing with some abrasive....don't ask me how I know.
Again, I would say, fairly dilute with repeats rather than a strong blast all at once.


#7: Post by Nickk1066 »

You could just remove the glass and treat with citric separately.
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Madroaster (original poster)

#8: Post by Madroaster (original poster) »

It's soaking now. I used a tablespoon of citric acid. I'm cycling the heat to get things started, and I may heat it up about an hour in or so to keep things hot. After two hours I'll empty and flush everything and report back.

Thanks for all the advice guys...

Madroaster (original poster)

#9: Post by Madroaster (original poster) »

Green water...interesting. Wasn't expecting that. Citric acid never turned my pancakes green...

Madroaster (original poster)

#10: Post by Madroaster (original poster) »

So I flushed the machine several times, but in the end I took off the pressure gauge anyway. But I'm not happy with the water coming from the group--it has a slight yellowish tinge to it. It's not clean.

I also pulled out the piston and cleaned the chamber, as well as the dispersion screen, gasket, and portafilter. I can't think of anyplace else gunk is hiding--do I need a better (or just another) cleaning of the boiler?