Warning: Filthy Images! How to Descale a Lever? - Page 2

A haven dedicated to manual espresso machine aficionados.
Hogfire

#11: Post by Hogfire »

Cheers for the well-wishes,

Was a bit worried myself as I broke my back 2 years ago snowboarding (unbelievable adventures deep in the backcountry in northern Japan, don't regret it one bit though), however, the doc says everything spinal appears in order. Back made o' whalebone I reckon (well, still a bit painful, but no major problems)!

Dave, I popped round 3 different Marriotts near the convention centre yesterday and no luck. I'll keep the Mc-descaler in mind and continue searching round here. Grateful for your efforts, and hope the wife had a good visit!

Hogfire
LMWDP #023

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cannonfodder
Team HB

#12: Post by cannonfodder »

PM me you home mailing address and I will set you up.

Glad you are doing better.
Dave Stephens

Hogfire

#13: Post by Hogfire »

Finally, success!

Just a quick recap of my descaling dilemma. Thickly scaled element and boiler walls as per previous photos just would not come clean using domestic products. I tried Clean Caf numerous times in one week, and pure citric acid, with almost no change in the build up.

Cannonfodder was kind enough to send me some delimer for commercial equipment, and it removed all scale in just a 30 minute session! Powerful stuff for sure, so I completely stripped the machine down for a thorough rinsing, and after reassembly, all the seals and gaskets are just fine, and she's operating like a well-oiled machine, heating up quickly, and pumping out the goods like nobody's business!

A great big thank you goes out to Dave in Ohio! ! ! !


A no longer stressed out element
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Smooth, clean boiler walls
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Hogfire
LMWDP #023

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cannonfodder
Team HB

#14: Post by cannonfodder »

Glad to see you are feeling better.

Once it is clean, use about ¼ of a pack every 6 months to keep it nice and clean. I leave my machine assembled and just dissolve some of the powder in a bit of water, dump it in and top off the boiler. Heat it and let it rest for a half hour and drain.
Dave Stephens

RCMann

#15: Post by RCMann » replying to cannonfodder »

So what is this infamous McSubstance, and how can the rest of us plebeians get some, or at least a generic McSubstitute?

I happened upon this thread as I prepare to clean my Cremina after a complete teardown/rebuild about 9-10 months ago. At the time there was zero scale, and I don't see any now, even though I use tap water in the machine.

But I figured I better clean it now while the deposits may be very small than wait until they get bigger...Rod
Matt Chester fixed gear

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mogogear

#16: Post by mogogear » replying to RCMann »

FWIW:

I am not sure what the brand is on the MaCdonald spec'd cleaner that Hogfire uses but pure citric acid from a homebrew store is very powerful stuff for someone such as yourself with an professed "fairly clean machine". Plus you get the benefit that it is not actually a chemical cleaner. Residue may give a helpful tart taste but not "sit" you down or worse.. Plus it is very affordable. I had some "very scaled" machines I bought out of the St Paul MN. area- hard scale build up- The citric acid did the trick - no problems.
greg moore

Leverwright
LMWDP #067

RCMann

#17: Post by RCMann »

Thanks Mo-

I have citric acid but was looking for something a bit more thorough. I tried using citric acid when I first got the machine and the scale was heavy, and it didn't seem to do anything.

I ended up using lime/rust/scale remover which worked ok, but that was when the machine was disassembled and I could be sure to rinse it all out.

I'll probably use the citric acid anyway, maybe it'll work ok on light deposits...Rod
Matt Chester fixed gear

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cannonfodder
Team HB

#18: Post by cannonfodder »

It is made by Kay Chemical. It is a commercial delimer, the ambiguous contents only read 'proprietary acidic salts'. If you happen to know someone that works at that golden arch food place, you could see if they can pick up a case. It is cheap and works wonderfully, or contact Kay Chemical and see if they make a non branded product that is available to the public.
Dave Stephens

Genesis

#19: Post by Genesis »

If you have the machine TAKEN APART you can get some "phOspho-Ric" at the local Home Depot.

This is a commercial etchant, rust remover and paint prep. It contains phosphoric acid.

It WILL take all the lime off and is (reasonably) safe around metals and seals. Do not use it "raw" (undiluted) and do not spill it on you. You also don't want to drink it!

Again - don't even THINK about using this stuff if you have to suck it into a boiler. It will foam bigtime while its working, and if you don't get it all out you'll be most unhappy (possibly "poisoned" unhappy.) It can also attack brass (de-zincifying it) if you leave it in there too long.

"Commercial grade" products like this need to be used judiciously by people who are cautious and know what they're doing, or you can have VERY bad results. Brass contains zinc, and zinc is attacked by basically all acids to one degree or another, so there IS a potential issue with structural damage to boilers and fittings with any decalcification regime.

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mmcra4

#20: Post by mmcra4 »

I am new to the site and just finished reading this thread.. Did a quick search and thought this might be helpful.

Found a merchant on ebay selling the product:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Kay-Chemical-De ... 821wt_1164

Regards
mm
Cheers
mmcrae4