Removing lubricant grease from inside of La Pavoni Europiccola boiler

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landdogger

#1: Post by landdogger »

I recently lubricated my Pavoni's o-rings and piston with Petro-Gel. I noticed that the insides of the boiler are oily with what I assume is that same lubricant. (hopefully not problematic that it's even there)

Is citric acid the best was to clean this? Or something softer like soap?

I don't need to descale right now and would prefer to avoid the hard stuff until needed.

Thank you!

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JohnB.
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#2: Post by JohnB. »

According to the specs Petro-Gel has a 195°F melting point which is too low for lubing lever piston seals as boiler temp water will wash it right off. Once you get it cleaned up switch to a food safe silicone lube like Molykote 111 which is rated to 400°F. Any mild detergent should work in the boiler as long as you get the water hot enough to break down the grease. Rinse it out well afterwards.
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landdogger (original poster)

#3: Post by landdogger (original poster) »

Got it! I only found Petro-Gel because it was mentioned by someone else, but good to know that its melting point is too low (I believe it is food-safe, though).

With the detergent, is it just a matter of adding it to the boiler and letting it heat up for a while?

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JohnB.
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#4: Post by JohnB. »

You'll have to experiment as I've never had to clean grease out of a boiler. Filling, fully heating & dumping a few times without any added cleaner might work. Citric acid might work??
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Nunas
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#5: Post by Nunas »

Hot water, Dawn (specifically), agitate well, rinse really well. Simple Green works even better as a grease cutter, but it's hard to get it totally rinsed out.

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Jeff
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#6: Post by Jeff »

I agree with Dawn as being a great option. You're basically cutting Vaseline (petroleum grease).

I've found Simple Green to be slightly corrosive. CRC makes a "food-safe" degreaser, should Dawn not be sufficient. If

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JohnB.
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#7: Post by JohnB. »

The issue I'd have with Dawn is that it is quite fragrant so I think you'd want to clean the boiler after using it with a citric acid solution anyways so why not just try that first. Brought up to boiler temp the C/A bath should remove any grease.
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bwren

#8: Post by bwren »

Remove the grouphead from the boiler (2 bolts), remove the boiler cap, and attach the grouphead back in upside down (water pipe sticking through top)

Remove the shower screen and gasket, but leave the piston and handle in. Make a solution of boiling water with Cafiza. Pour this in the grouphead while working the piston up and down and fill to the brim. Also soak the shower screen and gasket in same solution. Dump and rinse with hot water.

landdogger (original poster)

#9: Post by landdogger (original poster) »

Thanks for this guidance.

If I'm going to try Dawn, is it just a matter of heating up the soapy water, or should I boil it in boiler?

landdogger (original poster)

#10: Post by landdogger (original poster) »

Will also try citric acid but I recently descaled and want to be careful about too much acidity in the boiler, which I understand can start leading to corrosion.